American Girl Dolls Buying Guide

Views 20 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
American Girl Dolls Buying Guide

In an attempt to make history more accessible to young women, the American Girl line of dolls was born. During a Christmas shopping trip in 1984, doll maker Pleasant T. Rowland realized that most dolls either depicted girls assuming the role of adults or mothers, and that none of them dealt with girls just being girls. Whether you're selecting a doll for a special child or are a doll collector yourself, you'll find a wide variety of American Girl dolls to capture and inspire the imagination.

Discover the History of American Girl Dolls

When Pleasant T. Rowland started the Pleasant Company in 1984, she announced that she was going to make dolls for girls between 8 and 12 years of age that were not only educational but also dealt with the topic of girlhood. Theretofore, no other doll makers had targeted girls beyond the age of 10, but the success of the American Girl line has since inspired other manufacturers to pursue this demographic. To this day, all American Girl dolls and accessories remain high-quality and intricately designed. Originally, Rowland's creations could only be purchased through mail order catalogues. Since then, however, American Girl doll stores have been opened in several major cities across the United States. Additionally, the dolls are available for sale online.

First Edition American Girl Dolls

The first edition of American Girl dolls was shipped in 1986. It featured three 18-inch dolls, each from a different period in American history: Kirsten Larson, a Swedish immigrant; Samantha Parkington, a girl growing up in the early 20th century; and Molly McIntire, a girl from the Midwest during World War II. Many girls continue to be added to the line throughout the years. With characters from periods that span an approximately 250-year period starting in the mid-18th century, the American Girl dolls capture history and bring learning to life for young girls and doll enthusiasts.

Production of American Girl Dolls

Mattel acquired the Pleasant Company in 1998, and Rowland later left the company in 2000. Collectors generally divide the dolls into two groups: before and after the purchase of the Pleasant Company by Mattel. Three separate manufacturers have created American Girl dolls. The first was Goetz in Germany. Older dolls will have a "Made in West Germany" tag. Production was later moved to Hungary and China. Pleasant Rowland took a seat on the Mattel Board as an acting VP for two years, but today she is no longer associated with the company.

Rare American Girl Dolls and Accessories

Even though Mattel bought the Pleasant Company in 1998, the new parent company's changes to the American Girl line didn't become apparent until 2000, when Ms. Rowland left the board. At that point, some American Girl products from the core collection (items derived from the first six tie-in books) were then discontinued. Meanwhile, other accessories were added. In 2002, for example, Felicity was no longer offered. Mattel was subsequently hit by a wave of mail. Today, all three of the original dolls and their accessories have been retired. Discontinued American Girl products are highly collectible and, therefore, can be harder to find.

Meet the American Girl Dolls

The American Girl line of dolls features several 9-year-old girls from different eras in American history. Each doll comes with a corresponding series of books that teach what being a girl was like in that time period, region, and social class. Additional accessories have been made available for each dolly, such as period-specific clothing and furniture. All three original dolls have been discontinued.

Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson is one of the original three American Girl dolls, and hers is the only story that hasn't been altered. A spirited pioneer girl, Kirsten is a Swedish immigrant whose family settled in Minnesota in 1854. After a dangerous voyage to the New World, Kirsten experiences difficulties adapting to a new culture and landscape. Mattel retired the line of Kirsten dolls and accoutrement in 2007, and only the Mini Kirsten doll and her original book are available through the official website.

Kirsten's outfits include Kirsten's Saint Lucia Gown, Winter Ensemble, Baking Dress, Apron Dress, Summer Dress, Midsummer Dress, Recess Set, School Dress with Shawl, Work Outfit, Plaid Dress, Checked Dress, Housecoat, Nightgown, and Flannel Underwear.

Her accessories include Saint Lucia Wreath, Holiday Food and Treats, Snowshoes, Winter Woolens, Doll, Cat and Kittens, Quilt and Quilt Kit, Fishing Set, Pottery Set, Saint Lucia Tray, Fourth of July Set, School Lunch, School Supplies, Hair Ribbons, Carpet Bag, Nighttime Supplies, Shoes and Socks, and Kirsten Mini Doll.

Kirsten's furniture includes Her Bed and Friendship Quilt, School Bench, Trunk, Table and Chairs, and Washstand.

