Hiring an Interior Decorator

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A-Commoner
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Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by A-Commoner » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:41 am

An interior decorator we interviewed and whose work we like wants to keep our credit card info so she can do shopping on our behalf. Her rationale is she can pass on trade discounts to us if she does the buying herself. She says we can buy the items she recommends ourselves but we won’t be able to avail of the discounts. Is giving your credit card info to the decorator the norm? I’m uncomfortable with this arrangement so I haven’t pulled trigger.

greenbldg2
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by greenbldg2 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 am

Do not give out your CC information. That is not how the service works.

They should purchase and then request payment from you separately.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:04 am

Maybe it’s an interior decorator with a cash flow problem. I would not give them my CC information.

We do sometimes have someone else buy for us, but then they bill us.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:13 am

+1

Interior designers usually say they can obtain discounts for you (that’s a big part of the buying service). It’s odd that she won’t buy and bill you the discounted price.

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sperry8
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by sperry8 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:27 am

HomeStretch wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:13 am
+1

Interior designers usually say they can obtain discounts for you (that’s a big part of the buying service). It’s odd that she won’t buy and bill you the discounted price.
She may not have the money to "front" the purchases and post-bill. Personally, I'd rather give my cc so I could earn miles/points/cashback on all purchases. What I would want to make sure however is that she won't buy anything without my approval in email/text writing.
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WJW
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by WJW » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:36 am

As a General Contractor who has worked with designers in the past this is not uncommon. Most designers don't want to get stiffed for an item that the client may not want/wants to change or do not have the credit available to pay for high ticket items.

Now that I offer design/build services, we always purchase selections using our corporate card. One to get the rewards and two to be able to better control the return process should we need to return an item. We do ask for payment in full prior to placing the order though.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by Cyclesafe » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:48 am

Pay the designer for the plan, then buy your own services/stuff. Why give this person an additional (and uncontrollable) means of gigging you for additional profit? Never underestimate how much middle-people and suppliers will collude to extract as much money as possible from your wallet. Just because "everyone else" is a patsy doesn't mean you have to be.
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daheld
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by daheld » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:51 am

I would never hire an interior decorator, and if in some delusional fever dream I did, I'd for sure never give them my CC information.

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mhc
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by mhc » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:52 am

I would not give the person my cc number, but if I did, I would create a temporary card number with a dollar limit and expiration date (whatever your cc company allows for creating throw away card numbers).

HomeStretch
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:59 am

Part of the appeal of the interior designer’s services is that s/he sources, buys, delivers and installs products. Minimal work for the client. WJW’s practice (doing the work but asking client to pay before ordering) seems like a reasonable compromise versus the two options your designer gave you. You should be able to utilize her discount in any scenario.

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FlyAF
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by FlyAF » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:18 am

This is common. Our decorator offered to bill or use our cc. Since we're talking 50+k, I gave her my cc so I could get the points. She never used the card before sending me quotes and explicitly getting my approval for every single purchase and we're talking hundreds of them. It also allowed me to monitor every purchase in real time since I could log into my cc website and reconcile everything daily.

There is nothing shady here and people that suggest otherwise have no experience with industry practices.

ETA: These people's businesses live and die by word of mouth referrals. It is in no way worth the risk to their future business to try and sneak in an extra charge on your cc. They would be really stupid to do that. I mean I guess I could understand the concern if you found this person on craigslist or something.

I do have my cc company issue new cards when we're finished though. Not because I think that she will go on a bender with my card, but because the next time something fraudulent does happen on my card I don't want my mind to immediately jump to that conclusion.
Last edited by FlyAF on Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
A-Commoner
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by A-Commoner » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:45 am

Thanks for all of your input. The draft contract she showed us stated that all purchases by her will be approved by me before she buys them. My concern is if she has my CC info, someone can hack into her files and get my info. But then again, how is this different from our CC info getting hacked when we buy from Target or other stores that have actually been hacked? Or having an Amazon or Netflix account with your CC info stored by them?

Another concern is if she uses my card to purchase things for herself. But then I will see these purchases and disallow them and will also be alerted by the CC company if this were to happen.

I like the idea of having a temporary CC with a spending limit just enough for the home decorating budget.

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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by dbr » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:23 pm

It is certainly not a crime or some kind of fraud for the designer to use your credit card, but doesn't this violate the Terms and Conditions you agreed to with the bank? I imagine one way this could come back to haunt you is that the bank would not longer stand by the fraud protection provisions of your card against unauthorized charges originating elsewhere if you are already in violation of the contract yourself.

Perhaps the most straightforward tactic would be to register the decorator as an authorized user. That also means they get a copy of your card with their name on it. I am unclear how someone who is not you can completely legitimately act as you using the card without being an authorized user.

ras4250
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by ras4250 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:39 pm

If it was me, I would rather have the points and use my credit card. I also would know that she is not buying and billing me a "marked-up" price. If it is charged directly to your card, and she provides all receipts, you know there is no markup.

I would add her as an additional card user with a lower credit limit based on what you need to purchase and then monitor the card religiously. If that card number is hacked from being with her, just cancel the card and your card is safe.

WillRetire
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by WillRetire » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:49 pm

dbr wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:23 pm
It is certainly not a crime or some kind of fraud for the designer to use your credit card, but doesn't this violate the Terms and Conditions you agreed to with the bank? I imagine one way this could come back to haunt you is that the bank would not longer stand by the fraud protection provisions of your card against unauthorized charges originating elsewhere if you are already in violation of the contract yourself.

Perhaps the most straightforward tactic would be to register the decorator as an authorized user. That also means they get a copy of your card with their name on it. I am unclear how someone who is not you can completely legitimately act as you using the card without being an authorized user.
Agree. Giving an unauthorized user your CC info is not kosher. Need some other arrangement.

