For Both Brand New and Older rugs
The primary decision you need to make in a rug purchase is whether you like the rug! If you love it, that's even better, but you don't have to love it. As a work of art, it will grow more attractive and become more interesting to you as you live with it.
If you are buying your rug from a reputable rug importer or retailer, who is also a member of the Orra (Oriental Rug Retailers of America) you can assume the following to be in order and that the rug is honestly represented. Otherwise, buyer beware. If the rug is privately for sale, or is part of an itinerant auction, an itinerant tent, hotel or church sale, a "going-out-of-business sale," or a sale with outrageous price slashing, you are taking a chance. The following are suggestions for making assessments, but if you can trust the rug importer or retailer, that is the most preferable way to purchase an oriental rug with confidence.
QUESIONS IN SECTION I. SHOULD BE CRUTIAL IN YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS
IS THE RUG HAND KNOTTED?
Is the return time frame satisfactory for you?
Is the item returnable with minimum investment (e.g. shipping & handling fees)?
Was the carpet painted, chalked, markered or altered in post-production?
Is there any fading or oxidation in the rug?
Are there any repairs or patches to the rug?
Does the rug have a pet stain or any odor?
If the rug is used, Is the wear even?
Does the rug appear to shed a lot? (e.g. more vacuuming needed)
If you pull on a strand of fringe, does it have strength, or does it pull off?
Does the carpet lay flat?
Will the rug and colors withstand the traffic of intended area?
What are some comparable options in and around your price range?
Is there any color run present?
What is the design name?
Is it a one of a kind?
How old is the rug?
What is the country of origin?
Has the carpet been tea washed/herbal washed or luster washed?
Is the design on the back of the rug as clear as the front?
Open the pile, inspect and see if there is any dirt caked in between the fibers.
Does the carpet fold easily for transport or storage?
What is the replacement value for insurance purposes?
What are the fibers used in weaving?
How have the fibers been produced (hand spun, twisted, etc.)?
Is abrash integrated into the design, or does it stand out like a sore thumb?
Are there any specifics on cleaning?
If the carpet is inscribed with a signature panel or trademark? If so, what does it say?
Is there anything specifically unique/exceptional or rare about the rug?
Are the colors and design used within the weaving timeless, or are they a "fad."
Are the dyes used specified as vegetable or chrome?
What type of knot is used?
Is the carpet design and shape even / symmetrical?
What is the KPSI?
Is the design pixelized or grainy? (implies design was too advantageous for quality.)
Does the rug have visible White Knots?