Every now and again I see a question that I would like to know the answer to but don't know how to solve. I don't mind offering bounties but since I don't have a ton of rep, I'm wondering if a bounty of 50 or 100 is seen as 'rude' to put up on someone else's question.

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    $\begingroup$ I hope not, since I have already done that. $\endgroup$ – José Carlos Santos Nov 2 '20 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, I usually start the first bounty at 50 reputation points. Mainly because the next bounty on the same question has to be at least doubled. (Sometimes you might want to put multiple bounties on the same question - for example, if there are several good answers and you want to reward all off them; or if there are no satisfactory answers even after the bounty expired and you want to get attention of potential answers to the question for a longs period of time.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 2 '20 at 8:32
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Would you mind clarifying what you mean by saying that you "effectively denied them the opportunity to place a smaller bounty"? IIRC the rule about doubling the previous bounty amount only concerns bounties offered by the same user. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 2 '20 at 8:33
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Wow! I did not know that. I was worried about me placing a bounty of 250 meaning that nobody can then place a bounty of less thean 500. Thanks for the piece of news! $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Nov 2 '20 at 8:37
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak You were right. More careful reading of the rules makes it explicit. I had somehow missed that detail. Deleting my first comment. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Nov 2 '20 at 8:44
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    $\begingroup$ Single data point: I'd feel happy if someone liked a question I posted enough to spend some of their rep posting a bounty. $\endgroup$ – JonathanZ supports MonicaC Nov 3 '20 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ The polite amount is the maximum amount. Put up everything you have to offer. $\endgroup$ – Michael Nov 7 '20 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to know the answer to many questions, but am capable of answering very few of them. So it goes. $\endgroup$ – FearfulSymmetry Jan 12 at 2:19

It is fine to place a small bounty on someone else's question. The principal way* that doing so affects the author is that they might suddenly get a bunch of notifications about their question, which is typically welcome (although potentially surprising for old questions). If you're unsure of any particular case, you can use comments to ask the author about offering a bounty. The size of bounties is largely irrelevant - they all work about the same for drawing attention and are unambiguously a form of positive feedback for questions/answers.

*This answer would be incomplete without mentioning that placing a bounty prevents any other user from placing a bounty until yours expires - but this is a really minor problem; it's rare that two people would wish to bounty a question at the same time and not much harm occurs even if such a conflict occurs.

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    $\begingroup$ *If in future multiple people are allowed to place a bounty at the same time, reputation heist would be a lot easier! $\endgroup$ – Anindya Prithvi Nov 14 '20 at 18:32

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