DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine is a pretty fair oil painter. She occasionally sells one. I would like to buy a painting she recently finished. She quoted me a price, but phrased it as a question, "Does $-- sound OK?" Would it be rude if I offered her less than that for the painting? -- BETTER OFFER IN THE WEST
DEAR BETTER OFFER: No, it would not be rude. It's common for buyers to negotiate the price of art objects. It is done all the time, and she shouldn't take offense if you offer her what you think is a fair price. Remember, if she doesn't agree, she can make a counteroffer.