Buying Rugs on eBay
When you’re ready to buy a new-to-you Oriental rug, buying rugs on eBay or other auction sites may seem like a GREAT idea. Lots of dealers list their wares, new and used, all in one place. If you are a savvy online rug shopper, there are often great steals to be found.
Vague eBay searches provide vague eBay results. If you enter “oriental rug” into the search bar, you will be bombarded with every Oriental patterned rug out there, real or fake. It’s better if you know what you’re looking for as specifically as possible. For instance, enter “antique persian shiraz rug” instead of “shiraz rug” to get further filtered results.
Study all of the photos presented and read the descriptions carefully. Look for indicators that what you’re looking at is as it should be. If the label says “Made in India” and you searched for a “Persian rug,” there’s a problem. Having said that, don’t always believe what you read as things are often mislabeled. You should have a basic understanding of what a “real” version and a “fake” version might look like. Sometimes this works in your favor!
Pay attention to time left and bid activity. The longer a rug sits out there and the more people are bidding, the less likely you’ll get it at a bargain price. Also, know what a fair price should be, including any shipping fees. You’d never walk into a car dealership to buy a car without first comparing prices from several locations, would you? Thankfully, the internet has made comparison shopping a very easy thing to do! Just be sure you’re comparing apples to apples, or Persian Sarouks c1930 to Persian Sarouks c1930.
Look for the seller’s return policy and feedback to determine if you truly want to do business with this person. Online shoppers often leave truthful, revealing reviews. Use your best judgement.
Auction buying is FUN, but please don’t get carried away. If the price on a piece you like is climbing, it may be better to back out gracefully and start a new search for something similar. It’s a fairly depressed rug market out there, and the last embargo was just lifted, so it’s bound to be flooded with more rugs soon. Something else will catch your eye. For this reason, it should be mentioned that flipping rugs to make a fast profit is risky. Buy for personal use and enjoyment.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be sure to find something you love soon! Happy shopping!