Sunday, April 29, 2012

First stop: American Girl Dolls for sale

This may seem obvious but here goes...American Girl Dolls sell for a lot of money! I know what you're saying, "No kidding Dude, tell us something we don't know!" Ok, so maybe you already know American Girl is super collectible and can make you big money. But judging from one of my garage sale excursions, it seems not everyone is aware of this obvious fact.

It began on a chilly garage sale morning in the Fall. Heading out my street, I barely had time to take a sip of coffee when I stumbled across the first yard sale of the morning. It was literally 100 yards from my street on a small Cul-de-sac. The three houses on the street were having a "Multi-family" yard sale. These are always promising, particularly if the "Multi" part is accurate and not just one lone family. Pulling up the street, I realized I was an early bird. As the old saying goes, "early bird gets the worm!"

I was still waking up when I noticed something strange at the kid's toy table. Tossed amid all the kiddie stuff, were three dolls that looked vaguely familiar. Although they seemed out of place, the dolls had all the signs of American Girls dolls.  I was a little thrown off because I'd never seen American Girl stuff mixed haphazardly in with average toys like puzzles, books and board games. In my vast garage sale experience, people who sell American Girl are keenly aware of their value and display them in a place of honor at their garage sale. This is normally directly in front of the seller and her cash box. It's a safe and secure spot where she can keep an eye on both! Another common display technique is the high up spot on a shelf behind the seller. That's so you can't easily pick the doll up and handle it like it was some kind of trashy Bratz doll! Either way, it's the seller's subconscious way of saying in effect, "I bought these beautiful dolls for my daughter and I paid a lot of money for them!"

So given that most seller's are very conspicuous in displaying their American Girl dolls, I was a little unsure these three motley dolls were the real deal. Seeing the mom nearby, I picked up one of the dolls asking, "Are these, um, what's it called? American.....?" The women looked up and finished my sentence, "Yeah, they're American Girl dolls. There's some extra clothes in a separate box too." She pointed to a box which had five outfits inside. I flipped the doll around and kept up my act, "Oh yeah, my daughter likes these dolls." (Technically true, although my college age daughter doesn't actually play with dolls anymore). Having voiced my justification for buying dolls, I asked the mom how much? She walked over to to me-almost always a bad sign as it means they're going to put some serious thought into pricing. But not in this case, the mom just casually threw out a number, "Give me five dollars for each doll and two dollars for each outfit."   

I am pretty fast on the uptick when it comes to basic math. So without even the aid of fingers and toes, I quickly added up the total in my head...a paltry $25 bucks for everything! No need to negotiate on this deal. Once I paid up, I dashed back to my truck in yet another walk of shame: a guy and his dolls! But who cares? A bunch of American Girl Dolls for only twenty five dollars is worth any funny glances!

The dolls went into storage for a few months until the Christmas selling season.  By waiting just a few months, I knew I could "super-size" my eBay auction prices. The wait paid off. The three dolls sold for an average price of $62 per doll. The outfits were sold individually, netting me another $100. All in all, I made just shy of $280 on a $28 dollar investment.  Even a math-challenged dude like me can figure out that's ten times my original investment!

I am still amazed by that score. On the first stop of the day I drove 100 yards and made over $250 bucks. I wish every find was that easy!  Have you ever scored a great deal on your very first garage sale of the day? Tell us about it.....


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28 comments:

  1. Love the feeling of a great find! We found our first American Girl doll yesterday. Completely astounded when one of the women running the garage sale told us that our amazing find with 1 1/2 outfits would cost us
    $1.00!!!! I found an Itty Bitty Baby with 3 outfits for $8.00 last Fall but have yet to list it. Do you have any special advice for selling an Itty Bitty baby vs one of the other American Girl dolls? Love your blog. Thanks so much!

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  2. Anonymous-No special advice, I buy and sell them all...AGD and Bitty Baby. AGD always sells a "bit" better...HA!I do well with the BB white cribs too. Keep an eye out for those.

    A dollar for an American Girl outfit? Wow! And three for $8? That's just under $3 per set....You scored some excellent deals, nice job!

    Thanks for writing and and liking the blog....Dude!

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    1. Hey would you be interested in a whole lot of retired stuff? Over 15 years old I believe. Email me if you actually get this response at janke.dawn@yahoo.com and I can tell you more of what I'm trying to sell.An original pleasant doll with Penny the horse ,foal and the whole stable and accessories plus a couple shoes and clothes.

