While the process of making an Oriental Rug has changed very little over many, many centuries, the way in which rugs are being sold has changed exponentially within the last decade or so.
Thomas Friedman stated "The world is Flat." Indeed technology and transportation has created a new platform for buyers and sellers alike. Our main goal here at Rug Rag is to address these changes, specifically within the Oriental Rug Industry: Encourage first time buyers to make more informed purchasing decisions, and assist reputable sellers in the industry with options such as our Verifications.
Within the last week or so I had the pleasure of meeting a well known and reputable importer of fine oriental rugs. As to be expected, one of the topics which arose was the false representation of items being sold online. One of the conclusions was many sellers simply do not know what they have. Others go on hearsay when deciding how to represent. Some obviously disregard any and all history tied to hand knotted rugs, and take it upon themselves to intentionally misrepresent items. No matter which of any three of the previously noted, these are all situations for Rug Burns.
It seems now more than ever that less reputable sales tactics are now more easily spotted by experts in the field when it comes to items online. There's no disputing that many would-be garage sales are now turning into the seasonal ebay listings and Craigslist ads. However, our main concern is the volume dealers who misrepresent bottom end rugs as higher end pieces. While our initial efforts in "policing" many online auction items soon proved fruitless when Rug Rag was first created in late 2007, the concept now is those buyers who wish to make the more informed purchasing decision now have all necessary tools to do so when using our resources/content.
While value may certainly be a somewhat subjective topic, another advantage to Rug Rag is the amount of inventories we're familiar with. At any given day, each of our contributors individually view hundreds and thousands of rugs and prices from around the globe. The photograph below seems like a harmless eBay listing. We're not here to judge it, but it's one example of many I though readers would find the following interesting. The design is somewhat unusual for a 90 line Chinese carved rug. The seller is representing 2 items in the one listing. However, I have personally seen an identical rug in an Orra member's inventory (new rug but old stock) available at retail for much less than half this online price of $5,000.00 for two used rugs. Typically, 90 Line rugs with a less saleable design would be found new at retail for around $1500 in a 9'x12' size.