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Forums » Turkey » Rugs in Turkey

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Rugs in Turkey

by Harold »

My daughter will be going and bring measurements for her living room, thinking she'll get a better deal buying in Istanbul. But how does she know she's not being taken? Anybody know of honest rug sellers there (or is that a contradiction in terms). I think she's being a bit naive, she thinks I'm being paranoid. Who's right?

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RE: Rugs in Turkey

by Joanna »

Several years ago a friend and I were in Turkey.  He wanted a rug, we went into a shop, I wasn't paying attention and before I realized what was happening he saw one he liked, he asked the price, was given one,  he said OK.  Obviously he paid too much, probably WAY too much.  He had it shipped home by the seller and he loves his rug.  The moral of this story is that unless someone has the same killer instinct that the rug seller has he or she is doomed to pay too much.  But so what.  If your daughter doesn't pay more than she can afford and she loves her rug then it doesn't really matter, does it?

By the way, from that moment on my friend was forbidden to buy anything.  He saw something, I bought it for him after appropriate negotiations.  He was amazed at how cheap the rest of his purchases were but still loves his rug.

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RE: Rugs in Turkey

by ChinaDave2 »

My wife and I were in Turkey for six weeks this  past year on tour.  An honest tour company and guide will help you with buying rugs.  We bought 3 of them and we have rugs from other countries in our home too.  It is tough to go out and buy a rug without some education on rugs.  There are machine made and hand made.  Look on the back of the rug for the number of knots per square inch.  The more the knots the higher the price.  There are silk rugs, wool rugs and others.  The price is always can be negotiated of course.  Often rug sellers sound like Carnival Barkers so you are right Mom.   I am a tour operator myself for China and I have always told my clients "If you like it; buy it"  you may never see it again somewhere else.  I always say, "The price is long forgotten; but the purchase is still with you to enjoy".    Price is always a factor so decide what you are willing to pay...offer less of course.  If you need it shipped home....after you negotiate the price and come to an agreement....then say  "That includes shipping, right?"   Actually smaller ones can be taken with you as they fold up quite small.  Large ones should be shipped home....but be sure that you sign it in ink on the back of the rug so you know it is the one you bought and not switched.  Make sure they see you sign it.   Hope this all helps.   We have a house full of hand made rugs and our trip this fall is to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan which are famous for their hand made rugs....wife probably will see one she can't live without....just need a place to put it!  :-) 

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RE: Rugs in Turkey

by JohnT »

I think that the process/ ceremony  of buying rugs is fantastic. From the mint tea to the displaying of the carpets, and the out of this world salesmanship on display. For me, the experience itself  is well worth any overpayment she might make (and she will probably over pay). The drama involved is great. She is invarioubly going to be:

a) Coming from the sellers favorite country.

b) making a purchase that is really for her children and grandchildren

c) ruining his business with such low offers

d) there will be whispers as to how she can only have the deal being offered.

 

etc. etc. 

 

I think its fabulous...if you're willing to play.

I do agree that she needs to do some studying beforehand though. She should know in particular how to distinguish hand made from machine made and wool from silk. Trying to ascertain if a carpet is antique is another story altogether.

She should also know a little about bartering. Guidebooks often give a rule of thumb as to how inflated original asking prices usually are.

 

She might also ask at her hotel for a reputable dealer. I think walking into the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul might be otherwise overwhelming.

 

*As an aside, I think carpet salesman are all math geniuses on the side. THe ability to know, and perform all the currency conversions that they seem to be able to instantly  do in just about every currency you can think of, is truly impressive.

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