Samantha Parkington

Samantha Parkington is another original American Girl collectible. Smart, sophisticated, and caring, Samantha lives with her wealthy grandmother in 1904. The Parkingtons are lucky to live in a luxurious world of tea parties and finery. Samantha befriends a servant girl named Nellie, who became her own doll in 2004. Retired in 2008, Samantha Parkington remains highly coveted.

Samantha has many outfits: Holiday Coat and Mittens, Plaid Winter Cape, School Dress, Talent Show Dress, Velvet Dress, Holiday Party Dress, Spring Party Dress, Pinafore Dress and Wreath, Kimono, Nightgown, Lacy Underwear, Summer Outfit, Bicycling Outfit, and Bathing Ensemble, and more.

Her accessories include Doll and Pram, Teddy Bear, Winter Hat and Muff, Ice Skates, Lemonade Set, Party Treats, Ice Cream Freezer, Hair Ribbons, Shoes, Socks, Bicycle, Stereoscope, Bridesmaid Accessories, School Supplies, and Nighttime Supplies.

Samantha's furniture includes her Bed, Commode, Wicker Table and Chairs, Travel Trunk, Beach Umbrella, and School Desk.

Molly McIntire

Molly McIntire, who grows up during World War II, was also one of the three original American Girl dolls. Her father is in Europe aiding the war effort, and Molly must adapt to her changing world. Spunky and lively, Molly has difficulty adjusting to rationed food and supplies. Unlike the other original two, Molly has not been retired. Collectors often procure not only Molly but also Emily, her English friend, who is also available as a full-sized doll.

Molly's clothes include Sweater and Skirt, Velvet Dress, Plaid Jumper and Blouse, Party Pinafore, Skating Ensemble, Recital Outfit, Miss Victory Costume, Roller Skating Outfit, Hula Costume, Swimming Outfit, Camping Gear, Robe, and Nightgown and Undergarments.

For accessories, Molly has a large variety: Roller Skates, Sleeping Bag, Camping Gear, Ice Skates, Percussion Set, Puppy Dog, Lunchbox, School Supplies, Pup Tent, Party Treats, Tea Set, Hair Ribbons, Shoes, and Socks and Nighttime Supplies.

Molly's furniture includes her Bed, Dresser, Nightstand, Vanity Table, Chrome Table and Chair, Theater Seats, Stage, School Desk, and Camping Tent.

Molly has several discontinued items that can only be found on collector's sites like eBay. These accessories include Tennis Outfit, Route 66 Outfit, Aviator Outfit, After School Outfit, Dude Ranch Outfit, Cowboy Boots, Oxfords, Umbrella and Galoshes, Travel Trunk, Home Trunk, Capture the Flag Game, Bag Lunch, Bicycle, Drop-Leaf Wooden Table and Chairs, Christmas Stocking, Winter Activities Set, Christmas Box, Christmas Stocking, Radio, World Map and Party Games Set.

Felicity Merriman

Felicity Merriman is a colonial girl who lives just before hostilities erupt in the Revolutionary War. Added to the collection in 1991, she was the first doll to have a flesh-colored body. Residing in Virginia in 1774, Felicity loves being outdoors and riding horses. She becomes frustrated by the expectation of colonial girls and enjoys independence. Felicity was removed from the mail-order catalogue in 2002 and was only available online. This caused a huge outrage in the American Girl community and an out pour of negative mail came Mattel's way. In 2004, Mattel brought Felicity and some of her accessories out of retirement for a short while. In 2005, Felicity's best friend Elizabeth Cole was added to the collection of dolls. Both Felicity and Elizabeth have been officially discontinued since then, however, and can only be bought through collectors' communities.

The clothes one can buy from Felicity's collection include Tea Lesson Gown, School Outfit, Riding Outfit, Riding Breeches and Hat, Town Fair Outfit, Rose Garden Gown, Traveling Gown, Gala Gown, Christmas Gown, Summer Gown, Spring Gown, Work Outfit, Cardinal Cloak, and Night Gown and Undergarments.

For furniture, Felicity has a Four-Poster Bed, Wardrobe, Dressing Table, Travel Trunk, Stable set, Tea Table and Chairs, and Windsor Writing Chair.

Addy Walker

Added to the collection in 1993, Addy Walker is an escaped slave fleeing north to Philadelphia with her mother in 1864. Courageous and high-spirited, Addy learns to read, write, and make new friends. In the North, this mother-daughter pair hopes to be reunited with their family.

