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Friday, August 31, 2012

Tips for buying AG Dolls secondhand

By Brenda

Since the American Girl phenomenon has hit our house, I have learned a lot about buying American Girl Dolls on Ebay and Craigslist.  I thought it might be useful to share some things I have learned.  Things to look for and things to avoid when considering a second hand doll. As you read this, keep in mind I am not a 'serious' collector, I just like the dolls for my daughter and her friends to play with.

My first hint is to really look through the American Girl Doll website.  Get familiar with the dolls and their prices.  At the time of this post a new American Girl Doll from the AG website is $105.00 plus $10.95 shipping. Always keep in mind that you can get a brand new doll from American Girl for $115.95.  So if you see a beautiful second hand doll for $100 plus $10 shipping it's not such a good deal.  I think a non-retired AG doll should sell for no more than $70 including the shipping.   My thinking is that if I am paying as much as $85 or $90 for a second hand doll plus $10 or more for shipping, I may as well pay a few bucks more for new.

There are three categories of dolls sold by American Girl.  There are the Historic Dolls based on a historic time period.  The Doll of the Year which are only sold for one year and then retired.  and the My American Girl (or Just Like You) dolls that have different coloring and features to look like their owner.

Retired Dolls.  The only time it is possible you might want to pay more than the new price for a doll is if it is a "Retired" doll. This means that the doll for sale is no longer made by American Girl and has become harder to find.  Do not always assume that the seller is knowledgeable about which dolls are retired and which are not.  I frequently see dolls listed as retired when they are not.  Be aware that many of the Just Like You dolls 'look' like the retired historic dolls.  Be sure to ask if they are really the historic dolls or not.  If the buyer is not sure, they may not be. So do your homework.

Here are the 5 retired historic dolls.  

L-R  Felicity, her friend Elizabeth, Kirsten, 
Samantha, and her friend Nellie  


Three out of the ten Retired Girl of the Year Dolls

L-R Kanani, Kailey and Mia.  This is just 3 out of  the 10 so far.

Here is a list of all the AG dolls:


Some abbreviations and their meanings:

DOTY or GOTY (doll of the year or girl of the year) There are many Doll of the year dolls.  Only one is currently being made.  All the others are now retired.  Each year a new doll is introduced.  Do some research so you can tell when a doll is retired.

NIB (new in box)  This is a very fluid statement.  Always be cautious of a NIB claim in the secondary market.  If only new will do consider ordering a doll direct from American Girl.

MIB Mint in box, as the above be careful and ask questions.

JLY (just like you) Sometimes called "look- alikes" This is what sellers often call the "My American Girl" dolls that can be ordered with different hair and eye and skin colors to look like the little girls they belong to.

OOAK (one of a kind)  This is a doll that has been repainted, or given a 'makeover" by an artist.  This can also include a new wig and hair style.  One artist in particular even gives the doll a french manicure.  I personally do not care for this, but many people pay quite a lot for this kind of doll re-do.

EUC (excellent used condition)  Again, excellent is a matter of opinion.

What to look for:

The doll should be able to stand up.  Beware of ads where the doll is sitting or leaning against a wall.  Look to see if the seller has mentioned the tightness of the limbs.  Loose limbs can be an indication that the doll is old or needs work.  Dolls can be sent to the American Girl Doll Hospital for replacement limbs and restringing, but when you add the cost of this to the purchase price you are usually not getting a good deal.
Both of these photos show tight limbs that are still pose-able.

The American Girl neck stamp.  There are 2 neck stamps and both are authentic American Girl markings. Pleasant Co. and American Girl or American Girl LLC.  Beware of marks high up in the hairline or partially hidden by the wig.



There should not be any serious marks or abrasions.  It is common to find dolls with ink stains or nail polish or other childhood additions.  Some marks are superficial and can be remedied, but many ink stains are hard or impossible to remove. Scratches and shiny spots are pretty common and expected with used dolls.  If you are buying for a young child I would not let small marks of this kind bother me too much.



Eyes and Eyelashes should be intact.  Some dolls have missing eyelashes or eyes that are discolored or don't close.  Some AG dolls had defective eyes.  This causes the eyes to turn grey or black.  This is something AG will repair for free.  Eyes and eyeslashes are hard to see in pictures sometimes, so ask questions if you aren't sure.  The doll below has a silver eye which means she would need to go to the doll hospital for replacement eyes.




Hair should look shiny and smooth.  Dolls that have received a lot of love and play may get frizzy, dried out hair. They also sometimes get haircuts. This is not necessarily a deal breaker for me.  There are lots of home remedies to soften, smooth and shine doll hair, but it's hard to tell how successful it will be.  If a dolls hair has been cut you have to decide if it is important to you or not.


Nice shiny doll hair versus frizzy, dry, doll hair.

Neck strings should be intact.  The neck strings are important.  It is the neck strings that hold the head in place on the doll.  Cut or short strings could cause problems if the doll needs repair.   Be aware that for a period of time American Girl began using a tie wrap closure for the dolls.  Collectors did not like this so they went back to strings.


Good neck strings.     Cut strings.       Tie wrap. 

