My daughter loves the American Girl line of dolls. Her mania has been recharged with the recent release of the McKenna movie, especially since she and McKenna both do gymnastics. I took her to Amerian Girl Place in New York City on a recent vacation and was showed at the prices. I was also amazed that there is no clearance section!
It is possible to get authentic American Girl items for a fraction of the retail price. Here’s how:
Hit garage sales.
I found a Molly doll at a garage sale for a buck once! Check our the sales in wealthier communities to increase your chances of scouring.
Shop thrift stores.
I saw an American Girl bookend set at a thrift store just last week. It was new with the tags, but unfortunately, it was broken. Make sure to check the quality before purchasing.
Make friends with consignment store owners.
My town has a consignment store that specializes in children’s items. I let the owner know I’m on the lookout for American Girl items and she calls whenever something comes in. They currently have a beautiful Bitty Baby crib. It’s a great deal compared to retail, but $70 is still much too steep for me. Consignment stores are also a great way to get rid of duplicate or no longer wanted American Girl items.
Shop on Ebay.
The Molly I bought at a garage sale for a dollar? I sold it on Ebay and made $80. Ebay is great for buying and selling American Girl items. Look for large lots of loose clothing for especially good value.
Sour online classified, such as Craig’s list.
Post an ad that you’re looking to buy American Girl items. Someone just might have some that they are willing to part with!
Get on the American Girl email mailing list.
Register at www.americangirl.com. They send out notices of sales and an occasional coupon. There are sometimes very good deals to be had, especially around the holidays.
Browse the online store’s clearance section.
I broke down and bought my daughter and her doll matching New York City shirts at American Girl Place. I paid full price and was very upset to arrive home and see them on clearance for a 1/3 of the price on their website. The store’s don’t have a clearance section, but the website does.
Look for other brands.
There are also a few cheaper doll brands that are the same size. For example, Target sells “Our Generation” dolls. The clothes and accessories work great for American Girl dolls and are much cheaper, especially when bought on clearance!
There’s no reason your child’s doll should have more expensive shoes than you! I put items away to give my daughter for Christmas or her birthday when I scour a great deal. I enjoy the hunt and my daughter loves that she has lots of American Girl items in her collection.