This weekend my mom, my aunt, and I went up to the American Girl Benefit Sale in Middleton, Wisconsin. Here is a quick rundown for anyone who might want to go to this sale next year.To get tickets for Saturday, you should send in your request form the first day allowed. They collect requests by postmark date and then randomly assign tickets. We got tickets for 11 am and they were running around 45 minutes behind by that time.
The place is packed and there are vendors selling home made items and a silent auction for donated American Girl items (Kanani's Shave Stand, Felicity's Colonial Carriage, the winter chalet, etc).
There are only port-a-potties. They have you line up in groups by time, 3 groups at a time. So the tent would have the 10:30, 10:45 and 11:00 groups. Then when the 10:30 group was let into the warehouse, they would put the 11:15 group in its place. There are signs inside the tent showing which time is in which line, but it is somewhat hard to discern what is going on, especially on your first time there. Also, go to the information booth and ask if there are any returned tickets--you might get an earlier time slot than you were originally assigned.
The historical doll and doll of the year stuff were on one side and the clothes and accessories were on the other so there were a lot of people trying to go back and forth. They still had Saige dolls and Isabelle dolls were $120 on Saturday. Which personally, I think is a bit high for factory seconds and returns, but if most are going to eBay re-sellers, I am glad a charity is making money first.
There was not a great selection of clothing or accessories, (a few kid's outfits, a few bitty sleepers, some buns, etc) so those were basically just add-ons rather than a reason for going to the sale.
The volunteers try to keep the tables stocked, but you have to be willing to ask for what you want. If you are looking for a particular doll, ask if they have her with pierced ears. If you are polite, they might just look.
The JLY dolls were $61 with tax each. The bitty babies and twins were $40. The flier said they had Caroline's skiff, but I didn't see it. They had Rebecca's Sideboard for $60 (same as the website and that is returnable).
We went last year for the Saturday sale, but decided this year to see about Sunday. We didn't pay for tickets but if you did, they were $15 and they got you in for the first hour of the sale. This was new, but I think they were trying to stop people from camping out. There were about 100 people in each time increment of 8:00, 8:15, 8:30, and 8:45. The people who didn't pay queued up and the ones at the very front slept in their car and were there at 4:30 am. We got there a bit before 7:00 and were around #230 in line.
They handed out numbered tickets and then people got lined up in order in groups of 100. There was no real set time to enter--they just let the next group in when enough people had gotten out with their purchases. There was also no line-hopping. They let you in in number order. Last year on the second day, you could buy up to 10 JLY dolls, this year, the limit was 3. Even that was probably too generous because by the time those of us in the 200s got in there, there were only five doll choices left.
There were no historical dolls available. The 18" dolls were reduced to $40 and the bitties $20. Apparently all the blondes and red-heads had sold out the previous day and all that were left were the brunettes and none had curly hair by the time I got there. The last two Jess face mold dolls sold out in front of me, but I got a #42 (who has really good, thick hair) and #47 (who is just GORGEOUS).
I saw a few people checking out with different dolls than I got so there were more choices for the previous groups. I got some Saige bracelets for my nieces and the last two star T-shirts to go with my new dolls.
All that said, of the three dolls I got (one for a co-worker's daughter, 2 for Christmas donations), there is nothing wrong with any of them. Tight limbs, good hair, working eyes. One has a boot with a scuff on it, but other than that, I can find nothing wrong. It was a fun trip and the local area is really nice and was definitely worth the visit. Everyone in line was friendly and willing to help you pass the time talking about dolls. And if I go again next year, I'll try to get pictures!
Photos from the 2014 MCM Sale !