The U.S. Virgin Islands are a duty-free port, with no sales or luxury taxes on items such as watches, cameras, fine jewelry, china, and leather goods. Christiansted's King's Alley on St. Croix offers handmade goods and designer fashions. Mongoose Junction on St. John is a shopper's paradise, featuring jewelry, clothing, crafts, and artwork. Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas has been hailed as the best shopping port in the world. In short, you're sure to find unique, inexpensive shopping no matter what island you're on.
Shops in the downtown areas are usually closed on Sundays, unless a cruise ship is in port. Shops at the larger hotels are usually open on Sundays. Look for bargains on perfume, liquor, cameras, china, porcelain, crystal, imported clothing, leather goods, watches, jewelry, and gold, as well as crafts made by local artisans. Many of these items can be bought for 40 percent less than in the United States; liquor and cigarettes are often 60 percent less.
U.S. citizens are allowed a duty-free shopping quota of $1,200--twice that of any other island in the Caribbean and three times that of European countries. A flat rate of five percent duty is charged on purchases over your $1,200 allowance, up to a maximum of $1,000 more. Besides your personal exemption, you can mail friends and relatives at home an unlimited number of gifts (other than perfume, liquor, or tobacco) worth $100 or less per gift.