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Top Tips For Buying American Girl Doll Clothes

Top Tips For Buying American Girl Doll Clothes
These useful and practical tips for buying American Girl Doll Clothes are essential for consumers wanting to stretch their dollars.

To be a smart and savvy shopper, there are three major considerations: Price, Quality, and Child's Interests.

Price

The price ranges of these doll clothes are extreme. Bargains can be found on EBay for as little as $.99 plus postage. The American Girl Doll website sells their clothes on an average of $26.00. Handmade specialty outfits often sell upwards of $60.00.

The old adage you get what you pay for holds true here as well as it does for every other product in the world today. Factors relating to price are the quality of the stitching, whether the doll clothes come with accessories and the shipping costs involved. Let's look at each of these factors and their effect on price.

The Quality of Stitching has an effect on the price of the doll clothes. There are two kinds of seams in all clothing, both doll and adult. They are unfinished seams and overcast seams.

An unfinished seam usually has the stitching line about 5/8" from the edge of the material. Sometimes in order to cut costs by using less material, there is less of an allowance between the stitching line and the edge of the fabric. In this case the stitching line is about 1/4" from the edge of the fabric. When the stitching line is close to the edge of the fabric, there is less room for fraying, which means over time, the seam can unravel. Cutting down on the amount of the material in the clothes is one way the manufacturers cut their cost. This can affect the wear and tear on the doll clothes. Ideally you want clothes that are stitched farther from the edge of the fabric.

A Finished Seam line means that in addition to the stitching line, another row of stitching is on the edge of the material. This prevents fraying and makes the seam stronger. This is an extra step in the sewing process. Since time means money, finished seams are generally more expensive. Most makers of doll clothes do finish the seams. However, if the doll clothes are very reasonable, you might ask if the seams are finished or unfinished.

Doll clothes sold as sets with accessories also have an effect on pricing. Several companies sell the American Girl doll clothes with accessories. If you are trying to get the best value, it is prudent to buy from a company that sells the clothing separately from the accessories.

There are two reasons for this.

If you buy a dress that comes with shoes, the price is always higher than if you mixed and matched the items yourself. You can pay on average $28.00 for a packaged set of an outfit and a pair of shoes. If the child loses one of the shoes, you cannot buy just one shoe or just another pair of the same shoes, you have to buy the package again when all you really need is a replacement shoe. When you are shopping for just the shoes, you can look for bargains on both the shoes and the outfit, thus a considerable savings.

Another reason to buy the American Girl doll clothes and accessories separately is that little girls have their own ideas on coordinating outfits and accessories. If you buy a dress that comes in a package with coordinating shoes, those shoes will be the color that the company decided is a good match. But little girls have their own thoughts on colors and coordinating items. They may cast aside the shoes that came with the outfit and look to purchase shoes that meet their coordinating ideas. You might as well save the money, not purchase the prepackaged set and let them choose the shoes they think are stylish.

Shipping Costs and Their Effect

Shipping is a factor that should not be ignored! There are companies that offer a low price on items and then when you look closely, the shipping far exceeds average standards. This is a gimmick that can sneak up on you when you are in a hurry. Then, when you see the shipping amount, you realize your purchase was not economical at all, but actually very expensive.

There are companies that charge one flat shipping charge. If you are purchasing several items, this is to your advantage, as long as the charge is reasonable.

Finally, there are companies with free shipping. In the case of free shipping, check the pricing of the item. Perhaps the doll clothes are overpriced to make up for the free shipping. If the items are within a fair price range, you want to take advantage of companies with free shipping.

Online Free Coupons can save you money. Doing an online search for "Coupons for American Girl doll Clothes" will give you a list of online merchants offering discounted coupons. Some of these coupons are for free shipping, others are a discount off selected items and others give a discount off the entire purchase amount. Watch for the specifics of the coupon as some can only be used in orders exceeding a specified dollar amount.

Look for Bargains at Special Sales

Many retailers run annual sales on overstocks, samples, or slightly flawed items. Most of us know about the bargains that we can get on children and adult clothes at stores such as TJ Maxx and Marshall's which give us great shopping opportunities. The same opportunities are online for doll clothes. Some are known as annual sales and some are know as scratch and dent sales which are items with flaws. The flawed items are usually described and often barely visible. These doll clothes sometimes sell for a fraction of the normal price. Doing an online search for "Annual Sale on American Girl Doll Clothes" or "Scratch and Dent sale on doll clothes" will provide a list of retailers offering such a sale.

Great items at Bargain Prices on Auction Sites.

There are many auctions online. EBay and Amazon are well known and have lots of American Girl doll clothes listings. Timing is critical on the most popular auctions. To get a great price, avoid the peak traffic times when many people will be bidding and therefore the prices will be higher. Sunday night is prime time when many people are on the auction sites. If the auction is ending on a weekday morning, you will no doubt get a better price than an auction ending on Sunday night. Visiting an auction that is not as well know will have less traffic, fewer bids and will result in better prices for you.

Final Considerations before Purchasing Products

Before making all purchases, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, and research your seller and their terms and conditions.