Is “Duty Free” really just Full of **it?
Duty Free sounds like a good idea… right? Well, lets think about what you want to buy, and what are the benefits of buying from a foreign country.
What is the Benefit?
The perceived benefit is you can get the same item and save the sales tax.
How do you know what you are buying is the same product you would get in the states. Many countries are famous for knock offs, selling refurbished items as new or simply shading selling practices and basically cheating their customers.
If you are buying something like perfume where every bottle is essentially the same (except for knock offs or old inventory) then you may be getting a deal if you as sure are getting the right product. If you are buying souvenirs, clothes, or other tokens of your trip then go ahead. But if you are buying anything over $1000 be careful!
It’s never a good idea to buy a nice piece of jewelry on impulse from a cruise ship port under pressure. This is what the stores in the cruise ship ports are praying on. They know the travelers are only there for a few hours and are trained in high pressure sales.
Don’t get the wrong idea that it is not ok to buy jewelry from cruise ship ports, but is should only be the souvenirs and tokens of your trip that are reasonable in price, up to say about $500. However, anything over $1000 you should think twice.
The only potential benefit of buying from these port stores is you save the tax. That is only 8.25%, when you think about it, it is not much. for this small perceived benefit you are costing yourself a lot of negatives.
First of all, you don’t have the opportunity to make an informed shopping decision. Time is on the side of these types of business because they know you are in port for a short period of time. How can you be assured you will be getting what you are paying for. But again, if you are considering a souvenir piece in the $500 or under range, go ahead.
The salespeople in these stores are not out to build a long lasting relationship, they are out for a fast sale. They may not be experts in their field but may offer what they say is expert advice. In the end, they are out to make a high pressure sale. Who can you go back to?
Second and probably most important, what happens when you leave? You don’t have anyway to contact that vendor for repairs or service. You are on your own. Sure, they post contact numbers in the states, but chances are they are not in your state. Plus, you the internet is filled with comments from customers saying they were caught up in the run around saying they will have someone else call you back, or this is not the right department.
The internet is filled with bad reviews and nasty comments on how people like you got ripped off buying from these stores at the cruise ship ports. Some have been stung by a bait and switch, not to be discovered until they got back on the boat. Some have come home and had independent appraisers tell them they did not get what they paid for. Some have had their ring sized at the location only to have the store wait until the last second to hand over the item. When the customer runs back to the boat to find shoddy workmanship or missing diamonds. Don’t be added to that list and make sure you buy all your fine quality diamonds and jewelry from a local expert that can offer you first class service.
click here to view some complaints from customers of cruise port vendors
The Cruise Line Guarantees their Vendors??
Even though the cruise lines have their “shopping expert” that works for the cruise line, they all deny any interest or relationship with the vendors in their ports. If you search complaints and reviews you can find that they seem to be “in” on the scam trying to convince you that you are getting is a good deal. It has long been rumored that these “shopping experts” are getting kickbacks from the stores.
Buy Local and Benefit
Houston Diamond Outlet guarantees the best value for your fine quality diamond ring anywhere! It is because we are the manufacturer and a direct diamond importer that we can guarantee our prices and quality. You can speak with a diamond expert every day and choose from the areas largest selection in a relaxed no pressure environment. Plus, we offer unsurpassed customer service.