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bookit

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I wanted to know which port has best shopping for jewelry or whatever,  St. Maarten or St. Thomas,  or are they overpriced altogether - I purchased a gold ring along time ago but forgot which port it was- I know prices are different since back then but was curious to hear opinions

 

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In my opinion St Thomas has the best concentration of duty free shops in close proximity to each other "downtown" Charlotte Amalie but it's not walking distance from the ships.  

However I don't think you are going to find a big difference with shopping between the two islands.  It's not like the jewelry is farmed fresh on the island and comes fresh from the jewelry fields so it's a lot of the same stuff around the same prices with the same sales tactics.

Whichever fits better into your cruise schedule based on other activities you have planned should yield similar results.

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20 minutes ago, bookit said:

I wanted to know which port has best shopping for jewelry or whatever,  St. Maarten or St. Thomas,  or are they overpriced altogether - I purchased a gold ring along time ago but forgot which port it was- I know prices are different since back then but was curious to hear opinions

 

Concur with @twangster based on our experience at both ports and elsewhere in the Caribbean.  You need to know what you are buying (quality) and what the approximate price for a similar item would be at home.

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I agree with @twangster in that St. Thomas has the highest amount of shops in one particular area, making shopping easier.  However, I do find the prices better in St. Maarten in that they are slightly more willing to bargain.  IMO, the best in Cozumel because you get 8% back.  It takes a while but you end up getting it so win-win all around.

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I would say the shopping is far more commercialized/organized from 20 years ago.  Back then you really could find the bargain but now the prices seem consistent among the islands.  I also agree with ChessE4 as I have found the prices are getting to be the same as home or sometimes more. 

D

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I agree with what people have said so far. If you are targeting something specific, I would canvas pricing of the item where you live and determine if the pricing in the Caribbean is worth it. You can get good deals but it doesn't mean cheap. 

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My feeling is that if you're looking for something specific, then it may well be worth going with the shopping tour on the ship. We did go to the shopping seminars on Allure, during our recent sailing (more to get the freebies than anything else), but it seemed like there was a lot of coupons and discounts offered through the Port and Shopping person aboard. (And these were RC sponsored dealers.)

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St. Thomas is notorious for it's shopping. Go to the 'shopping seminar', typically the day before you dock, they throw out freebies, and will have a special group you can join to get off the ship early and cut the line disembarking. Then cut the line again at the ferry and get a discount ferry ticket.

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On 8/25/2019 at 5:44 PM, WAAAYTOOO said:

I buy nearly all of my good jewelry in St Thomas.  I have the jewelers to be reputable but as with any expensive investment, you must know what you’re looking at.

I don't understand the investment aspect of buying jewelry. Do you plan on the price going up so that you can sell it in the future? What kind of ROI are you expecting?

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12 minutes ago, Jolly Ogre said:

I don't understand the investment aspect of buying jewelry. Do you plan on the price going up so that you can sell it in the future? What kind of ROI are you expecting?

I just like jewelry. Not really an investment for a ROI.  As it turns out, I have purchased wisely as my jewelry appraises for  well over double what I paid for it (for insurance purposes) but I don’t buy jewelry to make money. I buy jewelry because I love sparkly things !  Kinda like a crow that way, I guess !

😇😉

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58 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I just like jewelry. Not really an investment for a ROI.  As it turns out, I have purchased wisely as my jewelry appraises for  well over double what I paid for it (for insurance purposes) but I don’t buy jewelry to make money. I buy jewelry because I love sparkly things !  Kinda like a crow that way, I guess !

😇😉

Yeah ok...same here and I like the way it looks on my wife and how she feels wearing it. That is why I did not understand the investment part.

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