The 9 Worst Things to Buy at Daiso

Joanne Poh


No one has ever accused Daiso of being a pretentious shop that sells overpriced products. But unfortunately that doesn’t excuse you from using your brain when you walk in. While everything might cost only $2, some of these products are actually even cheaper elsewhere.

Yes, we know it’s hard to believe but there are indeed things you can buy in Singapore for less than $2. Here’s what to avoid on your next trip (thanks Claire for the head’s up!).


1. Wet wipes

Daiso wet wipes

Placed innocuously by the queuing area, these wet wipes hope you’ll add them to your stash just before check out, because it’s just so convenient to do so. But wait, $2 for a single packet of wet wipes? That’s not cheap at all, considering you can get a value pack that’s 10 times the size at just $3.90 at NTUC.


2. Kitchen paper

Daiso kitchen paper

$2 for two rolls of kitchen paper is pretty expensive, considering you can get a value pack consisting of 6 rolls for just $3.80 at NTUC.


3. Piece of cardboard

Daiso Piece of Cardboard

We’re not sure who they’re trying to fool here, but Daiso sells this single sheet of red coloured cardboard for $2. The heart shape is Daiso’s attempt to add value, but we’re not buying it. We’re not even going to check how much a slab of cheap cardboard costs elsewhere, but we’re pretty sure this is a rip-off.


4. Velcro strips

Daiso Velcro Strips

These are marketed as an ingenious way to keep your cables and wires organised. But take a closer lock and you’ll realise that they’re nothing more than narrow strips of velcro, coiled and packaged so that unsuspecting purchasers will drop $2 on something with almost zero value.


5. Sponge

Daiso sponge

Daiso’s sponge might have a cheery smiley face on it, presumably to make you forget what a drag it is to have to do the dishes. But what it really makes you forget is that you’re paying $2 for a single friggin’ sponge.


6. Toothpicks

Daiso toothpicks

Toothpicks are so cheap it’s almost unfair  to charge for them. But if you have to spend $2 on toothpicks, you’d better make sure you’re getting a huge bundle. So it’s quite bold of Daiso to package their toothpicks in these tiny little boxes and then hope someone’s foolish enough to buy them.


7. Rubber bands

Daiso Rubber Bands

It’s pretty much the same story with rubber bands as it is with toothpicks. Daiso takes items that are very cheap to buy in bulk, divides them into smaller portions and then tries to sell them off at the relatively high price of $2. Well played.


8. S-hooks

2015-04-05 21.27.13

You can get a set of 10 S-hooks at Ikea for $1.90 and probably even less at neighbourhood hardware stores, so we wonder just whom Daiso is trying to fool by selling this pack of 3 S-hooks for $2. That’s more than a 200% markup.


9. Canned drinks

Daiso Canned Drinks

Daiso has a pretty extensive food and drinks section, but take note that many of the products on sale are actually more expensive than their supermarket counterparts. Take all the drinks in the fridge, for example. Your average canned drink at NTUC costs around $0.70, while a bottle of green tea can be purchased for about $1.20 to $1.50. That means Daiso is charging you almost double the price for the same thing.

Have you ever bought something at Daiso only to discover it was cheaper elsewhere? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.