Shipping, taxes,duty costs STX
I have been a lurker on this forum for a while and just registered. The Wife and I plan to move to STX in September. We have completed our PMV (also STT and STJ) and are cutting our ties up here. I/we do have a few questions though.
We have lived on a boat for a couple years and know how to travel light. Plan on renting a furnished place so will bring clothes and a box or two of personal items(photos etc) that make a house a home. However I am a Licensed Builder and will need some tools to get started. Just basic things such as circular saw, jig saw, drill, sander, hand tools, etc. My question are.............
Might it be cheaper to go to Home Depot on STT and buy new and ferry back to STX?
Does duty need to be paid between Islands?
Is there a local store that might cooperate on a bulk purchase?
Will Sears or Home Depot ship online sales to STX for a reasonable fee?
I hope to do handy-man repairs while I decide on something more permanent (I know my license won't transfer).
There is no duty between islands, and heavy things like tools are frequently excluded from stateside store shipping policies. There are hardware stores on STX, and though they may cost a little more than HD, it's likely a better deal than the cost of getting to the STT HD and getting you and the tools back.
If you ship them USPS you will likely not have to pay any duties etc. Just ship parcel post 6 weeks in advance, insure the items and you should be ok.
dntw8up is right too, there are hardware stores on STX. The Sears Appliance store is now a full Sear's tool shop as well so you can probably get some Craftsman stuff there at ok prices. Gallows bay Hardware is pricey but has a lot and sometimes you can catch a good sale.
We've bought very few tools on stx...mostly bring them in as luggage on the plane or mail them. We even get tools for our contractors in the states and bring them in..so much cheaper, plus warranties are an issue. My local Hilti guy knows me by name, and calls whenever there's a special. I don't know about Sears, but GBH sells alot without manufacturers warranties, so then it's up to the store as to whether they will exchange, repair or neither. After a few bad experiences, we said no more from them unless we really get stuck. The prices there can be as much as about twice stateside, and almost always have more than a reasonable markup in my opinion. No idea what HD does about warranty coverage on the tools you buy in STT, since the warranty actually comes from the mfg. Flat rate boxes from USPS are good, but for insurance claims they want current receipts.
If you can get them to Tropical or VI Cargo, there's no customs on used items for personal use...
Bring your tools. We brought a whole container full of tools. If you have your tools you will never be hungry. Prices here are crazy. Like beachy said if they are used there is no customs.
I shipped tools in plastic totes by truck freight on a pallet from Maine to VI Cargo in FLA. They shipped them here (STX). It's a lot less expensive than replacing everything especially the small stuff. which adds up quick.
Inner Island Ferry is quite reasonable from STT To STX or the opposite direction. We use them about 1x per month and it's great service for heavy items. We've even bought pallets of bottled water in STX (the brand we like) and shipped to STT, because we couldn't get it here. Shopping on either island is not a problem and shipping using a ferry service.