(just a note: There is nothing wrong with a tie-wrap neck doll.  It might make it necessary to send the doll to the AG Doll hospital for any repairs)

Is there an X on the dolls bottom?  Apparently the American Girl factory in Wisconsin has periodic sales for charity.  Dolls are marked with an X on their bottom and sold for a reduced price.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with these dolls except the X prevents people from returning them to a doll store for full price refunds.  These X dolls would make fine dolls for play.  Just be aware that to pay full price for one is not wise as you can get an unmarked doll for full price direct from American Girl.  It is important to ask if there is an X whenever you see a NIB doll on the secondary market, especially if it is listed at full price.  

Charity sale doll with x on bottom.

Is it an older doll? AG dolls were first produced by the Pleasant Co and built in Germany before it was bought out by Mattel. Collectors might be very interested in older or pre-Mattel dolls. If you are looking for a doll for a child these older dolls might not be the best choice. Look carefully at the photos of the dolls you are considering. Older dolls have less color in their faces. I don't know if this is because they were less colorfully painted to begin with or just faded over time. The first dolls made by the pleasant company had white cloth bodies. These are definitely collectors items, but not necessarily a good choice for a child. Older dolls might have loose limbs that would prevent them from standing and holding a pose.  They may have dry, frizzy hair.  While these dolls have value to collectors, they might not be a good choice for a doll to give a child.

Older AG dolls

Is the stuffing coming out of the neck?  This is not necessarily a problem.  The dolls heads are made to be removed for repairs and cleaning.  If you are not squeamish about removing the dolls head and correcting this problem it might not be a serious issue.  


Consider the value of everything shown.  You may be looking at an ad for a doll and several other American Girl pieces in a lot.   If this is the case then it might be worth your while to purchase at a higher price.  Keep in mind the price of authentic AG accessories can range from $30 to over $100 in the secondary market especially if it is retired. So a nude doll should not sell for more than a doll with their original outfit on. When a doll is sold with their original AG outfits and accessories this definitely ads to a dolls overall value.  You will see a lot of dolls sold nude.  I am sure serious dealers strip the dolls they acquire to sell all the pieces separately. The lot below would definitely be worth $175 or more since there are 2 dolls and many outfits and accessories.



Watch out for shipping costs!  A lot of sellers on the web will list something at a low price but really get you with the shipping.  I consider $10 (+ or -)  reasonable to ship an AG doll.  If it is a lot like the above, then maybe $15 - $18.  I have seen ads were shipping is $40 to ship a doll alone.  Be sure and always ad up all the costs.

Is it an American Girl Doll?  There are a lot of lovely soft bodied 18" dolls out there competing with American Girl Dolls.  Become familiar with American Girl Doll faces so that you are not fooled.  Some unscrupulous people try to sell cheaper dolls as AG at AG prices.  Many of these dolls are available at department stores and toy stores for $20 or $40 new.  While the dolls may be just as much fun to play with the quality is greatly inferior to the American Girl Dolls.   


 These are NOT American Girl Dolls.  They are both Springfield dolls from Michael's


 These are NOT American Girl Dolls.  They are both Our Generation dolls from Target.

These are NOT American Girl Dolls.  On the left is a Journey Girl on the Right is a Playwonder Doll.  
DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!
Learn to recognize American Girl Dolls and what they look like.
It's easy to be misled if you are not aware of the difference.

Ask questions!  If there is only one dressed photo of the doll you are interested in ask for more photos or more information.  If the seller is unwilling to show a nude doll there might be a problem being hidden.  Again, buyer beware!

Also, don't forget to check into thrift stores periodically.  I found a Molly doll and paid only $14.50.  She needed some surface cleaning and hair wash, but a great deal.

Another great tip for all you garage-sale junkies.  If you see teen girls at a garage sale ask if they have any American Girl dolls they want to sell.  You could get some great deals.

 It can be overwhelming when first looking at the secondary doll market.  But it is all worth it when you open that first doll that you got a great deal on!   I hope this is helpful and happy shopping!

NOTE:
I have had lots of people, after reading this post, ask me to give a value to a doll they wish to sell. I say the same thing to them all!  Go to eBay, Craigslist or other secondary marketplace and look at comparable dolls to estimate the value of the doll you wish to sell. The value of AG dolls changes all the time.  Do your research!

Hope this helps!


120 comments:

Tracey M. said...

Is there anything wrong with the cheaper dolls you mentioned?

Sophie & Brenda said...

No, there is nothing wrong with the dolls. I have a post about selecting one of the cheaper dolls for a friend. They are not the same quality as AG dolls though. I was specifically warning people to be aware of the value of these dolls. They are being sold on Ebay for $65 when you can buy them new for $40 in a dept store.

Vanessa Fa said...

Thank you very much for this information. My daughter asked for one right after new year when the new catalog was delivered with Saige on the cover. I always said I would not be the mom who got one just because... Well I wanted to avoid the hefty price and went on ebay (my first ebay purchase) she just came in today and she is so pretty! She came with an extra outfit (no shoes though), hair styling book & brush, and several retired story books from the Historical dolls. She is in very new condition, I admit I was very very nervous about this purchase. My daughter will be receiving it for Easter. I bought early incase it needed some sort of repair or hospital work. Total $85.50 thats including shipping. Not bad I'll be keeping an extra eye out for more second hand deals.

