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Mailing food to STJ

 

jlindsay3
(@jlindsay3)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 24
August 22, 2010 12:03 am  

Is there any advice on mailing food to STJ? I want to have some boxes of food sent down so i can have a good start when i move to the island in October. I have read about Connection's mailing service. Is that a good option or should i get a P.O. Box? If you have used Connections before about how much does it cost to send a box of food? Any thoughts or price estimates would be greatly appreciated.


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East Ender
(@east-ender)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5404
August 22, 2010 3:27 am  

And what are you going to do when the boxes are gone? You might as well jump right in and learn to eat what is available...


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stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1009
August 22, 2010 7:38 am  

The Post Office on St. John is short on boxes. I don't think you will be able to secure one until you have been on island for a bit. I'm not sure what the waiting list looks like at the moment, but I would get on it when you get here.

You can use Connections to receive your mail prior to your arrival as well as while you are living on island. Their website is here.

You can also try PostNet. They offer mailboxes, and you might be able to secure one before you arrive on island and use it while you live here until you get a PO Box. They will be more expensive than the PO. Their website is here

A word on shipping... in most cases, the flat rate Priority Mail boxes are the way to go. They are the "if it fits, it ships" boxes. You can print and pay for your postage right online. This is a great option because the shipping labels are in the format that the PO scanners like to read and the packages ship quickly without delay. If you print and pay online, you also get free Delivery Confirmation, so you can check it's status online. If you don't use the print and ship labels from their website, be sure to address your packages in this manner:

JOHN DOE
PO BOX 1234
ST JOHN, VI 00831-1234

All in caps, no punctuation, with the city being St. John, State is VI (not USVI) and the zip +4. It just makes sure the packages move quickly because they don't have to be hand sorted.

Express Mail takes 1-2 days in most cases
Priority Mail takes 3-14 days
Parcel Post takes 3-8 weeks

These are the actual shipping times, regardless of what the people in your town tell you at the Post Office. Parcel Post is cheap, but it can take a very long time to arrive because it goes surface (on a boat).

When you get on island, we do have 4 grocery stores to choose from in Cruz Bay. Pine Peace Mini Mart is the cheapest, so start there. They don't have a lot of fresh produce or meats though. Dolphin or St. John Market would be the next in price, and they have a good selection of produce. Starfish Market is the most expensive, but they are the only one with a meat section and deli case. Good luck!


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jlindsay3
(@jlindsay3)
Advanced Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 24
August 22, 2010 12:42 pm  

Thanks Stjohnjulie! I appreciate your response that really clears up everything. I am certainly not relying on this, its just an important option and will help me start since i will be staying at a campground for the first month. Again, your time is much appreciated! Im on the countdown

JL


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lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1250
August 26, 2010 4:48 pm  

I got a PO Box in Cruz Bay more than a year ago by filling out the form online at the USPS website. The guys in the PO weren't too pleased that I did it that way, but it worked. If there is a box available, this will work.

Keep in mind that parcel post can also take less than a week sometimes, if you address your boxes correctly. The good folks at Connections were very upset at having to store my packages for two weeks when I shipped my belongings here, estimating that they would take three weeks to arrive. (Of course, the boxes I shipped just before I left *did* take three weeks.)

I understand if you're staying out at Maho, shipping food seems like a good idea, but don't go overboard. For what it costs to ship food here via Priority, not really worth it vs. buying on island. And how are you going to carry all those boxes out there (or will you have a car)? Not a fun thing to do while hitching, or even in one of the shuttles.

I do like buying snacks, protein bars, nuts, etc. from Drugstore.com with their free shipping over $50. But it doesn't make sense to ship much until you know what's available. Part of the island adventure is learning how to live with what's here.


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jlindsay3
(@jlindsay3)
Advanced Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 24
August 26, 2010 6:27 pm  

Thanks FDR, I like the advice. I will be living very close to Starfish so prob just send enough to get me started. I am a 24yr old male so i dont need a lot. Like you said though i think having to do without is all part of the experience and partially why im there.


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stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1009
August 27, 2010 7:47 am  

Just a note on Parcel Post.... if it actually goes Parcel Post, it will take 3-10 weeks. Occasionally you will send something Parcel Post and it gets sent Priority Mail in error (a good error usually!!!) It's happened to me twice in 11 years.

If you will be close to Starfish...will you be closer to Pine Peace? Or Dolphin? Either of these options would be less expensive, Pine Peace the cheapest of them all. You will get the hang of things once you get here. Just check out the prices of the items you like to buy in the different stores, figure in their location/convenience, and then you will know where to go. Good luck!


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stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 184
August 27, 2010 3:12 pm  

Is there any advice on mailing food to STJ? I want to have some boxes of food sent down so i can have a good start when i move to the island in October. I have read about Connection's mailing service. Is that a good option or should i get a P.O. Box? If you have used Connections before about how much does it cost to send a box of food? Any thoughts or price estimates would be greatly appreciated.

I guess I just don't understand why you would go to the expense and inconvenience of "shipping'" food from the states to St John. It makes no sense to me. The only reason I would bother is if there was a particular item I could not find here. The high cost of shipping and problems of storage and transporting make this a non starter. Is there something special you need in those boxes?


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