Her clothing includes Summer Dress and Straw Hat, Sunday Best, Dress and Bouquet, Plaid Christmas Dress, Plaid Summer Set, Winter Coat, Birthday Pinafore, Night Dress, and Underwear.

Her accessories include Lace-Up Boots, Winter Accessories, Shoes and Socks, Bean Doll, and Ice Cream Set.

For furniture, Addy has Bed and Quilt, Lazy Susan Table and Chairs, and Doll Storage Cabinet.

Addy's retired gear encompasses many varieties: Patriotic Dress, Flower-Picking Outfit, Cape Island Dress, Kite Flying Dress, Striped Outfit, Work Dress, Stilts and Stilt Outfit, African Dance of Today, School Ensemble, School Supplies, Songbird and Cage, Ice Cream Freezer, Party Treats, Work Shoes, Nighttime Gear, Bandbox, Winter Fun, Church Fair Fun, Tin Pail Lunch, Gardening Supplies, Needlework Kit, Ironstone Compote Set, Sweet Potato Pudding Set, Desk, Washstand, Sled, and Hair Ribbons.

Nellie O'Malley

In Samantha Parkington's story, she befriends an Irish servant named Nellie O'Malley, despite their class differences. An orphan growing up in 1906, Nellie was adopted, along with her three sisters, by Samantha's wealthy aunt and uncle. In 2004, Nellie was added to the American Girl doll collection but has since been retired with Samantha.

Nellie's outfits include her Irish Dance Outfit, Holiday Outfit, Winter Coat, Pajamas, and Spring Party Dress.

Her accessories are her Hat and Clothing Accessories, Lydia Doll, Jip the Dog, and Mini Nellie Doll.


Kaya, a young Native American in the Nez Perce tribe, lives in the West in 1764. The doll's image and dress are faithful to Nez Perce culture. Adventurous and brave, Kaya has a dog named Talto and a blind sister with whom she loves to spend time. Kaya is close with her family and holds a strong sense of culture. Kaya's Nez Perce name translates as "she who arranges rocks." Kaya became an American Girl doll in 2002.

Kaya's clothing, accessories and furniture includes her Deerskin Outfit, Powwow Dress of Today, Winter Accessories, Clothing Accessories, Animals, Horse and Saddle, Foal, Cradle Board, Talto the Dog, Bed Roll and Shield, Teepee, and Food.

Josefina Montoya

Josefina Montoya lives on a New Mexico ranch in the 1820s, just as Americans begin to settle and trade in the area. Her mother has passed away and she consequently bears the huge burden of leading her sisters. Her family struggles to hold onto her culture as new European-Americans move into the area. She was the first Hispanic doll in the American Girl line of dolls, and she was the last doll created before Pleasant Rowland left the company. As the sixth doll added to the line, Josephina made her appearance in 1997.

Josefina's clothing options include Dress and Vest, Summer Outfit, Party Outfit, Fiesta Dress, Feast Outfit, Nightgown, School Outfit, and Holiday outfit.

For accessories, girls can choose from Josefina's Clothing Accessories, Food and Oven, Goat, Heirlooms, Weaving Loom, Shoes and Socks, Riding Boots, Mini Doll, and Baking Set.

Bed and Bedding, Table and Chairs, Chest, and Doll Storage Cabinet are Josefina's furniture options.

Kit Kittredge

Kit Kittredge lives in the Midwest during the Great Depression. Her family struggles with poverty after her father loses his job. Resourceful and smart, Kit learns the value of a dollar and how to thrive in a tough environment. She holds on to her optimism no matter what challenges she faces. Kit entered the American Girl collection in 2000.

For clothing, Kit's collection includes Summer Dress, Birthday Outfit, Summer Floral Print Dress, Reporter Dress and Accessories, School Outfit, School Skirt Set, Holiday Outfit Winter Coat, and Nightgown.

Her accessories are Dog, School Lunch, School Supplies, Reporter Accessories, Homemade Scooter, Party Set, Produce and Preserves, Cookstove, Washday Set, Summer Dress and Scooter Set, and Mini Doll.

Collectors can purchase different furniture options such as Bed and Quilt Set, School Desk and Chair, Dresser Trunk, Table and Chairs, CookStove, and Storage Cabinet.

