We've recently been experimenting with new ways of getting things to Tortola. My mom has been kind enough to forward our mail every three weeks or so to the BVI PO Box for HB's work, but the time lag combined with the cost has made this impractical. We also want to be able to order things online, like clothing, and have them actually make it to the BVI. The BVI post is not reliable enough for this, and many companies won't ship to the BVI anyway.
So we recently opened an account with Tortola Express. For an annual subscription fee of $75, Tortola Express, working with Aeropost, provides you with a shipping address and P.O. Box in Miami, where you can have packages and mail sent. They then fly everything to the BVI twice a week, and send you an e-mail or text message to let you know when your items have arrived. Additional shipping charges apply based only on the weight of the items, rather than on quantity or size.
We tested the whole system by ordering some sheets from Target, figuring we could probably get them cheaper that way, than paying the $80 minimum a queen-sized sheet set commands at a department store on island. We were wrong. After paying for shipping the sheets from Target to Miami, then from Miami to Tortola, plus the 20% duty imposed on import of household items (and the BVI also charges duty on shipping costs), we probably would have been better off buying sheets here.
Shipping costs for mail are less than for packaged goods, and the convenience of receiving our mail on a more regular basis makes it a worthwhile expense. But all the extra hassle and cost of using Tortola Express for online ordering means we'll be buying things here when possible, and only using Tortola Express for things we absolutely can't get here and have to have - like K-cups for our Keurig coffeemaker