Rug Buyers Beware – What You Need To Know When Buying a Rug Abroad While Traveling
For starters, whether shopping online or in person, where you buy your rugs is less important that who you buy it from. People email us almost daily with rugs that they own and want to sell. Some of them have antique rugs that were part of their family for decades. But recently we are seeing a spike in people who buy rugs abroad while traveling. These individuals then come back to the USA with the hopes of selling their newly acquired area rugs for a profit. And why not? They were taken by a trusted guide to the very best rug dealer in town. There they spend the day sipping mint tea and hearing the stories of the rugs and learning about the history of rugs.
These highly skilled sales people bring out one beautiful rug after another. Many times they will bring out fine silk rugs that shimmer in the light and look like those special high-end luxurious area rugs that under any other circumstance one would think that it will not be attainable. The rug merchants explain about how fine the rug weave is, how rare the colors are and how great of a buy the rug is. They cry about selling their beautiful rugs in their local rug bazaar for a fraction of what they sell in other countries.
Before you know it, you just spent a nice chunk of change, hopefully not your rent money, on a couple of small size area rugs. The rug merchants told you, and you believed them, that you could flip for a nice profit and cover the expenses of your trip once you are back home. Happy with your new rug investment, you carefully pack these valuable rugs and keep them safe until you get back home.
Now you are back in the USA and decide it is time to unpack your valuable good and get them ready to be sold. You go to google and start searching for things like “who buys area rugs near me”, or “where can I sell my rugs” or “where to sell rugs online”. Once you set your sights on the dealer you feel would be best to offer your amazing rugs, it is only a question of time till you can reap the rewards of your wise investments. Or at least that is what you think will happen.
You take good pictures of your rugs, you make sure to include all the important information that was given to you by the dealer abroad and send off your email expecting and excited reply. After a few hours, maybe a day or two later, you realize that you did not hear anything back. Thinking that maybe the email did not go through you follow up with a call. The local rug dealer picks up the phone and confirms that he did receive the email but that rugs you bought abroad are not for them.
Perhaps you picked a dealer that deals with more commercial rugs and has not experience with the rare rugs you think you own. So you head back online and keep searching. This time you are looking for, and hoping to find, local rug dealers that deal with higher caliber area rug types such as the ones you bought from one of the best rug dealers overseas. You start sending images and information to more rug coinsures but no one seems to be interested. How can this be?
Now the worry starts to set in. You just spent way more than you intended to because were promised that your money was safe in these investment rugs. You begin to realize that you have fallen pray to one of the oldest “get rich quick” type of cons in the world. You start running the different scenarios in your head, trying to understand how you, a smart, educated and tech savvy person, could make such a mistake. How could you be so trusting? How could you fall for the oldest trick in the book? How could I believe this predatory rug merchant so blindly?
The truth of the matter is that you are not alone. So many people travel over seas and buy rugs while vacationing. Some buy rugs in Morocco while traveling, others buy rugs in Turkey while visiting the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and some buy rugs in India or even China. But regardless of where you travel, spending a good amount of money on buying rugs while vacationing abroad is never advisable. Especially if you are traveling to a foreign land that is known for taking advantage of unsuspecting tourists.
Always keep this in mind:
At the end of the day, you are not a true dealer or expert in rugs. Therefore you should never buy any rug with the thought of reselling it!
How to protect yourself when buying rugs while traveling overseas
All that said, if you do decided to go against our advice and want to buy rugs abroad anyway, then there are a few things you can do to try to protect yourself a bit.
How to project yourself when buying rugs abroad:
- Use an American Express credit card – Amex is great as far as the protections they offer. So you could potentially reverse those initial charges.
- Do not rush – make sure that you are buying something that you will love and that you could use. Do not let anyone pressure you!!
- Walking away – sometimes the best course of action is no action. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable, simply get up and walk out.
- Watch what you spend and what you buy – when buying rugs abroad, you do not have the luxury of trying the rugs out in the space or showing them to anyone before moving forward with the purchase. Therefore you need to make sure that you truly love the piece for what it is and that you are spending an amount that you feel very comfortable with “losing”.
- Get a real invoice – make sure the dealer puts down all the information about the rug you are buying. Most of the time, they will just give you an invoice saying the size and price and nothing more. But if you were mislead then that invoice becomes the proof you will need to be able it sue the dealer. While overspending on an item is not considered misleading, saying a rug is one thing but then finding out it is something else is (like saying a rug is 150 years old when it is really more like 50) and as such, the dealer, as an expert, would be liable. So make sure to leave the rug merchant with a full rug appraisal that you reviewed and is in line with all the info you were told.
Also, before purchasing anything, you should review our: Ultimate Guide To Buying Area Rugs
In closing, if you end up vacationing overseas and decide to purchase rugs, just know that more than likely, the same caliber of area rugs that you buy abroad might end up being more expensive than if you had bought the rugs in NYC for example.
This post about buying rugs overseas while traveling and vacationing abroad was published by Nazmiyal Rugs in NYC.