The most useful tip I received prior to my trip was to get downtown before the stores open. If you are the first buyer to enter a store, the locals will literally cut their price in half in order to get you to buy an item. Reason being, in St. Maarten, the store owners believe that if the first customer leaves without buying something, they will have poor sales for that day. Hope this is useful. Remember, in St. Maarten, the early bird really does get the worm!