16 Things You Should Never Buy at Five Below

Skipping the shelves at Five Below could be a better option for some products.

five below store sign
Updated July 18, 2024
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Five Below is a treasure trove of fun and affordable finds, but with so many options, it can be tough to know what's truly worth your $5.

To save you from buyer's remorse (and keep more cash in your wallet), we're sharing the Five Below items we recommend skipping on your next shopping adventure.

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Batteries

Gudellaphoto/Adobe batteries

Batteries can get expensive depending on where you buy them and if you choose to go with a brand name.

But cheap batteries at Five Below with a name you haven’t heard of may not be a good bargain as they could stop working quickly and leave you in the dark with a dead flashlight.

Make-up

Ale/Adobe rose gold makeup

Some make-up products can get expensive, and you might think Five Below is a good alternative.

It may be a good idea to stick with name brands or at least spend a bit more cash elsewhere, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Protein bars

murziknata/Adobe energy protein bar

It’s always a good idea to check expiration dates and ingredients on food at stores like Five Below.

One option you can get there is protein bars, so check the ingredients to see exactly what’s in the bars and how much added protein you really get from them.

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Dog toys

photology1971/Adobe puppy playing with toy

Keep your puppies happy with dog toys, but maybe get them from a pet store or retailer rather than Five Below.

The quality of products at Five Below may not be as good as other stores, so be careful about giving items to a dog that can rip them apart or swallow small pieces.

School supplies

BillionPhotos.com/Adobe school supplies in a cart

It may be time to replace a backpack or get a new binder for your kids for class.

But think about how much wear and tear your kids put their school items through and consider spending more money for a higher quality backpack or supplies than can stand the extra wear.

Sunscreen

sosiukin/Adobe woman applying sunscreen at beach

You may have sunscreen on your list of items to buy for the summer, but it’s important to get sunscreen that can protect you.

So stick with name brands you trust if you find some at Five Below, or skip the sunscreen and buy it elsewhere.

Travel-size items

Pixel-Shot/Adobe body care cosmetics

You may be surprised to find that some small items can cost more at Five Below.

Compare the travel-size versions of toothpaste or shampoo to other stores the next time you pack for a trip. You may be surprised to find that Five Below’s version might cost more.

Toys

New Africa/Adobe little baby with toy phone

Kids love toys but be careful about the ones you buy at discount retailers like Five Below.

The toys may not be able to hold up to rigorous play, and you’ll want to be sure there won’t be pieces breaking off that can hurt little ones.

Computer accessories

New Africa/Adobe gamepads mice headphones and keyboard on table

You may need a new mouse or keyboard, but check somewhere else before trying the options at Five Below.

It may be better to pay a little more for computer accessories that will hold up to daily use before going for a cheap option you’ll have to replace regularly.

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Jewelry

shutterman99/Adobe woman wearing shiny rings

Don’t expect high-quality jewelry if you’re buying some from Five Below.

The products may be good for a night or two out before they don’t work anymore and could pose a problem if you’re sensitive to certain types of metal in your jewelry.

Lotion

Prostock-studio/Adobe woman pouring moisturising body lotion

It’s a good idea to stock up on lotions and creams during the winter when your skin can get dry.

You may want to stick to name brands, though, as some of the products on the Five Below shelves may not be as good when it comes to quality and taking care of your skin.

Food storage

ArgitopIA/Adobe woman organizing food in tupperware

It’s frustrating to try and put leftovers away when you can’t find a lid that matches a container in your kitchen.

Skip replacing your containers with new plastic containers from Five Below. The quality may not be high, and you don’t want to worry about issues with storing your food in plastic containers.

Candy

Longfin Media/Adobe m&m's chocolate candies

Five Below has a wide selection of candy options, but you’ll want to keep an eye on the candy you’re buying.

Candy has a decent shelf life, but older candy can be hard to chew and may not be as flavorful if it’s been sitting on the shelf for a while.

Water bottles

Girts/Adobe man refilling his water bottle

You should be wary of water bottles, especially if you plan to keep water in them for long periods.

Water bottles from stores like Five Below may not be safe and could end up adding chemicals to your water if you let them sit too long.

Craft sets

images and videos/Adobe painting equipment

Crafts are a great way to make things or keep kids busy on days off.

But you may want to double-check the quality of the crafts you pick up before you buy them, as it can be frustrating to not complete a project with items that don’t work.

Anything you need to last

naruedom/Adobe colorful kitchen utensils

One of the great things about a store like Five Below is you can buy something now for cheap.

But cheap could mean you’re compromising on quality. So you may want to steer clear of items you need to last for a long time, like kitchen items or sentimental gifts.

Bottom line

William A. Morgan/Adobe front of five below

While Five Below offers tempting deals, consider the long-term cost.

Investing in higher-quality items from other retailers may help you save money shopping in the long run due to their increased durability.

Remember, sometimes, spending less upfront can lead to more spending down the line.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.