Vanessa Fa said...

Thank you very much for this information. My daughter asked for one right after new year when the new catalog was delivered. I always said I would not be the mom who got one just because... Well I wanted to avoid the hefty price and went on ebay she just came in today and she is so pretty! She came with an extra outfit, hair book, and several retired story books. She is in very new condition. My daughter will be receiving it for Easter. I bought early incase it needed some sort of repair or hospital work. Total $85.50 thats including shipping. Not bad I'll be keeping an extra eye out for more second hand deals.

Sophie and Brenda said...

I am so happy you were helped! It sounds like you got a great deal!

Andrea said...

Hi Brenda! Thank you so much for your blog. I started on for similar reasons it seems you did for/with your daughter and I love some of what you have posted because it is going to help me support what I am doing with my daughter as well! Our blog is - onegirlmanydolls.blogspot.com

I am going to link your blog from mine - I hope that is OK! Thanks so much. Take care.

tbird4u said...

do all american girls doll have neck stamps with ag or american girl or matte..I was sold one they swear is am girl said they have papers but it says fcm 1996 and under that made in china.

tbird4u said...

can it be a real american girl doll if it is stamped on the neck with c in a circle and fcm 1996 and under that made in china?

Sophie and Brenda said...

@tBird4u:
I have never heard of that. I could not say for certain without seeing the doll. Sorry!

Sophie and Brenda said...

All AG dolls I have ever seen have a neck stamped "Pleasant Company", "American Girl LLC" or just "American Girl"

Linda said...

Is the Samantha doll worth less minus box? I'm looking at purchasing it for $100 minus the box, but it does have two books. I'm not sure which one it is though I have to go look at it. Is it worth the asking price if is the newest version minus the box? Please let me know. Thanks.

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophie and Brenda said...

@Linda
A retired doll like Samantha wouls generally sell for $70 - $100 alone without a box, so I would say that if the doll looks to be in good condition that is not a bad deal at all.
Collectors generally want a box as this does add value to other collectors in the resale market. You must decide how serious a collector you want to be.

I personally don't care about a box, but I am not a serious collector just someone who loves to make doll clothes and accessories. : )
Hope that helps

Linda said...

Thanks for your help. I did pay $100 for it even though it was missing the stockings, but I bought them on Ebay.

Lori said...

We have a Kanani doll that my daughter does not play with and even when she did she is 10 and played with her gently. We want to sell her but not sure what to ask for her. I've seen anywhere from $150-$500 depending on shape of doll. We did cut her hair about 2 inches but it still looks beautiful. What is your opinion?

Sophie and Brenda said...

@Lori - My suggestion would be to use the research you have already done to determine a good starting bid. If you start a bid too high bidders are turned off, but with a Kanani doll you should do well no matter what. She is VERY popular right now on ebay.

Patricia Hall said...

I bought a Julie doll off ebay in very good condition except the hair. It is very dry and the sides are frizzy, from braiding I think. I complained about the hair and was refunded over half the price I paid, so got a deal. I tried the downy dunk - nothing to lose with this dry hair. It didn't help much. If the hair is really dry, is a new head the only answer?

Sophie and Brenda said...

@Patricia - I could not tell you without seeing the doll first hand - sorry. Yo must use your best judgement in this matter. I have noticed htat Julie's hair is slightly different than other AG hair. It pulls out easily with brushing and I am not sure if the downy dunk would make it better or worse.

Mommy of Fuzzy Children said...

why would someone sell a doll without any clothes? I know why they take pics w/o clothes - to see the condition, but not sure why they would sell them that way? any insight?

Sophie and Brenda said...

The reason dolls are sold nude is because the AG clothes themselves are valuable as well. Just like the dolls they increase in value as they become retired. I have seen AG retired clothes and accessories sell for over $100.

Lynette said...

I just got an AG doll from my mom-in-law who bought it second hand. I am trying to figure out which doll she is before I give it to my daughter. How can I research which one she is?

Sophie and Brenda said...

@ Lynette - I would recommend you start on the AG Doll website:
http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/static/dolls.jsp
If you don't find the doll here she may be retired, then I would check their archive:http://www.americangirl.com/archives/hc.php

This is the best place to get correct information.

Good Luck!

Sophie and Brenda said...

PS - remember, this may be a "Just like you Doll" so be sure to look over those pictures on the website too.

Vintagedad said...

You have done a wonderful presentation on what to look for in buying a used American Girl Doll. My wife has 15 AG dolls, 3 we will be selling on eBay soon. Our grand daughter has 5 AG dolls we have given her with most of the furniture and accessories (college fund?) We will be using your informative narrative in preparing our eBay listings. Thanks again, Vintage Mom (trade name used in doll clothes business in Alaska)

Sophie and Brenda said...

Thanks Vintagedad! Be sure to research current doll prices on ebay. That is the best way to gauge the value and what a good starting bid might be.