Ruthie Smithens

Kit's best friend Ruthie earned her spot as an official doll in 2008. Ruthie realizes Kit's family is struggling to pay their bills and reaches out to Kit's aunt for help. She escapes from the horrors of the Great Depression by reading fairy tales with happy endings. Ruthie is kind, generous and self-sacrificing. Additional clothing for Ruthie includes her Holiday Dress and Satin Pajamas.

Julie Albright

Introduced to the doll line in 2007, Julia Albright is a free spirited young girl living in San Francisco, CA in 1974. Julie faces many challenges that young girls deal with today, as she is from the most recent era encapsulated by the American Girl dolls collection. Her parents are divorcing and she is forced to move, leaving behind her best friend, Ivy Ling. Women's Rights are at the forefront of this time period and Julie is in the middle of it all.

Young women and doll collectors can purchase additional clothing for Julie, including Birthday Dress, Summer Skirt Set, Summer Outfit and Roller Skates, Calico Dress, Dog Walking Outfit and Accessories, Pajamas, Christmas Outfit, and Floral Jumpsuit.

Shoppers can also collect her accessories: Lunchbox, Birthday Goodies, Pet Bunny, Roller Skates, Dog Walking Set, Cap and Scarf, Room Accessories, Sound Accessories, Bicycle, Birthday Party Set, and Mini Doll.

Additionally, a few different furniture options are available for sale, including Julie's Bed and Bedding, Bedroom Collection, Storage Cabinet, and Table and Chairs.

Ivy Ling

Ivy Ling is Julie Albright's best friend and is included in Julie's collection. Also living in San Francisco in 1974, Ivy is the middle child in a hectic Chinese-American family. She feels lost after Julie moves to another part of the city, a feeling that is exacerbated by her mother's intense law school obligations and her father's busy schedule, which includes working two jobs. Able to find solace in gymnastics, Ivy is the first Asian-American doll in the line. Collectors can purchase Ivy's New Year Outfit in addition to the ensemble with which the doll is sold.

Rebecca Rubin

Born in the early 20th century, Rebecca is the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. She is the first member of her family to be born in America. As one of five siblings, Rebecca often feels isolated. She sells beautiful needlework and is interested in acting. The rest of her Russian family needs to immigrate to America to avoid poverty and starvation, and Rebecca uses the money she has earned to help her family. Rebecca joined the American Girl dolls in 2009.

Rebecca's line of clothing includes Lacy Dress, Summer Dress, Movie Outfit, Pajamas, Robe, School Dress, Costume Dress, Costume Trunk, Hanukkah Outfit and Accessories, and Winter Coat.

For accessories, collectors can purchase School Set, Kittens, Sabbath Set, Phonograph Set, Souvenir Set, Hanukkah Set, and Mini Doll.

Her set of furniture includes Rebecca's Settee, Bedroom Collection, Sideboard and Sabbath Set, Doll Storage Chest.

Marie-Grace Gardner and Cecile Rey

From 1853 New Orleans, Marie-Grace is best friends with her companion doll Cecile Ray. The two forge a friendship despite being from different social classes and backgrounds. Yellow fever spreads throughout the city and the two friend rely on each to get through a difficult time, Compassionate and self-sacrificing, Marie-Grace helps others in need. Introduced in 2011, Marie-Grace and Cecile Rey continued to diversify the type and number of American Girl dolls on the market.

Marie Grace collectors can purchase clothing accessories that include Summer Outfit, Fancy Dress and Fairy Costume, Fairy Costume, Fancy Coat, Crinoline and Chemise, Party Outfit, Nightgown, and Skirt Set. Cecile's clothing collection includes Parlor Outfit, Summer Outfit, Special Dress, and Nightgown.

The pair's accessory options span Parasol, Glassware and Treats, Marie-Grace's Dog, Cecile's Parrot, Vanity Set, Fancy Boots, Mini Dolls, and more.

Additionally, buyers can get their hands on Marie-Grace and Cecile's furniture offerings, including Courtyard Furniture, Banquet Table and Treats, Cecile's Bed and Bedding, Marie Grace's Vanity Set, and Cecile's Parlor Desk.

Limited Edition Girl of the Year Dolls

In 2001, Mattel introduced a ling of Limited Edition Girl of the Year Dolls. These dolls are only available for a year after their release. Girl of the Year figures are modern, each with unique hobbies and personality traits. These more recent dolls have multiple outfits and pieces of furniture available for purchase. Additionally, starting in 2007, Mattel included a contest and campaign with each doll to help get young girls involved in service and community projects.

