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EIGHT Tips to Save on American Girl Items

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8 Tips to Save on American Girl Items by Hip2Save.com

If you have an American Girl fan in your household and are looking for ways to save on the expensive brand, here are a few tips to make note of…

1.) Consider Buying Knock-Off

Our Generation Dolls

Before buying an American Girl doll which retails for $115 or more, check out the knock-off brand dolls on the market that are very similar and may work just fine if your child does not insist on American Girl. You can snag Our Generation dolls for just $19.99-$24.99 at Target, Dollie and Me dolls for around $24.99 at Kohl’s during a sale, What a Doll dolls for $24.99-$29.99 at Kmart, or Journey Girls for $39.99 from ToysRUs…a much cheaper option!

2.) Purchase Preemie Baby or 18″ Doll Clothing

Preemie clothing

If you own an American Girl doll and are looking for new accessories or clothing, consider buying preemie baby clothing at stores like Carter’s, Kohl’s, Walmart or Target (or online at Amazon.com) as it should fit your American Girl doll perfectly. Or purchase any knock-off brand clothing for any 18″ doll and it will cost less and should also fit any American Girl doll. As an example, you can buy 21-piece clothing sets at Walmart for just $35 whereas an American Girl 4-piece outfit may range from $24-$64 each.

3.) Purchase Discounted Retail Gift Cards at Costco

American Girl Gift Card discounts

If you’re planning a trip to an American Girl store, look for discounted American Girl Store gift cards at Costco before stepping foot in-store! You may be able to find a FOUR pack of $25 American Girl Gift Cards for ONLY $79.99 – that is a whopping 20% savings! Note that these gift cards will not be available at every Costco, but be sure to snatch them up if you do spot them.

4.) Look for Used Dolls First (+ American Girl Doll Hospital)

American Girl Doll Hospital

Be sure to look on eBay or Craigslist FIRST for a used American Girl Doll before whopping out the cash for a new one. If you’re able to find a pre-loved doll, the American Girl Store has a Doll Hospital so if your doll has an “injury”, you can admit her to the Doll Hospital and she’ll be carefully handled to protect her from further injury. A team of doll doctors will examine her from head to toe and decide on a treatment to fix her “injuries” – everything from hair brushing to limb tightening to major “surgery.” For options and pricing, go here or call 1-800-628-5145.

5.) Shop Online During a Sale…and Cyber Monday!

American Girl

You can often score nice savings on accessories, furniture, clothing, and occasionally dolls whenever you shop online during a sale so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Plus, they often offer promo codes or sales to save on shipping! For example, through December 7th, AmericanGirl.com is offering up to 55% off Special Package Deals with FREE shipping – making for great deals on various collections. Plus, they often have a special offer where you can save 50% or more on a certain set with a minimum purchase requirement!

PLUS, in year’s past the American Girl Store hosts a Cyber Monday Sale where you can save up to 60% off American Girl Books, Accessories, Clothing and more! This would be a great time to stock up on various items and accessories for your doll at a deep discount.

6.) Sign Up for American Girl Newsletter & Rewards Program

American Girl email

Be sure to sign up for the American Girl Newsletter so you are the first to know about the best sales! As an e-mail subscriber, you will get access to special promotions and premium content, as well as early notification of new products!

AG Rewards

ALSO, head over here to join the FREE American Girl Rewards Program. You’ll earn 1 point for every $1 you spend and you’ll score a $10 rewards certificate via email for every 200 points earned up to a maximum of $50 in rewards certificates per month and $500 in rewards certificates per membership anniversary year.

Plus, grab an exclusive birthday gift on your daughter’s birthday and members-only surprises. Keep in mind that all regular, sale, and clearance merchandise purchased online, by phone, or in American Girl retail stores qualifies for rewards points AND in-store American Girl restaurant purchases also qualify for points. Awesome!

7.) Buy American Girls Collection Mini Dolls

American Girl

Walmart and Amazon often offer deep discounts on the 6″ or 6.5″ American Girls Collection Mini Dolls. For example, Amazon recently offered select American Girl Mini Doll & Book Lightning Deals where you could score some nice savings! The American Girls Mini Doll and Book Sets often go on sale for $12-$15 each and are regularly priced at $24.99 – a nice alternative to the full size dolls!

8.) Watch for Jill’s Steals and Deals on Hip2Save

American Girl TODAY Show

If you’re looking for a great deal on American Girl dolls, be sure to watch Jill’s Steals and Deals on the TODAY Show (or just be sure to follow Hip2Save! 🙂 ). In 2015 alone, the show aired 4 segments with fantastic deals on American Girl dolls and accessories (February, June, August, & September).