Tes OLeary said...

My daughter Ryleigh is only 5 & wants an AG doll! All ur info was incredible. Thank u

Sophie and Brenda said...

Thanks Tes. I would definitely buy a second-hand doll for a younger child to see how well the child takes care of the doll. AG dolls are definitely the best quality, but also quite expensive as you well know!

miniature girl said...

Do you know anything about the bitty baby dolls? I'm looking at a set of two on eBay for about $25 both of which would need to be sent in for full repairs... is it worth it when they are $80 new? They come with nothing only two dolls.

Sophie and Brenda said...

I don't know as much about the Bitty Baby dolls. I found one once in a thrift store for $4 and sold it for around $20 on ebay. I would not buy a bitty baby that needed to go to the doll hospital. They do not seem to hold their value like the full size AG dolls. The trouble with the bitty baby's that have painted hair is the paint rubs off and scratches very easily. I saw this on many dolls when I researched how much to list my doll for. The Bitty Baby's with hair I know almost nothing about, but I would resist buying dolls that need the doll hospital unless they are a doll that has retained a high resale value like the Kanani or Sonali AGs.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Wow mom i didn't know you had so much information about american girl dolls. We can post on on a valentines story if you want. I suggest we do it at my doll house and pretend there is a school called K.O.M elementary. I would love to do it before valentines day is long gone. Thanks! - Sophie S.

Clarissa Mendoza said...

I purchased an older American Girl Doll from someone online for $40. She is in good condition with an outfit on from 1996. Her neck is stamped Pleasant Company. One of her eye is just grey colored and I wondered if the company would fix that?

Sophie and Brenda said...

Yes, American Girl would fix her eye, but, I believe this means the doll would get an entirely new head. This means that the Pleasant Company stamp would be gone. Not necessarily a big deal, but many collectors prefer the Pleasant Company stamped dolls because many are pre-mattel. To send your doll to the doll hospital go tot he American Girl website and print the instructions for sending her tot he doll hospital.

Sophie and Brenda said...

As I have mentioned before, it is rarely worth the money to purchase a doll knowing that it needs to go to the doll hospital.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Hi Mom,

Can I get kit for my Bday? it sounds like you have enough info to get me one. Or..... not. I just talked to you alittle ago and you said i had enough. You can never have enough blogs,comments, or American Girl Dolls. This is such a good story. I got bored at points and just skipped to the comments. You said "This is the most popular story we have yet made"! I'm glad to hear that. Good for u!! :3

Not Who I Was Meant To Be said...

I was given a Samantha who is 100% Pleasant Company. She has her meet outfit complete with hat and purse. She's in amazing condition although I have regular fits over whatever they made hair out of in the 1980s. She's only had one owner before me who decided quickly as a child that dolls were creepy and put it up for twenty years, lol.

She is the AG I've wanted all my life (I'm almost 32 and she was given to me last year) and she will never ever ever be sold, but I'm just wondering how much you think she's worth? You seem to be knowledgeable about this stuff. I'd like to know collector's value, not current eBay selling price, lol.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Congratulations on your Samantha! I got my own Elizabeth Cole last year for my birthday and I love her. A girl is never too old to love a new doll.
That said, I would not consider myself a true 'collector' of AG. I just fell in love with AG like you. In your case it sounds like your Samantha is priceless to you and that is the value I would place on her. : )

Janet Reitz said...

Today I purchased an AG doll for my granddaughter. Researched her when I got home and found that we have Kirsten, with Pleasant Co. stamped on her neck. Her hair is very frizzy. Should I try to repair her hair. From all I see she is a collectable. She has a tan body in very good condition. Just her hair is a mess.

Janet Reitz said...

Just purchased an AG doll for my Granddaughter. She has a Pleasant Co. stamp on her neck, her body and limbs appear to be in good condition. Her hair is very, very frizzy. She is Kirsten Larsen. Should I try to figure out how to repair her hair, or leave her as is. I am new to this, but from what I have read she is one of the first dolls made.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Janet, sounds like you got a nice doll. I would look at this article:
http://thesavagedolls.blogspot.com/2013/05/molly-gets-downy-dunk.html
I have a Pleasant Co. MOlly and she had very frizzy damaged hair. I did a downy dunk and had very good results. Also, you can use a thin past of baking soda and water to clean her vinyl body. Be careful to keep any liquid out of the dolls eyes! Good luck and let me know how she comes out!

smallory28 said...

I bought a doll off ebay a couple years ago before i new anything about American girl dolls. She had a very badhair cut and so i took her wig off and replaced it with a different color. My question is is there a number on them to tell if they are a just like you or a historical?

Sophie and Brenda said...

Smallory, I think there is, but I honestly don't know a lot about that. As I have said before, I am not a true collector. I just think the dolls are pretty and like making things for my daughter's dolls. Try looking at "American Girl Doll Wiki" It seems to have lots of information.

Betty C. said...

Hi, Can the Marisol doll have a neck stamp of either Pleasant Company or American Girl? I just bought my daughter one on ebay and it says American Girl LLC but I thought they said Pleasant Company. I know that they switched the stamps in 2005 which is the year Marisol was Girl of the Year. Thank you!

