When the 2020 Girl Of The Year was released, I was particularly intrigued by shots of a VW Bus that appeared to be part of the collection. However, it wasn’t released at the new year. Instead, customers were invited to sign up for email notification when the item was available, sometime in the spring. Hmmm…
Last night the e-mail hit my inbox. Not only is it not spring, but…well. The price for this item is $650! I think someone at AG has totally lost the plot.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cute as heck. But not for more than the price of what my car payment is. I calculated it out–by the time I paid tax and shipping, it comes out to $715. That’s MORE than what my mortgage payment was!
Here are the pics, from the AG website. I don’t usually like to do this with items that haven’t yet been released, or with photos that aren’t mine, but since they’ve apparently lost their minds, I figure I might as well lose mine.
Let me just say, I’m not the only one appalled at the price. AG’s FB page is already rapidly filling up with complaints and people are using the reviews section on their website to express their not so great sentiments.
A couple of things to note. First off–you don’t get free shipping on this item. Yep, isn’t that insanity? So much for good customer relations and the idea that if you spend over $125, you get free shipping. The description of the item is very vague, but in response to some of the complaints on the FB page, they are stating that “it’s made with real metal.” What parts exactly? And plated in gold??? Something tells me that any discounts that might come out in the coming months will not be applicable to this item as well.
Let me just point out that I’m not complaining because I can’t afford this, because I could easily buy it. I’m complaining because to me, $650 for an item that is supposed to be for children is absolute insanity. I’m going to put this in a bit more perspective. I have a very nice acoustic guitar, made by a top brand. The model I have is the most expensive consumer model (before you go into the professional series). It’s considered to be one of the top guitars available, made of solid wood, handmade with way more detail than a child’s toy. Bruce Springsteen, Blake Shelton and the late Glenn Frey use/used this brand. And the retail price…$650. A very nice, Schwinn bicycle costs around $350. Let’s get a little more real too. The average US family spends $650 a month on groceries. At the price of this item with shipping and tax, I could make two car payments! (and have some money left!)
As much as I hate to say it, I am really hoping that AG gets stuck with these. Not holding my breath because there are some people out there who are of that mindset that they just have to have it, no matter what price it costs. These are also the same people who have to have every new incarnation of the iPhone at an overinflated price, are driving vehicles they can’t afford and are probably paying a ridiculous amount of interest on their credit cards. Yes, I’m being judgy here, but it’s something that someone needs to say because everyone else has their heads in the proverbial sand and are living in the “rainbows and unicorns” world of disillusion. Somewhere the stupidity has to come to a stop!!!!!!
I feel bad for the parents who have to explain to their children that, no, Santa isn’t going to bring you that. I guess the positive takeaway is that these kids are learning early on that life can be tough. But it’s sad that a TOY COMPANY is contributing to that disappointment. The other side to it is that there will be the unscrupulous jerks who will buy these up, also messing up the numbers so that AG thinks these are selling well–but with the intent of doing nothing more than taking them to Ebay to make a huge profit. I hope those people also get stuck with these items. A perfect example of this at the current moment are the multiples of Grace’s bakery for sale on the secondary market, and they simply aren’t selling. Awwww… (can you hear the sarcasm in my typing?)
It really saddens me that an item designed for kids has turned into a tool for financial exploitation. I truly thought that American Girl was changing their ways a bit when they dropped the pricing on their dolls and then made a significant push to improve the quality on some of their newer releases. I’m afraid this latest release is a potential trainwreck for a company already suffering financial losses. Who is running this show???
So…how do we get this to stop? QUIT BUYING THESE ITEMS AT THESE RIDICULOUSLY INFLATED PRICES! As long as they feel the consumer will purchase it, they will continue to make them and charge whatever they feel like charging for them. It’s as simple as that. I’ve not seen this much pushback so fast on a bad decision from American Girl since the whole permapanty fiasco, so maybe we’ll see some backpedaling in the coming weeks. We’ll see. All I know is I’m not spending $715 (w/shipping and tax) on a toy. I love my doll stuff, I love VW’s, I think it’s very cute, but even I have my limits.
(Edited at 10:58AM EST **Note: When I wrote this post, people were posting “reviews” on the AG website to express their displeasure with this ridiculous price. There were about 19 reviews posted. On a recent check, they have all been deleted. Again, American Girl not dealing with negative criticism very well. I’m having flashbacks.)
(Edited at 11:41AM EST **I had posted a comment to Facebook about the price and exactly what was metal since that seemed to be their justification for this ridiculous price tag. This is a screen shot of the conversation. Laugh amongst yourselves. I’m also having difficulties even reading replies, which makes me think I’ve been limited by them. Good way to treat a Berry member.)