|By Fuat Kircaali||
|March 21, 2013 08:42 AM EDT||
My lengthy text messages with Nader Amini, the owner of Amini Rug Gallery on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who has a long list of Better Business Bureau complaint cases, lawsuits, and newspaper articles about his unethical business practices around the country. I never received a phone call back after being told he was in meetings for several days.
Related Blog Post: So You Want To Buy A Persian Rug
Last September I made the mistake of trusting a local business in Florida and buying three Persian oriental rugs from Nader Amini, the owner of Amini Rug Gallery here in Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Amini came to my home with a dozen or so Persian rugs and displayed them. He left three of the rugs with me so I could decide which ones I liked, along with an invoice. While writing his invoice he asked me "if he should use a fictional out-of-state address" so I would not have to pay sales tax on the rugs! That was the first time alarm bells went off. I told him that he should itemize each rug and be sure to add the "full sales tax" as he totaled his invoice.
The next day I stopped at his store on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale and gave him a check for the total amount before my next overseas trip that same day.
I later realized that he never itemized the price of each rug in his invoice and soon after I found out that he had no intention of telling me what each rug actually cost.
I had lengthy text exchanges with Mr. Nader Amini, the owner of Amini Rug Gallery, trying to find out what I paid for each of the three rugs with no luck. All I knew was he said all three Persian rugs he sold me were very rare, hard to find, unique art works that were actually worth multiple times more than what I paid for them. He said he would mail me an "appraisal certification" for the rugs, but he would never tell me what I paid for them individually.
The following Monday I stopped by "Rugs and Art," another Persian rug store on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey. The owner of the store showed me a Tabriz rug, "identical" to one of the three laying in my house, and asked me for $11,000 but said the price was negotiable. When I showed him the other two rugs I bought from Mr. Amini, he said he would ship three Persian rugs comparable in size, origin and quality to my house in Florida and I could send him $15,000 for all of them, but only if I was fully satisfied with his rugs, no questions asked. I realized I paid roughly three times more to Mr. Amini for the same quality and type of Persian rugs.
Five days after my purchase I brought Mr. Amini's three rugs to his store, accompanied by two Fort Lauderdale police officers, but all I got was a police report stating that he refused to take the rugs back and fully refund my money.
A little research on his background revealed that Mr. Nader Amini had conducted similar business practices in other states, had lawsuits filed against him and settled, Better Business Bureau complaints, and newspapers articles documenting his unethical rug business.
I found an independent "rug appraiser," Sharon Kerwick, in Fort Lauderdale through a rug appraisers organization. During my brief phone conversation with Sharon Kerwick she told me that Ms. Kerwick (http://www.kerwick.com) would show the rugs to Mr. Nader Amini of Amini Rug Gallery for her appraisal. When I told her that Mr. Amini was the Persian rug dealer I bought the rugs from for three times the fair market price, she did not say another word and hung up the phone.
Finally last week the rugs were picked up by another appraiser for a thorough DNA inspection in his lab. At the same time, I question whether they were even imported into the country within the parameters of the Iran Sanctions law.
As per certified oriental rug appraiser Sharon Kerwick, Mr. Nader Amini is yet again closing shop in Fort Lauderdale; his store is up for sale, and he is opening a new store in the affluent Bal Harbor section of Miami.
The President of ABC Home and Carpets suggested that I file a lawsuit against Mr. Nader Amini and Amini Rug Gallery before he disappears from the state once again.
So, you want to buy a Persian rug? Be careful who you are buying it from. I find it my civic duty to share my experience to protect "unsuspecting customers" from going through the same experience.
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