Many of the people that I meet ask why are things on Eleuthera so expensive such as food, car rentals and almost everything else they purchase? This is a topic that I can understand people questioning. They come from a place say in the US and they are used to prices there. They know this is an island and expect things to be a bit higher in cost but in reality they are much higher.
So why are things so much more expensive here?
To answer that we have to explain how things work here. First it’s an island nation which relies heavily on imports for almost everything. Very little is actually produced here and so most things are shipped to the Bahamas by plane or boat.
So let’s suppose you are a buyer in Nassau. You place your order and it’s shipped to Nassau. We’ll use a simple apple as the case for now. So the apple cost x amount in the US. Now once it gets to Nassau freight, customs duties, VAT etc have been added to that cost. The apple now has increased in cost. Now let’s continue the journey and the apple is shipped to Eleuthera to a store here.
Again the shipping cost from Nassau is added to the cost over Nassau and don’t forget when Nassau sold the apple to be shipped here, they wanted to make a profit. So the store here gets the apple and has to add the new shipping cost, overhead and profit they need to the apple. You then get to buy the apple for around $1.00 plus VAT.
Generally speaking if I buy something for ourselves and have it shipped to us from the US the cost is usually about double by the time it actually gets into my hands. Now if I were a retailer, I’d have to make a profit and that’s why you see an item and it’s sometimes three times the cost you’d pay in the US. Everyone that touches the product wants to cover their costs as well as make a profit. The more hands that touch it, the more costly it gets.
Now every item has a different duty rate and shipping cost but as a general rule it’s a lot more expensive on an island and you shouldn’t try to compare prices for what you would get in the US for prices here. It’s not an apple to apple type comparison. That was intended. Same apple, different place, different costs.