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elcoate80
(@elcoate80)
Active Member

Hi Everyone,

My family and I are looking at moving to St. Croix for a job with my company that would come with relocation support including a 40' container. We won't come close to filling that up as we are a young family so, my question was what if you would recommend we look at bringing any particular items with us that may be hard to get or very expensive on the island - that we could buy in bulk before coming. We are moving from the UK.

Many thanks,

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Topic starter Posted : September 15, 2013 12:39 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Welcome elcoate80!

Almost all of the everyday stuff you'll need is available on island. If you need specialty items, like for your work or hobbies, or a maybe brand of dog food, then bring those. I prefer to do my clothes shopping off-island, because the selection here is limited. People often bring cars and building materials from off-island (well, ultimately almost everything comes from off-island. It's just a matter of whether or not you buy it from a local business).

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Posted : September 15, 2013 6:52 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

If possible bring a car. Otherwise, bring lots of money, easier to transport.

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Posted : September 15, 2013 8:18 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

Be careful what you bring. For instance, don't bring a year's supply of Coke (or any soft drink) even if you can get it at a bargain price. Soda tends to get "canny" and losses its flavor if kept too long past its "use by" date. You could end up throwing more out than you drink. Same with food products like ketchup, mayonnaise, jars of sauce, tomato juice, etc - unless you store them in a cool air conditioned place the constant heat will spoil the product even if you haven't open the package. Products like flour, sugar, pastas, cereals, snacks and candies won't "age well" and so buying those in bulk won't save you any money if you have to throw most of it away. You could bring a lifetime supply of paper plates, paper towels, toilet tissues, etc. but where will you store them?

Now, you said you are coming from the UK. That means anything you bring to the island will be subject to Customs Duty so what you save buying in bulk will probably be spent on the duty when the items arrive. Keep in mind too, that you'll be paying freight to ship the items. If I'm not mistaken you shipping company will charge you by weight to ship the container.

Think about it, let's say you spend $5,000 on bulk "stuff" that if purchased separately would cost, say, $6,500 on St. Croix. Let's also estimate it will cost you an additional $500 to ship the items to St. Croix. Add to that approximately 30% duty (that's $1500). You've now spent $7,000 for items that you could purchase for $6.500. You've "lost" $500 trying to save money and you haven't yet had to throw anything out that spoils before you get to use it.

As Linda J says, you are better off bringing money instead of things.

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Posted : September 15, 2013 9:46 pm
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

Marmite!! And decent tea!

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Posted : September 15, 2013 10:32 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Marmite!! And decent tea!

You can find both at Amazon.com and have them shipped to you!

OP, a 40' container is huge. If you can't live without a few items have them shipped here via the post and let the company give you money in lieu of the trailer.

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Posted : September 15, 2013 10:50 pm
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Bring money.Cash.

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Posted : September 15, 2013 10:55 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Spices are expensive here so if you have any favorites, bring.

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Posted : September 15, 2013 11:00 pm
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

A few months ago, I did buy marmite (6 jars!) from Amazon! They wouldn't ship it here, so I got it sent to my grandmother, who was happy to forward it to me. Amazingly, with the marmite purchase, I also bought a big box of HobNobs and Rich Tea biscuits and was quite impressed to see them arrive to the post office here, within a week, packaged and shipped from London! Shipping price was the same as any normal purchase from Amazon.

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Posted : September 16, 2013 12:29 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Spices are expensive here so if you have any favorites, bring.

That's another thing you can order online from US suppliers for considerably less than you pay here and so much better variety - I doubt there would be much savings carting that sort of thing all the way from the UK. Pre-internet I'd be forever getting odd cravings for Brit stuff that I couldn't find here or stateside but the days of plaintive letters to my family asking for sometimes the most strange things are long gone (and I'm sure that's a great relief for my lovely family)!

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Posted : September 16, 2013 12:32 am
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

Leather and books do not fair well here! If you have something leather and want to keep it let someone keep for you!

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Posted : September 16, 2013 6:02 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

Ummm am I the only one that didn't miss that the company is paying for it?? Bring EVERYTHING, I would have if it was free! Other than that, basic daily stuff is pretty much the same as the states IMO, some less some more - it all averages out.

