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kvl
 kvl
(@kvl)
New Member

Hello!

This is my first time posting on here- I'm still in the states and my husband has been living in STT for a few months. I am curious as to the most practical way to obtain furniture- how difficult is it to purchase furniture online and have it shipped? We have both a physical address and a PO Box, where do larger pieces of furniture get delivered here? Also, I am slightly confused about how import duties are calculated- I understand that if American- made there are no taxes, etc but I've been reading so many conflicting stories of what is taxed and what isn't that my head is spinning!

I am still debating whether to ship all of our items or just the basics and start fresh. We are planning on shipping our car (American made), but getting a container for all our furniture doesn't seem entirely practical.

Thanks in advance,
I look forward to your opinions!

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Topic starter Posted : April 7, 2015 8:09 pm
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

We plan on shipping all of our stuff when we make the move. We already got a quote for $6500 for a 20 yard container from San Diego. It will cost us more than double that to furnish and stock a home when we get there.

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Posted : April 7, 2015 8:52 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

How do you know how big a container you'll need to ship your furniture?

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Posted : April 7, 2015 8:58 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

All I can comment is that many of us long time residents enjoy the benefit from those of you who ship down a bunch of furniture and then decide after a year or two that island living isn't for you after all. Shipping the stuff back stateside is prohibitively expensive so you end up having house sales and yard sales and craigslist sales and we're able to buy it all on pennies for the dollar! 😀

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Posted : April 7, 2015 9:24 pm
Donnasculpts
(@donnasculpts)
Advanced Member

I think it all depends on your budget, how many rooms your place is, and how much the hassle factor is worth to you. We weighed both and decided to buy on island. It supports the local economy and the local store is responsible for assembly, shipping, insurance, breakage etc. Did we pay more this way? For sure. But since we are splitting our time between Florida and STT and we both have jobs.. We couldn't deal with the chaos (to us) of corralling all the furniture , organizing the shipping and the delivery etc etc etc etc.
Since your husband is on island full time if you have time it may be worth it to you to go through all that.
If so, we are using St Thomas Cargo with good results for shipping home renovation items and they will ship anything for $3.85/cubic foot +35$+ 1.5% of invoice insurance, partial container. No excise tax on anything shipped to you personally according to them. They also store on either end, to consolidate or wait for your arrival. If you have a few pieces you want to ship they can handle it all for you.
On island I talked to Island Empire and Silk Greenery. Went with Silk Greenery. They both do offer discounts on multi item purchased. Both are mid to higher end quality. Reuse Emporium is worth a look a la Old Tarts comment. It's hit or miss.
There is an active Craig's List here and also a great FB page for all sorts of items for sale.
My 2c! Good luck!

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Posted : April 7, 2015 9:59 pm
C_Ray6
(@C_Ray6)
Advanced Member

I think you make a great point Donna when you say you would rather pay a little more and support the local economy. Great idea.

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Posted : April 7, 2015 11:35 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

When you asked about where the large pieces are delivered- they are delivered to a dock where Customs reigns. Someone has to clear the shipment through Customs and deliver to your house.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 12:38 am
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

We plan on shipping all of our stuff when we make the move. We already got a quote for $6500 for a 20 yard container from San Diego. It will cost us more than double that to furnish and stock a home when we get there.

Good grief. Do you plan on buying gold plated toilets? I furnished an entire home for two for about $3k. Not crappy stuff. No clue how you're getting double 6k to furnish here... Unless it's the governors rental. BOOM! Hahah!

I'm with OT!! LOLZ.

SELL
UR
STUFF.

Buy here.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 1:16 am
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

Alana, we got the square yardage from the shipping companies we contacted and told them what we would be bringing. AandA2VI, there's no need to be snarky. We have moved across the US over ten years ago and we left many things behind. And because we did that we had to spend way more money buying things to set up house than it would have to ship it in the first place. We also have 2 children who have plenty of toys, dolls,books, etc that they would bring. Now if you would like to pay the difference it would cost us to set up house in STX, then by all means we'll leave all of our stuff behind and my children would be overjoyed to replace their well used games, books, dolls, furniture, bedding, etc with brand new items. And my husband would LOVE a brand new set of golf clubs, lawn mower, and I a brand new set of kitchen appliances and utensils.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 6:51 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Thanks for the info.
Think you can trade in the lawnmower, perhaps, unless the home you'll be inhabiting is on a really flat piece of property. A weed eater will do, otherwise.

