Purchasing jewelry on the Equinox better deal?

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#1
820 Posts
Joined May 2000
we will be going to the following ports...

Cozumel
Costa Maya
Grand Cayman

I think I would feel safer purchasing from the cruise line...

Your thoughts??
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#2
NJ/NV
2,733 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Unless you really know jewelry values and things like stone quality you are shopping in the dark. By and large the only savings you get shopping on the ship are sales tax and duty. The closest example I can give you is Celebrity's used/vintage Rolex watches. I bought DW one before our cruise for just under $1000, the cheapest they had on board that was similar was over $5,000. It is all buyer be ware and aware too.
#3
South Florida
2,663 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Only jewelry we buy is Sterling in Cozumel. You must haggle and haggle more. But know how to spot real sterling.

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#4
Cincinnati, Ohio
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Joined Mar 2004
I'm a bit of a jewelry collector and can tell you that I have never been able to beat the prices of my hometown jeweler (who I have gone to for year) at any store or on the ship. I'm not saying you can't get a good deal, but unless you really know what you are looking at and can compare prices online before buying, you will be buying in the dark. For instance, we went into Diamonds International - was looking for an enhancement band and found one there for $1100. I thought it was a good deal. I went upstairs (Diamond International has a lounge with free drinks, wi-if and phone calls home) and called my jeweler and explained the deal. He said it was an okay deal but that he could do the exact same thing for $800 -- and he did when I got home.


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#5
13,713 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by Elationismyship
I'm a bit of a jewelry collector and can tell you that I have never been able to beat the prices of my hometown jeweler (who I have gone to for year) at any store or on the ship. I'm not saying you can't get a good deal, but unless you really know what you are looking at and can compare prices online before buying, you will be buying in the dark.

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Exactly what my DW does too. With stones, she only buys from a gemologist to avoid regrets.


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#6
Europe
731 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
I'm more than a bit of a collector of antique and vintage jewellery and I never buy from anyone but one trusted jeweller. Unless you really know what you're buying, there are too many variables at play to know whether your getting a good deal, or even what you're paying for. For example, coloured gemstone jewellery might seem like a great deal, but a natural stone that's been treated to enhance its colour or clarity can be worth many times less than an untreated stone of the same specs. So you might think you're getting a great deal on a beautiful stone... but are you? Will a cruise port/ship dealer tell you whether or not it's been treated? Sometimes even gemologists can't tell and the only way to know for sure is to send it to a lab, which give unscrupulous sellers an out.
#8
820 Posts
Joined May 2000
Thanks all

Good information!
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#9
Southeastern NC
2,137 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I've purchased jewelry on ship and in port as a momento, not so much as an investment in fine jewelry. If you do purchase, haggle! For my favorite ring I paid less than 1/3 of what they originally asked.
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#10
West Virginia
5,195 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Be very careful with Celebrity buying on ship. They tell you it is tax and duty free but they also turn you into customs if you buy on the ship. Guess what....it is not tax and duty free. We learned the hard way. Customs does not know what you purchase in the Islands
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#11
Washington, DC
792 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
Don't forget to buy lots and lots of increasingly-rare Tanzanite! The gem that's been running out for decades!

Or is that Ammolite?

Their over-the-top sales pitches for this stuff always crack me up. If you see something that is pretty and that you think you will wear, then feel free to consider buying it. Otherwise, don't expect to get a once-in-a-lifetime deal either on the ship or in port. It's definitely a "buyer beware" economy. And it is important to research the Customs implications so that you don't forget to declare something that you need to declare.
#12
Boca Raton, FL USA
9,284 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by Marie51
I agree with the others. There are really no jewelry bargains to be found on cruises.
Generally true, but not always. DW purchased a Bulgari watch that they said was a closeout. Went to Kirks in Grand Cayman and priced the exact watch and it was more than a $1500 more at Kirks. Found a Maralago bracelet on the ship that was more than the same bracelet that was on clearance in a large retailer in Grand Cayman. This ship priced matched the sale price a threw in a few extras. Found a diamond bracelet in St Marteen at a jeweler I know. Showed the piece to a respected local jeweler and he offered considerable more for it! Bargains are available both on ship and land, but you need to be very careful. You will usually do much better and have more peace of mind if you shop at a reputable jeweler at home. Do some internet research before you buy. I've often met a jeweler on the ship and have asked for advice. Stay away from the Rolex watches as they have been repaired and many original elements have been replaced. This really affects price! If you have non refundable OBC and must spend it you might consider this in determining if you are getting a bargain.
#13
Coastal GA USA
20,699 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by getaway101
Be very careful with Celebrity buying on ship. They tell you it is tax and duty free but they also turn you into customs if you buy on the ship. Guess what....it is not tax and duty free. We learned the hard way. Customs does not know what you purchase in the Islands

