A Rug’s Age
One of the best things about buying one-of-a-kind, handmade rugs or kilims is that age is likely to help them retain and sometimes even increase their value over time, something that is untrue of almost any other form of home furnishing. That means even a simple and quirky village rug will probably retain its value, and can likely be re-sold for its purchase price (but see Deceptive Selling Practices) and sometimes considerably more, once a few decades have passed. Try that with your couch or drapes!
There is much to be said concerning the ethics of modern-day rug production and the use of slave, prison, and/or child labor to create cheap reproductions. Since we actually know our weavers, we are certain no children were used in the production of our rugs. No middleman separates us from the people who design and create our rugs. We visit their looms and their families at least three times each year to make our purchases.
For us, there is more to selling rugs than finding the cheapest weaving centers. We strive to support our suppliers by providing them a place to sell their goods for a fair price, and helping our clientele to understand that it is possible to find goods that are ethically-produced and sustainable, while still being reasonably-priced.
The best advice we can give is this: if you want to buy quality rugs that are not made by children or slave labor, find a trusted rug dealer with whom you can establish an ongoing relationship, and who is willing to guarantee the authenticity of their pieces, and spend the time to teach you about the pieces you are considering.
At Rugs by Saga, both owners Abby Saga and Tony Dye will go above and beyond in both time and knowledgeable and practical descriptions about each rug in their vast inventory. Between both of them over 50+ combined years experience in the production and sales of hand knotted rugs guarantees that you will definitely come away from your experience of buying a rug quite a bit more knowledgeable than you came into the experience with. If the store you are talking to is not willing to explain rugs to your satisfaction, it’s time to visit Abby and Tony who will explain all about the process of rug making in a most transparent and easily understandable way.
Deceptive Selling Practices
The “Eternal Exchange”
You will sometimes find a rug dealer who will tell you that they will “guarantee” their rugs, and will take any rug back as a trade-in on any other rug in their stock, no questions asked, for life.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Almost too good to be true? That’s because it is. It is obvious that no business can possibly stay in business by exchanging its inventory to its established customers year after year, without some serious trickery involved in the transaction.
Lets say the store sells a client 4 rugs the first year. It cannot then maintain an inventory in perpetuity without ever selling another rug to that client, and simply exchanging new rugs for old. Basic math dictates that a business must actually sell its inventory and purchase more inventory, not exchange its’ available stock for no profit to the same customers. How can the business possibly generate the income with which to pay the bills associated with running the business without doing so? And yet, there are many rug dealers who purport to do exactly that.
SO – how do other rugs stores offer this “eternal exchange policy?” By doing two things:
- They buy inferior products, made by slave or child labor, for almost no money. They don’t put prices on their pieces, and when someone inquires, they start out the “negotiation” at approximately 10,000% of what the rug is actually worth, and negotiate their way down to something that is merely unconscionable. (e.g. the rug starts out at $22,500, and they “discount” the rug to sell for $10,000. The actual value of the rug is $2,500; thus they’ve gotten 4 times legitimate retail for the piece at the outset, and have guaranteed themselves the chance to take the same advantage when the customer comes back with their “trade-in.”)
- When that client comes in a few years later to “exchange” his or her rug, they take them through the gallery and tell them to pick any piece they want for the exchange. Then, no matter how poor the quality of the new rug, that rug automatically becomes the “finest rug” in the gallery. “Of course you can exchange your rug for this rug, but you picked one of our finest pieces. It will only cost you an additional $5000 to do so.” End result: the clients have a new rug, of similar or lesser value than their last, and it only cost them an additional $5000, PLUS the rug they “exchanged.” It doesn’t take a brain surgeon – or an accountant – to see that this “exchange” ended up costing the client dearly, both in terms of what they spent and in what they got for it.
At Rugs by Saga, we do not practice the “eternal exchange” policy employed by so many other rug stores. It insults everyone’s intelligence and damages the reputation of the store; so we simply will not put ourselves in that less than honest category.