Tips for Buying Vintage Rugs on eBay

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The perfect rug can be one of the most challenging pieces of home decor to find but when you know, YOU KNOW. Rugs help us out in so many ways. They help with sound-proofing, cover/protect floors, make things feel cozy and welcoming, provide texture, color and/or pattern to a space, and help to anchor furniture/anything placed on top of them. I use rugs in every single one of my projects and love incorporating vintage, or vintage-looking, rugs in spaces to make things feel collected and lived-in.

I always keep my eyes peeled for unique, one of a kind rugs at fair prices and have found many great online vendors that sell quality products at a variety of prices. If you are completely new to the vintage rug hunt then some general prices to expect for a good quality rug are anywhere from $500-$1000+ for a 4’x6′ size and prices increase from there with size. Pretty much anytime you have the words “vintage” and “one-of-a-kind” in the same sentence there is going to be a somewhat hefty price-tag that comes with it which leads me to the main topic of this post EBAY.

eBay has been one of my favorite sources for scoring beautiful vintage rugs for great prices. Both of the rugs pictured in this post were some of my most recent finds and I couldn’t be happier with the quality and the fact that I got them both for under $200 each (shipping included). I lost out on quite a few rugs in the beginning of my eBay days and have since learned a few tricks when it comes to finding and winning auctions. I’m sharing some of my deepest, darkest secrets (HA not really) when it comes to buying beautiful vintage rugs on eBay for friendly prices. I am hoping these tips will save you some time and sadness from losing auctions. Plus, the satisfaction of “winning” a rug that you love is quite fun.

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KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

This might seem pretty obvious but knowing the style, general color palette, and size of the rug you are looking for is key. Are you looking for a Persian rug or Moroccan? Are looking for a runner or an area rug? Ask yourself these questions and be sure to measure the space where the rug will go because if the scale is off then even the most beautiful rugs will look weird.

USE THE RIGHT SEARCH TERMS

Here’s a few of my go-to search terms:

  • “Vintage persian rug”
  • “Vintage kilim rug”
  • “Turkish kilim rug”
  • “Vintage moroccan rug”

USE THE RIGHT FILTERS

After you type in your search terms and hit “search” there a bunch of filters that pop up on the left side. I love using a few specific filters to find exactly what I want, here’s my favorites:

  • “Auction” <– this will display only the products that are up for Auction which is what you want. None of that instant buy stuff.
  • “Free Shipping” <– sometimes shipping costs can be almost as much as the rug itself so I almost always check this one.
  • Size <– this shows up for any of the search terms that include the word “rug” so you are able to filter to whatever size range you are looking for.

ADD YOUR FAVORITES TO YOUR WATCH LIST

Most of the auctions go on for a few days, some a week or longer, so be sure to save your favorites to your watch list so you don’t lose track of them. By saving them to your watch list, you will receive an email and phone notifications (if you have the app) with updates on the auction.

DOWNLOAD THE EBAY APP TO GET AUCTION UPDATES TO YOUR PHONE

If you are serious about winning some cool stuff on eBay, I highly recommend downloading the app. It’s easy to use on the go but the best function is receiving auction notifications straight to your phone without needing to check email or somehow remember when auctions are ending because who has time for that? I actually won one of my rugs while waiting in line at the grocery store. I had completely forgotten about the auction and got a nice remember on my phone 15 minutes before the auction was ending to place my bid and won in the last few seconds. CHA-CHING!

HAVE A MAXIMUM BID IN MIND

Always have a max amount in mind of what you would be willing to spend on the rug. Be sure to take into account shipping. Keep this number in mind when it comes to the end of the auction.

WAIT UNTIL THE END TO BID

If there is one tip to note it’s this one. I know it seems tempting to place bids throughout the auction but it’s worth it to just hold off completely until the very end…like the last few seconds. Depending what the max bid is in the final seconds, I will usually place my bid at anywhere from $20-$75 over that amount in the final 2 seconds as long as it’s still in line with my own personal max bid.

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I hope you found these tips helpful and that you are able to find an eBay treasure of your own.

Brett Foken