If your rug is dirty and needs cleaning, or you have an old rug that you think might have some value, find out more about how the Rug Gallery makes house calls to evaluate rugs for cleaning, pick them up, and also to appraise a rug’s value.
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: Hey, John.
Taking a Rug Out of the Home for Cleaning
John: Today we're talking about house costs for rug cleaning sales estimates and more. Sam, is it difficult sometimes to take a soiled rug out of a home for cleaning or to get a cost estimate if the person wants to sell the rug?
Sam: No, it's very easy. Most times we can do it over the phone or through an e-mail. You take a picture of it, you measure the size, we can tell you if we can take care of it or clean it, and give you an estimate of cleaning or repair for it as well. We do a lot of that today because of the convenience of everybody having a smartphone and being able to photograph and just e-mail us those photos and then giving us the size.
We can save a lot of time of going out. We can go out, and we do that a lot. In fact, I would encourage people to take advantage of that -- it's part of the service that we provide and it's pretty much free most of the time.
Options for Cleaning or Appraising a Rug
John: Tell me a little bit more about the options that people have if they do want to either clean their rug or sell their rug. Maybe they've taken a picture, they've sent it to you, you've given an estimate and then they want to have you come out and take a look. Is that possible?
Sam: Oh yes, we do charge for that, but yes, we do appraisals. If they want something appraised, do they want something in writing, do they want something more verbal? The verbal stuff we just give out for free over the phone. If we have to come out to your house and drive who-knows-where and come back and take the time, we do charge for that, of course, being a house call type of a thing.
As far as cleaning goes, it’s a very minimal charge for pickup and delivery. Moving the furniture, picking it up and spreading it back for you when we come back. It's a $50 charge for us at The Rug Gallery. Most of the cost for us is in the cleaning that we charge for, it's kind of built into that cost.
The Rug Cleaning Process
John: For cleaning you're not doing that in-house, you need to come and take the rug, bring it to a specialized facility, clean it and then bring it back to the person?
Sam: We have a cleaning plant so we don't do it in the house, we don't recommend that. First of all, when you’ve got a dirty rug you have to dust it or beat it. You have to get the dirt out of the back of the rug because most of the dirt will filter down into the back of the rug. Before we clean something you want to get that dirt out and you've got to actually beat the heck out of the back of that rug and suck that dirt out of it first because, as you can imagine, if you put water on dirt it becomes mud.
And what happens if you don't get it all out, that means it gets stuck in the back of your rug, and it becomes like a rock. A lot of times we see old rugs -- I mean quite old -- they come in and you really can't roll them because they'll crack and break. They're so filled with dirt and mud in the back of it, so you’ve got to be careful and it's very important that you get somebody who knows what they're doing there.
Big Rug Stores vs Hometown Rug Dealers
John: Do the big box rug stores offer house calls like that or is that something that you only see from more established hometown rug dealers?
Sam: I think that's one area that we really shine at, that I think the big stores can’t do or don't do it in the way that you maybe would expect. You’re not going to get cleaning or repair out of them. You're going to get somebody come out like a wall-to-wall carpet job, then basically somebody does the measurements, but it's not somebody who's really working with you in the store, it's not somebody who’s looking at the fabric and knowing what you're actually buying. They just come out and measure the room and that's pretty much it. Whereas with The Rug Gallery all of our staff is trained, and probably in most stores I would say you have a trained person who measures as well as gives advice. As well as, you can say, "This is probably not going to look the way you want it to because of these reasons." And a big box is not going to have that capacity of a sales person and background as far as product goes.
John: How can a person set up a house call with you for rug cleaning or maybe to get an estimate on their rug?
Sam: All they have to do is just call us, they can also e-mail us as well. At this point we don't have texting because we don't have cell phones in the store, but they could definitely give us an e-mail and we'll contact them, or else a phone would be very quick and we could do that as soon as they call us.
John: All right. Well, that's great information. Sam, thanks again for speaking with me today
Sam: All right, John. Thank you.
John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery and oriental rugs and carpets visit ruggallerycincy.com. That's rug gallery C-I-N-C-Y.com or call 513-793-9505. Make sure you get the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes, and if you can take the time to give us a review on iTunes we'd appreciate that as well. I’m John Maher, see you next time on The Rug Gallery.