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I shall buy furniture from Møbelringen, a chain retailer. My remote town in Canada has no furniture stores. But each Møbelringen store is "member-owned and independent". I know Møbelringen is famous in Norway...but just because the parent company is legitimate, does not prevent an independently owned and operated store from bankruptcy.

Møbelringen's Store Manager emailed me, from his official @mobelringen.com address, the following.

Of course, most of our customers pay by credit card in store. But we do not have PayPal, or any possibility to pay by credit card online.

You have to wire by bank from Canada. Or you can tell me your credit card details over the phone. I shall keep your details confidential.

I refuse bank transfer. I prefer my no FX fee credit card that allows me to chargeback and dispute, if the sale goes awry...like if Møbelringen turns out to be a swindler, and goes rogue with my money.

Undoubtedly, I don't want Manager to know my credit card details. But then how can I pay with my credit card? Thanks!

Importing from Norway is cheaper, even after paying CBSA duties!

Place of sale = Møbelringen, Norway Furniture store in British Columbia
Sofa price = 15 000 NOK ≈ $2000 CAD. Contract price = $4500.
Freight + insurance from Norway to Vancouver = 6 000 NOK ≈ $800 CAD. Home delivery included.
B.C. GST + HST on merely the sofa price = 13% × $2000 CAD = $260. B.C. GST + HST on contract price = 13% × $4500 = $585.
Total ≈ $ 3260 CAD. Total = $5085.
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    How do you ever use your credit card, if you never let the retailer see the card details? Giving a card number over the phone is normal; I have done it many times.
    – Simon B
    Sep 3, 2022 at 13:50
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    Are you sure about this? It seems extremely unlikely that a Norwegian firm will ship to Canada for less than a Canadian firm. What is it you are buying, and where are you? Sep 3, 2022 at 14:34
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    @SimonB I insert my credit card into the payment terminal. Retail staff never see my credit card themselves, or write down its details.
    – user118119
    Sep 3, 2022 at 20:57
  • @DJClayworth See the bottom of my edited question.
    – user118119
    Sep 4, 2022 at 0:18
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    All the difference is in the price. But in Vancouver I can find literally hundreds of sofas for sale under $1500, which completely reverses the calculation. Why do you want a $4500 sofa, and are you sure the Norwegian one is the same one? Sep 4, 2022 at 2:09

4 Answers 4

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Ask your credit card company if they offer virtual account numbers. These are unique credit card numbers that are generated for you and linked to your account for one-time use or for recurring payments when you do not have a trusting relationship with the seller. You can set time limits and charge limits. The seller never learns your real card number. See the example screenshot below.

If your card company does not offer this, you might consider opening a new account with a company that offers this service. Currently, in the USA only Capital One and Citibank offer this service. I don't know who offers this in Canada.

enter image description here

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    privacy.com is another service that lets you create such virtual numbers with a bank account from most other banks. it might also be US only tho Sep 4, 2022 at 1:33
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    This is the answer, but the OP's question is misguided as indicated inthe comments. Sep 4, 2022 at 12:50
  • I have such a card, however, after talking with my Bank of America representative, the only real advantage other than not disclosing your link bank account, is that the bank can more easily/quickly cancel and re-issue you a new virtual linked account number. The money involved with a bad transaction, however, may still not always be recoverable, I suspect, check with your bank.
    – AJKOER
    Sep 5, 2022 at 13:10
  • Also, what is not mentioned, what is the bank's policy if someone steals your virtual card number? The good thing about a real physical card is that you usually known to a high degree of confidence when it is, indeed, missing!
    – AJKOER
    Sep 5, 2022 at 13:20
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    @AJKOER To clarify: When I create a virtual card number for a one-time purchase from an untrusted seller, I place a dollar limit on the card equal to the agreed sale price, and as soon as the sale is complete, I cancel the virtual card. From that point onward, the card number is useless to anyone who "steals" it. There is no physical card to steal, it's just a card number. The bank's policy on ALL cards, real and virtual, is that the cardholder is protected from fraudulent charges.
    – MTA
    Sep 5, 2022 at 14:58
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You can't.

If you want to pay by credit card you'll have to provide your credit card details. How else do you expect them to know which credit card to charge?

Some banks allow generating one-time use credit card number that would be aliased to your main account number, if your bank supports that you can provide such a number instead of your main account number. Otherwise - the number that is embossed/printed on your plastic is the number you'd need to read out over the phone.

