Some rug dealers might ask more for rugs and some might ask less but if you know what you are looking for and have done your due diligence you should feel confident in your choice.
Before paying for the rug it would be wise to make sure to have the dealer go over the condition with you and ask him to put it in writing along with the age, description and price. Some of the better antique carpet dealers (those who stand behind their prices and pieces) might even be willing to take in the rug for store credit if down the line you want to upgrade your rug for a better piece or just want a new size or look (if the rug has not been damaged then for the most part - dealers should be willing to stand behind the rug and price).
If you are looking at the higher-end antique carpets you might want to have it looked at by an independent appraiser prior to finalizing the sale but with that said - no one could ever know the true value better that the dealer who buys and sells them on a daily base.
Remember that it is your money and it is important that to make sure that you have been given a fair deal. Asking a different rug dealer to evaluate your rug (prior to purchasing it) is not a wise avenue to pursue since 9 out of 10 times you will not get the real information. You can always call up a reputable antique appraisers association and ask them to recommend an independent appraiser in your area. If a dealer is honest he should have no problem with you wanting to have it looked at. If you get the feeling (at any time) that the dealer is apprehensive or gives you the run around about having it appraised then that should set off an alarm and it would probably be better to walk away.
Things to watch out for and or consider:
1- Going out of business sales are almost always misleading. Since antique rugs will always have a market and value (unlike new rugs), a 75% off price tag should be taken with a grain of salt. Again - an educated consumer is the best consumer and if you have done your research then you will know if you are truly getting a fair deal. One other thing that you need to take into account when buying anything from a going out of business sale is what might happen once the business closes down. It is always best to have someone who will be there for you down the line something happens to it or if you would simply like to trade your rug in (GOB's will always have a big sign that all sales are final so - buyer beware!!!).
2- Buying at auction vs. buying from a dealer. Like with anything else in the world knowledge is power. If you know what you are looking for, have done your research and are familiar with the prices then you could find good deals in both places (dealers and auctions).
If you are thinking of buying an item from auction the you should consider these factors:
1- You might not have the option of trying it out in the space before you buy it.
2- Restoration - All reputable dealers will take care of any restoration or cleaning that is needed prior to the rug being delivered and laid down in your home. When purchasing items at auction it is up to the consumer to get the piece restored, picked up and delivered (all of which will cost you money).
3 - Delivery - Dealers (if they are local enough) will usually come to your house, move the furniture, place the rug and move everything back - a service that most reputable dealers do not charge for. For items purchased at auction - the consumer would have to arrange all of those things.
4 - Pads - Some dealers will be willing to buy the padding for you (and make sure it is trimmed down to match the actual size of the rug). This will save you a little bit of money and energy (since you would not have to crawl on the floor and trim it yourself).
5- If you are buying at auction, don't forget to calculate the buyer's premium which can vary from auction house to auction house.
6- Since you will be responsible for any and all services that the rug might need it would be wise to get an estimate for the restoration charges.
7- Getting swept up in the moment is something that happens all to often. Therefore you should always have a price in mind before you start bidding and hope that no one else likes it as much as you! Lasting you want to do is over pay so make sure you set a cap (and don't forget to factor in the commission that the auction house will tack on to the hammer price)
So the bottom line is that if you know what you are doing then you can find good buys from auctions as well as dealers - but again knowledge is power!
J. Nazmiyal Inc. DBA Nazmiyal Collection, has specialized in all aspects of the Antique Rug and Carpet Industry for over thirty years and is the world's source for antique rugs and decorative carpets. Since 1980 Nazmiyal has supplied some of the top interior designers, vendors, auction houses, museums and collectors across the globe.
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