Join The Discussion

Comments 82

  1. Ari

    Also look on their site for the Bitty Twins. They’re $125 for two, but you can pick different hair/skin/gender and maybe split between two kids. They have the same quality as the bigger dolls.

    • Jacquelyn

      Great idea Ari! Thanks for sharing!

    • Cara

      And in store you can buy them individually so save a lot!

  2. casey

    Love the tip about buying preemie clothes for the dolls. Too bad I already gave away our old preemie clothes! I think I could probably find preemie clothes in great condition at the local thrift shop.

  3. CourtneyAmanda

    I found Bitty Twins on Craigslist and my goddaughters have been thrilled with them.

    Be careful sending in a vintage AG doll (if you stumble onto an original marked Pleasant Company), as I’ve read that the hospital will replace it with a newer, non-valuable model.

    • Danielle

      Hi Courtney. I have an original Samantha from the Pleasant Company) and her hair is a disaster. So they would replace her then you think? I never thought about sending her in, but she is a mess right now and would get played with more if I got her hair brushed.

      • Katie

        Danielle — I’ve had a lot of success getting their hair back under control with a spray bottle of water with just a tiny bit of dish soap added. If you use a wire brush and use the spray, start from the bottom and work your way up. It’s amazing how much difference you can make with a little time and patience!

        • Danielle

          thank you!

          • Elizabeth

            you should always look into what is called the hot water dunk!! it is on youtube..i have turned maybe of my dolls hair right back to normal and it is super easy!!

      • meli

        Hi I have a doll that here hair was a mess…i tried everything I found on you tube. ..what worked was wash carefully. .then once dry I waited a day. I put a flat iron on low a took small sections and run it through really quickly. ..don’t let it sit still at all it will melt the hair off.
        The after is amazing

      • Ashley

        I think the stores have a “doll salon” where they’ll fix their hair in-store. I’ve also had luck with other dolls using Downy Wrinkle Releaser. Make sure you use a wig brush to comb out her hair. The Downy Dunk also seems to work miracles.

      • Shopper

        I haven’t used the doll hospital (have the original as well), but from my understanding they have all the dolls/parts and just replace/fix what’s needed. The AG website has more details or call to get info without committing.

      • Michelle

        They can fix her hair at a store for $10-20 without sending her to the hospital

      • mariel

        Danielle, i restored a pleasant company Felicity’s hair with what they call a downy dunk. you can find some tutorials on youtube or pinterest, i dont remember the specifics but it requires time and downy liquid.

      • Tracey

        A spot of Downey fabric softener mixed with water and speitz lightley to comb the tangles out, just be gentle, we have used this method a few times and it works great.

    • Danielle

      Thanks, Ladies! I will get to work on her 80s hair and hopefully my little one will get to enjoy her too 🙂

      • BoatGirl

        I’ve had good luck using It’s a 10 leave in conditioner!

      • Aimee

        I read that someone had used downy on their dolls hair and it didn’t work that great so they took it to the doll salon and they could tell she had used it and said that since she used downy they couldn’t do anything about it. If she had just used water they could fix it for her, but anything other than water permanently wrecks the hair. I’ve just used water and brushed out is small sections and it works fine. Just make sure to protect the eyes, they will rust if water gets in.

  4. Jaclyn

    Some of the American Girl catalogs that were sent recently had a coupon for 20% and some had a coupon for any 3 dolls for $98 each. The catalog would have it on the front if one was included. Please let me know if anyone received one they won’t be using 😉

  5. Jen Eagar

    I have a retired, never opened, marie-grace doll & 2 boxes of accessories for sale $175 in northern utah. Amazon is selling just doll & book for more than what i am asking.

  6. Kimberly

    After reading this, I’m so glad I have boys!

    • Chantel Chapman

      Haha but the boys have the Thomas stuff which is just as bad!

  7. KCDworaczyk

    I agree with most of these tips, but not the one about buying knock-off clothes at Wal-Mart. Those clothes are very inferior. They are poorly made, and while cheap, they last about a month or two, depending on how much your child dresses and undresses their dolls. So, I’ll buy them at Target, those are better made. Or, I look for them on Craigslist or a consignment toy store in my area. And I will also look for deals on AG and get them there. Wal-Mart is never an option.

  8. Jaci

    I have always heard people talk about outlet amer girl store in WI. My little girl is 12 now and last year we were going through her room and all her bitty/american girl stuff we put in the attic. I was giving specific instructions you are not giving that away mom. I love american girl its just so innocent.

  9. Cheree

    I have also purchased AG dolls through zulilly at a good discount.

