What Should I Do With My Old Rug?

by | May 11, 2016

So you don’t love your old rug anymore? It’s ok. I won’t judge you.

The way I see it, you have a several options: sell it, consign it, auction it, donate it, give it to a friend or family member, repurpose it, recycle it, or throw it away.


If the rug is hand knotted or woven, or is a designer-quality custom made piece, it may have some resale value. Be aware that most rugs do NOT appreciate over time. Just because it’s old and in good condition is no guarantee of a high resale price.

Have an appraisal done by a reputable outside source. In other words, don’t let the store you’re trying to sell it to do the appraisal. They’ll likely lowball you. It’s also important to realize that any retail establishment buying your rug will need to eventually turn a profit on it.

You will not get the full value of any appraisal. It is an indication of what a reseller might expect to make in a future sale. You should expect to receive about half of a valid appraisal’s value.

Of course, you could try selling it on your own through Craigslist or some other similar venue. That is where having an appraisal will be most useful to your bottom line. Consider the appraisal a top dollar price.

This is a good option for rug owners who just want to unload their unwanted rugs for some quick cash.


Once you know the value of your rug, you can bring it to a showroom that does consignments. You are able to set your own price – leave some wiggle room for hagglers – and the consignment shop will keep a portion of the proceeds. Possibly even as much as half.

Beware any time limitation or forfeiture of goods policy! If you leave your rug too long, or no purchase is made within an arbitrary time span, the consignment shop may take ownership of your property. ALWAYS read the fine print.

This is a good option for rug owners that have no place to store their unwanted rugs, but are hoping for a decent dollar for them.


ebayTake plenty of photos of the front, back, corners, fringes, and sides. Open an eBay account. READ ABOUT THEIR FEES, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES. Detail your rugs as best as you can. Show that you’ve got an appraisal. Set a minimum price. Detail your shipping fees & return policy. Start your auction. In doing things this way, you broaden the realm of people who may be interested in your particular rugs. Folks in your hometown may not love 1940s Herez rugs, but there may be hundreds online who collect them.

This is a good option when your rugs are worth something, and you’ve got a good appraisal saying so. They didn’t receive much interest in a consignment shop, or you didn’t find a consignment shop you wanted to work with.


There are many schools, churches, shelters, and charitable centers that would probably love to have your cool rug. Even if you don’t love it anymore, someone in need just might. Do a little research and find out what the donation policies are for your favorite cause. If they require professional cleaning, talk to your rug care professionals and see if they will be willing to contribute the cleaning. You’d be surprised how many rug cleaners will do just that! Did I mention full appraisal value on the donation paperwork? That’ll be nice come tax time!

This is a good option when your rug really isn’t worth much in a resale setting, but it’s in very good condition overall.


Ask around. Maybe someone you know has secretly been coveting your rug all this time. You’re a hero for handing it over! Maybe your cousins used to play on it when they were little, have fond memories of it in their Grandmother’s home, and would love to give it some new life.

This is a good option when the rug may have some damage but is still useable, or if it once belonged to a favorite Aunt.


Something bad happened to the rug. It’s got large holes. It has a scorched area. Pet urine damage. BUT – there are sections of the rug that are redeemable. Talk to your rug care professional about cutting the rug down and making pillows, or an ottoman, a smaller rug, or maybe even a table runner. Maybe the rug is a beloved fourth generation piece and you’re just trying to keep it going a bit longer. This kind of work isn’t as expensive as you might think.

This is a good option when the rug is too far gone for restorative repairs, to donate, no one wants it, yet it still has sections that are pretty and there is sentimental attachment to the piece.


Check with your local recycling center to see what they will or will not accept for recycling. Natural fiber rugs such as wool, cotton, and jute should be acceptable. Some nylon rugs may be as well. Rugs with latex foundations may not be. The recycling center should be able to provide you with a list of acceptable materials.

This is a good option when you have a green-friendly mind and no one wants to take your rug.


rugs in trashWhen all else fails, you can’t sell, consign, auction, donate, give it away for free, repurpose, or recycle it, leave it at the curb on trash day. Who knows? Someone may see it there and pick it up to use in their own home!

You’ve done your best.


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