Sophie and Brenda said...

I am sorry, but I don't have that information. I would have to research it. I know both stamps are legitimate. As I've said before I am not a true collector. I just love AG dolls.

Sophie and Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brittoops99 said...

just curious
how much is a used just like me american doll worth if wanted to sell her? after washing her clothes and brushing her hair i think she will look close to new..
?

Sophie and Brenda said...

Pricing of AG dolls on the secondary market is very fluid. I would do a search on Ebay for your type doll. I have seen lately most averager dolls selling for between $65 and $85 plus shipping. But, do your own research first!!!

Sophie and Brenda said...

Be aware, some dolls like Kanani & Sonali can sell for upwards of $150, but these are special cases, they are hard to find and very popular. I sometimes see a person try to sell a JLY doll for these large amounts and I just think - good luck!! So again, do some research and get a idea for what your type doll is selling for.

softballmomx2kids said...

What is the value of retired nicki doll. Hair may have been cut. She's in her meet outfit with original box. She in excellent condition.

Sophie and Brenda said...

I did a quick check and Nicki dolls are selling on Ebay for $40 on up to $350. The best thing to do is to create a search for the doll you want. For example do a search for "american girl doll nicki" and you should see all the Nicki dolls lined up. This is a good way to see for yourself the different prices and conditions of the dolls.

Loose Ends said...

@ tbird4u ! FCM 1996 stands for Fibre-Craft Materials Corp in Niles IL. You have a doll from the Springfield Doll Collection. These dolls could be bought at Michael's, Joann's, AC Moore. Hope that helps.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Thank you Loose Ends! I hope T-bird sees your message. As I've said before, it is easy to get sold a non-AG doll if you don't do your homework!!
Thanks again.

teresa said...

I hit the JACKPOT and found an older Pleasant Company doll at Goodwill for $2!! It is important to know the age of the doll??

It's in great condition.
She can stand on her own, has a tan body no body tag, no part in hair (thick bangs), Artist mark behind right ear, no signature, perfect eyes, long neck strings. She is blonde (very light brown) hair with brown eyes. Samantha Summer outfit was on her dated 1989 china.

Sophie and Brenda said...

It sounds like you got a GREAT deal! I live for those kind of finds at the thrift store! Good job!

michelle clinard said...

A girl is selling Kirsten and Samantha for $60.00 for both. They have the stamp and can stand just doesn't have original clothes. Is this a good deal?

michelle clinard said...

A girl is selling Kirsten and Samantha for $60.00 for both. They have the stamp and can stand just doesn't have original clothes. Is this a good deal?

Sophie and Brenda said...

Michelle - YES! that sounds like a great deal! Most AG dolls on ebay start at $50 - $60 for ONE doll.

Danielle said...

Hi I just bought a jly #28 and a molly for $65 they both can stand and also have the stamp on the back of their necks of American girl llc also tags on their bodies. They are real?

Danielle said...

Hi. Just bought a jly #28 and a molly. Both stand on their own an Both have the stamp American girl llc on their necks. Also have American girl made in China on their body tags. Are these real??? Thanks

Sophie and Brenda said...

Yes, they sound perfectly real. All the current dolls are made for American Girl by manufacturers in China. They will have the LLC neck mark. I will try to add pictures of the different neck marks. : )

Michelle said...

Thank you for this post, very helpful. I just found a Samantha for $3.99 today at a thrift store! She is an original Pleasant Company.

Sophie and Brenda said...

Way to go Michelle! That is so awesome finding a great doll at a thrift store!

Anonymous said...

We got one from sears. The eyes don't close but she is lovely.

Unknown said...

Do you know of any sites that can tell me for sure if my doll is real? It does say american girl,LLC on the neck and a weird mark behind the ear. Everything else as far as legs and arms seem the same as the dolls I have gotten at the American girl store. I bought this one on Craigslist and was not sure it's age? How do find out the year it's from?

Brenda and Sophie said...

I don't know of any specific sites. I would just do some research online.

Unknown said...

We have a felicity doll and she us signed by Gotz......any idea of the value?

Brenda and Sophie said...

I'm sorry but I have no idea. Ebay is still the best place to get an idea what something is worth to purchasers. Do a search for Gotz signed Felicity on ebay and see if anything similar comes up. I have seen dolls signed by the lady who began AG and they are interesting to collectors I imagine your doll might be too. Take a look and good luck!

Unknown Person said...

I have a Samantha whose hair was played with rough when I was growing up. There is something weird with her bangs. Like if you don't spread them out she looks like she has small pieces of missing hair. Is this a normal problem. I don't have another doll with bangs to know what it's supposed to look like. She does have a bump where her bangs attach. I thought about trying the salon when I'm in Chicago next but I figured theyd just turn her away.

Unknown Person said...

I'm not really sure if you still see ckments on this post. I have a Kailey with very loose limbs. I don't think I ever even played with her. If I send her to the hospital can her limbs be tightened?

Brenda and Sophie said...