The Girl of Year dolls are as follows:

  • 2001 - Lindsey Bergman
  • 2003 - Kailey Hopkins
  • 2005 - Marisol Luna
  • 2006 - Jess McConnell
  • 2007 - Nicki Fleming
  • 2008 - Mia St. Clair
  • 2009- Chrissa Maxwell
  • 2010 - Lanie Holland
  • 2011 - Kanani Akina
  • 2012 - McKenna Brooks

Explore American Girl Clothing & Accessories

Over the years, period-specific clothes and accessories have been made for each American Girl doll. As new lines are released, old lines are retired. These retired items are highly sought-after by collectors.

Literally hundreds of clothes and outfits are available for American Girl dolls. Some are period-specific and intended only for a certain doll, such as like Kit's Swimsuit and Beach Chair, Others are modern, like the African Dance Outfit of Today. Of course, there is also a whole cottage industry for homemade American Girl clothing.

American Girl Books

As was mentioned above, each doll comes with her own story, appropriate for readers 8-12 years of age. Additional books for each girl can also be purchased. Often, storybooks about each girl are retired as new ones come out. Some of these books include maps of the areas the girl lived in, and craft books that contain hobbies that the girl enjoyed. The Pastimes Subscription, for example, was a series of books and craft packs that let young women participate in the crafts and activities in which a given American Girl character partook.

American Girl Accessories

As the preceding descriptions of the various dolls suggest, there is a veritable cornucopia of American Girl accessories. Period-specific hats, chairs, beds, and even horses are all available. During the late 1980s, when there were fewer dolls in the American Girl line, the Pleasant Company also released specialty items as promotions. It makes sense that the older the doll, the more retired items in her line. These too have become highly collectible.

Collect Other Pleasant Company Dolls

Three other lines of dolls made by the Pleasant Company include the American Girl of Today, Hopscotch Hill, and the Bitty Baby Collection.

American Girl of Today

With the American Girl of Today line, buyers can design their own doll. By choosing the doll's hair, eyes, and skin color, buyers can create a doll to look like any little girl. The Girls of Today line was introduced in 1995, and like the historical dolls, these models are also high-quality 18-inch figures. From dark skin to light skin, long to short hair, all different ethnicities and personal characteristic are represented. A variety of modern clothing is available for the dolls, as well as accessories that range from horses to snowboards to Hanukkah gifts.

Hopscotch Hill

Hopscotch Hill is a line of dolls for girls 4 to 6. This line is intended to help youngsters transition between kindergarten and first grade. There are four different dolls with corresponding books available: Logan, Skylar, Hallie, and Gwen. These 16-inch models are smaller than other Pleasant Company creations, but they can still be matched to a variety of accessories. Mattel discontinued the line in 2006.

Bitty Baby

Designed for girls ages 3 and up, the Bitty Baby line comes in seven different variations of hair and eye color. They are 15-inch, plush dolls with hard heads. Unlike the historical dolls and the Hopscotch Hill line, the Bitty Babies don't have individual names, books, or background stories. They are available with a line of accessories, furniture, and clothing.

Shopping for Collectible American Girl Dolls on eBay

With a vast collection of new and used children's toys and collectibles, eBay offers a fast, thorough, and convenient way to research different options and complete your purchase. To make the most out of eBay, American Girl shoppers should review important features of a desired item to verify its value and authenticity. Some features are good indicators of worth, whereas other, ostensibly meaningful characteristics are less revealing than they might appear. If you're looking to get the best price for your purchase, it is advisable to learn the relevant features, described in more detail below.

Older American Girl dolls, as well as those that were retired before the 1998 Mattel buyout, are generally worth more money. The original three girls – Molly, Samantha, and Kirsten - are typically the most valuable Pleasant Company items.

Signed By Pleasant Rowland

American Girl Dolls that have been signed by brand creator Pleasant Rowland are the rarest, most expensive collectible items from the ever-expanding line. In the very early days of the dolls, founder Pleasant Rowland signed a number of the original three dolls. At the time of original purchase, dolls with Rowland's signature were accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Many sellers will include this certificate to demonstrate the item's authenticity. If you stumble upon a signed Molly, Samantha or Kirsten, this is a real treasure.


