Buying Rugs in Turkey

Aug 28th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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Buying Rugs in Turkey

We will be in Turkey beginning next month are are interested in possibly buying a rug while there. We will be in Istanbul and along the Aegean Coast. While we have some knowledge about rugs, we are by no means experts. We have been reading tips on buying rugs. Are there any stores or places where it is recommended to look for a rug. Any first hand experiences of a success with purchasing a rug in Turkey? Or any negative experiences of trying to purchase a rug in Turkey? Thanks!
yestravel is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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I bought a kilim in Istanbul many, many years ago. Went into a store with rugs, looked around, then asked them if they had any old rugs. They took me several blocks to a different store that had nothing but old rugs with good colors.

Best tip is that bargaining is expected. Had tea, etc., Saw a kilim that we liked with nice, old mellow colors. Initial price was too high so we started to leave. Owner said "what will you pay" and we said we couldn't pay anywhere near what he was asking. As we kept walking out, he dropped the price by about two thirds and we got a very nice kilim for a nice price.

I think you'll be better off trying to buy in Istanbul. Have a friend who is an rug dealer and that's what he told me years ago. The best pieces end up in the city.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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Having gone rug shopping in Turkey and Iran (and bought none in neither) my biggest suggestion is to go shopping in earnest (in person best, online a distant second) before you travel to Turkey. How else will you know what your tastes are, how much you should expect to spend (after haggling) and what the quality/price parameters are? Know before you go - good advice whether it's rugs in Istanbul or lingerie in Paris.
Gardyloo is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Hopefully LucieV will spot this thread.
colduphere is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Before you go, know the prices of rugs in your area because they just might be cheaper once you factor in getting it back home.

And don't be afraid to walk away.
sparkchaser is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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Yes, thanks! We have been looking both online and in stores in our area, so are familiar with prices and obviously know what we like. I have heard that you can often get a better price in the US esp if you need to ship the rug back to the US & we will certainly take that into consideration.
Any particular dealers/agents that might be recommended? I have seen Istanbul Handicraft Center mentioned.
yestravel is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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We have bought a number of simpler carpets at the weavers syndicate exhibit at the lowest floor o Cevahir mall at Mecidiyekoy, on the metro line. They had a 20% negotiating margin and not more for us, but may have a higher starting price for you unless the prices are listed.

They had mainly Yagci Bedir with the dark red and dark blues, but also had a few Yahyali and some Milas and possibly some Antalya Dosemealti.

Among the above names, my favorite is Yahyali.

If you are going to Cappadocia, that is the place to buy them. In fact you can go to Yahyali village itself for them.

Another good option is Nigde Taspinar carpets.

Check the Cappadocia prices for both Nigde and Yahyali and do not pay more than that in Istanbul no matter what the spiel is.

If you like the Yagci Bedir, the place at Cevahir Mall is a good location to find decent ones for a good price.

I do not like Milas and really good Antalya Dosemealti is difficult to come by. These are not necessarily root dyed and are usually intentionally sun faded.

Good natural root dyes cannot be easily sun faded.

Good Turkish carpets should not be in pastel colors.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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forgot to mention that Dosim the government handicrafts shop at Sirkeci on widish street next to the famous Turkish delight shop Haci Bekir has some decent carpets but they are not cheap and there is no negotiation on the price except for possibly a small discount for cash payments.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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sparkchaser is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Thanks, OC -- great info. We will not be going to Cappadocia.
yestravel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2013, 05:45 AM
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We bought a couple of sumaks in Goreme. You are obviously researching before you go. That is the best thing that you can do. Measure your max/min sizes carefully & write them down to take with you & take a cloth tape measure with you. Sizes vary with only rough standardization. Take paint samples or color swatches if you are trying to match something in the room. Know your maximum price & be very prepared to walk away. We went to shops in Istanbul, Selcuk & Goreme & we had a lot of fun kibitzing with the vendors. We drank a lot of tea.

Ian is offline  
Sep 17th, 2013, 02:18 AM
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HI Yestravel,

I saw you commented on my post on how much did you pay for your carpets. If you would like any more info or pictures of what i brought please let me know.

Terry_01 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2013, 03:56 AM
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@Terry -- sure anything else you care to share would be great to know.
yestravel is offline  
Sep 17th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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I didn't buy any rugs but I was given a couple of tips if you are having your purchase shipped. Firstly sign your name on the carpet label. Secondly take photos.
worldinabag is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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I would like to suggest that you have every thing in your stock according to the demand of the customers and should not only show the sample material to them, instead show them the ready material, which will attract them.
Staceyhooks is offline  
Nov 5th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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There are three things I would do before I bought

1) Spend 2 to 3 hours in a rug shop in your home town, getting to grip with the colours and types, I find it takes my eyes at least 20 minutes to get in tune with rugs and there is no point in even talking to the salesman until your eyes are tuned in.
2) Understand what colours are important for you (not just red for boys and blue for girls, no really) but what makes sense where you are going to put the thing
3) do make up your mind if you want a kelim or a rug, there is a critical difference ;-)

When you get to the store in country, repeat the time to get your eyes in. Last time I was in Syria I must have spent 30 minutes in the store just chatting to the owner and drinking tea before we even looked at a rug, he wanted to know what to get out and I wanted to understand the lighting in his shop.

Once you have found a few pieces, take them all outside and see what they look like in sunlight, the change from electrical light to sunlight can be startling. Once you know which one you like, check he material and thread count. If you need to know how to do this then use the internet before you go. Check with the owner before you burn any of his carpet and take the sample yourself.

Now you have to haggle, let him start, and tell him that this is a wonderful rug but you can only afford 1/3.

Shipping, I have no idea how you ship any rug back, it seems a crazy idea to me. How do you know you will get the same one? Signing the label sounds good but... there are stitches. I would normally carry mine, but any advice such as worldinabag has offered is great.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 5th, 2013, 05:52 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. We did indeed buy a rug while in Turkey. We had our measurements written down and a color sample with us. I also happen to have photos of our furniture on my iPhone which did come in handy. Didn't need a measuring tape as the stores all had them.

We paid visits to several of the places mentioned on this thread. We spent time listening to what we came to call the mini lectures on rugs & asked lots of questions. We got pretty good at recognizing styles and understanding the process. I took photos of the rugs we liked as we saw them and it became fairly evident what styles we preferred. We always took the rugs into the sunlight to be sure of colors. In addition to the rug places in IST, we went into several during our travels thru Western Turkey including some rug collectives. Prices were fairly consistent with the styles of rug we liked. What I came to realize is there is no way to ensure you are getting a good value for your rug and decided if I found a rug that we liked and was comfortable with the price we would buy it. We also decided we weren't going to spend a lot of $$ so if in fact the rug wasn't what it was supposed to be, we wouldn't feel so ripped off. We bought at a rug shop in Kas. Our rug is a tribal rug ~ 5'x6' & we are very happy with it. It was folded and put into a canvas bag for us to take with us. Shipping added a small amount to the price, but it was easy for us to carry it with us.

My advice would be to research ahead at home, bring dimensions and color samples and even photos of where you plan to put the rug, and plan to spend some time if you really want to get a rug as the process is a time consuming one. At times it was a nice break from sightseeing.

You can read about our trip and the rug purchase in our TR at
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