  10. Edy

    I’m looking for a good place to buy a American doll for my granddaughter ! I never had a doll😭😭 and now , I can afford to buy one for her, but, store is far from me, and due to taking care of a elderly person that’s very sick now, I can’t get away ! And didn’t know about this many toys when my 4 girls were baby’s ! Anybody knows of a consignment store or a place in Houston tx thank you love you all! Thank you Collin and everyone else!

    • Jen

      You can order online at americangirl.com or Costco has the Caroline doll right now.

    • Sarah

      There’s one here in Houston at Memorial City Mall. Here is the address :

      Memorial City Mall, 303 Memorial City Way, Suite 580, Houston, TX 77024

      Haven’t been there but I would love to visit one day.

  11. Sweet

    Does anybody know if the AG gift cards sold at Costco can be used online? Or only at an AG store? Thanks!

    • Megan

      My mom used them online with no problems!

      • sweet

        Thank you!!

  12. Chris

    Michael’s craft store carries some 18″ doll clothing and accessories. I have gotten super cheap outfits there when I use the coupons they send out. No they aren’t AG brand, but my daughter doesn’t care about that! They have some cute things. I haven’t thought to check Joanne’s, not sure if they have any that could we could get with coupons.

    • Jen

      Joanns has them too. A much bigger selection as well (at least at mine)!

  13. Shannon

    If you sew or know someone that does you can make doll clothes for American girl dolls. I’ve done it. There’s tons of free patterns online or you can buy patterns. They sew up really quick. Etsy has doll clothes too if you can not sew.

    • Cara

      Yes, my grandma made clothes for the Samantha doll she and my grandpa gave me and now my daughter plays with the doll and clothes. I love telling her about the fabric like “This was my aunt’s bridesmaid dress fabric” or “This matched a dress Great-Grandma sewed for me.”
      So special.

  14. sj

    Do you think there will be any more Jill steal’s before Christmas? Also, if I buy the Costco gift card and there is another Jill Steal’s, can I use the gift card in conjunction with that? Also, wondering if the AG dolls are worth the extra money? I’m torn 🙂

    • Amy

      Personally, I feel the American Girl dolls and accessories are worth the expense. The quality just can’t be matched. Their items are made to enjoy for years to come.

      • Amanda

        I had 2 American girl dolls when I was growing up and they held up great, I am getting one for my daughter and can’t wait. Talking her father into looking past the cost was another story but he finally caved, lol.

  15. Amanda

    I missed the last Jill’s steals and deals offer do you think we’ll see another deal before Christmas? I’ve been checking hip2save each day watching for it. Would love to get my daughter a doll for Christmas.

    • Maggie

      Jill has replied to comments on her Facebook page that there will not be any AG on Steals and Deals for the rest of 2015. I am depressed about it….

  16. Chris

    Also, I forgot to mention start watching Aldi. The last couple years they have carried beautiful 18″ dolls with all different skin and hair colors. We bought one last year and she has held up great. She was 19.99. I bought her for when the cousins come they would have a doll to play with too, but my daughter plays with her a bit more than the AG doll. Just an FYI.

  17. Danielle

    An FYI, I saw Caroline + an extra outfit at the Costco in Livonia, Michigan for $99! Great deal!

    • Megan Pugh

      Thank you for sharing this!!!! That is our Costco!

  18. Shopper

    Becareful with some clothing that’s not AG, it can yellow the doll, as well as regular tissue paper, if storing. AG clothing is made to not stain, transfer color etc..at least the original AG under The Pleasant Co. clothing is.

  19. candice

    Jills steals and deals is how my niece has her dolls! Life saver there.

  20. Frecklelily

    I started getting Madame Alexander dolls off eBay for about &20 for my 7-year-old daughter. They are quite beautiful and my daughter loves them.

  21. Katie

    We love kohls doll and girl pajamas and clothes!

  22. Marie

    I’m hoping that Jill’s Steals & Deals will do an American Girl offering in November. Fingers crossed!

  23. Maggie

    Unfortunately Jill has said there will be no AG dolls on steals and deals for the remainder of 2015 (per her Facebook page). 😢

  24. Lisa

    What is Jill’s Facebook page called? I looked for Jills Steals for deals and nothing comes up?

    • Kevy

      I cant find her page either:/

    • Maggie

      Her Facebook page is her name. Jill Martin. It lists her as verified as a public personality. A week or two ago there were many visitor comments about AG dolls on Steals and Deals and she replied saying no more in 2015. One heads up. She often posts on her page a few hours before Steals and Deals goes live (and will tell visitors who ask in their posts when she will be on with more deals).

  25. Kathy

    I’ve purchased doll clothes at Joanns using coupons. $5 or $6 and they hold up great!

