American Girl Doll Purchase-Help?!

Updated on February 17, 2014
K.B. asks from West Jordan, UT
14 answers

I want to get my daughter an American Girl Doll for her Birthday in March. Isabella (the doll for 2014) in particular. I have never purchased one before and I truly can't believe how EXPENSIVE they are-especially if you get ALL the accessories.

I'm wondering if any of you are aware of discounts/coupons, buying them wholesale...anything I could do to save some money?

Thanks for your help,


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answers from Detroit on

I would never buy one.. too much money.. but grandma bought my daughter one.. you do not need the AG official accessories.. local stores have clothes and things for the dolls.. Joann fabric or michaels has a huge rack of AG sized doll clothes..

no AG does nto go onsale.. but you can buy on craigslist or ebay..

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Yes, they are expensive. They are also among my daughter's most cherished things. If you're getting the girl of the year, there's no way I know of to get around that expense. But for clothes and such, there are lots of folks out there making lovely, less expensive things, and sometimes you can find deals on gently used AG things. Check on Etsy and eBay, and once yard sale season starts, look there. Or if you sew, head to your favorite fabric shop - most sell patterns for 18 inch doll clothes, and some even have patterns to make matching clothes for a girl and her doll. I've gotten very good deals on AG clothes and accessories at yards sales. Also, if you are where your location says you are, check on KSL's online classifieds.

For doll furniture, google Cathy White. (I'm not sure if her name starts with a C or K.) She has free online DIY 18 inch doll furniture plans and instructions. If you're at all handy, one trip to Home Depot or Lowe's plus one afternoon in the garage and you'll have a nice doll bunk bed, or table, or chairs, or stable, for a fraction of the cost of buying it outright.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

K., I feel your pain. Etsy is amazing. I AVOID the AG Store for accessories, because they are so overpriced. Etsy crafters have made a nice business by sewing beautiful outfits, many of which are more affordable than the store. You will see pages of pages of beautiful stuff. You can also buy food sets (more affordable than the store).

This lady sells handmade doll foods, etc... Really affordable.

More... clay art food (hand made!)

Do a search for American Girl Doll Clothes on Etsy and you'll see various pages and pages pop up.
I bought this original dress at the store (no longer available at stores).

There are more beautiful options of matching doll/girl dresses available on etsy as well.

If you are on FB and friend: Sheri Halsey Hughes
She is a lady who loves to sew and make awesome, unique, AFFORDABLE AG dresses (though they are not perfectly finished like most Etsy crafters, some crooked seams - I don't care).

Most girls like the experience of going to the store and picking out the doll and bring it home. So if you do go to the store to buy the doll, explain you are NOT getting accessories, because they are too pricey.

I have a friend who is a big garage sale shopper. Her daughters (13 and 9) have amassed an incredible closet of genuine AG outfits from local yard sales. She's hit a lot over the years. See if your town are a town next door as a GIANT KIDS SWAP where families sell their used toys. My friend found her daughter a Kaya doll that way. Gently used price.

Craigslist will also have gently used accessories.

Buying the doll at a discount is impossible. Unless you are willing to get a doll that's been gently used.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

AG dolls are indeed expensive and do not go on sale, ever. AG does not do coupons either. Sorry, no such thing as "wholesale" for these -- AG controls the pricing tightly. But I must say: The dolls are very high quality and last longer than the knockoffs, have better hair for styling, etc.

Dolls come with an outfit as well as, usually, a sort of starter kit with a few little accessories (handkerchief, necklace, lucky coin -- whatever's part of that character's story).

Buy clothes from anywhere. There are lovely handmade clothes online that are a bit less than the AG store ones. Yes, Michaels has clothes that "fit" them but I found that the fit is always a bit too tight.

For accessories -- let your daughter MAKE them. My kid has made a lot of things including a bathtub (shoebox covered in foil, lined in blue paper, fillled with cotton ball "bubbles") and a vanity (box covered in different papers, "mirror" of tinfoil, perfume bottles of stacked and glued beads, etc.) Encourage her to be more creative than just playing with only store-bought accessories. Then get her an occasional outfit or small accessory, just one, for the next birthday or whatever.

Most of all, get her the books that go with Isabella! The books are usually well-written. My daughter loved all the historical character books. Those are in libraries and I recommend them all-- it's fun to read them with your child, in order to tell a particular character's story. The "girl of the year" dolls like Isabella seem to have only three books each whereas the older historical dolls had six -- which was great.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I was going to tell you to look on eBay. But since you have a model picked out, finding her on eBay is going to be tough. It wouldn't hurt to check it out anyhow. You never know.

If you have to watch where you spend your cash (and who doesn't?), I suggest you spend the main money in the main place. Order the doll herself. My granddaughters have AGs, and I can find prettier and better quality clothes on eBay than on the AG site. I imagine that furniture is the same way.

Actually, as far as furniture is concerned, could that be a family project? I don't know how old your daughter is, but what would she think of making it (with Mom and Dad's help)? It could be fun, even if you use corrugated board. It would be making memories as well as giving Isabella a place to sleep. Making blankets and pillows could be the easiest part.

If your girl is old enough, she could start saving up for the fancy accessories if she must have them. My g-girls find AG things at yard sales - nothing wrong with the items; the owner just lost interest....

P.S. Another poster mentioned a friend of mine - Sheri Halsey Hughes. I recommend her products, too! They are affordable and, again, are granddaughter-approved.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I do know Pinterest has tons of tutorials on making your own accessories, if you are crafty at all. That would certainly save quite a bit of money!

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answers from San Diego on

Sadly there is no way to save on the doll itself. They don't put the dolls on sale or clearance.
They do put select clothes and accessories on sale now and again but if there is something in particular that you want you are better buying it when you want it. Most of the time the things that go on sale are overstock or going out of season. When things go on sale they sell out fast so you have to be right on top of it because it's until stock runs out most of the time.
An American Girl Doll fits other store brand 18" clothes and accessories. Target has their own line that fits, Michael's, Kohls etc all sell things for their 18" dolls that fit AG dolls. They are prices a great deal lower than AG brand items.
If you are crafty in any way there are tons of sewing patterns, knitting patterns and crochet patterns to make things for the dolls. That really helps to stretch your dollar. Etsy has tons of listing for hand made items at a fraction of the cost of official AG items as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I just did the build your own doll and buy knock of cloths for a 15" doll. My daughter is too young to know the difference.



answers from Santa Barbara on

I really like the target line Our Generation. There stuff looks so similar to AG in my opinion. True AG lovers would not agree.

Every time I look on ebay I feel it is over priced. Craigslist is usually cheaper, yet very small chance you will find the exact doll/accessories you want.

I do not know of any coupons.

edit: I just looked at the doll you want. The AG doll Isabelle and accessories are way cuter than Target's line.



answers from New York on

Ha! Discounts! I would buy the real doll and then get everything else at Target and second hand.


answers from San Francisco on

Just get the doll, the "accessories" are such a rip off. You can get lots of cute, fun and cheap clothes on ebay, etsy and at craft fairs.


answers from New York on

Kmart has matching girl/doll outfits. My granddaughter loved being able to dress herself and her doll the same. Clothes are more affordable at Target (Next Gen) or if you are crafty they sell patterns to sew outfits. If you knit or crochet there are a ton of patterns out there for clothing.



answers from Topeka on

Try eBay...thats where I got ours



answers from Denver on

I don't know about the doll itself (I only have a boy) but I have seen lots of women saying that they sew clothes for them. Check Etsy out - shop around to get the best price. Good luck!

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