Shopping in St. Thomas

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If you’re bound for St. Thomas, USV and are quite excited about the possibilities of bringing home lots of duty-free items you’ve always wanted to buy, you should first check the Internet. Large online retailers like Amazon and eBay maybe selling them at lower or discounted prices. You will be disheartened to find that the items you found while duty-free shopping in St. Thomas are actually being sold at lesser prices at the US mainland. It’s only a matter of researching where you can buy them at greatly reduced prices. 

For everyone’s information, just what does duty-free shopping in St. Thomas mean?  St. Thomas USV is famous for its duty free shops because it is one of the largest in the world consisting of about 100 shops more or less. The advantage of duty-free shopping in St. Thomas is that almost 40% of the price is cut-off due to non-imposition of import taxes on the goods. These items are bound for the US Mainland yet some are allowed to be unloaded at certain ports and be available for retail which saves the retailer substantial savings in terms of tax paid to US Customs. 

In return, retailers are expected to mark up their prices only at a minimum so that buyers or shoppers will also enjoy the tax exemption on the imported goods. Today, duty-free shopping in St. Thomas entitles an individual to purchase up to $1,600 worth of duty free items which was raised from the previous $1,200. 

However as trading went on and duty-free shopping in St. Thomas became quite popular, retailers met with increased costs of rent and utility. Hence, they had no alternative but to increase the prices of the duty-free goods they were selling just to thrive in the business. As a result, more and more consumers were dismayed to find out that the price reductions in the items they bought while on a duty-free shopping in St. Thomas, was not something to be happy about because some were even sold at lesser prices at online stores. 

The advent of e-commerce and the recession has forced some mainland retailers to cut back on their profits in order to dispose of their high-priced goods. As a buffer they cut down on their overhead costs by doing away with physical stores. They maintained their owned websites to serve as their online stores to do away with the high costs of overhead expenses particularly rent. Shoppers found this to be convenient because they can purchase anything right in the web at much lower prices and less hassle. Hence if you’re a savvy online shopper you can find goods at greatly reduced prices compared to those being sold at department stores and other boutiques. 

Operators of duty free shopping in St. Thomas are at a quandary on how they can survive the business and compete with the prices of online retailers to gain back the popularity of their prices. In fact, one shop owner disclosed that the cost to open a duty-free shop in St. Thomas’s main duty free hub, Charlotte Amalie, will amount to $250,000. It will take a long time to recover and earn a decent rate of return on such an investment when visitors to St. Thomas are no longer attracted to their duty-free prices.   

Nevertheless, if you’ll make some researches, you will find some items as still worth buying via duty-free shopping in St. Thomas. According to some diligent researchers, liquor like J & B Rare Scotch Whiskey, still sell at three times the price in the mainland compared to duty free prices at St. Thomas. Savings on perfumes bought via duty free shopping in St. Thomas vary. 

The additional problem in buying electronic gadgets via duty free shopping at St. Thomas is not only about the prices being lower at online stores but the matter of after sales service as well. A defective camera or iPod can get immediate attention for replacement when purchased at online outlets. While such items bought via duty free shopping in St. Thomas present difficulties. The buyer has to directly contact the manufacturer using the warranty code and send over the items with the receipt attached.    

These are only a few of the simple truth behind the duty-free shopping in St. Thomas. 

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