Be very careful shopping here as the police have investigated this shop due to complaints by tourists. The products they sell are OK but just be careful. Do not associate with the salesmen or owners. They are not to be trusted. Had to get the police involved as they fraudulently charged my credit card. Love Istanbul and there are a lot of great carpet and kilim shops. Just stay away from this one.
MINNET Bozdemir of Galeri Selcuk is everything you are warned about in a carpet dealer. Unscrupulous, and a cunning con artist, it is impossible to tell his blatant lies from half lies and near truths. I fell for every one of them only to discover the deception when I got home with my Kurdish (lie) handwoven (lie) wool carpet, and had it valued for insurance purposes. He overcharged me at least 600 Euros - for a small carpet which was to be an heirloom (lie). An internet search using his name showed him to be a repeat offender - one guy was duped into thinking he was buying silk and cheated to the tune of 3000 dollars. All my fault for not doing my homework. But even if one person is warned about this man, I have achieved something. P.S: He also has guys in other carpet shops direct you to his showroom if you don't see anything that quite suits you in these shops. No doubt they get a nice cut.
We were invited (read: lured) to Turga on our way to check out the Arasta Bazaar by a very nice and friendly man, Mehmet. I think I'll save the details for a travelogue. But rest assured if you want to ensure that what you are spending big bucks for are high quality, hand-crafted Turkish rugs then do yourself a favor and at least stop in and talk to Yusef Hurma, the president and owner of Turga. He will explain, over a never-ending service of hot tea, the differences in carpet construction materials, regional variations, historical significance, etc. And unless you're already well-versed in Turkish rug variations, you are likely to see many types of designs that you don't see in shops in the U.S. He definitely understands and caters to customers who don't want to see or purchase the same type of rugs one can get at home, although he has rugs along the more familiar designs as well.
Yusef gave us a great deal on three carpets and threw in free shipping because he routinely ships in bulk to the U.S. He speaks perfect English and makes a trip to the U.S. once or twice a year to meet privately with past clients and potential new ones that his current clients refer to him.
Buyer's Confidence: There were a couple of times within the Grand Bazaar in speaking with shopkeepers that our carpet purchases became a topic of conversation. When asked where we bought them from and what we paid, the shopkeepers in each case nodded their heads and agreed that Yusef only deals with high quality goods and that we had paid a more than fair price. Can't beat that!
What to buy: High quality Turkish carpets and kilims
What to pay: Varies but be sure to bargain hard!
SAKURA CARPETS AND KILIMS
A good selection and the staff were friendly and not too pushy. Better than the Grand Bazaar where the sellers gave me a headache.
The carpets all seemed good quality too and I kinda wished I'd brought a bit more spending money me. I spoke to Selcuk and Osman (Danny Asman) who were very helpful.
It is conveniently in Taksim Talimhane near the Lamartin hotel and 5 min walk from Taksim square.
I also bought a few small bits of pottery there (coasters) which were pretty and made good cheap presents for the family.
What to pay: Kilims and carpets from 100 dollars, but expect to pay about 500 for a good sized living room rug. The coasters were a dollar or less from what I remember and there were some nice vases/plates there too but I am not sure on the prices.
Try to find the nuruosmaniye door of the grand bazaar
on the way to the entrance you can find many reputable carpet shops
all you need is to ask the certificate and this shops are able to
provide a certificate for the carpets
Any carpet shop near the Arasta Bazaar will have someone standing outside to lure you in with an offer of tea or even wine. If you aren't interested don't be afraid to politely turn them down. On the other hand if you are interested in learning more about carpets before actually buying one do take them up on the tea and you will be regailed with more information than you thought possible. They will take out every carpet in the store and lay them before you and tell you what it is made of, how many knots per square inch, etc. If you express a liking for any they will remember which ones and pull them back out later. Do not feel pressured into buying if you don't want to. This is their job and they are happy to do it since there are many carpet shops and the competition is high. The stores all seem to know one another since after I had made a selection and actually bought a carpet, they all seemed to know about it and I wasn't bothered again.