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Posted : September 17, 2013 3:17 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I did see that but I still wouldn't bring "everything". Two reasons: first, if the job doesn't work out and you quit or get fired, you still have to get your stuff back home. And secondly, many items can't stand the tropical climate. I wouldn't bring any family heirlooms or other items you don't want to lose.

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Posted : September 17, 2013 10:44 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Ummm am I the only one that didn't miss that the company is paying for it?? Bring EVERYTHING, I would have if it was free! Other than that, basic daily stuff is pretty much the same as the states IMO, some less some more - it all averages out.

I doubt you were the only one who caught that important piece of information. If something should happen and the job for whatever reason doesn't work out and the company and the OP and family part ways, it's expensive enough to ship a trailer full of belongings back to the mainland US let alone to the UK from whence they're coming. Very, very few people who move here stay forever - which is how we benefit so nicely from garage, house and yard sales when the reverse shipping is so expensive.

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Posted : September 17, 2013 11:12 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Bring money...lots of money.

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Posted : September 17, 2013 12:40 pm
elcoate80
(@elcoate80)
Active Member

Thanks everyone, appreciate the help! Hope to be there this year if things work out.

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Topic starter Posted : September 29, 2013 3:13 pm
onionhead
(@onionhead)
Advanced Member

Teflon tape, high quality caulking, weather proofing items, electrical saving devices like motion detectors, high quality body and dish soaps that rinse fully and quickly - I reccomend Earth Friendly Products line, high quality home maintenance tools like spanners and screwdrivers and socket wrenches (SAE, Metric, and Whitworth - that's the old Lucas engineering standby, I still find applications here and there) - especially a pair of Channel-lock #426 and a Lennox electricians multi screwdriver, Tupperware and five gallon paint buckets with good sealing lids, and of course a hurricane survival kit.

Main point: plan on never wasting water or electricity ever again. Plan on something breaking and having to fix it yourself immediately and in the dark. Plan on storing food items and other valuables in water tight containers. Plan like your grandmother.

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Posted : September 29, 2013 5:59 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

bring a sense of humor and patience

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Posted : September 29, 2013 9:12 pm
kakalee
(@kakalee)
Advanced Member

Since your earnings are high enough to have the company foot the bill for your shipping, I'm guessing the high cost of most everything here won't be a problem. So those things that are commonplace in the UK but hard to find elsewhere seem like a good idea. I think I'd go nuts searching for Typhoo Tea at Food Town or Pueblo. Tap water tastes awful & I have not seen Brita filter cartridges anywhere even though I am told Costuless has them. I wish I"d had the space to bring my favorite cook wear. I long for Trader Joe's Peanut Butter. The bike I left behind is probably better than the one I have on order. So I suggest bringing some extra of what you love, especially if you might suspect it is a local phenomenon.

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Posted : September 29, 2013 9:47 pm
isl3985
(@isl3985)
Advanced Member

Bulletproof vests.

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Posted : September 29, 2013 10:25 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

I would recommend bringing many air-tight containers. Most everything needs to be kept in a container (flour, sugar, cereal, mixes, etc) and those are not cheap here.

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Posted : September 29, 2013 10:37 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Tap water tastes awful ...

That's not true overall. In 30 years here I've lived in many different places and in only one did the water not taste good. It tested fine (certified water lab testing), no contamination of any kind but just had an odd taste so in the years I lived there my preference was to drink bottled water.

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Posted : September 30, 2013 11:36 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

kmart or drugstore.com sell brita filters

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Posted : September 30, 2013 12:11 pm
kakalee
(@kakalee)
Advanced Member

Why bicker about water quality if bringing whatever filter equipment he wants for free is easier than boiling off the chlorine til he finds or orders what he needs online or locally?

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Posted : September 30, 2013 1:45 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I would recommend bringing many air-tight containers. Most everything needs to be kept in a container (flour, sugar, cereal, mixes, etc) and those are not cheap here.

I find that ziplock stoarge bags work quite well for all of the above. I also put rice and other grocery related boxed items that I won't use immeditaley in the ziplocks as it protects them from weevils and other bugs infesting your dry goods in cupboards. Plus they take up less space and no breakage.

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Posted : September 30, 2013 4:09 pm
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