Beware of auction estimates. Contact us for substantial savings before you buy or sell an antique Oriental rug at an auction
Selling a rug at an auction may sound attractive because it would bring the highest price possible through competition between buyers. But this takes place only when the rug is unique and there are at least two bidders who really want it. Most of the time, antique rugs attract very few buyers looking for bargains, often mainly dealers who avoid bidding against each other. Under these circumstances, the rug will sell close to the reserve price. So if you are considering selling an antique rug at an auction, a useful rule of thumb is to assume that the rug will sell at the reserve price, and your net return will be the reserve price minus commissions and other costs. You should also bear in mind that even in the best auction houses, on average one in three rugs does not sell, but you will incur costs nonetheless.
If you are considering selling an antique rug, contact us before you place it on consignment in an auction. You can then compare our offer against the auction estimate. If you are looking to buy, please visit our oriental rug store.
Please visit ouroriental rug store. Our prices are more competitive than auctions and we offer you guaranteed satisfaction.
Currently, there are six major houses in the U.S. that periodically schedule antique rug auctions: Bonhams, Christie's, Freeman's, Grogan, Skinner, and Sotheby's. Auction houses typically charge commissions and fees on both the buyer and the seller, which can add up to a substantial cutof the value of the rug, up to 50% of the hammer price in the case of the larger establishments. At the other end of the spectrum, online sites such as ebay charge much less, but they are typically swamped by dealers and cheap products.
Prices at auctions are generally significantly lower than retail prices. In fact buyers at auctions are often dealers themselves. But the risks are considerably higher as well, since the sales are final, and there is little opportunity to inspect the rug carefully. Reputable auction-houses provide condition reports on the rugs, but these reports are often understated to help sell the rug. In any case, the auction house still charges hefty commissions and fees on the buyer and the seller. We would be happy to offer you our appraisal of an antique Persian rug before purchasing it.