I'll agree with bringing your furnishings, especially with a family and if you already have nice things. It'll save you the hassle of shopping to furnish a 3-4 bedroom home which can get pricy and be to your taste.
Good luck.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 9:39 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

AandA2VI, there's no need to be snarky. /quote]

I didn't read any "snark" at all - only reality with a hefty dose of injected humor (which one needs to live here!). If bringing all your stuff makes you happy then don't be dissuaded - just sift out the non essentials and make sure that whatever furniture you decide to bring can withstand the climate and termites. If a lawnmower is on your list then it's natural to assume that you're probably overpacking. It's usually wise to bring only what you need and put the rest in storage to ship down when you've lived here for a year or so and have a better idea of (a) whether or not you're staying for a while and (b) what you really need.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 10:21 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

if you are asking about buying furniture, why not just buy it on island?

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Posted : April 8, 2015 10:41 am
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

ROF. That wasn't snarky.

I MOVED a here. I BOUGHT a household, cars, rentals etc. I KNOW what it costs. I've been here TWO years so I am still new and my information is still relevant. When you say12k approx for a furnishings that's way off base - like I said unless your furnishing a 5 room villa. PLUS OP wants STX and it's cheaper for stuff there.

Lastly I think some people especially very helpful people like OT and Alana who put a lot of time into responses get a bit worn down by questions that have been answered at least 50 times since I've lived here. It's VERY easy to search for answers in the archives. And yes; there was a little snark in there.

Lastly kids don't need toys here. It's called the beach - sea glass - rocks - hermit crabs and baby chickens.

😀

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Posted : April 8, 2015 4:12 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

If any of your furniture is not pure hardwood, it will probably come apart here. We have nice furniture stores on island.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 5:03 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

One way to decide is to look around you home and see what you don't care about and can do without. Just remember, if you bring nothing, you'll have to buy everything from furniture to spices, cleaning supplies, linens, towels, TV, etc., plus groceries, buy a car, pay deposits for utilities, plus 1st, last and security deposits for a rental. Being without kids and pets will be easier but can still be challenging so bring money. Lots of it, if you can, to see you thru until a job kicks in, if coming without a job already lined up.

If you have a decent car that's paid for and not low to the ground, bring it. Cheaper in long run than looking for a beater, IMO.
Good luck with the process.

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Posted : April 8, 2015 5:54 pm
klpmtm
(@klpmtm)
Advanced Member

Thanks Alana. And good post above.

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Posted : April 9, 2015 5:54 am
kvl
 kvl
(@kvl)
New Member

Thank you to those who gave relevant advice and although some of you claim that your responses weren't snarky- I respectfully disagree. If people are tired of answering the same questions, then don't- I tried looking in the archives but was unable to find the answers to the questions I had. My original question had less to do with the need to bring stuff but more of the actual realities of obtaining what you actually need on this island.
I was hesitant to even post because of the way these threads tend to go off topic (I've followed other threads that broke down in similar ways). I am not naive, I understand that this will be challenging and very different from the states but I am determined to make this positive for my family. And to all of the people who identify themselves as 'long-timers', just remember you were also a newbie once!

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2015 1:42 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

And to all of the people who identify themselves as 'long-timers', just remember you were also a newbie once!

Thanks for the heads-up. One of the prerequisites for settling into any unfamiliar territory is a good sense of humor and the ability to recognize it. A place to which you decide to move does not change to suit you. If you're "hesitant to post" on a forum "because of the way these threads tend to go off topic", and get bent out of shape because of a few comments which you perceive as "snarky" then wait for the denouement when the rose-colored glasses start getting crooked after a few months.

And that's not "snarky" (though I have a sense you'll see it as such) - just good old basic reality.

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Posted : April 9, 2015 2:03 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I was never a "newbie!";)

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Posted : April 9, 2015 4:46 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

I just found pages of furniture related threads in the archives. All from this year. Seriously.

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Posted : April 10, 2015 3:35 am
Ghost Rider
(@Ghost_Rider)
Advanced Member

I totally agree with Donna... I would rather sell everything here in Florida, use that money as well as what it will cost to have the items shipped and our headaches of packing and unpacking and buy stuff that we need wherever we decide to move.... I am also 200% in agreement with Donna regarding to supporting economy. I am sure that all the businesses in the islands could use any help that they can get... I always believed in the "help your neighbor" way of life...