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  3. LOVE IT! Great find, Dude! Although I still laugh about the Barbie find you had and the guy laughing at you! THAT was hysterical and I shared that one with my hubby! Seriously, doesn't it take everything in us to not jump up and down doing the "YIPPEE YAHOO" dance down the driveway when you just got a steal of a deal that you KNOW is going to give you an amazing return!!

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    1. Susie-Absolutely, the feeling you have inside when you know you've scooped up a cold-stone score is awesome! It's a definite rush, I think that's part of the motivation in getting out there, right?

      I am glad you and hubby got a laugh out of my misadventures with the girlie doll stuff! I'd love to go back to "Driveway Dad" and tell him how his wife sold me close to $300 in Barbies for next to nothing!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  4. great find but don't be dissing those brat dolls. I bought a huge box of them at the thrift store last summer for $10 There were 41 dolls total along with clothes and a house. I sold a few lots on ebay for close to $75 (perhaps more I dont remember and I didnt blog all the sales) plus I sold the rest of the dolls on cl for $45

    http://beckypries.blogspot.com/search/label/bratz%20dolls

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    1. opps found my other bratz doll blog and I was off I sold everything for $94.83 so a $84.83 profit

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    2. My daughter is 17 and has a huge collection of Bratz dolls, clothes, accessories and stuff. She refuses to part with any of it. The Barbies she let go, but not the Bratz dolls. And not the beanie babies either. Darn!

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    3. beckyp-I see you noticed my little shot at those trampy Bratz dolls-Ha! I am not sure they're the kind of girl dolls, you'd take to meet Mom! But I do respect their resale value. This past Saturday I actually bought about five of them plus clothes, including "Yasmin" in the original packaging. The whole lot cost me $5.00 dollars.

      Maybe I never took much notice to them before, but I am starting to see them a a lot of garage sales. Given what you made on them, they're on my "buy" list now!

      Miss Clamco-Your daughter sold her Barbies but not her Bratz?! I'll never understand the younger generation-Ha!

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  5. Vintage Barbies were one of my best sales. Bought a lot for $12 and sold them for over $300. I have yet to find any American Girl dolls at garage sales. Maybe I'm going to the wrong areas. Great finds and sales.

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  6. Veronica- I had a similar luck with vintage Babies, check it out...

    http://www.moneyinthegarage.com/2011/08/oh-humiliationoh-wait-ok-i-am-over-it.html

    American Girls stuff is definitely harder to come by. I'd
    guess maybe 1-2 times a season I get lucky and find some. Keep looking, hopefully you'll find some too!

    Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  7. Hey Dude, well.. not to gloat, but most often I always find something totally awesome at my first sale. A couple of months ago I pulled up to a sale that they had just opened their garage for. It was an older couple. They pulled out three white wood rocking chairs. I don't know about where you live, but in my area, every porch has a rocking chair. It's a southern thing. Anyhow, I walked up as the old fellow was placing them in his driveway and asked how much. He said $10 a piece (and they weren't no Walmart brand either). I took them (and the two cans of white paint they gave me for touch ups). Sold them in 24 hours on Craigslist. All three of them (with the two cans of paint) to one couple for $110 ($80 straight profit). Best part was no fees to pay, craigslist is free all the way! Another more recent sale that I was first at was a killer! It was a mansion (with a 4-car garage, it's a mansion to me) and in a high class neighborhood that everyone knows the name of around here. Anyways, walked up and there laid 6-Husqvarna brand landscape equipment. I was looking at them, all in like new condition. The man of the house walked over and said' "I work for Husqvarna and I always get the good stuff." Each item had a price tag of $25 and a couple for $50. I asked him how much for all of them. He counted it up and said it equals $315, how about $275. I counter offered with $250, and he accepted!! I had never heard of the brand (and yes I am a woman), but I knew how expensive backpack gas blowers were, and all of the stuff was in perfect condition with manuals and extra parts. I got home and went to the website.. holy smokes! Just one of the items I bought retails for over $600! (and that wasn't the cheapest one either). It turned out I had: backpack blower, medium edger, large edger, hedge trimmer, long neck branch cutter, weed wacker, oh and a chain saw!... all gas powered. I haven't listed them yet, but my friend said that I could easily resell them and make in profit about $1,800. Yeah! Not to mention that they were moving and had a lot of other nice things for way cheap. I bought a lot of items from just that one house. Thank goodness for my Ford Expedition!

