Did you find a "special place" to shop? Best prices / Unique items?
Are the prices in general overinflated due to the vast amount of tourists or can one expect good deals?
How is negotiating for your price accepted? do / don't
The true shopping ports are St Thomas and St Martin. If you are looking for something in particular you will want to know the best price available for the comparable item in the US.
Then shop. Yes vendors , even in the larger stores will bargain. Make an offer, ask for a better price.
Remember also even at the exact same price, you are paying no sales tax.
When shopping for jewelry in St.Thomas or St. Maartin, I have found that the privately owned jewelers like, Omni, Ballerina etc will be more than willing to haggle on prices.
The majors, like Little Switzerland, Cardow, Diamonds Int'l will stand firm on prices and are glad to watch you walk out the door. I've bought from smaller independent shops for years and all items purchased are exactly what I thought I was getting. I've never been ripped off. As a matter of fact, I recently took a ring to a jeweler her in Florida to have it cleaned and the first thing he said was "You bought this outside of the USA didn't you". I replied yes and he said it was unique and excellent quality. He also asked how much I paid for it and said I got a good deal.
As far as cologne/perfume goes, I found that the shop on the ship was sometimes a better buy or the same price as the islands.
Waterford and LLadro are exceptional buys in St.Thomas and St.Maartin....just for the tax savings alone if nothing else.
As far as Liquer goes, I've only purchased in St.Thomas at A.H.Rise and the prices are good. There may be places that may be even cheaper but the prices at A.H. Rise are so much cheaper than anything stateside, I'm glad to buy there. They've also never messed up my orders and the boxes are delivered to my cabin on the last day as planned.
"Little America" shop in St. Thomas for jewelry, souveniers, shirts, etc. NOT the one at the Havensight Pier but the one at 21 Main Street, past all the "fancy" shops.
The owner, Parminder Singh, and his lovely wife, Pinky, and their manager, Carmel, have been friends of mine since I met them in 1993. I've bought several pieces of wonderful gold jewelry from them and they always have the best prices in St. Thomas. They have tanzanite, silver, stones and gems - they are very kind people and not hard sell.
Tell them "Carol from Michigan" sent you and you might get a better deal!
In St. Maarten, Grand Jewelers is a favorite of mine. Sunny Mahtani is a charming young man who "seduces" your wrist when he puts a bracelet on. He is very cute, honest, has great prices, and is great fun. Grand Jewelers is on the main street of St. Maarten - forgot the name. Tell them I sent you - might be worth a buck or two!
Have to tell you we got a great deal at Little Switzerland in St. Thomas on the main street..There was a collectible by Royal Crown Derby that was out of my budget and price range normally and I could tell they had it there for a long, long time.. Since I am an avid collector and walk around with the newest price list (didn't tell them) and their price was old...they did give me a decent price and tossed in a Little Switzland beach bag and that Friday Michael Doulton was coming and they had it signed and dated for me.. Opposted to across the street, A little bit of Britain I think where their prices were outrageously higher....and they didn't care.lol In the Grand Caymens there is Kirks... and we found our collectibles which were still sealed in boxes at incredible bargain prices...but no discount.. The morale being know what you are buying and state prices..whether it's cameras, collectibles, china or crystal. I;ve seen tourists in Bermuda walking around with stateside prices shopping
According to me unique items at best price can only be found at online shopping sites. I was previously doing shopping from malls but I have noticed a big difference in between the prices. Therefore online shopping is most preferable for me.