Where to Look
My best advice is to shop and compare rugs and rug dealers. Look at rugs—a lot of rugs—to learn what styles and qualities are available. Check out the range of prices for the types of rugs you love. Decide where you are comfortable doing business. Look for established firms that rely on repeat business for their success. Stores that specialize in Oriental rugs and have a wide selection of styles, qualities and prices are a great place to start. Avoid high-pressure "buy now" approaches. A dealer should take the time to listen to what you need and answer your questions. A reputable store will allow you to try the rug at home for a few days with no obligation.

You should also look for service after the sale. Buy from a dealer who will be around to deal with questions and concerns you may have down the road. Many dealers offer cleaning and restoration services and a select few own and operate their own facilities. Established dealers often have a trade-in policy on the rugs they sell and will accept rugs purchased elsewhere and try to sell them on consignment.

A note about appraisals. A current, honest appraisal of an Oriental rug by a qualified appraiser should include the type, origin, size, age, description of design and quality, condition, and retail replacement value. Beware of an appraisal that seems to greatly exaggerate the value of your rug. In case of loss, the inflated value you've been paying insurance premiums on may not be the basis of the settlement.

A well-chosen Oriental rug can become the soul of any room. Above all, enjoy the shopping experience. Learn what you can, but don't get tied in knots.

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