‘Tis the holiday season! Which means that more likely than not, your little girl has already begun to beg for the coveted American Girl dolls, the biggest doll to sweep the nation since Barbie. While Barbie’s sales have been declining, third quarter sales for the American Girl rose by 20 percent. Will they beat that growth in the fourth quarter? We’ll just have to wait until the holidays have passed and see.
For now, we shoppers are looking to keep an eye out for the best Black Friday deals. Here are some of the latest deals featured for American Girls dolls and accessories.
Each of the American Girl dolls is available online, whether it be “Girl of the Year” Saige, going for $110 ($211 for full Starter Collection), or other American Girls like Caroline, Julie, Ivy, Molly, Emily, Kit, Ruthie, Rebecca, Addie, Marie-Grace, Cécile, and Josefina, all priced at $129. You can also take a look at some of the alternative American Girl lines, including American Girl 6-inch Minis ($24), Bitty Baby for younger toddlers ($80, $180 with 15-piece set), and the boy-and-girl Bitty Twins ($115 for two dolls, $195 with 18-piece set).
Browsing online can help you conveniently and objectively compare all the options available, without the added temptation to give in to your little girl’s adorable pleading face in-store.
Sales, final sales and free shipping
The American Girl website offers discounts of up to 40% off (no coupon necessary!) until 11/26. Items include Argo, Margie Grace’s dog, currently on sale for $22 at a $6 discount; a Half-Canopy Bed on sale for $75, at a $25 discount; and a Banquet Table & Treats on sale for $120, at a $30 discount.
There is also a “Final Sales” section, which lists clearance items at even steeper discounts. Currently, the site is mostly selling merchandise for girls, not the dolls, so that your daughter can play dress-up together with her American Girl doll. Items on sale include a Flower Garden Dress for $18, at a $40 cut; a Fashion Tee for Girls for $7, at a $17 cut; and a Ruffled Skirt for Girls for $10, at a 22$ cut. Your little girl is sure to love the new wardrobe, complete with a matching wardrobe for Dollie, too.
Finally, the American Girl website features a number of codes for free shipping on orders over $100, the latest of which is JOYFUL. Don’t forget the code at check-out!
Keep an eye out for Jill’s Steals and Deals
This year’s monumental American Girl deal was featured on the “Today” show. Host Jill Martin presented two American Girl dolls on sale: Marie-Grace and Cécile from 1850s Louisiana. American Girl is notorious for never cutting the prices of its dolls, so when a stunning discount like this showed up, eager shoppers pounced at a moment’s notice. The regular price of each doll, complete with a set of clothes, ranged from $162-168. The exclusive deal offered to TODAY show viewers was for $60 per doll, which amounted to a 65% price cut.
Keep in mind that this sale took place on October 9th this year — more than a month before Black Friday! So if you’re serious about finding a good deal on American Girl dolls in the future, keep an eye out for Jill Martin’s Steals and Deals in 2014.
Amazon cuts prices for American Girl Minis
Regular American Girl dolls tend to be more expensive at Amazon, ranging from $162.16 – 369.95 (at the time of this writing) depending on the model. While it’s true that Amazon may allow you to find dolls no longer in production, generally speaking, Amazon does not offer competitive prices for the 18-inch models.
However, if you’re interested in American Girl Minis, or the 6-inch alternatives to the American Girls, Amazon does sell them for $21.59 or less—compared to the $24 price tag set at American Girl. You can find even better prices on certain dolls, like Nellie, who goes for $13.97; Ivy, who goes for $17.49; and Josefina, who goes for $15.85. Keep in mind, though, that these dolls are quite small, and may not give your daughter the same play experience as a full-sized one.
Knock-offs and look-a-likes at other retailers
Looking into alternative-brand dolls may be the way to go if you’re seriously concerned about the high prices of American Girl dolls. If you think your little girl would be happy with any 18-inch doll model, you might want to take a look at American Girl look-a-likes that are available at other retailers. For example, Target has its own line of 18-inch dolls called Our Generation, currently on sale for for $19.99. Sears has a series with Madame Alexander called Dollie and Me, currently ranging from $65.96 – $94.30, depending on the model. Toys “R” Us has started its line of Journey Girls, currently on sale for $26.39.
Since all clothes and accessories are designed for the 18-inch body frame, you might want to find out whether you can buy doll clothes for your American Girl doll from another franchise, which can save you a considerable amount. Alternatively, you could purchase the dolls mentioned above, and use the money you save to splurge a bit on American Girl doll clothes.
While you look for the perfect American Girl doll for your little one, be sure to also look after your wallet by checking out the deals we listed today! Not everyone loves stalking American Girl prices on the daily. If that’s true of you, simply subscribe to the American Girl Facebook group. The latest information about stores, dolls and sales are posted regularly to keep us up-to-date on everything American Girl.
Holiday Gift image courtesy of Shutterstock.