Re: Would you buy a rug on the Internet?

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Posted by Michael Wendorf on March 07, 1999 at 06:50:38:

In Reply to: Re: Would you buy a rug on the Internet? posted by Katharine Hawks on March 07, 1999 at 01:10:46:

: : My question, then, is: Are we "there" yet? What will it take for people to send real money for a rug they've only seen pictures of? Would you do so? And, finally, how do you explain the apparent success of rug sales on eBay?

: I am a novice rug buyer, and *all* of my rugs have been purchased online, through ebay.

: I made my first purchase almost a year ago -- a very nice ersari, small size. Great wool, terrific color. I had fantasized about purchasing rugs for *years* but never did because I assumed it was simply beyond my reach. However, there are bagains to be had on ebay (less so today than a year ago), but they're there.

: A few weeks ago, I purchased my first collectable rug on ebay. I am thrilled with it. Right now, it moves with me from area to area in my loft so I can see how it looks and feels in different lights, at different times of the day, and in different moods. That was a big risk for me on ebay, but I trusted the seller. Besides, I like a good gamble every now and then. :)

: The trick for me has been identifying who I trust. If I trust a seller, I'm going to follow his or her guidance. I also accept that I'm going to make mistakes and loose.

: As I continue to learn more, I keep my eyes open for bargains. If something isn't moving at the price it should and I like what I see, I'm likely to go for a winning bid (I got what turned out to be a WONDERFUL gabbeh that way.)

: Ebay is the reason why I've "taken the plunge" into rug addiction, so to speak. I'm grateful for the handful of sellers willing to spend time educating novices like myself. As a result, I now spend more time thinking about rugs than thinking about sex *grin*

: --Katharine

Dear Katharine:
I find your post intriguing on several levels. It's always interesting to learn what gets someone started in buying rugs. But also your revealing a bit of the psychology, i.e., gaining your trust. Finally, the interaction with your pieces as you live with them.
Of course, the information you have is only as sound as the dealers knowledge and judgment you trusted.
A WONDERFUL Gabbeh? Maybe. "Great wool, terrific
color?" Are these your words based on comparisons with a sufficient sample or the words of the dealer you
trusted? Maybe both. But I don't see a lot of such pieces on E-Bay and certainly do not see a lot of bargains there. A piece is worth exactly what a seller can sell it for and there is a lot of "selling" on E-Bay and everywhere else in the market. My experience is that it is a mistake to only focus on bargains unless you have a wealth of experience. But the real question is this: are you confident enough that you got a bargain and sound
guidance to post your rugs here or in the virtual show and tell and see what feedback you get?
As for me, I have yet to buy anything on E-bay, though I have made some bids, and continue to think about, well, other things in addition to rugs.
Good luck, Michael

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