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  8. Hey GSA-Great score on the rockers, they sound like those wood rockers they sell at the Cracker Barrel restaurants? Those go for way over $100 per rocker, so you flipped a great deal!

    Nice job on the Husqvarna equipment too-pretty gutsy call on your part that's going to pay off big time. You also may be able to sell the manuals and parts separately, Not everyone expects a manual or extra parts to come with the equipment, giving you something extra to make $$$ on!

    Thanks for writing in. By the way, everyone loved your story we blogged a few months ago....Dude!

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  9. ok my 2 best yard sale finds were a kenner blythe doll didnt know what it was but invested a dollar (and a few other 1970 dolls i recognized) they blythe hug around on the shelf for awhile then i discovered ebay - found out who that freaky little blythe was had 1 original outfit over $700 on ebay to a girl in japan (my little girl got a new swing set that was 11 yrs ago) i now live in virginia stopped at a road side sale mid morning not expecting much walked over to the pile of dolls pulled one up by its hair and made a grossed out face and said how much? $1 ok - samantha american girl in original outfit complete - BARBIE dont get me started over $6,000 in totally vintage mod barbie for fifty buck never to be resold huge town wide flea market whoo whoo looking forward to tommrow

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  10. These are great dolls that you found from a yard sale! Those who are fond of American Girl dolls are surely thrilled with what you have shared. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I have two american girl dolls brooke and amber. I wouldlike to know the value of these dolls. They are in there original boxes and in mint condition

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    1. Checking eBay, a "Kirsten" American Girl Doll recently sold for $155 with no box. I could not find your specific dolls on eBay, but would say you are looking at $175 or more. Hold onto them and they will continue to increase in value!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You have a wonderful blog! Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks very much. I am glad you enjoy it...Dude!

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  13. I have one for sale on eBay right now with the original box, paperwork and receipt

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    1. Chris-You should do well with it. AG dolls are a home run every time & the original box is a definite bonus...good luck with it. Dude!

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  14. Is $90 a good deal for a 2009 bought JLY on eBay with the Jumper and Boots set of 2009, Snuggly Snow Pajamas, Star Hoodie Outfit, Fun with your doll book, this sound book that has the AG historicals on it and another book... forgot what it was :( anyway thanx. The doll's in excellent condition, no X on the back. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!
    P.S. The starting price is 58.99, I'm just expecting it'll go up.

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    1. I am sure it will go up and probably exceed $100 with all that additional stuff. Good luck with it!

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  15. Thanks- got it for $86!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's a MAG25 as well, one i've had my eye on for a while ;)

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  16. I just bought a doll today for $2 She looks like an AG and she is wearing a Samantha dress but I'm not sure if she is really an AG all I can find is a serial number on the back of her head. How are AG dolls marked??

















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    1. I am not familiar with a serial number, but google the number and see if it comes back to anything AGD.

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  17. Hi! I found my first American girl doll today at a garage sale. I payed $7. It is a My AG/look alike #10, medium skin, brown hair, brown eyes. I was wondering if I would be better off selling it at my multi-family garage sale in a few weeks or on ebay. How much should I put the starting price at? Also What is the difference between selling during the holiday season vs the summer. I am new to this so I need all the advice I can get. Thanks!

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    1. Congrats on scoring an AGD for only 7 bucks-great deal!

      While I can't say for sure what you'd get on eBay, I usually average $75 or more on a AG doll. I doubt you'd get that kind of money at the yard sale. Even if you listed it at your sale for $75, folks like me would come along and try to talk you down. You don't have that problem on eBay, in fact, the price goes up, not down-ha!

      If you sell your AGD during the holidays, it's likely you'll make a few more bucks from it. It's up to you whether you want to count your profits now or wait until December. Sometimes a bird in the hand is worth more then two in the bush, as they say. In other word, make the money now.

      One other option is to sell the doll's clothes separately. By doing this you have two auctions and the potential to make even more money. I've done that a few times and I usually do pretty well.

      Congrats again on your awesome AGD find. Let me know how you do. Hopefully you'll make big $$$....Dude!

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