I think it all depends on your budget, how many rooms your place is, and how much the hassle factor is worth to you. We weighed both and decided to buy on island. It supports the local economy and the local store is responsible for assembly, shipping, insurance, breakage etc. Did we pay more this way? For sure. But since we are splitting our time between Florida and STT and we both have jobs.. We couldn't deal with the chaos (to us) of corralling all the furniture , organizing the shipping and the delivery etc etc etc etc.
Since your husband is on island full time if you have time it may be worth it to you to go through all that.
If so, we are using St Thomas Cargo with good results for shipping home renovation items and they will ship anything for $3.85/cubic foot +35$+ 1.5% of invoice insurance, partial container. No excise tax on anything shipped to you personally according to them. They also store on either end, to consolidate or wait for your arrival. If you have a few pieces you want to ship they can handle it all for you.
On island I talked to Island Empire and Silk Greenery. Went with Silk Greenery. They both do offer discounts on multi item purchased. Both are mid to higher end quality. Reuse Emporium is worth a look a la Old Tarts comment. It's hit or miss.
There is an active Craig's List here and also a great FB page for all sorts of items for sale.
My 2c! Good luck!

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 10, 2015 4:05 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

I was never a "newbie!";)

Neither was I.

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Posted : April 10, 2015 6:38 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

I'll throw in my 2¢.... bring very little. I literally came down here with a big duffle bag full of stuff and that is it. Really special things will likely get ruin after a short amount of time here because the environment is very harsh. I shipped down all of my favorite books a couple of years after I lived here and I really wish I wouldn't have. They are now all garbage. I should have just given them away so someone else could have enjoyed them. All of the other stuff I left in the states when I came I donated to Goodwill.

This is a perfect chance for you all to simplify your life. I know kids have lots of 'stuff', but they don't really need it. I have two kids (13 & 4) but they both were born here, so they never really had to sort through a bunch of stuff and decide what to keep. That might be hard for your kids to do, but I promise you once they do it and you get here, they will hardly remember all of the things they left behind in storage. Unless you are going to be living somewhere that is climate controlled (full a/c in the house) having less stuff to deal with is a blessing. Plush toys get musty, dusty, moldy. Too many toys packed in a toy box will do the same. My 4 year old has three open faced bins that he puts his toys on, and most of those toys are plastic because they are easier to clean with bleach and water.

Since your husband is already here, rely on what he says. He knows how you guys live, what things you might really miss if you didn't bring. Then start sorting. Get rid of stuff you would get rid of even if you weren't moving. Then put things away that are really special and you don't want them to be ruined. Pack all essential items to ship. And if you have someone you can call on to ship some 'maybe' boxes for you down the road, pack a couple of those have them accessible in case you decide you'd like to have them shipped.

Live a more simple life, it will take getting used to, but you will be glad that you did it.

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Posted : April 10, 2015 9:36 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I say bring more than some posters are saying.

You don't need to pack up the entire house, but shopping for absolutely everything gets tiresome. I did it, in FL, about 3 years ago. We left almost everything on STX, and I thought it would be great fun shopping for everything new. After the first few shopping excursions, I was really wishing I had taken more of my "stuff", and that was in Florida, with lots of shopping options and less expensive prices.

For instance, on St. Croix....good knives are hard to find unless you pay $$$$$, and even then they can be hard to find. Pots and pans are easier, but again, more expensive. Sheets and towels are easy and fairly inexpensive. Small appliances are over the top expensive, for what you get. I bought a toaster oven in FL for $29.00. The exact same toaster oven was $45.00 at STX Kmart.

We bought a plunger yesterday for $10. My husband asked the sales clerk where are the $2.99 plungers? He said those days are gone.....

You can't always find what you need/want, so you wind up ordering it on line and paying the shipping, so makes sense to ship what you already know you like.

It's an individual decision, too. Depends on your energy level for packing and coordinating shipping, etc., your budget, your attachment to your personal items, things that are important to you.

I remember a few years ago a thread about sheets. I was amazed at the number of posters who simply could not bring themselves to sleep on sheets from Kmart, such as Cannon, Martha Stewart, etc.

BTW, NOT suggesting you ship a plunger....LOL

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Posted : April 10, 2015 10:44 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

the one thing i always recommend you bring-is a good reliable paid off car. imo itis better to bring a car you know about than to buy one you know nothing about.

others will not agree with this. i also feel it is cheaper to bring a good reliable car than to try to buy one of similar quality down here

even when buying new cars, many people buy from the states and ship down because it is still cheaper than buying new here

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Posted : April 10, 2015 10:46 am
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