If you’re looking for a fun, profitable, art career that gives you the opportunity to meet exciting people, then starting a business as a rug dealer may be just what you seek. Almost everyone likes the look and feel of rugs in their home, and high-quality rugs are beautiful and can last a lifetime.
People who shop for rugs with a rug dealer often view rugs as an investment. If you build a good rapport with your clients, you could end up working with a customer for many years to come.
The History and Popularity of Rugs
People have been making, selling and using rugs for centuries around the world. The oldest surviving rug, the Pazyryk Rug, dates back to the fifth century BC. It’s believed that rugmaking began in the area near the Caspian Sea in Northern Iran.
In time, the idea of rugs spread around the globe. Rugs of the past were primarily made of wool; every continent and almost every country had access to sheep and sheepherders to breed and raise them. Today, collectors of antique rugs seek out rugs from Iran, Pakistan, China, Armenia, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, and countries in Europe including England, France, and Spain.
There is a large market for antique rugs from all of these countries, but there are artisans all over the world that are still making new rugs today, too. Most continue to use traditional materials and techniques in their creation. The work is tedious and intense. It can take over a year to make a single rug, even with multiple artisans working on a single rug simultaneously eight hours a day each shift.
Rugs are a great product to sell because they have so many uses. The primary purpose of a rug is to cover the floor and to make a room warmer and more comfortable. Further, rugs can help to insulate sound, add color and style to a room, and give children a place to crawl and play. Prayer rugs are an important part of some religions as well.
Everyone loves rugs, so it therefore makes sense to become a rug dealer.
Antique vs. New
Before starting your rug dealership business, the first thing you must decide is whether you want to deal in antique rugs or sell newly manufactured rugs. You could include both in your plans, but you will likely benefit from focusing on one or the other.
Selling antique rugs will require a larger initial investment and a great deal of networking. Authentic Persian rugs, for example, can sell for many thousands of dollars, but it can be difficult to find the perfect one for a specific client. You will likely travel all over the world to find rugs to offer to your customers.
To be a successful antique rug dealer, you will need to amass a great deal of knowledge about the history of rugs. You will also need to be able to spot a knock-off with accuracy and without fail. Your reputation depends on it.
If you choose to deal in newly manufactured rugs, you will need to find suppliers and build relationships with them. You may decide to specialize in rugs from a particular country or region, or you may prefer to diversify your offerings.
The amount of profit you can make in either type of rug dealership is difficult to predict. Much depends on how much you invest and how good you are at attracting and persuading clients. Some rug dealers are very successful, though, and are among the top earners in both the antique and general home furnishings realms.
Getting Started as a Rug Dealer
Before you open your business, it’s crucial that you learn as much as you can about rugs. In order to please clients, you must be knowledgable about your wares. A good reputation is crucial, so you must know what you are talking about and exude confidence about it as well.
You will need to first decide if you want to be a sole proprietorship, an LLC or a corporation for tax purposes. It is wise to speak with an attorney or certified public accountant to determine which is right for you.
Next, determine the operational location of your new business. Perhaps you will run the business from your home or do the majority of your selling online. If you plan to have a physical location for customers to visit, be sure to rent an appropriate space in an easy-to-find location to serve them.
Once you have decided upon a location, you can use the address of it to obtain a business license from your county. You can go online and find the website of your county’s offices to find out what you need to submit and where you need to go to register in this way.
With your business license in hand, you can open a bank account in your business’ name. This will give some legitimacy to your business and you can begin doing business with others.
Whether you chose to deal in antique rugs or newly manufactured rugs, your next step will be to reach out to some suppliers both in the USA and abroad. Begin to build some relationships with them. Be professional and friendly. Some may be willing to offer you some rugs on consignment, but others will want your financial backing up front.
Tips for Working as a Rug Dealer
The three most important qualities of a successful rug dealer are professionalism, knowledge, and people skills. Always be professional and reliable, and never be negative about your competition. Educate your customers and be ready to answer lots of questions.
Treat your customers like royalty and be careful not to pressure them too much. If you make your customers happy during their first experience with you, they will return to you time and time again. And remember, a referral is the best form of advertising there is.
Make wise investments and love what you do. Everyone wants to buy from a happy salesman or woman.
Good Luck on Your New Business
Working as a rug dealer can be a rewarding career both financially and socially. It can be both enjoyable and profitable. Once you build relationships with suppliers and a reliable client base, you can be selling rugs for years into the future.