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American Girl Benefit Sale Dolls

A Second Look at Seconds
Food For Thought About American Girl Benefit Sale Dolls

Once a year in July the Madison Children’s Museum puts on their largest fundraiser, the American Girl Doll Benefit Sale. Several thousand shoppers come to buy AG products at deep discounts out of a local warehouse. Most items are about 50% off. My American Girl Dolls were as low as $40 and Bitty Babies as low as $25. Undeniably great deals, but you have to factor in the costs of tickets, transportation, hotel, and an entire day of standing in line with no guarantee that any particular item you want will be available. If you do it right, it is worth it. Otherwise, it might just be an “experience” thing.

The dolls and items are store returns, factory seconds which have minor flaws, refurbished dolls, and overstocks. The dolls are sold as-is, and there are no returns or exchanges. Theoretically, every doll sold is looked over by a volunteer to make sure they are in good shape. The dolls are dressed but they are usually missing accessories like bands and fasteners to hold the dolls in place, hair nets, books, charms, activity games, etc. Dolls are marked with an “X” on their butt to differentiate them from full retail dolls. The X may be light or thick and dark, but is usually about the same size shown below.

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American Girl Doll Rewards Program

The American Girl Rewards Program:

A Review

In June 2016 AG finally released a rewards program, and on the whole we are pleased.


The basic structure is that you receive a $10 off coupon in your email when you accumulate $200 worth of purchases. Each dollar spent is one point, and the coupon is generated at 200 points. The points accumulate on in store, online, and over the phone purchases, including sale and clearance items and AG restaurant purchases, but doesn’t factor in the costs of tax or shipping. Any such purchase must be registered to your AG rewards account, either at checkout or within two weeks after by doing it yourself online or calling customer service. The program is easy to sign up and easy to use for the average consumer. Continue reading American Girl Doll Rewards Program

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How to Afford an American Girl Doll

How to Afford an American Girl Doll

A lot of parents are hit with sticker shock when they see the whopping $115 price tag ($125 with tax) for that brand new American Girl Doll their child wants. “$125 for a doll?” they ask. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to get your hands on a doll cheaper. We’ll start out with the easy ways, and work our way to the harder (but more rewarding) options. We also talk about options that haven’t worked for us.

1. Free Shipping at

 A few times a year American Girl will offer free shipping from their website. Shipping and handling for one doll alone from their website is around $12. So what makes the additional savings to buy online cheaper than in the store, if it is still the same $115 price? Taxes. Online, AG charges a ridiculously low tax rate – around 3% – whereas if you buy in store, you have to pay state, city, and special business area taxes of 8-12% depending upon where the store is located. Thank goodness Congress hasn’t passed that online sales tax bill, right? Sign up for their email list to be notified when the free shipping happens (and be prepared to be bombarded by sub-par offers until the 2-3 times a year you get the golden Free Shipping email).

Continue reading How to Afford an American Girl Doll