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Shopping for rugs

glasgow, KY
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Shopping for rugs

We will be in the following cities in Turkey: Istanbul, Behramkele, Ayvalik, Orselli, Odemis, and Bodrum. Where should I spend the most time searching for a rug? Thanks for any advice you can give.

Istanbul
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1. Re: Shopping for rugs

Hi travelerky,

Welcome to Turkey. Out of all those places you will visit, the greatest variety and selection of rugs can be found first in Istanbul and then in Bodrum. However, you may get somewhat lower prices in towns like Odemis or even Ayvalik. Rug buying is a painstaking process and here is some more detailed info on that: "turkeytravelplanner.com/details/…carpet.html".

good luck,

enigma...

glasgow, KY
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2. Re: Shopping for rugs

Thanks so much for your advice. I'll concentrate on the ones suggested. I am not planning on spending much money or much time. There are so many things to do and see in Turkey, I hate to devote a large amount of time on rug buying. From what I read, you really need to know what you are doing to make an informed purchase. Thanks again.

Mount Dora, Florida
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3. Re: Shopping for rugs

Purchasing a carpet can be a complex and expensive process. I never devote less than three or four hours to the process, and most of the time I spend more than one day to make a purchase.

I am most pleased with the carpets I have purchased in Istanbul, but I also have a lovely carpet I purchased in Cappadocia. I recommend that you just look at carpets as you are walking about the city. Be careful not to be drawn into a shop unless you really see something you want because you can spend your entire day visiting carpet shops.

Look at your local Persian carpet shop before going so you know what prices are reasonable. Establish a budget for yourself. Buy what you love at a price you can afford.

glasgow, KY
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4. Re: Shopping for rugs

We do have a little extra time in Istanbul before joining a Rick Steves tour, so I'll probably have more time there than anywhere else. I have read many posts which suggest that you spend a day shopping but will take your advice and buy something I like at the price I can afford and just chalk it up to a wonderful token of my adventure in Turkey. I was hoping to find a secret place for inexpensive rugs but guess if it is on Tripadvisor, it certainly isn't a secret. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Ft. Laud, Florida
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5. Re: Shopping for rugs

Hi, Travelerky,

We recently returned from a wonderful time in Istanbul. But I can tell you I had to chuckle when you said you didn't want to devote much time (or money) to rug shopping. I was of the same mind, too.....BEFORE my trip.

My only other rug shopping experience was in Bloomingdale's....where you find the pile of rugs in the size you are looking for, and then you look for the desired pattern and color. The salesman processes the transaction and somehow you get the rug home.

Not so in Turkey.

I can only compare shopping for a rug in Istanbul with the experience of buying a car here in the USA. The negotiations are THAT long and, as Busy-Retired says, "complex". Be prepared!

First, is the mandatory tea-drinking. Then you get down to work....and I do mean work. I left the rug store sweating as if I had run a marathon. But I left with a rug I absolutely love.

Did I get a "good price"? I have the feeling that this rug dealer did not lose any money on my purchase! But I don't care. It was within my budget and I absolutely love it.

So if you are within your price range and you absolutely love it, you got a GREAT deal....that's the way I look at it.

Have a wonderful trip.

england
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6. Re: Shopping for rugs

hi trave....look at the KUSADASI BIZZ,,,KUSADSAI FORUM.. theres a good wright up about rugs and how to bye one,,,good luck by,

Edited: 24 July 2011, 18:27
glasgow, KY
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291 posts
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7. Re: Shopping for rugs

Hi Pacosmom,

Your comments are exactly along the lines of what I have read. I think you are saying that once you get caught up in the experience, you are going to spend the better part of a day. I just hate to devote that much time. I also know so little about rugs, I wouldn't know a "deal" if it slapped me in the face. I hope to buy a small rug to remember my trip by. Is there any special area that I should begin my quest? Did you look at any of the government-run stores? So, with that said, wish me luck and thanks for your input. .

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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8. Re: Shopping for rugs

I really do not like to recommend a specific carpet shop because I cannot vouch for any of them. Salesmen come and go.....owners come and go......carpet supplies come and go. What worked for me may not be available for you.

I bought my most recent carpet in Sirkeci, and I just wandered into a carpet shop because a very small carpet in the window caught my eye. Of course, once I was in the shop the merchandise presented was much more attractive than the little rug. I ended up with something larger and more exciting. I am currently a bit more impressed with the Sirkeci area simply because it does not get quite so much tourist traffic and prices seem to be lower in this area.

I have also purchased carpets from a couple of different shops in Sultanahmet. For me it is more about the connection I have with a specific salesman and the emotional attachment I have for a particular carpet. Price, of course, is also exceptionally important.

Normally my carpet purchases extend over several days in spite of the warning that the last offer of today will not be available tomorrow. I have been known to "visit" a carpet for more than a week before purchasing it. Our first carpet transactions were lengthy, and our schedule did not provide for the amount of time it took. Even if you only wish to purchase a small carpet, budget a couple of hours for the process.

Our last carpet transaction was completed in just a bit over two hours, and we could have concluded it earlier if we had been willing to push a bit. We like the process so it is not obnoxious for us. Much of the delight I have in my Turkish carpets in the memory I have of purchasing them.

glasgow, KY
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9. Re: Shopping for rugs

Thanks, Busy-retired.

I usually know what I am looking for as far as style and color, so will just do some window shopping along the way. I'll look in the areas suggested and will try not to fall in love with just one rug so I can bargain a little. The delight that I will have in the rug I purchase will be enhanced by my experience in Turkey. That's the wonderful part of travel. Things bring back nice memories of people and place. Just watched the end of the Tour de France and always enjoy looking at Paris at the end as it's one of my favorite places. Happy Travels and thanks again.

Ft. Laud, Florida
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10. Re: Shopping for rugs

Hi, Travelerky:

We had hired a private guide and at the end of the day he asked if we were in the market for a rug. He said he knew the "best" places. So I let him lead the way. It was someplace in Sultanahmet.

After you've been served tea, they will start bringing out the carpets to display. It's not like at Bloomingdales where you can just browse.

When they announce the prices to you, you'll break out into a sweat and decide that you made a big mistake thinking you could buy a carpet in Turkey. Once you catch your breath, look for them to display colors and patterns that you like.

I wouldn't give them a price range. Keep them guessing. Rather, give them a size. And if you see one that is your favorite, DON'T let them know which one.

Try to learn about the different materials: silk, wool, cotton. Don't be concerned with the names of the patterns...it's too much for a "newbie".

Offer about half of their price....or even less. And then the games begin.

There is really no way to learn this skill in advance. It's like on the job training. Just remember to stay in your budget and go home with something you love.

Having had lots of experience negotiating for a car was the biggest aid to me. But at least with a car, I know more about what the price range should be.

And I instructed my husband to go along with me if I proclaimed that my husband "won't let me spend that much." And I coached him in "disapproving" facial expressions.