My name is Brandon and I'm a SM at Dollar General, been there for 3 years. Ask me anything you wish. I've seen everything that retail has to offer. Proof is Nametag, Timestamp, Store Keys.

Comments: 130 • Responses: 48  • Date: 

DiputsMonro12 karma

What is the most depressing thing you've seen while working at Dollar General?

elcapitanbh58 karma

That's actually a tough one. There was a homeless man that came in on a December morning, he stole a can of Vienna sausages and I confronted him about it and told him not to worry about it but not to do it again. He had a military ID and was a Vietnam Vet, I let him sleep in the break room with a heater for for a few hours.

Wyodaniel6 karma

Hi, it's me, the homeless sausage thief...

elcapitanbh4 karma

Told ya, I've seen just about everything.

therealgeorgew11 karma

Do you have any other career prospects or is this it for you?

elcapitanbh17 karma

Considering as I'm only 22, I sure hope so, my friend is lending me his books which give a crash course in programming. Retail itself isn't bad money-wise when you get into management, but the long hours and slave labor that comes with salary isn't worth it unless you land at a big retailer, like Walmart.

12DollarLargePizza16 karma

I could teach you C# if you give me a can of Vienna Sausages and let me sleep in the break room.

elcapitanbh3 karma


NewAgeRed3 karma

I bet you already know about it, but just in case.
There are cool sites like that are good to take a look at. :)

elcapitanbh1 karma

I did not, but thanks!

iwantnicelegs26 karma

How are products procured so cheap? Does the corporate simply send trucks full of pallets and individual store simply unload? Are the products from closing warehouses, export deal gone wrong, or any other way that massive quantity can be procured very cheaply?

elcapitanbh11 karma

I assume like any retailer the product is so cheap because it's bought in massive bulk quantities (DG has around 20,000 stores to supply). Product is delivered VIA truck and comes on Roll-Containers and some come in singles, like toilet paper. TBH, most of the products that aren't food are made in China, so you can probably guess why it's cheap.

bigpandas1 karma

Is any of the food made in China? I have a store near me and I bought a ceramic soup bowl for $1 and bragged a little to my friends about my score but then I started worrying about the paint being lead. I broke it by accident after (it served me well, as far as I know). Are there any precautions by the company to make sure dining utensils aren't contaminated with lead?

elcapitanbh3 karma

As far as I know, none of the food is made in China. As for the lead, I have no clue. If the things are contaminated I suppose we're in the same boat here.

bigpandas1 karma

Good point. If so, we may be in the same boat as Flint.

elcapitanbh2 karma

I've actually seen posts to the DG Facebook page saying certain plastics contain lead, so it's possible but I assume it's just suspicion, kind of like when they say our store brand dog food will make your dog ill.

Inthewoodlands5 karma

  1. Why are some things more than $1? It's irritating.

  2. What is the profit margin on most items?

  3. What is the biggest seller?

elcapitanbh10 karma

Dollar Tree is the store where everything is $1, we but still have over 2,000 items that are $1 and under. I can't speak for the profit on core merchandise, because even I don't know. Vendor items such and Milk, Bread, Beer, Chips, Cigarettes are all really really slim around 15-25%. The biggest steady seller for a single item would have to be cigarettes, around 600 packs a week sold at my store.

Inthewoodlands5 karma

So a pack of smokes is $1?

elcapitanbh5 karma

No, haha. But it depends on which county or city you're in. Another store down the road from me in another county is about $2 cheaper on most packs.

leapinleptards5 karma

I am a relatively new vendor (with a company that occupies approx. half of an aisle) for 3 DGs in my area; any advice as far as working best with management? Are vendors considered a frustrating necessity? I ask the latter because, with my couple months of experience in Walmart, I feel like pretty much everyone hates that I exist, including the store manager. So far I like the Dollar General staff so much more, and want to do whatever I can to build the best working relationship with those accounts!

elcapitanbh2 karma

Oh that's a good one. I believe everyone likes vendors, the only issues I have are when not enough product is brought in due to a bad Rep, or when the products like Frito Lay and Bread don't get priced using the pricing gun. Just make sure enough product is coming in and you rotate and credit out the expires every visit. You don't happen to work for Frito do you?

leapinleptards1 karma

I do not! I work for a greeting card company, so expiration dates aren't something I have to worry about, thankfully.

elcapitanbh2 karma

American Greetings? I like the fact I don't have to check in the Greeting Cards, so that's a plus.

sampaps-_5 karma

What is an average/run-of-the-mill day for you as a store manager?

elcapitanbh8 karma

Normally I am by myself for the first couple of hours, then after that it is 35% Paperwork, 65% stocking, setting displays, setting planograms, switching out the seasonal aisles (as soon as one holiday ends we begin preparing for the next).