I am sure the hospital would tighten her limbs. Go tot he American Girl Doll website and read through the services at the doll hospital. THat should tell you exactly what they can do.

Brenda and Sophie said...

Regarding the Samantha doll with bang trouble, it is possible her wig has become slightly detached. OR it may be that her bangs got trimmed at some time. Without seeing the doll of course I can't be sure. I AM SURE the AG store doll salon would not turn away any doll and they might be able to tell you exactly what is going on.

Unknown Person said...

I know that her bangs were not cut as I was her only owner. She does have an older style of wig than my Kailey from 2003. She was purchased sometime in the 1990s.

Brenda and Sophie said...

Take her tot he AG salon and see what they say. It may just be her wig has become a bit detached, I can't tell without seeing her. Sorry

The Toy Collector said...

Hello,

Okay so I have a bit of a random question. I have the older set of bitty twins. I have noticed that they seem to have quite a bit of "play" for a lack of a better term in their wig. That is that their wig does not seem to be as "glued on" as the 18" dolls that I do have. I don't have any other twins so I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be like. I guess I got paranoid, because I have a Kailey that has been nothing but problems and now has a very detached wig. The sad part is that she has never had her hair brushed, been hot, or cold, or been in any kind of water. She was given to me with extremely loose limbs, but I got her for Christmas when I was younger and because Santa brought him, I did not believe that I could exchange her. That and we didn't live close to the store. So because of her loose limbs I deemed her unplayable and never touched her again. I never really styled her hair, because I had ruined my Samantha's hair by brushing it improperly. Anyways, I put her hair into a ponytail 12 years ago and never looked at it. Well now I've noticed along the seems her hair is bubbled away from her head along the seem. I guess I'm getting frustrated to some extent because it seems like if it isn't one thing right now with her it's another. I'm just hoping that it is normal for the twins hair to be a little loose and not completely glued. Anyways any help is great.

Brenda and Sophie said...

It sounds like the wigs re coming unglued. I don't know a lot about fixing this problem. I know there are many websites that show how to re-wig a doll, but I have never tried it.

Cindy Obrien said...

Hello i have a doll i just received for my granddaughter and i want to know if she is an older ag doll .she has the stamp on her neck 2002 pleasant company.she has blonde hair and blue eyes ,she has soft body but she can not stand her legs don't go straight.the person doesn't know anything about ag dolls it was his daughters doll.any information would help.

Cindy Obrien said...

Hello i just received a doll i think is a ag doll but not sure .she has the stamp on her neck that says 2002 pleasant company.but her clothes say bitty baby American girl and the doll itself has made in china exclusively for American girl.she has blonde hair and blue eyes and a soft body but her legs are bent she can't stand up .is she a real American girl doll.thank you

Cindy Obrien said...

Hello i have a doll that says bitty baby is she a real ag doll.she has the stamp on her neck that says 2002 pleasant company on it but her legs do not stand up.is she real.

Brenda and Sophie said...

It sounds like she is a Bitty Baby which is the vabysi line from American Girl

Marylin Maley said...

I really like madame Alexander company dolls also.

Brenda and Sophie said...

Yes, so do I. Our Skyler is a Madame Alexander. I like how their heads tilt in different directions.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned you can fix AG dolls with frizzy hair, how do you do this?

Brenda and Sophie said...

http://thesavagedolls.blogspot.com/2014/05/american-girl-care-and-cleaning-tips.html

This is my article about fixing AG doll hair. I strongly recommend Wig shampoo and conditioner. You can find this in almost any beauty supply shop. Read this article through it should help. I found all this out through trial and error and my own online research.

T Haddad said...

Do the numbers on the back of the dolls head have any identification meaning? I just started collecting the dolls and won an auction, the listing stated EUC, but they arrived three of dolls had serious hair problems. I am trying to identify the dolls.

Brenda and Sophie said...

Here is a good article about AG dolls. I am not an expert on the neck markings, but tell all my readers to do your research.

http://www.ebay.com/gds/Collectible-American-Girl-Dolls-An-Insiders-Guide-/10000000000962859/g.html

As with any collectible doll the value of any doll, no matter the condition, lies with the collector. I have many dolls that were in pretty bad shape when I got them. After restoring these dolls they are more valuable to me personally because of this. IF you have older pre-mattel dolls their slightly damaged condition may make them worth restoring. If the dolls are in good condition re-wigging is not too complicated OR send them to the AG doll hospital. You must do some research a decide for yourself what you want to do. I hope this helps.

T Haddad said...

Thank you for the fast answer. These doll will be part of my collection. I just would like to restore to their natural beauty. And after reading through your blog and a few others you have listed on your blog. I realize I will send them to the AG hospital and rename the girls when they return.

Brenda and Sophie said...

I am glad I could help. Enjoy your dolls!!

gudma10 said...

I recently purchased a Kailey doll from Ebay to replace one that my daughter misplaced. I just received it and I'm not sure that it is authentic. Her wig is very loose and thin. Her neck stamp is really what has me concerned. The lettering is raised lettering instead of the normal lettering I have seen on dolls, including the 6 my daughter has. Have you ever seen raised lettering on a AG doll?

