What You Should Know Before Going to a Carpet Sale: Tips of the Trade Whether you are updating your home’s look, or replacing the flooring in your home out of necessity, odds are pretty good that you are going to find yourself in the market for carpeting at some point in the future. Purchasing rugs at a carpet sale is an economical way to get the look you desire without breaking the bank. Taking advantage of a carpet sale can be a very good thing, if you know what to look for – and what deals to avoid. There is no right or wrong way to buy a carpet at a carpet sale. However, there are some general rules of the game that all consumers should heed when considering buying a rug at a carpet sale. Perhaps the biggest caution there is to avoid being taken in by a carpet sale that features huge markdowns and discounts. Discount prices like these are often promoted at liquidation sales, going out of business sales, remodeling or moving sales, and the like. At a carpet sale like these, it can be easy to be swayed by the deals featuring savings of 50%, 75% or even 90%. But be aware and do your homework. To make a profit, vendors often engage in high mark-ups of the product. Often the carpet sale price is actually just the fair market value of the item, after the egregiously inflated price is ‘discounted.’ Customs Auctions should also be approached with due caution. Many times, these special events will feature rugs and other goods that are purported to have been seized by the United States Customs. A carpet sale like this is ALWAYS fraudulent. It is illegal to sell goods seized by Customs. Seized merchandise must be shipped out of the country – if they were legitimately allowed in the country, they wouldn’t have been seized in the first place. Avoid any carpet sale where the origins of the merchandise cannot be verified. Online auction sites may provide a convenient means of procuring the best exotic rugs. Often, carpet sale prices are much cheaper online than through local dealers. Still, do your homework before taking advantage of this type of carpet sale. The general rule of thumb here is if a deal seems too good to be true, run! If someone is offering a valuable piece for a steal of a price, be very wary. Check the vendor’s reputation, and verify the authenticity of the carpet. Also ensure that the piece you examine and buy online at the carpet sale is the actual piece you will receive. Most carpet sale vendors provide a certificate of authenticity for rare and valuable pieces. Before attending a carpet sale, establish your ideal budget. How much are you willing to spend on a carpet? How much are you able to spend? Then determine the size of the carpet you desire. Don’t guess at the size of the area you are carpeting. Roll up your sleeves, pull out the tape measure, and get an accurate measure of the dimensions of the room or space. At a carpet sale, sales are usually final; save yourself time and money by knowing exactly what you need. When inspecting carpet sale items, find out as much information as possible to enable you to make an informed decision before you buy. Where was the carpet made? Is there proof of authenticity? How many knots per square inch are there (RAJ or KPSI)? Has the carpet been cleaned prior to the carpet sale – and if so, in what manner? Is there a return policy in place? Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions or to check for damages, odors, or staining. Doing this upfront will save you time and money. Carpet sales allow sellers to offer consumers excellent-quality items at an affordable price, while liquidating stock to make room for other pieces. A little bit of planning and preparation beforehand can make your next carpet sale adventure a pleasant and productive one.