How to Get Cheap Moroccan Rugs – Tips For Haggling At Moroccan Souks
For many travelers like us, a trip to Morocco does not complete unless we don’t get a rug from there, or at least wander around the rug shops. Although these rugs are too expensive due to their size, material, patterns, and the effort that the women weaver put together to give them a complete vintage or traditional look.
But most of the time you want to know some tactics from which you can get cheap Moroccan rugs for your home and rooms so that you can flaunt with style. But how can you do that? For this you need to know your requirements for which you want to use your rug and then only you will be able to see what type of rug will work for you.
Let’s find out what kind of rugs we have in the Moroccan markets.
Types of Rugs
Rugs and carpets available in the Moroccan bazaars can be grouped into urban and rural, Arab, or Berber. Urban rugs and carpets are more likely influenced by the Middle East with their oriental designs that are intricately detailed.
On the other hand, Rural Berber carpets contains abstract patterns and are hand woven with a number of symbols that telltale the stories of the rural Berber tribe. With the same rural type, rugs from the Atlas contains a deep hand woven woolen pile to keep the warmth at the place where they are used. The size of these Atlas rugs is usually narrow but long.
The other type of the Moroccan rugs are creamy shedwi rugs from Beni Mguild and Beni Ourain tribes originated from the high Middle Atlas that are decorated and beautified from the dark colored pattern such as brown and black. The Haouz rugs from the west of Africa somewhere between the Atlantic and the Atlas are consist of free-floating patterns and shapes with bright colors. Hanbels or Kilim from the Chichaoua is usually woven flat containing intricate geometrical designs with mostly yellow, black, and white colors on a red-colored based background.
Berber rugs, another type that goes perfectly unique with the free designs are informal and can be used in any room décor settings because they are not specifically designed with keeping a particular area in mind. Besides, the Beni Mguild and Beni Ourain types of Moroccan rugs have gained sudden popularity in the west and have become the fashion statement for most of the interior decorators.
Patterns and Symbols
The efforts that female weaver give to a rug in its production process is simply amazing. The entire patterns and the use of colors are exclusively influenced by the religious beliefs that significantly are rooted in the magic of the legendary Berber tribes.
Basically, what traditions and history say about the creation of the rugs, is that was not made initially to be used commercially. They were made originally only for personal use. This also means that maybe women weavers have compiled these patterns to deliver what they think especially about the events that they have been through all of their lives. Every symbol, pattern, and motif shows a different meaning and conceals something special from the weaver’s heart. Probably a celebration, fertility, birth, marriage, or the memory of their older region. Whenever you buy an old landscape in a form of a Moroccan rug, you are actually getting an episode of a unique event and story.
Where to Buy Cheap Moroccan Carpets
If you are in Marrakesh and want to buy a carpet from there, then the best shop to make your purchase is Criee Berbere at the Spice Square. The entrance of the shop is decorated and flanked by the carpet stalls. Here, slave auctions were supposedly held at sunset thrice a week until 1912, when the French arrived and the practice discontinued. For now, there’s an auction but only for carpets, rugs, cloths, and wool.
The Criee Berbere is assumed to be an exotic warren of the small carpet shops covered with plenty of small carpets. Every ship at Cariee is flooded with different types of rugs that are full of uniquely designed and are appealing to the eye. If you ask for something that as the shop doesn’t have, then the shop owner will borrow it from the neighbor shop that does have your demanded variety.
Tips of Haggling
First of all, if you are really into the souks to buy something, then do not ask for the price unless you are sure to buy the rug. According to a general rule of thumb that works often when you go buy a cheap Moroccan rug, is to ask the seller for the price and slash it half and start haggling from there.
Haggling is considered to be the art in Morocco, there’s nothing called a particular price for the piece of rug. If you liked the piece and you are willing to pay for it, then you are good to go. In cases, if you are not good at haggling, then try finding some shops that are labeled with fixed price shops and go with it.
Ten Tips to Begin Your Cheap Moroccan Rug Shopping With the Art of Haggling.
You must have heard the famous quotes ‘When in Rome, be like Romans’. So, to just embrace the Moroccan culture make an effort to haggle and don’t pay over the odds. Here are some tips that will help you in bargaining the next time you visit Marrakesh.
Tips#1: Haggling is one of the sweetest forms of communication between the seller and buyer at the souks of Moroccan tribes. When you find your chosen one, remain polite and add some humor to the communication. Accept the refreshing mint tea that often sellers offer to their customers and enjoy the stories while spending some time at the markets.
Tip#2: If you are unsure about the quality, material, color, size, or anything that does not seems to feel good to yourself, do not start bargaining.
Tip #3: Appear hesitant – this means to show that you do not really like the carpet, if you display your emotions that you love the rug and willing to pay any price, then you will lose your haggling power.
Tip #4: The price matters - when it comes to the price, follow the general rule of thumb, which is to offer a half or three quarters of the price that the seller has initially quoted and leave the shop. Do not show the attitude of taking it or leave it.
Tip #5: Stick to what you have offered once, if the seller wants to sell the rug to you he’ll find you from anywhere from the market even when you have left the street. But you have to be serious about it. A good bargainer will hold its grounds and remain prepared for leaving the shop at any quoted price.
Tip # 6: If you can’t afford to or want to pay the asked price, refuse politely and leave the shop. Probably you will be followed, but you should not give the idea to the seller that you want them to follow you when you leave.
Tip# 7: If you both are haggling over just a few dollars, and you really like the rug that you actually want to have it, then to make a good seller-buyer relationship you should avoid taking part in putting yourself in a hassle, just pay the price and you are all good to leave.
Tip # 8: If you are new to the place and wanted to get some traditional art and craft items, then avoid telling your cab driver. Chances are there that he may (invariably a male) will drive you towards the location which is unknown to you but to get there you have to go a long way through and the driver will make a hefty kickback from dropping you there. And what you get! An inflated price eventually.
Tip # 9: Avoid thinking that you may have bargained much. There’s no such thing as called right price. If you are satisfied with your cheap Moroccan rug, then you have paid a good amount.
Tip #10: It’s useless to think that you have purchased a rug in very less amount. The salesman knows at the back of his mind that how much he’ll be gaining from every purchase, if he’s not making a profit out of your purchase, he’d not be selling it to you at that price.
Moroccans are extremely understanding and loving people, they love what they make and sell. In order to get your cheap Moroccan rugs, you need to go through the souks where you get the most authentic and appropriate rugs that fit your requirements easily.
Don’t forget to haggle when you visit Morocco next time, you may save some bucks out of your pocket and get the most desired rug with all its goodness.