In this day and age of online shopping, you may wonder why or if you should be shopping for rugs in person. Shopping for a rug in person has many perks. You can see the details up close, and you can get a better idea of the rug’s texture and condition. Sometimes, it’s simply easier to buy rugs online, and this is certainly something you can do.
You can shop worry-free for rugs online if you’re buying through a trusted dealer, however, many of the best rug deals are not through dealers but rather through independent sellers. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re buying a rug online.
If you’re shopping for a rug on a site like eBay, which features a feedback system, take the time to look through the reviews. You’ll want to look out for things like a seller not describing items accurately, delayed shipping times, and situations where a buyer never received anything at all. Something like one single instance of a seller missing a shipping deadline might be excusable, however, we recommend staying away from sellers who have multiple complaints of sending out goods that varied tremendously from the product description.
It happens far too often- the title says “Handmade Rug” but the description goes to clarify that the rug is actually a machine made rug styled after handmade rugs. Take the time to read every bit of a rug’s description, because a deal that is too good to be true often is.
If you’re shopping for an authentic Persian or Oriental rug, the rug’s construction should be hand-knotted or hand-woven. There should also be clear information about the country of origin of a rug, its materials (beware of “antique” rugs using any material other than wool or silk, as these are often reproductions), and information such as the knots per square inch (KPI).
Generally, you will want to look for any discrepancies. For example, an authentic Persian rug will only come from Iran. You should not spend excessive amounts of money on an “authentic” Persian rug made in India or Pakistan, for example, as these rugs are often reproductions. Their quality may be similar, however, there is a huge price difference.
If any information is missing, reach out to the seller. Often times, they simply forgot to include information. Be wary of sellers who either can not or will not provide additional information.
The more photos, the better. At the very minimum, you should be looking for photos of at least one side of the rug, its fringe, and the back of the rug. Rugs with major repair jobs done will show signs from the back side better than they will from the front. Additional photos can include detail shots, corner photos, and photos of problem areas. If a rug’s description mentions something vague about the rug, such as “minor damage”, however, there are no photos of said damage included, request them. One person’s definition of minor damage might actually be your idea of major damage.
If the rug you are looking at is over a decade old, ask for additional photos of typical problem areas, such as the fringe. You should also ask if the rug appears to need any repairs, and make sure to ask about the last time the rug was washed, too.
If you’re not sure about a rug that you found online, ask a trusted rug expert for a second opinion. At Behnam Rugs, we are more than happy to look over product photos with you and give you our input. If you’re not comfortable purchasing a rug online, we can even find you a rug similar to the one you found.