Acadiaa3 karma

ooh, I feel like doing planos at a dollar store would be annoying

elcapitanbh1 karma

It's definitely not too bad.

MjrMjr5 karma

How much do you get paid?

Hopefully it's more than a dollar!!!!

elcapitanbh10 karma

Normal starting pay for managers is 34-40k and is negotiable to some degree. I'm in that range. I know another manager that's been with Dollar General for 15 years and gets paid 80k. Your pay depends on the size of the store you manage, location, and time with the company. You also get bonuses but I split those with my crew.

-Monarch-3 karma

been with Dollar General for 15 years


elcapitanbh5 karma

I doubt he'd complain too much, he gets paid well.

Strange_Plz4 karma

I worked at dollar tree for two years it was the worst job experience of my life. The freight room was always a wreck i wonder is it the same at your company? Just total chaos even for a retail store.

elcapitanbh3 karma

Every retail store is chaotic, but I have a good store team so mine is by far the best DG I've been at. (I travel to help other stores.)

solisu4 karma

Why is the alcohol so cheap??

elcapitanbh6 karma

That I can not say, but for wine we have our own store brand called "Spring Creek". I always have customers telling me our alcohol is so much cheaper though.

bobthetechguy3 karma

Have you ever lost your keys?

elcapitanbh1 karma

If you lose your keys you get fired instantly, so thankfully no.

FirstAidKoolAid2 karma

Thats's kinda..harsh. What if they're stolen?

elcapitanbh2 karma

Unless someone runs up and steals your keys while you're locking a door or doing something with the register, you'd probably get fired. Yeah it's harsh but understandable. If someone gets the keys they have access to the building.

IsThisNameTaken71 karma

Can you get them copied and only carry the copies?

elcapitanbh1 karma

I could get em copied, but I would probably also be fired.

Johnnyfiftyfive3 karma

When do you start bringing in grass seed ?

elcapitanbh2 karma

It's different times for different parts of the country, southern stores get the spring and summer seasonal first. My store is in the south and we got the grass seeds in late January.

DimiDrake3 karma

Should I ever feel safe buying any type of food item there, or should I just expect a trip to the emergency room after eating or drinking anything I buy?

elcapitanbh7 karma

It's always a good habit to check expiration dates in any store, but you should be A-OK if the store team rotates the food.

elcapitanbh8 karma

Also, Store Brand products are mostly made in the same factory as the name brand as far as I know.

le1ca7 karma

Not DG "cheese." I believe it is forged in the depths of hell.

elcapitanbh6 karma

Or Wisconsin. But all spray cheeses and "American" cheese slices are pretty much 99% not real cheese.

chrome-spokes3 karma

Good AMA, thank you!

Seen you been asked "the most depressing", so how about any better or funny incidents for you at D.G.?

(And hats off big time for the compassion you gave the Vet.)

elcapitanbh8 karma

Depends on your definition of funny but the milk vendor fell off the back of his truck and rolled down the parking lot (He wasn't hurt). I gathered everyone in the office and we put it on a loop, slow motion, reverse, good times.

jaxbminer2 karma

What is that weird perfume smell on all the items in Dollar General?

elcapitanbh1 karma

Never heard of or smelt that before, must be unique to your location.

Barathrus2 karma

I just want to ask, when a person comes up to the register with 8 bottles of cough medicine and you have to make it into two purchases, do you actually care that I'm getting high from your stock or is it just company policy? I can never tell whether dollar store people judge me or if you just don't give a fuck and it's just a job to you.

elcapitanbh2 karma

I mean, I can't stop you from buying 8 bottles of cough syrup, I don't know what you're doing with it. But I did find some guy in the bathroom snorting crushed up HBP Pills, I didn't sell them to him again.

llamallama-dingdong2 karma

Why are Dollar General stores always so disorganized, dingy and dark?

TMOverbeck1 karma

Former DG worker here, I can tell you they're not all like that. DGs built from the ground up (or that go into old Eckerds/Walgreens buildings) are usually more organized than those that fit into a strip center. I've never seen them really dark, but as for dingy, that'll definitely vary.

elcapitanbh1 karma

You said what I would was going to.

llamallama-dingdong0 karma

I work for a vendor that services about 100 locations, 9 out of 10 locations we deliver to fit my description.

elcapitanbh1 karma

Because most people don't really care. SM's have very little hours to play with while making the schedule. The rest of the work is up to us to do.

