Where to Start
In the last few years the options for buying large home goods – furniture and rugs – online have exploded. Even consumers who live in urban areas with plenty of IRL stores often prefer to buy online for ease and convenience. Our top 6 tips to buy a rug online will greatly increase your chances of being happy with your online rug purchase.
Tip 1: Online Rug Sellers
Everyone wants the best price, right? But did you know many online retailers who may know nothing about rugs or weaving will “repackage” rugs they’ve bought from a “business-to-business” seller? What this means in practical terms is a higher price point for you (the consumer) with little (if any) expert rug knowledge to help you find and buy the right rug or give you after sale peace of mind.
Our tip is to avoid the “middleman” and look for online rug companies that import rugs from countries known for expert rug weaving such as India and Turkey, and where possible, companies that also have their own weaving ateliers in known weaving centers of excellence. 1800GetARug is a rug importer and maintains its own weaving ateliers employing adult weavers. We also have experts in the field who source quality pre-owned vintage rugs. These facts mean the rugs we sell online and in our showroom are markedly less expensive than similar rugs sold by “resellers” while still being a high quality handmade rug backed by our expert knowledge.
Tip 2: Know Your Rug Types
The best quality handmade rugs use natural fibers such as wool woven on a loom with a yarn shuttle (or using a hand to pass the yarn through the warp) or hand-knotted on a loom with natural fibers. These two types of handmade rugs are the epitome of rug quality. Below this top tier is everything else including machine-made rugs and gun tufted rugs. Gun tufted rugs are usually described by sellers as “tufted”, “hand-tufted” or “handmade” to gloss over the fact that a human operated electric “gun” shoots fibers into a rug matrix that is then glued on the underside to stabilise the fibers. Handmade? Not by our standards.
Tip 3: See and Understand Your Rug
Make sure the website you’re looking includes a full description of the rug. Does the website have multiple photographs of the rug including the underside? If the rug you prefer is quite expensive does the description explain why – does it say the rug is rare or an antique or does it mention “Kpsi”? Kpsi means “knots per square inch” and it only applies to hand-knotted rugs (not handwoven). The more knots per inch the finer the quality and higher the price. But remember! Many of the most popular handmade rugs are tribal rugs with deliberately “chunky” weaves or visible knots.
Tip 4: Size, Shape and Scale
The size of rug for your space is determined by whether you want to fill the room (remember to leave a generous “path” between the rug and the walls so your room doesn’t look cramped) or whether you want to creates zones. A zoned room might be a living room with a rectangle rug to zone the sofa, coffee table and chairs, plus a round rug to create a separate reading nook. After size decide on shape: rectangle, square, round or runner. Oval rugs are harder to source so it’s often best to limit your search to popular and common shapes.
Scale refers to size too, but for our purposes we mean the scale of the rug’s pattern (if there is one) versus furniture scale. If you’re a fan of a certain famous online auction site you may have noticed sellers will often place a universally familiar item – like a can of soup – next to the object they’re selling in order to make it clear to the buyer the relative scale of the item for sale.
To gauge the scale of a rug pattern online, make sure the site you’re looking at includes a photograph that shows the scale of the rug and its pattern in a room setting. At 1800GetARug we photograph every rug on our website in multiple views that show various angles, rug depth, the back of the rug, plus the rug in a furnished room to show pattern scale.
Tip 5: Color
Have you noticed many websites will distance themselves from responsibility for the accurate onscreen color of whatever it is they’re selling by including a disclaimer along the lines of “color may vary from monitor to monitor”. Or they may even suggest you “calibrate” your monitor for accuracy (eh? What’s that mean?!) You can ignore those disclaimers if you purchase your rug from an online seller who provides a universally accepted color guide such as Pantone or Benjamin Moore within a detailed photograph of the rug.
Each of the rugs we offer at 1800GetARug is photographed with a color guide – either Pantone or Benjamin Moore. If accurate color matching is imperative to you, this is where IRL becomes important. Check the rug’s colors based on the color guide in our photograph with similar branded paint chips at your local paint store. Or if you’re in the greater metropolitan New York area you can make an appointment at our showroom to see the rug in person.
Tip 6: Don’t Forget the Details
How a website processes and delivers your order is a telltale sign of excellence (or lack of excellence). Check to see if the online order page is secure by checking whether the payment page is http or https. The designation appears at the top of your browser window. Http is a “normal” website address, while“https” (notice the “s” on the end of “http”) signals a layer of encryption to keep your credit card details safe and secure. 1800GetARug’ payment page is https.
Our staff carefully pack your rug for same day shipping on orders received before 3pm EST. We ship anywhere in the US including Hawaii and Alaska. Your rug will be fully insured and shipped via UPS ground, Fed Ex ground or Fed Ex home delivery. 1800GetARug gives you 14 days to return the rug for any reason for a full refund.
And our final rug buying tip? Talk to us! If you’re unsure of what type of rug you want, need, or price, you can schedule a free, no obligation live video call with one of our experts.