Forward-thinking American Girl doll owners might have kept their original receipts. As receipts generally include the date of purchase, eBay shoppers will be in luck if the seller had this foresight. As mentioned, the age of a given doll is usually directly proportionate to that doll's value. Age verification is thus an important buyers' consideration.

Hang Tags

If you are fortunate enough to find a doll with its original hang tag still intact, it will be easier to determine the relative age of the doll. While hang tags won't state the exact date of manufacture, original paper hang tags for the older dolls will indicate whether a doll was made in West Germany, Germany, or the United States. By the mid-1990s, American Girl dolls started to be manufactured in China and the United States. Doll parts were made in different factories and assembled in yet another location.

White Versus Tan Bodies

Between 1986 and 1990, the original three American Girls dolls were made with white, muslin bodies. After the introduction of Felicity – who wore lower-cut items - in 1990, the Pleasant Company began to make the dolls with tan-colored bodies. If you find a white-bodied doll, you can be sure it was made in the first four years of production.

Color and Type of Box

The Pleasant Company and Mattel used different boxes as the American Girl collection grew and progressed. Even so, the style of box that accompanies an American Girl doll from eBay is not an exact way to determine the age of the doll. Sellers who advertise the box for age-certification purposes should provide additional evidence as well.

Date of American Girl Clothing

While referring to the date of a doll's clothing might give an approximate date of purchase, it is not a good way to determine the age of the doll. Many clothing options for a given doll were not produced and sold the same year that the doll was introduced. In other words, if you have Molly doll wearing a dress stamped with a "1986" label, this simply means the dress - but not necessarily the doll - was made in 1986.

Body Tags on American Girl Dolls

While Body Tags are not exact age determinants, these additions are helpful for deciding whether your doll is pre- or post-Mattel. In the late 1990s, the dolls began to be made with a tag on the side of their bodies that said either "made in China for American Girl" or "made for Pleasant Company." "Made in China" dolls were manufactured after the Mattel takeover in 1998 while "Pleasant Company" dolls are pre-Mattel.

Neck Stamps

Until 2005, American Girl dolls were created with a stamp on their necks that stated "Pleasant Company." In subsequent years, text reading "American Girl LLC" began to be stamped on the dolls. This distinction is not indicative of pre- or post-Mattel production dates, as the Mattel takeover happened in 1998. Rather, the stamps simply help to determine if a doll was made before or after 2005. Typically, this difference does not influence prices on the collectors' market-but in isolated situations, precise dating can be important.

Artist's Mark

On each dolls' hairline near her right ear, collectors can find an artist mark. This the signature of the original designer of the doll's head mold. The appearance of the artist mark is somewhat random and is not helpful is determining the approximate age of a given American Girl doll.

Find American Girl Dolls on eBay

Once you know what type of American Girl dollsyou want, you can visit ebay . com and access the Dolls & Bears portal from the "All Categories" listing in the top left portion of the screen. From there, click Dolls.. On the ensuing page, click By Brand, Company, Character,, then American Girl<, and start searching for item listings on eBay. Several built-in search tools are included to help you further refine your search.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links to listings for specific dolls, including Addy, Bitty Baby, Felicity,Josefina, Kit, Kirsten, Molly,and more.
  • Keyword search: If you are looking for a specific item, eBay can also be searched for specific words. For example, if you want to find American Girl Samantha, type "American Girl Samantha" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more advice on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores;; telling the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now;; or saving a search on My eBay, which will trigger eBay to email you when a match becomes available.

Buy American Girl Dolls With Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.
  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.
  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay. Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.
  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed?
  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?
  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do the merchant you're dealing with offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that you don't receive your item, or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection will cover your purchase price plus original shipping. To learn more, visit the eBay Buyer Protection page..


Since 1986, American Girl dolls have allowed girls to understand the struggles young women endured and overcame during several points in America's rich history. With only three dolls in the original collection, the doll line has grown to include many different girls. Hang tags, body color, signatures, and neck stamps can help you to determine the approximate age of your potential purchase, and thus to gauge the fairness of the doll's price. Even so, unless the seller has an original receipt, it can be difficult to age the dolls. It is consequently important to research sellers, and to work only with reputable, highly regarded merchants. Whether you are a collector or buying for your daughter or some other doll enthusiast in your life, American Girl dolls are high-quality, educational playthings for young women.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides