American Girl Dolls - Ravenna,OH

Updated on November 30, 2011
S.S. asks from Ravenna, OH
15 answers

Hi moms... Help me out - why are these dolls so expensive? I'm just wondering. My daughters (twins, so yes, i'd have to buy two) have been asking since forever for an American Girl doll. They each asked Santa for one for Christmas. I checked ebay and didn't find any for a decent price (better off going direct to American Girl). If we can't find them at a good price now, we might wait until their birthday in February (when we aren't spending on others at the same time like at Christmas).

I don't know if I'm allowed to ask this - but: Any moms out there in the Akron/Cleveland area that have two that they want to get rid of, still in good condition with the boxes? Any idea where to find discounted American Girl dolls?

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So What Happened?

I appreciate all of the detailed responses. They have the Toys R Us dolls that they got for their bday last year - and we asked if they'd rather have another one like that - and they know the difference. However, my husband and I decided to buy them the ones from Target, and have "Santa" write a note, something along the lines of, these are their starter dolls, and he will watch them take care of them and if they do a good job, he'll bring them one when they are responsible enough.... Not the exact wording, but I think this is a good plan. Thank you ladies!

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answers from Washington DC on

My 8 year old is getting one this Christmas, one that was made to look like her. She is VERY excited at the thought of getting one.

They are meant to be passed on and not sold, that's part of the experience. My daughter has my younger sister's doll from when she was a little girl.

If you girls will take care of them, shell out the $200. If not, then maybe the knock off brand until they learn to take better care of them? I've heard that the fake ones really aren't worth the money at all...but it might be a good tool.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

Both my daughters have them. My younger daughter plays with her big sister's doll. When she is done they will be boxed and handed down to their daughters. That is why they are so expensive, you don't give them away, you keep them for your daughters. You can because they are well made. :)

Okay all you guys buying the cheap one from Target you are wasting your money! I did that with my younger daughter, only lasted a year. Yeah I get those that baby their babies will have no trouble with the cheap versions but my girls play with their dolls. This is the same girl that had her sisters 12 year old doll and didn't damage it one bit so we bought her her own American Girl. They are expensive because they are made well!

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answers from Washington DC on

You said that if you can't get a good price now you might wait until their birthday but...AG does not do sales. Very occasionally there is a break on shipping prices or something of a "sale" on certain items they are pushing (or discontinuing) but for the dolls themselves -- don't expect to find some "after Christmas sale" deal. Won't happen. They know they can get whatever the asking price is.

And as others said, the dolls are worth the money if a girl is really going to play with them (they do last) and is going to take care of them. My daughter has two; one was a hand-me-down and is at least 20 years old, and the other is a newer one that was a gift. Both are well made. But for girls who are going to be pretty rough with the dolls, yes, the knockoffs might be better for the short run.

You didn't say your girls' ages but I would really reserve these dolls for girls at least, maybe, eight and up, depending on the child; some kids really wouldn't look after them until maybe 10 or so. We live near one of the AG stores and I see girls who are clearly as old as perhaps 12 to 14 in there with their dolls in their arms!

You can save money on the clothes for sure. Many people have begun online or local businesses making clothes to fit AG dolls and there are lovely things out there for a good bit less than the official AG clothes. Search online and at craft shows. At a craft show recently, ,my husband bought a gorgeous kimono and a jeans/top set for my daughter's dolls for Christmas and paid at least $10 less per outfit than I know he would have paid for comparable clothing at the AG store or online. (Similar AG outfits would have been probably $22 to $28 while he paid about $15 per outfit.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Once I saw the price, and that "American" Girl dolls were guess what? Made in China, it was enough for me to think that the dolls are just consumerism magnets at their best. A doll is a doll, they're all made in China, so why spend that much. Even if your kid likes dolls, I think it's ridiculous to spend that much on a material item for a small child. Just like anything else, you pay more to be able to say that you bought that particular brand name. It feeds into the peer pressure & competition that you are not good enough unless you have a designer label on your things. No thanks.

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answers from Dallas on

I think there is a lack of used ones because they are so expensive. People buy them with the intention of them being a legacy item to pass down to the next generation. My 4 yr old asked for one, but that's just because the commercial plays every hour. I'll get her the knockoff and be done with it. She will never know the differance. If she were 8 or 9 than I wouldn't cheap out like that, but come on, I can only get away with it a few more years!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My mother bought my oldest daughter an American Girl and I never did get why they are so expensive. I think has to do with the experience of it all and being able to get the accessories, go to the store for a huge outing, etc. Pretty much a marketing thing I think. Maybe get one of the "Our Generation" dolls and buy an American Girl outfit to put on her. You will probably save $50.