Brenda and Sophie said...

I looked at my AG dolls and my Nellie has raised lettering. I bought her on ebay but I am certain she is authentic. I have found AG dolls have all different kinds of neckstamps, from the Pleasant Co. stamps to the American Girl LLC stamp. It is not unusual for AG doll wigs to become thin and loose if they have had a lot of play. If you are ot satisfied ask the seller for a refund and send her back!

gudma10 said...

Thank you for your response. I will most likely keep her. I think I'm just being paranoid LOL

Brenda and Sophie said...

No problem! I hope this helped. If her wig is loose you can reglue or send her tot he doll hospital.

Anonymous said...

Is there a place to send a photo to where they can tell me if it's a real American girl doll and if it's a retired one?

Brenda and Sophie said...

Not that I know of. The best thing to do is to look at the American Girl online store, or look through blogs like mine and learn as much as you can. I have an archive on this blog of all the AG dolls retired, and active.

http://thesavagedolls.blogspot.com/2013/10/american-girl-dolls-archive.html

There are lots of other places to look for information about AG dolls to narrow down your search for information.

I hope this helps

Anonymous said...

I just purchased an original Addy doll from a Co-Worker. The doll has never been played with, is still in her box and seems to be in amazing condition; however, I noticed a slight problem. One of her eyes are grey (which in reading earlier posts she has gotten water in her eye). I paid $90.00 for her and feel I now have paid to much. Please let me know what you think. Thank You!

Brenda and Sophie said...

It is very sad that Addy has a grey eye! However, I did a quick search and found Addy dolls selling for $140 up to $200. I think you still have a good deal. Does she say Pleasant Co. on her neck? or American Girl? If she says Pleasant Co. send her to a Doll Dr. who can replace just the eye. If she is marked American Girl you can send her to the Doll Hospital, but they will replace her whole head. You can do an online search for Doll Drs. in your area if she is a Pleasant Co. doll. If her head is replaced the Pleasant Co. mark would be lost. They usually can give you an estimate before work is done.

Leila Morris said...

I have been buying, refurbishing and reselling AG dolls for a year now and have learned a lot. I get dolls in surprisingly aweful condition for expensive dolls. Fluorescent Magic marker clown lips, hair chopped in every way, perment marker everywhere just wish I could show pics to get full understanding. For a young child or a household with young children, Imwould get a lesser expensive doll on Mercari or Ebay or Etsy or buy a lesser expensive doll. Once all the young children in house learn to respect the doll, then I would look at the new dolls. As tempting as the just like you but the Dolls of the Year increase in value more because they have a limited quanity. Also mix race dolls like Cecile and Jess go up in value again lower volumes produced.

Read how to maintain these dolls like armorall spray after washing hair, no water in eyes, and how to remove stains.,these dolls are great fun and so many outfits and themes available. So have fun.

Brenda and Sophie said...

I agree Leila. There are a lot of very nice alternative dolls out there if someone does not want to buy AG for a young child. It kills me to go into a house where an AG doll is flung in a corner with matted hair and other added adornments. I want to scoop her up and start brushing her hair! (which I usually do) That said, we get the fun of fixing them up when we find them second hand! ;)

Sydney Robertson said...

I have a Molly doll I need to sell. How much can I get for her she does not have her glasses or socks and I have lots of clothes for sell to.

Brenda and Sophie said...

I would suggest going to ebay and look for Molly dolls and see what they are selling for. The secondhand market for AG dolls changes all the time. If you have a lot of accessories you must do some more research on how much these items are selling for. If you have AG outfits try and reassemble all the pieces together with shoes, etc. It is also important to know approximately what year your Molly was made. Is she marked Pleasant Company? Or American Girll LLC? This has an impact on the value of your doll as well. Hope this helps

GilmorePotterGleek said...

Do you know if some of the early outfits came without tags? I'm looking at Kirsten's work dress on eBay, I asked and the seller says it was bought in the early 90s through the catalog and that it came without the tag like some of Kirsten's and Samantha's early outfits did. I'd love to buy it, but don't want to be cheated through my own lack of knowledge.

Brenda and Sophie said...

I have never heard of that, but I am not a know-all about the early dolls. I would be doubtful, I have had some outfits from the earlier years and they all had Pleasant Co. labels.

Anonymous said...

What would you pay for a Saige doll in good condition with only her meet dress and earrings. No book or boots or ring. What is a reasonable price?

Brenda and Sophie said...

The market changes all the time. I suggest you go on eBay or similar site and do a search for Saige dolls and get an idea what they are selling for

Becky Steiner said...

I have a retired Elizabeth doll in excellen condition,however,I no longer have the box. What would you recommend trying to sell her for?

Brenda and Sophie said...

The value of these dolls changes all the time. You must compare your doll to other dolls listed on eBay or other secondary market places.

Jannie said...

Dies wellie wishers have same issue if water gets in eyes. Seems good choice for younger girl

Brenda and Sophie said...

I don't have any experience with Wellie Wishers dolls, but I know that AG will replace silvered eyes for free. Apparently it is NOT water that does it, there is a defect in the eye that causes tem to turn. So if this does happen you can send them to the AG doll hospital for replacements.

