What does a Design Agent DO???

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by upchurchmr, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    I just attempted to buy study plans from a well known design office.
    Sent in my credit card information, expected to get the email the next day.
    Waited another day and called.
    The conversation went like this:
    I am just the agent. We should have sent you an email, did you get it?
    Well the designer in Germany just told us he is going on vacation for 10 days, so you will have to wait until he is back.
    But aren't you the agent? Don't you have authority to send out plans and especially study plans (electronic PDF)?
    No the Designer will send you that.
    So you don't have a copy of the email you can forward.

    What does a Design Agent do? Anyone?
    He took my order, has my credit card information, as advertised on his web site. Is this reasonable?

    As far as I have heard, there has been no issues, no complaints with this office.

    Someone explain it to me. I thought the point of an electronic delivery was to receive it quickly and the point of a business agent was to make that happen.
  2. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Frankly, never heard of it in the small boat design business.

    Sounds like a sales agent to me, which is a figure usually present in big shipbuilding-related companies with a wide national or international sales network.
  3. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    If someone walks in my office and says he wants to be our 'design agent' I will just kick him out. A lot of scam around. Secondly, the sense of designer's work is to design for client, not talking through any middlemen. These middlemen always cause confusion, mismanagement, substitute customer's needs by their own vision, and in no case are qualified to provide any support. So, why then?
  4. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Can't help thinking of what a curious and void combination of words is that - Design Agent.
    Sounds like a job title with no tangible content.

    Unless... it has something to do with taxes? I mean, the company is in Germany but you pay to a person in the US, who will issue an invoice to you. He will then pay another invoice from the company in Germany (with some other amount in it), and so there goes the dance of bouncing invoices, international cash flows and tax reductions. Just thinking out loud, hypothetically of course...
  5. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I assume the reason for having an agent in the US is that the German designer doesn't speak English??

    but strange that the designer doesn't trust the agent to send out studyplans (having only the designer emailing building plans is a bit more understandable)

    Richard Woods

  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I know of several designers and NA's using "agents" for overseas sales. The details of each arrangement can be quite varying, as you'd expect, but the idea is to relieve the originating office the burden of shipping costs, which can get costly, if selling low cost plan sets. For example, DuckWorks Magazine is an agent for several designers, moving, advertising and reproducing plan sets as required, for a commission of course. Glen-L is now the sole agent for Ken Hankinson, as another example.
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