Become a Rug Dealer

By Eric Hammer

A rug dealer is basically a specialized version of an antiques dealer.

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RugInstead of dealing with general antiques however, you deal in rugs. Rug dealers have a long history of being involved in antiques, with Persian rugs being the most prized of all such rugs for sale. In fact, Persian rug dealers (i.e. people who buy and sell Persian rugs, not necessarily that they happen to be from Iran, which is modern day Persia) are well known as being some of the wealthiest antiques dealers because they deal almost exclusively with very high end clientele.

Of course, you don't have to deal in Persian rugs. There are rug makers all over the world and rug dealers buy and sell virtually every kind of rug you can imagine. The important thing to realize however is that rug dealers work almost exclusively with higher end materials. The cheaper, mass produced rugs which can be bought in discount stores will pretty much never make their way into the show rooms of a quality rug dealer.

How Much Can You Make?

It is difficult to quantify numbers for rug dealers because very few of them are actually employed by someone (most are self employed). However, given that a basic Persian rug can easily sell for $20,000 or more and that an experienced rug dealer can probably purchase such rugs in Turkey and other parts of the world for around 1/3 of that price, it's easy to do the math and see that a successful rug dealer can make real money.

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Keep in mind that as a rug dealer, your name is the single most important commodity you have. That means that you not only must be extremely knowledgeable about your products but that you also must be able to offer your customers the absolute confidence that they really are purchasing a quality rug and not some cheap knockoff. The moment your name starts to get associated with junk, you will find it increasingly hard to buy and sell quality rugs in this rarefied business.

It is important as well that you are able to remind your customers that a rug is not like shag carpeting. It need not match the furniture in the room since a rug is in essence a work of art which you happen to walk on. It is also worth noting that many people will display fine rugs as tapestries rather than allow people to walk on them. In fact, some rug dealers may also find that they would like to expand to offering tapestries for sale since such items are considered to be complimentary to rugs.

Qualifications / Requirements

While there are generally no formal requirements to become a rug dealer, it is also quite difficult to get the kind of training that you'll need in order to become a successful rug dealer. You need to remember that this is a somewhat rarefied business and as such, you'll generally need to have an appreciation for fine rugs and will likely want to get training while working on the job with an existing rug dealer.

First Steps

Start by visiting local rug dealers and asking lots of questions. Rug dealers tend to be passionate about the rugs they have for sale and will often be happy to share their knowledge of their favorite subject with you. You may also want to try to get a job with a rug dealer so that you can learn the ropes before you try to strike out on your own.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about becoming a rug dealer:

Alex Cooper: How to Select a Dealer - While this is advice aimed at the consumer side of the market, this same advice should help to guide you on your quest to become a rug dealer.

Old Carpet: How To? - This is a good introduction to old rugs and again, while not aimed at the aspiring rug dealer, an excellent place to start.

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Every Way to Make Money | Become a Rug Dealer