If you’ve never purchased a Persian or Oriental rug before – or even if you purchased a few in your life – if you learn nothing else about finding and purchasing a fine Persian rug, it’s this: an experienced and reliable rug dealer is everything.
An honest rug dealer will help you find an authentic and beautiful Persian/Oriental rug that fits your budget. You’ll rest assured that the rug you purchase is an actual hand-made Persian or Oriental rug (and not a machine-made rug). You’ll also know that the price of the rug is fair and not inflated.
As you search for rugs, take a look at the sellers of those rugs. Some tips to follow:
- A good dealer will be happy – if not eager – to teach you about what makes a good rug. He will be excited about sharing his considerable rug knowledge with you and will help guide you through the process – without strong-arming you with stressful “buy now or this great deal will be gone!” tactics.
- The dealer should be able to tell you the history of the he’s selling, from the symbolism of the patterns, to the meanings and history of the design, to the dying process. He also may know the history of a few individual rugs in his store.
- He (or his company) will likely suggest that you take a rug home on approval, but without an obligation on your part to buy the rug.
- He won’t buy or offer rugs he believes to have been made by children; he is very concerned about child labor within his beloved industry and he’ll do all he can to avoid rugs made under conditions he believes to be suspect.
- You’ll sometimes see in your local newspaper announcements for what are known as customs auctions of rugs supposedly seized by U.S. Customs. These are fraudulent! How do we know? Because any goods seized by U.S. Customs must be shipped back to the country of origin; they aren’t allowed to be sold in the United States.
- See if you can find a dealer with whom you feel comfortable who also is a certified rug appraiser. Many will claim to be, so ask to see proof.
As you search for a rug, visit several different dealers before deciding on one or more. Your financial outlay is likely to be considerable, so you shouldn’t be in a great rush to find and purchase a Persian/Oriental rug.
Finally, go with your gut. If something is telling you that there’s something “off” about a rug dealer, walk away. There are many legitimate, honest and knowledgeable rug dealers available.