How to Buy an Oriental or Persian Rug Online
Online sales of Oriental rugs have increased in the last few years. If you are considering buying an Oriental rug online, this article may be of value to you. In seeking information on Persian [woven in Iran] and Oriental rugs, a user friendly web site can definitely assist you in increasing your familiarity with the subject and gaining a basic understanding in general. Additionally, you will be expanding your potential of finding a rug or carpet that may not be available locally or otherwise.
I have looked over many Oriental rug web sites in the last couple of years and constantly work to improve mine. I have found that the majority of people embarking on the rug journey are looking for a dealer or firm they can trust. I find it difficult to believe someone would purchase a rug without human communication and interaction and actually wonder how many rugs are sold with the point and click, technique. I honestly don’t recommend it. Get to know your seller.
Even on a wholesale level, the integrity of the person I am doing business with is of vital importance. I am very fortunate in that I have established relationships with a number of upstanding wholesalers, many of which, I now consider friends as well as business associates!
The one point I have observed to be somewhat problematic to buyers when they start looking online is that they are just plain unfamiliar with handmade rugs in general, thus, the search parameters involving size, type and so forth, (particularly with Oriental and Persian rug names) have no bearing. How can one possibly search for a specific rug type unless they have some familiarity it. For each type of rug available, there are many levels of quality so clean, clear photographs and descriptions are vital. Once a person has looked over and observed a few hundred rugs, they now can begin to get an idea of what they find appealing and are responding to personally.
One question you might ask yourself is, “What is the mood you are trying to achieve in the space?” One of the reasons why people become so passionate about their choices is that a rug woven with heart, will illicit a emotional response when viewed. In one of my other articles I go into detail about what a woven piece of art can say! Just like a painting, sculpture or any other respected art form, a good rug will reach out and communicate to you. With many hundreds of hours devoted to its creation, the weavers art is an art form that one can live with and enjoy daily!
Another question you might think about is: Will the rug be used as the focal point for the room or as a back drop for your other cherished furnishings and art? I personally like tribal rugs as they are so versatile in an eclectic decorating scheme as well as the minimalist contemporary interiors and older homes one often sees in interior decorating magazines. On occasion, the only rug that will work in a space is a more formal type, such as a Persian workshop rug with a detailed floral design so if you are placing the rug in an already decorated room, the challenge can be a bit greater. If you are looking for a large rug, my best advice is to start with the rug and then move forward with the other furnishings. Classically speaking, larger hand woven Oriental rugs have been referred to as Oriental Carpets but honestly, either of these terms are interchangeable. Another term you may have come across is “palace size” which denotes sizes larger than 10 x 14. Again, the term does not indicate quality but only size.
There really is not that much difference between buying wholesale and retail other than the former takes a keener eye and a bit more knowledge than the latter. This is what I’ve learned as a retail shop owner that has sold and shipped rugs all over the United States.
If you can’t see the details clearly in the photos presented, request more. Ask every question that comes to mind and possibly, forward photos of the space to the seller where you intend to use the rug so they can ensure the rug will work. If you have any other rugs that will be close by, photograph these and include them.
Most people now have digital cameras and for a busy person without the time to spend days or even weeks finding rug retailers, driving to rug stores, this option is time saving and direct.
Look for basic information about the types of rugs sold. If the owner of the site has not taken the time to explain and highlight details of the rugs offered, move on.
Always purchase the rug on “an approval” basis. Most ethical dealers want the client to be completely thrilled with what they have chosen and will go to great lengths to ensure the correct rug is being sent. In the unusual case that the rug chosen is completely wrong, an ethical retailer will be eager and willing to work with the client to find the correct piece. I personally have only had this happen on a couple of occasions in the last decade but it’s a great safety factor for the buyer. Ultimately, we found the right rug on the next go round, which was great.
If you happen to live in a remote area without a major city nearby, you still have many choices when it comes to finding a beautiful, hand-woven rug for your home by shopping online. For those that like to collect saddlebags or any of the other “Oriental Rug Trappings” as they are called, you will have a much broader selection as some rug stores do not even carry these types of nomadic hand-woven artifacts.