Posted by Irwin Kirsch on March 02, 1999 at 11:41:24:
In Reply to: Color, Color, Color posted by R. John Howe on March 02, 1999 at 05:42:29:
: Dear folks -
: The inability to touch a piece of weaving is repeatedly mentioned as the chief draw back in buying a rug on the Internet. I'm also impressed with how difficult it is yet to determine accurately the colors in a rug there.
: One of the earliest rules I remember hearing about estimating color when one is looking at a rug "in the wool," is that one should always take it to natural light. (Reason: the colors are very likely to be different there.)
: I know of a number of experienced folks who have bought weavings on the Internet and who have found when the piece arrived that the colors were markedly different from what they had seen on the screen.
: Yes, we can do wonderful things to adjust color. (Wendel Swan, before he put up his little Persian change purses, adjusted the colors on the screen carefully in a side by side comparison with the pieces but who knows how close the colors on my screen were to those adjustments when I viewed these images?) Even pixel level adjustments on one end may not produce the same shades at the other.
: So I would add the accurate determination of color to the current obstacles that interfere with the project of buying a rug on the Internet.
: John Howe
How many great collectible pile weavings are being sold on the "instant" internet auctions like e-bay? I frankly do not know but suspect very, very few. How many of the hundreds or thousands of e-bays' listings fetch more than $5000 or $10,000? Having to make a decision within a week or so based solely on design and not being able to personally inspect the goods limits its appeal to me. I suspect that most of those weavings are bringing less than $500-$1000 since people will "risk" that amount in the hopes of snaring a good buy or what looks like an appealing design.
In my opinion, the real benefit of the Internet for rugs buying is that it's a great initial screening device for those weavings posted on dealers or sellers web sites. If one likes the initial design, and color, then contact is initiated in obtaining further info or photos, or having the rug shipped to the prospective buyer so one can view the piece in the daylight, etc. This would lead to telephone conversations and developing greater rapport and trust between buyer and seller. I feel this form of interaction will increase as more dealers in time will create their own web sites and will be able to reach more people and allow buyers, particularly those in rural areas where obtaining local collectibles is practically impossible.
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