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Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

London, United...
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Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

We need to ship some items either from the UK (half a container) or alternatively purchase items remotely in Florida and ship to Bequia.

Can anyone advise us on recommended shipping companies/intermediaries/agents on Bequia/St Vincent.

Please also advise on import duties. Read an article previously that first container to Bequia is duty free - is this true?

Also - any advice on what items are available on Bequia when setting up (i.e white goods, mattresses, beds, sofas, etc.)

All replies very welcome!

Thanks

MsZ
Dorset UK
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187 posts
63 reviews
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1. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

When we bought our house in Bequia we decided to buy as much as possible locally to put money into the local economy. Between Bequia and St Vincent we found everything was available, but prices are higher on some things and you won't find the brands you are used to. Having said that the bed we bought for our room is a beautiful wooden bedstead and fantastically comfortable mattress for less than you would pay in UK.

Bequia has a Courts (remember them) that has a small stock of furniture and White goods and more that can be delivered from St Vincent, sorry can't rememberthe names of other department stores on St Vincent but I am sure someone else will.

When you ask around you find all sorts of shops that stock household goods, funnily enough an ironing board was one of the biggest challenges!

I have found it great fun but sometimes frustrating. Only practical if you don't mind compromising or waiting to find what you want.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

World
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42 reviews
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2. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

We have shipped from both Florida and Toronto, where in each place there are shipping agents who regularly send containers to SVG. Assuming there in one in the UK and you are going to import your white goods I would think about buying them in the UK becasue of the conistency of the 220 volt electricity. 220 volt electronics are available from the suppliers in the US (like Sub Zero) but it adds a whole other layer of difficulty.

I remember in the old days seeing an old fashioned wooden crate on the dock in Mustique which was simply marked: From Harrods To: HRH Mustique. The last days of the empire.

London, United...
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3. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

We did the same as MsZ and bought locally. There are a reasonable range of white goods available at various outlets in St Vincent, Singer, Courts and several other stores. The prices will make you weep compared to the UK but when you add on duty and shipping to imported goods they are not so bad in terms of comparison. Bear in mind that if you have a problem with imported white goods that spares might take time to arrive. We had a small problem with a Courts supplied stove and they came out and fixed it within two days.

Good mattresses are available from Slumberest products in Barbados who ship to Bequia and local carpenters will make bed frames for you.

'At Basils' in Villa ocasionally have come interesting pieces of furniture as does 'Island Things' here on Bequia.

'Fine Things' on the road to Arnos Vale in St Vincent is good for curtains, cushions, blinds and bedding.

Patience and flexibility will help you find just about everything you need here but the general rule is, if you like it, buy it because it may not be in stock next time you go back.

JENSEN BEACH
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4. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

If you do decide to ship any household goods from the US, Tropical Shipping in Riviera Beach regularly ships to St Vincent. They will ship just a barrell or an entire container. Prices were pretty reasonable. It used to be that one barrell at the Holidays was duty free so long as it was household goods. Not sure if that still holds true.

lincoln
10 posts
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5. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

To ship from the uk you need to use geest (banana boat) they sail every friday from portsmouth http://www.geestline.com/

Wellington, United...
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152 posts
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6. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

Yes, we used Geest and found them to be very good. In our experience organising the container and shipping is the easy bit. When it arrives into St Vincent..................that's when you need a big fat cheque book and a lot of patience.

7. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

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8. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

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9. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

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Wellington, United...
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10. Re: Shipping from UK vs. Shipping from Florida

SvgAlan is quite right. Make sure you have detailed paper work and list EVERY item no matter how insignificant it may seem together with it's estimated value if used and relevant invoice if new. The customs accepted every valuation we gave after inspection.

I would just add don't ship anything during the month of December. It's the ports busiest time and apart from being caught up in a scrum with hundreds of others, it will take hours even days to sort your stuff.