WillRetire
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by WillRetire » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:52 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:18 am
This is common. Our decorator offered to bill or use our cc. Since we're talking 50+k, I gave her my cc so I could get the points. She never used the card before sending me quotes and explicitly getting my approval for every single purchase and we're talking hundreds of them. It also allowed me to monitor every purchase in real time since I could log into my cc website and reconcile everything daily.

There is nothing shady here and people that suggest otherwise have no experience with industry practices.

ETA: These people's businesses live and die by word of mouth referrals. It is in no way worth the risk to their future business to try and sneak in an extra charge on your cc. They would be really stupid to do that. I mean I guess I could understand the concern if you found this person on craigslist or something.

I do have my cc company issue new cards when we're finished though. Not because I think that she will go on a bender with my card, but because the next time something fraudulent does happen on my card I don't want my mind to immediately jump to that conclusion.
By that logic, there would never be fraud or ripoffs by any small business. Also, just because this is common practice as you state, doesn't mean it is a wise or good practice. There are better, legal and professional practices for dealing with the risk of the decorator getting stuck with purple & orange flower drapes.

Dottie57
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:55 pm

When I used a designer, she worked for a well known furniture store. She had my credit card info. I received papers for all items purchased and and they showed up on credit card. The furniture store is very well known and I wasnot worried about fraud.

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FlyAF
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by FlyAF » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:10 pm

WillRetire wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:52 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:18 am
This is common. Our decorator offered to bill or use our cc. Since we're talking 50+k, I gave her my cc so I could get the points. She never used the card before sending me quotes and explicitly getting my approval for every single purchase and we're talking hundreds of them. It also allowed me to monitor every purchase in real time since I could log into my cc website and reconcile everything daily.

There is nothing shady here and people that suggest otherwise have no experience with industry practices.

ETA: These people's businesses live and die by word of mouth referrals. It is in no way worth the risk to their future business to try and sneak in an extra charge on your cc. They would be really stupid to do that. I mean I guess I could understand the concern if you found this person on craigslist or something.

I do have my cc company issue new cards when we're finished though. Not because I think that she will go on a bender with my card, but because the next time something fraudulent does happen on my card I don't want my mind to immediately jump to that conclusion.
By that logic, there would never be fraud or ripoffs by any small business. Also, just because this is common practice as you state, doesn't mean it is a wise or good practice. There are better, legal and professional practices for dealing with the risk of the decorator getting stuck with purple & orange flower drapes.
Cool. I suggest that you use those better practices the next time you hire an interior decorator.

delamer
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by delamer » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:38 pm

WillRetire wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:49 pm
dbr wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:23 pm
It is certainly not a crime or some kind of fraud for the designer to use your credit card, but doesn't this violate the Terms and Conditions you agreed to with the bank? I imagine one way this could come back to haunt you is that the bank would not longer stand by the fraud protection provisions of your card against unauthorized charges originating elsewhere if you are already in violation of the contract yourself.

Perhaps the most straightforward tactic would be to register the decorator as an authorized user. That also means they get a copy of your card with their name on it. I am unclear how someone who is not you can completely legitimately act as you using the card without being an authorized user.
Agree. Giving an unauthorized user your CC info is not kosher. Need some other arrangement.
Our travel agent has my credit card info to charge our cruises, flights, hotels, etc.

It never occurred to me that it was not legit.

WillRetire
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by WillRetire » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:34 pm

When ready to purchase a flight, a cruise, or a couch, give the agent your credit card *for that purchase*.

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sperry8
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by sperry8 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:46 pm

Cyclesafe wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:48 am
Pay the designer for the plan, then buy your own services/stuff. Why give this person an additional (and uncontrollable) means of gigging you for additional profit? Never underestimate how much middle-people and suppliers will collude to extract as much money as possible from your wallet. Just because "everyone else" is a patsy doesn't mean you have to be.
Agreed. However a lot of high end furniture is only sold as wholesale to designers (you and me as the general public cannot buy it directly). Further even chains like Design Within Reach offer 15% off to interior designers... where you and I pay full price. So while your ID may mark it up you're still either getting stuff you'd have no access to - or stuff still cheaper than you can buy directly. The high end furniture game is an interesting one and is ripe for disruption. Until then y'all can say "I wouldn't hire an Interior Designer" but the fact is you'd change your tune when you wanted that high end Italian credenza...
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dbr
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by dbr » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:59 pm

This reference may by obliquely relevant concerning procedures in the travel agency to hold and use client credit card data to make bookings:

https://www.travelresearchonline.com/bl ... ompliance/

Trader Joe
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:10 pm

A-Commoner wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:41 am
An interior decorator we interviewed and whose work we like wants to keep our credit card info so she can do shopping on our behalf. Her rationale is she can pass on trade discounts to us if she does the buying herself. She says we can buy the items she recommends ourselves but we won’t be able to avail of the discounts. Is giving your credit card info to the decorator the norm? I’m uncomfortable with this arrangement so I haven’t pulled trigger.
In my experience this is routine. Have you ever used an interior decorator before?

delamer
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by delamer » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:28 pm

WillRetire wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:34 pm
When ready to purchase a flight, a cruise, or a couch, give the agent your credit card *for that purchase*.
My concern is whether it is somehow fraudulent to allow the travel agency to use my card to make a purchase for me as a 3rd party. Similar to the interior decorator.

I wasn’t worried about security.

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sk2101
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by sk2101 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:50 pm

I have worked with interior designers and this is common practice. I would tell her that even though she has the cc number you want to pre-approve all purchases and obviously het s copy of all the invoices.

toofache32
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Re: Hiring an Interior Decorator

Post by toofache32 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:52 pm

Is this an interior decorator or an interior designer? Both labels are being thrown around here.

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