Sam Presnell of The Rug Gallery discusses the benefits of in-home rug delivery verses transporting your rug yourself, including sizes and weights of rugs, the benefits of delivery, and the personal touch of offering design and decorating ideas to customers.
John Maher: Welcome to the Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati Ohio. I’m John Maher and I’m here with the owner of the Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi Sam.
Sam Presnell: Hi John.
Different Sizes and Weights of Rugs
John: Today we're talking about in-home rug delivery. So, Sam what are the different sizes of rugs that you carry and how much do these rugs weigh?
Sam: Well, I think that's the surprising part is that there's all kinds of sizes. Well, for The Rug Gallery, we stock anywhere from 2x2 which would be really easy to put in your pocket, almost. We go up to 14x20s and quite heavy and can probably exceed 250 pounds. So it can go wide range.
Most rugs, I would say, in what I call a “room size” rug -- 8x11, 9x12 type of a size -- I would say machine-made average around 40 to 45 pounds, which I think most people could handle but you have to know how to pick them up. And then they go up to hand-knotted, depending on what type of rug it is, it could easily go into the 100-pounds range, somewhere in there.
Can You Damage a Rug by Moving It?
John: So is it sometimes difficult for a person to load a rug like that onto their truck or in their car and then transport it home, and then of course when they get home -- I imagine they would have help at the store getting it into their truck, but when they get home they're all alone. Could they damage the rug by trying to pick up this rug themselves and shove it through their front door?
Sam: Well, it’d be hard to damage the rug, because you're just dealing with the back of the rug, usually, when it's rolled up, and rugs are textiles, so they're very rugged and tough and they're made to be tormented, walked on, beat up or whatever. So, it's really hard to hurt it but if you rubbed up against some grease, yes you could get some grease on it or dirt on it. You have to be carefully, you’ve got to realize it's not your property, unless you mess it up. So it's like a you-break-it-you-buy-it type of thing when you take home a rug or sign out rug, you've got to be able to sell it as new when it comes back if you don't like it.
But as far as people taking them home, I would say the majority of people at the Rug Gallery, that's very common. I am a bit surprised by how many people do it, I guess they don't want to feel like they have to wait for you to come and set up the delivery of it, then maybe feeling obligated that if it doesn't work, “I should have bought something. I need to buy something". So if they take it home themselves, it’s very non-committal for them. That's what I look at it as. It allows them to try something and basically it can be a whim, “I tried it, I didn't like it, thank you very much, see you later” when they bring it back. I think that plays into the buying psyche as far as the consumer goes.
So taking it home themselves is very, very common. I am shocked at the weight of some of these rugs people take home and I'm thinking, it’s probably not a wise thing to do. Because if you hurt yourself physically, no telling what that could lead to and it's not really worth it for the little bit of cost that deliveries are.
The Benefits of In-Home Rug Delivery
John: So then what are the benefits of in-home rug delivery?
Sam: Well, I think just that. It just takes all that weight and not handling it, and we’ll move all the furniture for you, we’ll spread it out for you, we’ll stack them up on top of each other, we’ll take the ones that you don't like, leave the ones you want. So that's it, we’ll come back after a couple of days and pick them back up from you if you don't like them.
We do charge for that and that's something I should say about the Rug Gallery. We have a fee for that, that we charge. And if you buy something from us that will cost more than $2500 it's free. Other than that it's like a flat -- I think $100 is what we charge for delivering and re-pick up of that rug if we do the showing and nothing worked.
We also allow them to have it as a credit, that $100, as a credit for future use. I mean they could buy clean supplies, padding if they bought another rug for somebody else, repair on another rug that they own or something like that. So we don't look at it as basically trying to make money off of our showings. We look at it as basically we want to sell the rug of course and the more expensive [ones you buy], it becomes free.
Home Decorating Advice
John: Do you find yourselves giving a little bit of in-home decor advice in terms of how to set up the room so that it really shows off the rug?
Sam: Yes. I think the big thing and I think we've talked about this in other series where we talk about picking the right size and the proportions being balanced and those kinds of things. A lot of consumers think that they need a certain size and usually, it's either one of two things. It is usually too small, in our eyes, or else it’s too large or it's not balanced properly. So we can definitely help with size if there is another rug or that rug comes in four or five sizes, “Hey, well, it's a beautiful rug. You like it. I think you should use a bigger size and this is why."
So we can give advice like that, we can help with color and design, we can also get a feel for what else is going on in the room, because a lot times when you come in you may pick the wrong rugs to go out. And that's very common on the first go around. A lot times it takes a couple times to get it right and some people, I hate to tell you how many times it takes, but it can get a little crazy sometimes as far as I'm concerned. But it is something we can give them advice on.
My recommendation when you take rugs home either yourself or have us deliver them for you, is that you mix it up. If you want a red rug, don't take four red rugs home, because if red doesn't work for you, every one of those is not going to work for you. So if you're also using blue or green or beige or whatever your color is, grey or whatever, mix up those choices of color at least so that you have some distinctly different ones.
I think sometimes you'll be amazed that what you thought would work in your head at the store, ‘Oh my God, I love it, it's perfect, color is great,’ when you get at home it doesn't work most of the time. And then sometimes you think, ‘Oh well, yeah, I’ll take it’, and I always say I insist you take one from me, what is totally different and at that point how often it is that the one you don't like as much in the store works at home.
Trying Out Multiple Rugs
John: So are you saying that you can take home more than one rug at a time as well and try them out and pick which one you like the best?
Sam: Yes. I hate to say this but we try to limit it to three to four rugs max. I mean it gets a little confusing after that and it's very burdensome to get more there.
John: Where are you going to put all those rugs?
Sam: Some people just can't make up their mind. And the more you give them, the more confusing it is because they all look good. It's like buying art. So, "Yes this is nice because of this reason, this is great because of this reason" and it’s like, ‘Oh My God, I got three or four things that all work and, oh God, I can't make up my mind.’ And it’s an anguish of “did I make a right choice” type of thing. I think you want to limit it down to distinctive differences between rugs, and also limit the amount of choices. I think three to me is what I try to do if I could talk somebody into it. That's what I would like to see as a limit.
John: Can a person have a new rug delivered and then maybe an old rug that's beat up or something like that, which they don't want, have you take that away?
Sam: That's very common. Yes, we do that a lot. Lots of time they want to donate them all or they want us to destroy them. A lot of times they're really badly damaged or stained really bad, so we pitch them for them. We have a big dumpster that we’ll throw them out in, but sometimes we’ll donate them to our local Goodwill charity type thing or else we have an auction house, we also bring it in and call them up and they'll pick it up for them.
John: Well, I think that sounds like it would be well worth it to have you come in, and bring a few rugs with you, try them out and get a little bit of advice on the room and the decor and have somebody with a trained eye take a look at my rug and my room, and tell me which one they think works the best.
Sam: Thank you, John, that's exactly what I was thinking that we need to do, because I think in today's world where everybody’s buying stuff online and have no idea what it looks like, have no outside influence as far as what's proper and not proper as far as size or whatever -- I think it's a really good, smart choice to deal with somebody locally and to ask for their help.
John: All right well that's really great information, Sam. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Sam: All right John, thank you.
John: And for more information about Sam, the Rug Gallery and Oriental rugs and carpets, visit ruggallerycincy.com. That is Rug Gallery C-I-N-C-Y dot com. Or call 513-793-9505. And make sure you catch the latest episode by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes. And if you can take the time to give us a review on iTunes as well we would appreciate that. See you next time on the Rug Gallery.