Some jewelry hints:
The best thing to do is some advance shopping at home to educate yourself and know what prices are.
Always use a credit card. If your piece turns out to be glass, at least you have the credit card company between you and the vendor.
On a recent cruise, a lady admired my "everyday" bracelet. She and I parked our husbands and went shopping. Same bracelet on Antigua at one of those "reputable" shops was 3X what I had paid in the US.
Know the jeweler who will be doing an appraisal of offshore jewelry. It is common practice to charge a percentage of the appriased value for doing the appraisal. Ask for a flat fee.
The example above is extreme. Retail jewelry is usually "triple keystoned" which means the full retail price is wholesale times four. In other words, the wholesale price is 25% of the retail price.
Also, insuring a piece for $X does not mean that if it is lost you will get $X. The insurance company has the prerogative of replacing it. Jewelry policies where the jewelry is scheduled, often at inflated values, are expensive. I'd rather pay the insurance premium on $1100 than on $7000. And I also would have offered the piece of jewelry to the appraiser for 25% of the appraised value and made a few bucks on the deal
Try that some time and see how quickly they back off from a high appraisal.
In general, the better appraisers work in the area of estate/antique jewelry.
Sparkle on, but do it with care !!!
"The word" is that the K-Mart in St. Thomas is THE place for getting the best deals on liquor. If you really want to stock up, don't worry about the limitations. The duty is nothing compared to prices at home, especially for high-end products. Our experience has been that even if you do declare an overage, the Customs guys don't want to do the paperwork. ALWAYS declare overages. You don't want to get caught smuggling.
The government is a mighty thing. If they catch you smuggling a couple of bottles of rum, they may look REALLY hard at your 1040 next year.
As to the "recommended" stores, they are almost always the priciest.
Post Edited (06-25-02 11:30)