As you said, using credit card provides certain protections, including against unauthorized charges. So I'm not sure I understand your concern.

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    +1. And I don't entirely understand why Møbelringen is more likely to be a swindler than any one else who has sight of your credit card number (for instance a server in a restaurant).
    – abligh
    Sep 3, 2022 at 11:52
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    @Monica They do not need to write it down, they can easily skim it.
    – Bib
    Sep 3, 2022 at 22:18
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    @Monica For what it's worth, it is absolutely possible that the standard reader you insert it into (retail, restaurant, hotel, etc) transmits it to the merchant's system in cleartext, where anyone can look at it. There are ways to secure it (and the PCI rules are much easier on the merchant if they do), but there's generally no way for the cardholder to know one way or the other.
    – Bobson
    Sep 4, 2022 at 0:35
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    @Monica unless credit cards are different in canada than the US really you are worrying for no reason- in the unlikely event someone skims your card you dispute the charges and go on with life. I have never once, literally never, heard of someone having to pay for charges they didn't authorize
    – eps
    Sep 4, 2022 at 0:37
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    @Monica This is the way credit cards have been used for the last 40 years. Before on line shopping you paid for things over the phone and gave the card details. This is one of the main things they were used for, so you did not have to use the previous very insecure method of sending cheques through the post - or the effor of having to go to the Post Office to buy a Postal Order.
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 4, 2022 at 8:35
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I do not know Canadian banking systems, but can't you open a new bank account with a debit card and wire to that account 3000 CAD? (and then pay with that card)

This is a time expensive solution but would work if you do not have virtual card numbers.

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    I do not understand this answer? Why would I "open a new bank account with a debit card"? Debit card does NOT allow "me to chargeback and dispute the sale, if something goes awry...like if Møbelringen turns out to be a swindler, and goes rogue with my $3000 CAD."
    – user118119
    Sep 4, 2022 at 0:03
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    debit cards have less protections than credit cards, this is a bad way to go.
    – eps
    Sep 4, 2022 at 0:35
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    @Monica Given that you seem unwilling to rely on the ability to dispute any charges on your card that you didn't authorize, this is not as unreasonable a suggestion as it appears at first. It's not necessarily a good one, but it successfully trades one problem (the inability to recover the 3000 CAD) for security against the merchant doing something inappropriate with your card information. That tradeoff may be worth it to you, since you seem more concerned about the latter than the former.
    – Bobson
    Sep 4, 2022 at 0:39
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    @Monica I think what Bobson is saying is that you already have the ability to dispute unauthorized charges on your card, and yet you apparently want to have even more protection than that. Sep 4, 2022 at 2:00
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    @Guest What Tanner said. You already have the ability to dispute anything that shows up on your credit card statement. It doesn't matter if the guy from Norway is a fraudster, just lax about card security, or if they even go and sell your credit card number online after you give it to them. If a charge that you don't recognize shows up, dispute it. It's not just for transactions you knowingly entered into and didn't get what you expected. So it should be perfectly safe to give him your card number, so long as you're always watching for anything that shouldn't be there.
    – Bobson
    Sep 4, 2022 at 15:21
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You can ask the store manager if he can set up a payment thru a payment service like Klarna AB (Swedish company).

In this way, Klarna is responsible for taking your payment, and you can pay online in the Klarna app with your credit card.

I use Klarna for purchases in Norway all the time, since I can pay for the goods afterwards within 30 days at no extra cost.

Alternatively, just wire the money to the store bank account.

You can rest assured that mobelringen.no is a legitimate company, I live in Norway and I know this company, and the chances they will swindel you are extremely low.

You can look up the officially registered companies by name "mobelringen" in Norway from the official goverment register of companies at brreg.no, you can see there are many legitimate companies in this chain.

Link to BRREG (brønnøysund company register)

https://w2.brreg.no/enhet/sok/treffliste.jsp?navn=mobelringen&orgform=0&fylke=0&kommune=0

The main company is registered as Mobelringen AS, founded 1985 and last filed taxes in 2021. It looks legitimate.

https://w2.brreg.no/enhet/sok/detalj.jsp?orgnr=934672194

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  • Thanks. But each store is member-owned and independent. Just because the parent company is legitimate, doesn't mean each store is.
    – user118119
    Sep 9, 2022 at 23:57

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