What should this Brit buy at Target
September 5, 2016 6:57 AM   Subscribe

I've just discovered Target ships to the UK, claiming full responsibility for landed costs, which is very exciting for this brand deprived individual (I grew up in New Zealand, okay...) So what should I buy? What's your favourite Target item? I like snacks, desk accessories, tech accessories, beauty, and I have a dog. Probably $100 is my max budget.
posted by teststrip to Shopping (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you hoping more for Target-brand items (like Archer Farms, which is decent store brand food in most cases- I like the trail mixes the best) or for items you just can't get in the UK? My honest-to-goodness favorite items to buy at Target are something you can definitely get in the UK - Boots/No 7 brand cosmetics.

That aside, I would say any of the Shea Moisture beauty products.

I have no complaints about the quality or price of their Microfiber and Jersey sheet sets. It's definitely what I buy in lieu of cost prohibitive Egyptian Cotton high-thread-count sheets.

A lot of the gold office supplies are cute.

The Collection-brand candles in Tobacco Cedar. The other ones are great, too, depending on your scent preference (I love 'Wine Cellar' the most but ugh it's not available online).

I can't bring myself to recommend any tech accessories because I've always felt that Target sells either 1) overpriced tech accessories or 2) poorly constructed tech accessories. YMMV.
posted by nightrecordings at 7:56 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I really like the Target dog beds. Their house brand for dog stuff is Boots and Barkley, and the dog beds are quite reasonably priced and (it would seem, according to my dog) comfortable. They also sell those squeaky fake tennis balls that dogs love. Those are Kong brand.

Do you drink coffee? I buy Bustelo at Target - it's a Puerto Rican brand that is cheap but makes a dark, very smooth cup.

Target is not the best for electronics, though I have picked up extra chargers, plugs, etc and they've been fine.

IMO, where Target really shines is clothes and accessories, in terms of things that are fashionable but extremely cheap - and not exactly durable, but won't fall apart in three washes either.
posted by lunasol at 8:05 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Composition books.
posted by parmanparman at 8:38 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I admit to being a bit confused with how this can be answered—

The dogs beds would unlikely be reasonably priced by the time they made it to the UK-- for example a $14.99 dog bed from Target would cost teststrip about $125 dollars, blowing the budget.

Target isn't particularly unique-- it's a superstore of varied products, which is to say, the UK has many of the same available brands as them- Shea Moisture products are available from Amazon UK, and UK vendors do indeed sell bed sheets, you can get Bustelo coffee at the Supermarket.

Cheap US tech products will often not work on the UK power-grid so be wary of US-only products.

Even a $1 composition book as mentioned my parmanparman, which is quite iconic really, will cost you ~$30 to get it to the UK, and is available on UK Amazon for a less eye-watering amount.

Perhaps a variety pack of American candy might only cost you about $60 to the UK, and you can enjoy the an immense feeling of confusion when you taste some Hershey's candy. Also, a US Milkyway is a UK Mars Bar, and a UK Milkyway is a US 3 Musketeers, which is a bit fun.
posted by Static Vagabond at 9:02 AM on September 5, 2016 [8 favorites]

Is there anything on the Target site that you absolutely cannot get in the UK? Or something close?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:07 AM on September 5, 2016

So I started adding some stuff to my basket because they were cheaper than they are from UK sites namely:

Swiffer refills - much cheaper than Amazon
ziploc gallon bags - so hard to get any zip bags larger than sandwich size in the UK
Playtex tampons - they don't sell this brand in the UK

but then when I went to checkout it says shipping is £36 and I don't think it's worth it for me but that's what I would have bought if shipping wasn't so prohibitively expensive. I'll just have to rely on visiting friends/family to act as my mule.
posted by like_neon at 9:13 AM on September 5, 2016

Target is ever-so-slightly-but-barely nicer than Wal-Mart, with incredible amounts of overlap. Quality isn't necessarily their bag; Target is not a specialty brand. Target's house brands aren't really that great, and I can't think of anything at Target that would be worth importation and shipping costs. If you were talking about some specialty store or something, this would make sense...but even the shipping costs on Target brand goods doesn't make sense unless the item is just straight up unavailable in the UK.

You're money will be much better spent finding similar products in the UK, and not paying the shipping costs.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:18 AM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Several US products have TGT and Walmart exclusive flavors: m&m, oreo, ben&jerry (this last would be somewhat difficult to ship ;-) )....
posted by brujita at 9:47 AM on September 5, 2016

I'm in Canada, where Target opened up a boatload of stores, forgot to put products in large parts of them, and then closed down in what felt like two weeks.

Things I would like to get more of: Archer Farms mac and cheese except I can't find it on the site -- ??? -- Sonia Kashuk make-up -- Neutrogena make-up, which we don't have in shops here; not sure about the UK -- some more cotton pyjamas and nighties -- "Our Generation" doll accessories, if you have a daughter or niece or young female friend...

(Yes, obviously the shipping and duty will be ridiculous, but I completely understand the itch to get a thing from another country that you can't get locally. Since Marks and Spencer pulled out of Canada {why don't stores like us...?} I have ordered from them regularly; I never figured out where else to buy underwear, and, when buying underwear, I'll buy other bits and bobs just because of the 'they don't sell that here...' appeal.)

You might wait until they do an interesting 'collaboration' and order away -- I had a friend in the States send up my Target order when they had Liberty of London whatnot, and I really wanted a matching mother-daughter whatever from their cheapie Lilly Pulitzer line.
posted by kmennie at 10:43 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Target has a lot of cruelty free lines such as Method Soap, Boots skin care (lol, you can probably get them right from the source), Mrs. Meyer's. I rely heavily on them for that.
posted by getawaysticks at 5:41 PM on September 5, 2016

The Merona line of purses is pretty good, and Target notoriously, blatantly, and repeatedly in a jaw-dropping manner, copies high-end purse designs (and mid-range brands like Coach). Last time I went in I saw a Celine "Smiley Bag" knockoff.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:01 PM on September 5, 2016

I worked at Target for 6 years. There is really very little I can think of that I would go back to Target to shop for that aren't available elsewhere. Cute housewares is about it, and that is only because the closest Ikea to me is a 4 hour drive. Even their designer crossovers tend to be underwhelming. Save your money for Tim Tams.
posted by Requiax at 8:01 PM on September 5, 2016

As far as I'm concerned, the appeal of Target is going to Target. I live in the US and when I can't get to the store, I don't bother ordering stuff from them because it's just not worth it.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 5:13 AM on September 6, 2016

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