Many people wonder, is it prudent to invest in valuable rugs? Well, being one of the oldest and rarest collector’s commodities does make their importance in the antique market to be quite significant. Many people have a passion for fine art as you see when collectors bid heavily for a 19th Century Persian Q’ashqa’l salt bag, for example. What is quite fascinating about these buyers is that what mostly motivates them is the thrill of the chase and the desire to embrace craftsmanship.

Be it a prayer rug or a tribal bag, having it mounted on a wall portrays an excellent work of art that can’t be compared to other ornaments or decorations. This, therefore, means that rugs are a wise investment – sometimes. Sometimes, because some might not return a great profit when resold, but for most, having this unique piece of art displayed in your home or office will be worth every penny.

Unless they are of the finest quality, rugs are not so different from cars. When you buy a brand-new car today, its trade-in value lowers immediately. And if you sell it after a couple of months, it may not go for a price similar to the one you paid for. It’s quite similar for a used item like a rug – the sellers often react negatively when told the re-sale value of a medium-quality rug is not nearly as high 10 years after first purchased.

Modern Rugs

Most modern rugs sold on these days that are used for home flooring decoration are typically made from poor quality materials. These are what we call furnished rugs. Most of these low-cost prices and have flooded the market. If you are looking to buy a rug for investment purposes, it’s recommended you buy something made of pure quality materials.

It doesn’t make financial sense for you to buy a rug every five years. Isn’t it better to buy a quality one that will withstand the test of time? If on the other hand, you are always re-decorating your home, you can opt for machine-made rugs or those that have been mass-produced.

For buyers who are willing to pay more for a quality, a rug will surely have a better experience. Quality rugs are those that feature fine yarns and dyes. It can easily be distinguished from a mass-produced rug from a distance. The cost of fine rugs is increasing day after day because the younger generation in weaving countries such as Turkey and Iran have shifted to other forms of employment.

This is also due to the economic crash of 2008 when leading weavers of quality rugs such experienced a worldwide drop in orders of rugs. A lot of weavers were laid off, and the industry has been struggling to make a comeback ever since.

Buying Quality

At the moment, the only places where you can find quality rugs is in the galleries of Milan, London, and New York. Though they do have the finest rugs ever made, the prices can be too steep for the average buyer. But, by judging the current economy, buying such a fine rug can result in profits when re-sold. But it could take a couple of decades for these profit margins to increase.

If you are looking to make profits in the rug industry, then you need to attend auctions. And not just any mediocre auctions that come up out of nowhere and land in your town or neighborhood. In most cases, such auctions are usually held to lure innocent clients into a false sense of bypassing the established norms of commerce. The rugs sold in such auctions are of low quality, and if you have a keen eye, this is something you can spot easily. It is always a good idea for you to learn how Persian and oriental rugs are made so that you can never fall for a fake.

The best auctions you can rely on are those hosted by well-known auction houses. The nature of these auctions is usually general, but most entail a rug category. Major houses such as Bonhams, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s bring in rug experts who verify and catalog the finest rugs at an auction. As a buyer, never go into an auction and buy what you see immediately. Always dedicate some time to go through the different rugs and make judgments during the pre-sale period. So that on the day of the purchase, you can know what to expect.

Buying Guide

There are numerous guides out there on how to buy a rug and what to look for. You can seek assistance from a resident expert that will point out the faults and merits of the different rugs. Since resident experts can be hard to come by, you can always ask your local dealer to tag along so that you can get professional advice. From there, it is your duty to negotiate terms of purchase from the hammer.

The best part of buying an extremely high-quality rug is it will definitely return a profit after 20 years of use. But because they are pure wool or silk, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken care of. Use your rug wisely so you get a good return on investment later on. Also, as you buy the rug, you need to check for any faults. Otherwise, it can affect the price you can sell it for later on.

Online Sales

In the rug manufacture and distribution industry, we have to thank the internet for how it has made it easy for you to get your hands on a quality rug. Buyers can buy rugs directly from weavers irrespective of where they currently are. We highly recommend that you research a rug manufacturer first carefully before anything else. There are a lot of scammers online who are looking to rip off innocent buyers. And beware of fake reviews.

When purchasing a rug from a foreign country, you need to consider factors such as shipping duty and VAT. Nonetheless, buying a rug from either Istanbul or Beijing, it will always be 35-60% cheaper compared to buying in the UK or US. As such, this can be a great investment because it can be sold at a greater profit.


The bottom line is, buying and selling valuable rugs isn’t a precise sure-fire way to get rich. Not unless you have the willpower to unearth the rarest gems and re-sell them to other buyers. However, if you consider rug as a piece of art, then you can buy quality items, enjoy them, and later sell them to get a return on your money.

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