What to pay: Bargain bargain bargain. I was advised to offer half of the price they originally ask and work from there. I bought a lovely wool/cotton living room sized carpet for 900.00 U.S. and I know the same carpet would cost $3,000.-$4,000. at home.
The most important tip I cold give is to take your time. There are so many carpets and shops, that you should look around before you buy. It is worth to talk to the sellers, and compare what they tell you about the types of carpets etc.
It is difficult to say what a good price would be - rather decide what the specific carpet is worth for you, and what you would pay for such a carpet.
I could have put this tip under Tourist Trap because in a way it was..... we were all ushered by our travel guide in this room for a "carpet show".... First though there was a whole ceremony with tea serving and drinking..... Then the carpets were rolled out , one after the other and praised to the heavens for their beauty and quality...... While one after the other of my group members sneeked away not so to be brainwashed and talked into buying a not at all needed carpet , I stayed on , really fascinated by their beauty .....And soon enough the vendors or salespeople spotted me as a possible "victim" and started to work on me.... but they didn't have to talk me into buying very much because I had decided allready that I would buy one and I knew exactly which..... Nevertheless they "got me" by talking me into buying two offering a big discount and free shipping whereever.... I hesitately went for two, paid U$ 1,000 and told them my adress in Sao Paulo..... The second U$ 1,000 were to be paid upon arrival of the merchandise which happened like 6 weeks later.... The last photo shows me happy and exhausted after all the bargaining... Touristtrappy but I didn't feel cheated , the decision was mine after all and I love my carpets which are my joy and pride untill today.... I think one psychological factor to buy was that I told myself the whole trip was so incredibly cheap anyway, so why not buy one of these beauties.....?
What to buy: Carpets....... I'm sorry not to be able to say what kind of carpets these were and from where they came but for me it was like a once in a lifetime experience.... I got certificates of course but I have no idea where they are.....
What to pay: This depends solely on your bargaining skills and also on the amount of units....
One carpet costs more than half of the amount for two.........
Mine are beautifully mild colored , about 2,5 m x 4,5 m and I paid U$1,000 each....
This is a bit different from the dozens of carpet shops that you see in the Grand Bazaar.
It is located amidst a small group of other shops selling other local crafts.
Ask for Hasan Kaya and tell him his mad friends from Malaysia sent you. Maybe he wont skin you as much as he normally would; but then again, maybe he might.
Shopping in these sorts of places is a bit like Russian Roulette but its a hell of a lot of fun and really interesting.
He doesn't have any silk carpets (which is another thing altogether) but he has a range of what appeared to be genuine local carpets from the arts and craft area east of Istanbul.
Maybe it's best to go east of Istanbul and see for yourself but i've forgotten the name of the area and the cost of going there (if you have time) may outway the benefits of buying in Istanbul.
Anyway, this guy made us so comfortable (with the inevitable dozen glasses of Turkish tea) that we bought from him and arranged a small import deal for our shop in Seremban.
Time will tell.
You will excuse my scepticism if you've travelled through Asia.
What to buy: Turkish carpets are reputed to be as good or better than the more famous "Persian" (Iranian) carpets.
My personal opinion is that if you want just a small an inexpensive momento of your visit to Turkey, shop around for a few hours and try to buy a genuine hand made Turkish carpet from the eastern states.
If you have the money to indulge a few thousand Lira or US$, you should buy silk carpets of no less than 20 knots per square cm.
What to pay: Factory carpets for US$30, hand made for over US$150 or 20 grade silk carpets for over US$1,500.
We bought a hand made carpet 750cm by 1050cm for US$75 after starting at US$120.
After the deal was struck he gave us a ceramic egg as a parting gife and 3 more glasses of Turkish tea.
As with a lot of countries in this part of the world, Carpets are a good buy, the quality does vary quite considerably so choose cafefully as a general rule of thumb the more stiches per square inch the better the quality, look around a few different shops to get an idea of availablity , ask for their price on a good quality and a poor quality , then set yourself a budget
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