20-40-60 Etiquette: Do I have to answer?

Do I to answer when someone asks me how much something costs or where I got it? 20-40-60 Etiquette answers, with Conner Rohwer as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: July 22, 2012
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QUESTION: This friend of mine is always asking me “how much did it cost?” If I have something new or wear something new, that is his standard question.

Then he asks, “Where did you get it?” Sometimes I don't want to answer this question, so what should I say? Am I obligated to share this information?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: If you don't want to answer just say, “Oh, I can't remember but I LOVE IT!”

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: When I find something that's really neat or a great deal, I am usually happy to share where I got it because I want my friends to be able to get in on it, too. However, good etiquette does not require anyone to answer questions about where an item came from or how much it costs. It's a rather nosy question that is best asked sparingly or unasked.

You don't have to volunteer the information. If you have to have an answer, you could ask your friend why he always asks you that question, not in an accusing way that would put him on the defensive but in a curious way. I would want to know why that's his default question to anything you have that's new. But other than that, you could smile and say something mysterious like, “Oh, that's my secret (or I found it somewhere along the way), but isn't it fun?” and then change the subject.


by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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