Donna Swinson said...

Brenda & Sophie , Ty so much for all the interesting info . I started collecting AG dolls 4 yrs ago for my granddaughter . I buy her girl of the yr . every yr . I've also bought her 3 retired (used) dolls . After reading your article I had to go check her dolls 🤔 Her dolls are fine . Ty so much for sharing ! Merry Christmas to you & yours ! 🙏🌲☃️

Brenda and Sophie said...

I'm glad you found this helpful. Your grandaughter is lucky to have a grandma who loves AG dolls too! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me more about the mini American Girl Doll? My great granddaughter loves the minis. I want to make sure I get the originals for her.

indiansummer740 said...

My great granddaughter loves the American Girl Doll. She found the minis. How can I tell if we are getting a original one.

Brenda and Sophie said...

If you want the original cloth-bodied versions they are only available on the secondary market. I personally think the all plastic mini dolls would be better for a small girl to play with.

Kate said...

I have a Bitty Baby with the Pleasant Company and the #14 on the back of the next--tan body, blonde hair, and lashes and an X on the bottom (from Wi) wondering what you think this doll may be worth?

Anonymous said...

i have a Bitty Baby blonde hair/lashes with Pleasant Company and the #14 on the back of the neck--also has a X on the bottom what do you think this doll is worth?

Brenda and Sophie said...

The secondary market value of dolls changes all the time. You just have to do some research and find out what the value is today. Bitty Baby's do not seem to hold their value as welll as full size AG dolls. I personally would never pay more than $30 for a bitty baby.

505Girl said...

I have nine dolls, seven are mine and two belong to my little sister but she does not like them. One of those two dolls is in HORRIBLE condition. Her hair is horrible, her eyes were drawn on with crayon, she has been flung into a closet seventeen hundred times. I would LOVE to send her to the doll hospital but I'm wondering if I could fix her instead. Another question, I have gotten water into my first American girl doll's eyes a BILLION times, because I was only six when I got her. But her eyes never rusted! None of my dolls that have touched water have gotten rusted eyes! Is that weird? Last one, I want to buy a doll but the cheapest one that looked remotely good was $69.99. I looked on Craigslist and Ebay and Amazon, but I can't find anything! What should I do?

Brenda and Sophie said...

1.For the doll in horrible condition look at this post about Care & Cleaning.
http://thesavagedolls.blogspot.com/2014/05/american-girl-care-and-cleaning-tips.html
I LOVE restoring dolls, if possible. If she is just dirty and hair all tangled you can definitely fix her! Magic eraser might take that crayon off.

2. I have learned from one of my readers that the silver eye is not caused by water but a flaw in the eye balls themselves, which AG fixes for free.

3. I would say that $60 or $70 is average for used AG dolls. Check out thrift stores and try Goodwill online they sometimes have deals if you keep your eyes open. Also try doing a search for TLC dolls on ebay, I sometimes see deals, but they need work or a trip to the AG hospital. The best deals I have found are on Craigslist, but still about $50.

SunsetSparkle said...

Hi, I was wondering where are the best places to find AG dolls. They are so expensive new but I have wanted one all my life. I have one but I cant figure out who she is. She has meium length red hair. Curled bangs, light blue eyes, tan body, and her skin looks like she got a tan. Hope you can help!

Brenda Savage said...

I find great deals on ebay and Craigslist. Your doll sounds a little like a Nellie, but it's hard to tell without a photo. Go to this website and look for a photo of your doll.
http://americangirl.wikia.com/wiki/American_Girl_Wiki
This is a great place to learn about AG dolls and identify them.

MINDI'S MUM said...

Hi Brenda.. I'm looking for a bit of help.. In the late 90's I purchased two AG Dolls for my daughter and to my dismay she didn't take a real liking to them.. I thought at 10yo it would be a great present under the tree.. Needless to say they got wrapped in plastic wrap and gently tucked away.. YESTERDAY I decided I'd take a peekalmost 20 years later.. There both in almost perfect condition.. limbs are tight and stand independently.. Pleasant Company stamped on necks.. eyes open and close..lashes all accounted for.. neck strings long and sturdy.. No scratches, nicks, or markings..Hair long, shiny and smooth.. I did notice on thing on one of them..Brown long hair with bangs with one brown eye and one blue eye.. it's not a grey or silver color it's blue?? The other one had light brown hair with blue eyes.. Do these dolls sound familiar to you.. I can't remember what there names are? I'm going to sell them.. and I bought a yellow metal bunk beds with black and white mattresses.. original tags still attached but can't find it anywhere so not sure a price yo ask for bunks.. any thougjts?? Thank you in advance!!

Brenda Savage said...

It sounds like you may have a Samantha and a Molly. I can't be certain without seeing a picture. I suggest you go online and do a search for Pleasant Company Dolls and look for a match to your dolls. The doll with a blue eye and a brown eye has a faulty eye. This is called 'silver eye'. This used to be a free fix through the doll hospital, but if you are selling I would just price accordingly. Do your research and find out which 2 dolls you have.