BAHunt2 karma

Will you be a good father figure to Frank Wheatley?

elcapitanbh1 karma


Cheewio1 karma

What products are actually good deals if purchased at DG?

elcapitanbh2 karma

Most of are our products are cheaper than other big box stores apparently. (Been told this by customers.) Greeting Cards are a deal. Most are 50c-$1. If you go to a place like Hallmark they're about 5 bucks for the same ones.

ConchitaMylove1 karma

Why you guys don't sell lunchables?

elcapitanbh1 karma

We do, in the freezers.

TheBagman071 karma

How do you deal with incompetent employees?

elcapitanbh2 karma

Sit down and have a talk with them. If they don't step up I usually have to terminate them. Dollar General is run on a skeleton crew usually 4 people per day. It's kind of hard to keep everything correct when someone slacks off.

drain_pipe1 karma

What item sells the most?

What item is shoplifted the most?

elcapitanbh6 karma

Cigarettes are the most sold by volume, usually 70 packs a day. The two most shoplifted items is a tie between Clothes and Tide Pods. People were just slicing open the Tide Pod Pouches and dumping them into a bag. But I've seen a lot of stupid things get stolen like, 2 packs hot cocoa mix out of a box, a few trash bags out of a box, a few Ziploc bags out of a box that were only a dollar to begin with.. tons more.

MrsMalkhasyan1 karma

Excuse me, how much does this cost?

elcapitanbh1 karma


thundercatjones1 karma

what is your favourite episode of south park, the simpsons and seinfeld?

elcapitanbh1 karma

Haven't watched the Simpsons in a long time, never seen Seinfeld. You PC bro? -PC Principal, SouthPark.

kconnors1 karma

where do they find most of the products that are sold for a dollar?

elcapitanbh2 karma

Some warehouse in China.

kconnors2 karma

I just assumed the stuff is from turned over tractor trailer truck and damaged boxes besides crap from China

elcapitanbh2 karma

No the reason it's so cheap is because they save money by buying in bulk, DG has 20,000 stores to order for.

kconnors1 karma

I see. That's interesting. What items are typically the best deals to purchase?

elcapitanbh2 karma

I get told laundry products. Beer is cheap too, same with phone chargers.

kconnors1 karma

I can't imagine buying beer there. What brands do you sell. Although, phone chargers does sound like a good idea.

elcapitanbh2 karma

Pretty much the cheap gut wrenching crap. Miller, Budweiser, Natty Ice, thinking of Steel Reserve makes me puke. But I kinda like Bud Light. We have iPhone 5 and 6 chargers for 15, while the stores down the street sell them for 30-40.

kconnors1 karma

I see. Yeah, those beers are not typically favorable.

elcapitanbh1 karma

When they place a Dollar General, it's usually in a place with no competition or a lower class neighborhood, so you could assume why they're popular though.

AustinsAirsoft1 karma

How many cameras are in your store?

elcapitanbh2 karma

About 30, but only 10 are usable, the rest are to monitor us. Thanks Loss Prevention.

AustinsAirsoft1 karma

Haha, I just wonders how secure a dollar store needs to be.

elcapitanbh1 karma

Well theft is a big concern but corporate is more concerned about monitoring us more. Makes it hard to catch thieves when you can use the camera as evidence because it's blocked.

EastBeast20161 karma

How many times a day does someone ask if everything is a dollar?

elcapitanbh1 karma

About 5, then I have to explain why a 64oz bottle of Tide isn't $1.

theoneinflannel1 karma

Do you have any really weird people who work as cashier's that creep you out? If so, please do share.

elcapitanbh2 karma

I can't say I have ever had any weird cashiers. There's a customer that barely talks to me but loves to talk to the cute blonde I have up front. She came in one day completely freaked out because she got a friend request from the guy, who was like 38, on Facebook. And the only personal info he knew was her first name.

cokoop1 karma

Why does the cash register at the dollar store have more than one button on it?

elcapitanbh1 karma

Because the register is the terminal where you print reports among other things.

frontrange5813-1 karma

Why is it that managers of franchise stores such as Dollar General are always on such a power trip?

elcapitanbh1 karma

That's something I haven't experienced so I can't say.