Shipping Furniture with VI Cargo
Anyone tried this? I was thinking of buying furniture in Miami and shipping it. I'm bad at estimating sq. feet. I called VI cargo and asked them what it would roughly cost to ship an "average" coach and love seat but they couldn't tell me. I'm just wondering if shipping couches and a bedroom set (queen bed, dresser, night stands) is a $500 proposition, $1000, or more. If it's too much I have to rethink this idea. Since I have to go to Miami anyway, that's not part of the cost calculation. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice.
I think its a matter of a flat fee plus a charge for cubic footage and/or weight. Why don't you call them back and ask how they charge? That would give you some frame of reference to guesstimate a cost.
We shipped down a bunch of household goods 6 years ago and I know it was nowhere near $500, but that was a long time ago.
Thanks Linda. Their web site says $2.40 per square foot. I did call but they said "it depends on the square feet". I'm just trying to ballpark prices. I don't really have a god guess as to how many square feet a couch, love seat, etc, are.
So if you figure a sofa is 6 x 2 x 3 = 36 cf, the cost to ship a sofa would be about $86.40. Right?
I think you'd be safe in estimating $300 for a couch and love seat. Then if it's less you'll be happy. Shouldn't be more unless they are huge.
Thanks Linda and Sky. Your advice is very helpful. It sounds like the price and quality of mainland furniture more than offsets the cost of shipping, I'll let you know how everything works out.
We shipped items that had personal value to us. Frankly, I wouldn't ship new stateside furniture until I got here and saw what was available, new, used and on sale. You can get some really good deals from people who did ship from the states and are now leaving!
I believe if it's new you will have to pay FL state tax since the is it's final destination.
Linda, my wife did look at Carlos but she said that there stuff was just OK. We haven't ruled out making a local purchase but it seems that local furniture stores can;t match the price/ quality/ selection even when considering freight. longtime, I think you're right. I could argue that its for export but I don't hold out much hope that they would knock the sales tax off.
Sampson House, Design Works and Patalidis sell quality furniture here....and they can custom order what they don't have on the floor ~ eight weeks for delivery. They have all the major brand catalogs... and they are comparable to stateside prices + shipping (non sale prices). The benefit is that you can see the quality in the products they do have and if something doesn't arrive right, they stand behind it. and you can get additional pieces that match later. All three a local , long time , businesses.
If you buy in Florida, it is my understanding you DO NOT pay florida sales tax on furniture purchases as long as you have them delivered to VI CARGO and you fill out the export papers, and since its household items I don't think you pay much in personal import tax once here. It is cheaper usually but buying furniture online is tricky and once you add the cost of flying up there and shopping.... well, its cheaper to buy here.
But... if you ship VI CARGO... you'll be happy ... they are a fantastic organization with great staff and I've used them hundreds of times over the years with not complaints... only praise!
Most of (not all) of the items I have found at furniture stores on island are of a lesser quality than what is easily found in the states. Usually imported instead of American made. That said I am pretty sure that the store in Christiansted down near the post office,(can't remember the name) sells Rowe upholstery (made in NC). Also, as a furniture store owner myself I know that any store in the states should be able to send special orders coming from the factory by tractor trailer freight to your third party shipper,like VI Cargo, for peanuts since it doesn't need to be white glove, and out of state deliveries usually do not have tax, (at least not NY sales that deliver out of state).
Hey there All,
I am in the same boat (excuse the pun) as sugarlander OP - not sure if OP is shipping to STX or STT.
Some helpful tips in this thread.
I only need a sofa bed or daybed or high quality/ durable full futon BUT it's for STJ.
Was curious if I purchased something at a distance from here in Maryland - can STX ship it to STJ or STT for pick-up?
OP - if you decide to get a crate we could be interested in sharing the costs with you.
Send me a PM if this is a possibility of interest to you.
lv2fish - Annapolis,Maryland & STJ
Has anyone in the USVI purchased online from Sears Puerto Rico store then used a freight forwarding firm to get it shipped to STT or STJ?
Curious if this is possible, I am referring to a piece of furniture for shipping.
Most furniture companies can provide the cube size of furniture.Ask for less than container load and wait to have the load consolidated.The best way is to ship a small container (20'). So add a generator, patio furniture and other large items.Tropical shipping has worked the best for me.Ask your neighbors what they need and make up a full load.
You will never ever get to the weight restriction. So it is all cost per cubic foot. I shipped down a lot of stuff , rented a whole trailer, when I started rebuilding my house here on STT that was damaged in Marylynne. There are some hidden charges. There is insurance, processing fee, an import duty. Figure it will take you about 1/2 a day. Then you will need to get it to your place. If you are not giving a full commitment to the islands I would buy it here second hand. Then, if all is going well then order if you like.
I too am a huge fan of VI Cargo, was there yesterday, and enjoyed crushing my finger loading an aftermarket metal bumper for a Toyota FJ Cruiser :-X
That being said, I too recommend exploring more local furniture stores. In addition to the ones mentioned above, Sweet Lime has lots of Indonesian Teak, and Oscars.