Good luck to you, I don't have the best answers for you.

Merry Christmas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from York on

I agree they are very expensive. I have seen some dolls at Target that don't really look much different. They are called Our Generation and if you do a search online for 'Our Generation' you can see them and the array of accessories available for them.

Maybe you could try posting a wanted ad on your local Craigslist site? I have been successful doing that for several toys for my son.

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answers from Albuquerque on

They're expensive because people will pay the money... unfortunately! Do your girls care about getting official American Girl dolls? If not, Toys R Us has a very good fake brand called Journey Girls, and they're only $32 each.

There are basically no places to get discounted AG dolls, and no coupon codes. But check Craigslist and eBay... you might get lucky with a gently used doll.

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answers from Madison on

My daughter got her last March for her 6th birthday. They are expensive, but their hair is sooooo worth it. it'll be a nasty mess and you just brush it out with water and a wire brush and it looks just like new - amazing. We have the one with really long hair, and it can be styled like real hair. It's also fun to get them to look like your daughter/s. The Hawaiian doll - Kinani actually looks more like my duaghter than the ones you create. I looked at the Next Generation dolls from Target and she knew they weren't real - so I sprung for the real one and we buy the Next Generation clothes from Target at $12 vs double or triple that from American Girl. They also come with a lot of accessories that don't come with the American Girl outfits. Good luck in your decision.

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answers from San Francisco on

AG dolls may be made in China but they are very well made, solid, and the hair is gorgeous.
And they NEVER go on sale, as far as i know :(
These are heirloom quality dolls, not meant to end up in the trash where many other toys end up. They are meant to be cherished and saved for the next generation. Both my girls got their dolls as their big "Santa" gifts one year. My oldest didn't play with hers very much but it still sits on her bookshelf (she is 16 now!) and my youngest played with hers so much I ended up getting her a second one a few years later.
However, I did NOT buy into all the extra outfits, furniture, accessories, etc. My girls knew from day one if they got an AG doll, that was it, nothing else from the catalog, that's where they really take your money :(

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answers from Seattle on

I've seen a lot of them on eBay and Craigslist! My dad is buying them for my girls this year, so I've gone and bought the clothes and accessories at toys r us, target, and Walmart. Found some other cute clothes for 18 in dolls on etsy as well. They are worth the money from what I've heard and the knockoffs don't last as long!


answers from Chicago on

We're getting our 10 1/2 yr old an American Girl doll for Christmas. We know she'll take great care of it. Our 9 yr old wants one too, but she's not getting one because we know she won't take care of it. Instead, she's getting a "Generation Doll" from Target. Same size as a regular AG doll, but costs a lot less.

To me, it depends on your kids and how they are with their toys.


answers from San Francisco on

Sorry, I'm not a member of the cult of American Girl. We caved in and bought our daughter one of these dolls for her birthday in September (she turned 9) as she had been begging for one for several years. Well, now she has it, and after spending $200 only a few months ago for the doll and one change of clothes, she is totally over it. This doll now sits in her closet and doesn't get played with at all. (She does have other stuffed animals that she plays with, so it's not that she's too old for dolls.) I asked if she wanted some clothes for her American Girl doll for Christmas and she could have cared less. I'm so irritated. Sadly we threw the box away, but if you're in the market for a red haired, blue eyed doll, let me know! I'd be happy if SOMEONE played with this ridiculously expensive doll!



answers from Muncie on

As other said, you won't find an AG sale. My twelve-year-old twin daughters received their AG dolls as a birthday gift when they were seven... this is a tradition my parents started with granddaughters. As for my own purchasing, I found at least two eBay stores run by women who make AG clothes, and several who made AG furniture. (For Christmas that year, our girls got an AG bunk bed. When we moved a year later and our girls no longer shared a room, I found inexpensive AG beds with fun sheets also.)

As our daughters are now in junior high, the AG dolls are temporarily retired, living in their original boxes. They remained in wonderful shape! The girls had no problem with a generic horse, pet, or even clothing, but the original dolls were appreciated. You will find, though, that after you make an initial AG purchase, you're on a mailing list and will receive catalogs of AG dolls, clothing and accessories for a long time to come. I treated this as not a catalog to buy things from, but a place to get ideas about fun things we can do with the dolls. I had a friend who even made paper dolls, adhering magazine photos to card stock.

Good luck!



answers from Dayton on

My daughter has and loves American Girl dolls too. But instead of wanting a new one this year, she has asked for one from Target. It is "My Generation" and I think she liked it because the clothes are really trendy. The cost is around $35 :)

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