Dollar tree in RI is selling battery powered candles in a two pack for a buck in their christmas section..add in a pack of batterys for another buck and for under two bucks battery operated candles that can be glue gunned to halloween purpose.
I purchased a bunch of these last year and opened them the other day.They are pretty week and do not flicker. You can replace the bulbs with better flicker bulbs for a nice effect though. It does bump up the price on them.
I actually found they are quite bright and they flicker quite well. Either the batteries in yours are low or I guess they changed them for this year. They look pretty convincing in a carved pumpkin, and for $.50 a piece are really worth it.
P.S. You are talking about fake tea lights, right?