What new business for STJ
indie man: Most of the houses that you see on St John are owned by stateside people. They do not live here full-time, they do not attend schools, vote for our governor and legislature, pay income tax (yes, they pay property tax, when the territory is able to collect it) etc. They are not "authentic" Virgin Islanders. The National Park drives most of the climate, which is why most people like St John. But it isn't anymore authentic than living in Yellowstone. The people who live on St John are more than happy to come over to St Thomas and shop at Home Depot, Cost-U-Less and other chain stores.
There is a tendency of people who want to move here to "fix" all our problems. While it is understandable, you will forgive us if we remain skeptical. Living in the VI is pretty much a process- culture shock, settling in, finding a niche, etc. Advice from the board bozos (us) isn't going to help in the long run. I really don't mean to be sharp, but coming here and living for a short while is a much better way to find out what you wnat to do here.:-)
EE - that last part should go in the FAQ. 😉 Hear hear!
If you think that's sharp, you haven't measured the thickness of my skin. You sound actually quite kind. Having lived on St. Croix and Roatan I'm not new to the culture shock-settling in process. And, I'm of an age where I understand the I'm not going to "fix" much of anything. So I want to find myself in a place I like just the way it is and work from there. The fact a lot of rich people may have the same idea doesn't deter me. I also have nothing against big box "anywhere USA" stores when they're a beautiful boat ride away.
I think you do underestimate the value of advice from you good folks willing to give it. It's a great beginning. Now back to finding that right business on STJ.
Thanks for the relevant information. Interesting. When someone, well-heeled, buys a furnished STJ villa and doesn't like the furnishings, what do they do with the existing things when the new replacement pieces arrive they've ordered? Wouldn't they likely consign the items for re-sale locally if they could? And, wouldn't others on STJ or even STT, take advantage of such a shop where they could they could buy the high quality cast-offs of the rich (at a big discount)? No trade-in value for used furniture regardless the condition. The new furniture vendor doesn't want it. Especially, if they're located across the sea.
I may be seeing a market where one doesn't exist, but I don't think so. Hope I'm not walking someone through a business plan summary because I can't keep my ideas to myself.
St. John is small enough that resale like you're talking about is done by word of mouth, which is one of the neat things about living here. If you're seriously considering this idea, call some villa management companies and ask them these questions. Then come visit. 🙂 Best of luck to you!
And don't forget the high rents & WAPA bills involed in a resale type venture.
The Animal Care Center hosts a "yard sale" at Winston Wells ball field every year where people either donate stuff and all of the proceeds go to the ACC or they make a donation to have a "table" and they sell their stuff from there. Alot of furniture is sold on that day and many items are the castoff items from villas that you describe. When you are dealing with the affluent, sometimes a donation is worth more in a write-off than the actual resale value of the item.
It's my opinion that you will not have a market for your furniture resale idea. Maybe someone with some other full-time job and alot of extra space (which very few people have on STJ) would be able to manage something like this as a "hobby" business but I can't see there being much, if any, margin in it. You'd really WANT to resell furniture. You wouldn't be doing it for the money that's for sure.
Thanks for the very constructive idea. I am seriously considering the idea and I'll take your suggestion.
indie: Good luck to you.:-)
Your idea of contacting villa rental people for their perspective was terrific. I've already received some very positive feedback. Thanks much!
You may want to stop by Home Again in Red Hook and talk to the 2 ladies who own that store - they started it on the same resale furniture and other goods idea - been there about 14 years.