Apparently you don't really understand Duty Free. It means that the seller did not pay tax or duty on it, so the (supposedly) can offer it to you fr a lower price. But it is still dutiable for YOU when you bring it into the US. Of course, they don't tell you that. And I have been in a shop in Nassau when I heard a clerk telling someone if they wear if off they don't have to pay duty on it! EM
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#14
Boca Raton, FL USA
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Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by Essiesmom
Apparently you don't really understand Duty Free. It means that the seller did not pay tax or duty on it, so the (supposedly) can offer it to you fr a lower price. But it is still dutiable for YOU when you bring it into the US. Of course, they don't tell you that. And I have been in a shop in Nassau when I heard a clerk telling someone if they wear if off they don't have to pay duty on it! EM
I've heard the same from many who were trying to sell me something. I've also been told not to worry since they are interested only in alcohol and tobacco. Remember that you get an allowance and that lowers the duty. Also the amount of the duty is considerably less than the tax you would pay in most States, Delaware excluded.
#15
Canada's Capital
5,727 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by getaway101
Be very careful with Celebrity buying on ship. They tell you it is tax and duty free but they also turn you into customs if you buy on the ship. Guess what....it is not tax and duty free. We learned the hard way. Customs does not know what you purchase in the Islands
Sorry, but I disagree with your perspective on this issue. Duty free shops, whether on Celebrity, another cruise line or ashore, legitimately advertise and sell their goods duty free. They don't state that duty might or might not be payable to the government of another country, just that they don't charge duty at the store.

When you re-enter the US, you are entitled to a duty-free exemption on goods purchased abroad. The amount of that exemption varies depending on such factors as where you have travelled outside the US and the period of time you've been out of the country. If you keep within the exemption amount, you won't pay any duty on those goods you purchased on Celebrity. On the other hand, if you choose to ignore the maximum exemption amount available to you and make purchases above and beyond your entitlement, you can expect to pay duty on the excess.

Whether or not Celebrity provides information to US Customs really doesn't matter, because you have a legal requirement upon re-entering the US to declare your purchases. Previously, this entailed completing a CBP declaration form, but such innovations as the Mobile Passport app provide alternative means of making the declaration.
#16
Fresno, CA
63 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I own a jewelry store and I shop to get a chuckle at the "deals." Usually it's the quality that is missing. They use certificates I have never heard of, and push items that are dubious. I have seen so much fake tanzanite come into my store. If you want a momento, buy one, but don't think you are getting a bargain. If you are buying something expensive, do it where you can go back if you have a problem and have them resolve it. You local jeweler cannot resolve problems resulting from crappy jewelry without charging you. I see it over and over. I have so many stories.
#17
Central Florida exactly on north-29
2,050 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Lots of opinion on good deals or not and moral issues on being honest. I agree with most, there are only a FEW good deal, once in a while. However if you see something that you cannot live without, go for it. Still, my local jeweler is the best over all place to buy "jewelry" that is expensive.
Now if the duty free purchases that people do not declare, who know if the ship reports it, but if the US really cared, they would have a system set up that any CC purchase over say, $2000 dollars in a foreign transaction would be reported to them, and then they could investigate if further. This would create additional jobs for a Whole lot of people LOL and then they would have to raise the duty fees and set up penally cost to help pay for the new customs employees. With the new programs like mobile passport and other stream lining of immigration for Americans who hate the process, they could hire back all those laid off by them
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#18
6,966 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by muffy6445
I own a jewelry store and I shop to get a chuckle at the "deals." Usually it's the quality that is missing.
There are deals to be had in the islands, if you know where to go. We have friends who have purchased numerous times over the past 25 years from a particular shop on a certain island. They have always haggled the price WAY down and then come home and gotten the item appraised (for insurance purposes) WAY more than what they paid, usually around the price it was originally listed for or more. We went with them a couple of years ago and I got a 3 stone diamond ring. With their guidance, we got a tremendous deal and I have an appraisal from my local jeweler that proves that.

But I do agree that you need to know what you're looking for, and that onboard a ship probably won't get a deal, simply because they aren't authorized to negotiate the price down the way a private jewelry store in the islands might. Be careful even then though; if they agree to a far lower price, you need to be confident in whether or not the item was really worth the original price to begin with. If that was an inflated price to start with, your deal isn't really a deal. We were confident, because of our friends' long and proven history with this particular jeweler. Without their firsthand experience, we never would have trusted the deal we got.
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#19
Cincinnati, Ohio
2,121 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by bEwAbG
Don't forget to buy lots and lots of increasingly-rare Tanzanite! The gem that's been running out for decades!


Best line of this whole thread. I love fine jewelry but can't even consider purchasing Tanzanite due to all the hard sales pitches I've heard on my cruises about it running out. Just feels like it screams sucker!


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#20
Kings Park, NY
3,622 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Beware! Many of the jewelry shops in the Caribbean report jewelry purchases to U.S. Customs. Declare your purchases,.