  26. Kari

    Ugg…I hope my daughters don’t get caught up in this name brand! Yes their dolls are cute, but they are SO expensive in my opinion!! My oldest has a different brand she was given as a gift and I think it’s equally as cute and as high quality.

    • Cara

      I don’t like the name brand issue either but the quality really is superior. My daughter plays with my American Girl dolls I was given 20 years ago.
      The hair on her new ones holds up much better than any other brand we have gotten.
      So for me the investment has been worth it.

  27. cristine

    Hopefully Jill is teasing us and there will be another AG steals and deals before Christmas! Also, before Christmas last year, PBK had awesome deals on some of their 18″ dolls, clothes, etc. I’m hoping for a repeat this year!

  28. Crystal

    JOanne’s Craft Store sells 18″ doll clothes and shoes! So if you can get the 50% off coupons (app, email, and paper coupons) it makes them usually around $5 an outfit!

  29. Emma

    American Girl free shipping code for an order over $100: TOGETHER15 Expires 11-24

  30. Lynn

    One of my favorite places to buy clothes for my daughter’s American Girl Dolls is Jiminees Doll Clothes. They have beautiful clothes at very reasonable prices. They have a great online store.

  31. Patty

    If you are military AG gives a discount on select items each month. This month I bought my daughter Mary Ellen and received 20% off. The items in the AG Seattle store are not marked, you have to do it by luck. Find an item you want to purchase have cashier scan it and tell you if it qualifies for a military discount.

  32. Deborah

    Heads up! Tonight at my Costco in Carson City they had four American Girl doll gift certificates for $25 each for $79.99. That would save you 20 percent off right there!

  33. Sarakate25

    Our family makes clothes for the dolls and my daughter loves them. Also
    I watch at craft stores for doll items b they are much cheaper than the brands.

  34. Robin

    My mom found my daughter an AG doll at a yard sale for $1, but her hair was a wreck and she had paint on her head. I paid about $40 to send her to the AG hospital, and she was returned with a completely new head with her hair in pigtails with a cute hospital gown and heart socks on. My daughter thought it was a brand new doll! I’ve found deals on AG clothing sets following Hip2Save where each outfit including shoes cost around $10 each

  35. Joyce

    I grew up owning a doll that was not this expensive and loved it! $200 for a bed? $50+ for an outfit? That is way too expensive. I guess some moms, not saying all, are ‘obliged’ to buy one for their kids just to show off that their kids have one carrying around the malls or restaurants. Just my two cents here, no pun intended.

  36. PKAZ

    I am always surprised when people won’t pay $120 for a doll, but think nothing of paying double that for video gaming systems or for bicycles. If your daughter play dolls then it’s totally worth it. If they loose interest, you can always get at least half for it if you were to sell it. I just bought my 6 year old granddaughter “Grace” and she loves her and sleeps with her and is thrilled with her. I got the Costco gift cards also. They are so worth it. I couldn’t wait for Christmas because she wanted Grace and I didn’t want her to be sold out.I wanted her to enjoy her now instead of waiting when she’ll get lots of things and not be overwhelmed.

    • Ketsy

      My daughter wants one and is not getting one. I think she hears other snobby girls at her school talking about these. I have the money but I refuse to buy a doll for $100. There’s a big difference between a train set or a video game system and a doll. I’m with you Joyce in saying that it’s all for the show or for parent’s to pat themselves in the back.

      • Barbara

        Please dot not judge others purchases so harshly. My daughter has an American girl doll. She is a kind, loving, funny, caring child. She is neither snobby or was the doll purchased to satisfy some parental need for myself. Not that it matters but She saved her own money to purchase it herself. I usually do not comment on others opinions but please don’t be so mean. It is just a doll that she loves and plays with for hours and hours. Isn’t that what it is all about?

  37. Sharon Colburn

    The quality of the American Girl dolls can’t be beat and I have bought one for my granddaughter and also furniture and clothes. That being said, there is enormous frustration for hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of customers when it comes to trying to get through to the company by either phone or internet when trying to purchase the special deals and/or sales. For a company that large they should be able to solve this. It happens year after year.

  38. Chantel

    I have actually bought several AG dolls through Steals & Deals, but also wanted to mention sometimes you can find these dolls at thrift stores. I actually found what I believe is Elizabeth, the friend of Felicity, at Goodwill for $2.19 in impeccable condition.

    • Aquamarina

      Wow that’s amazing what a find!!! I wish I were that lucky 🙂

  39. KaylynsWorldBlog

    I am really trying to save up for a new AG doll, but it is really hard for me! Thanks for sharing these tips. Will you check out my blog?
    ~Kaylyn
    kaylynsworldblog.wordpress.com

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