Ask any group of art professionals, and you'll get two completely different sets of answers. The more traditional approach seems to be, "No! Never! Art never goes on sale!" And there are some (like me) who will do what it takes (within reason!) to put artwork in the hands of people who want to own it.
Believe me, it IS okay to negotiate. Don't be afraid! Here are some of the things I have done to get the customer a piece of art they love and want:
- I said yes to a discount of 20% when more than one piece was purchased
- I said yes to free shipping (US only!)
- I took layaway payments (no more than 4)
- I sent work out on approval, so the customer could try it out in their home for a few days
None of this was painful. I was happy, the customer was happy (that's the very best part!) and in many cases I now have a collector for life.