Credit cards

Do you allow customers to use personal credit cards for purchases?

Credit card companies have never made it more attractive to use their cards for large purchases than they do now, but should designer customers be allowed to use these payment methods when shopping? purchase of products? We asked eight designers—Stamp Adams, Regina and robin Reaves, Tanya Selway and Benjamin Stely, Katherine Walsh, marla Walkerand Jennifer Weisberg— whether they allow customers to use credit cards for purchases.

Benjamin Stella and Tanya SelwayCourtesy of Stelly Selway

Carefree
“We don’t use customer cards for funding. Working with our company allows customers to access our business relations, pricing and sourcing services. This not only benefits our customers as it is one less thing they have to worry about, but it also works in our favor as we build stronger relationships with our suppliers and track the supply chain. and delivery while consolidating purchases for customer billing. We are always looking for ways to improve our service offerings and transparency to our customers. —Benjamin Stelly and Tanya Selway, Stelly Selway, London, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas

Marla Walker

Marla WalkerCourtesy of Marla Walker

The extra miles
“I take care of the purchases for my customers, but I almost exclusively use the customer’s credit cards for these purchases. I find it simplifies my process, helps keep my cash flow stable, and means I don’t have to chase after anyone for a payment after the fact. My mother was a designer and I have memories of her in that situation, and it was very stressful for her. I have also found that customers love the ability to earn miles and rewards for themselves and appreciate the additional statement of all purchases made for their project, in addition to the detailed statements I provide. —Marla Walker, Interiors of Marla Walker, Rhinebeck, New York

Regina and Robin Reaves

Regina and Robin ReavesCourtesy of R&R Design

Too complicated
“Our policy is not to allow customers to use their own credit cards for funding, as this complicates the process. There are pros and cons to authorizing credit card payments, but in our experience it adds additional costs for the consumer and/or seller. The benefits do not outweigh the responsibilities of our firm or our clients. —Regina and Robin Reaves, R&R Interior Design, Charlotte, NC

Kathleen Walsh

Kathleen WalshCourtesy of Kathleen Walsh

Policy change
“For many years we allowed the use of customer credit cards directly with suppliers, but this was a response to the need for greater transparency in the early 2000s. Recently we have found that it had become too transparent. No matter how diligent we were, small discrepancies for things like shipping adjustments and deposits confused the optics of the process, and it no longer seemed like the right strategy. For our clients, hiring us means investing in luxury and obtaining beauty, expertise and service. We now provide transparency through various methods and keep the headaches of buying behind the scenes, maintaining an impression of the industry that serves us all best. —Kathleen Walsh, Kathleen Walsh Interiors, New York

Jennifer Weisberg

Jennifer WeisbergCourtesy of Jennifer Weisberg

no power
“I generally don’t allow customers to purchase goods with their personal credit cards. Suppliers often don’t allow end users to pay for them directly, as they are business oriented and like to have relationships with designers. Purchasing items through my company allows me to resolve any issues that may arise.If a sofa arrives damaged and was purchased by the customer, I do not have the authority to resolve the situation.Jennifer Weisberg, JLW Interiors, New York

Stamp Adams

Stamp AdamsCourtesy of Cachet Adams

Lesson learned
“I no longer accept customer credit cards for purchases. In my first projects, I preferred to use the client’s card. This was partly due to my own ignorance. I now know that is too much of a liability. A client once contacted me months after their project was completed and asked if I had accidentally used their card to make a recent purchase. I assured her no, and I’m sure she believed me, but I felt bad that she was in the position of having to ask. It was awkward for both of us. I quickly rearranged my payment structure to avoid having to do this again, and I haven’t had any issues since! If a customer insists on using their own card, I will direct them to online design services where they can shop as they please. —Cachet Adams, Cachet Demaine Interiors, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Homepage Photo: A Bedroom by Stelly Selway | Courtesy of Stelly Selway