The community has decided that shopping questions aren't a good fit for the site.

Every once in a while, a straight-up shopping question pops up that is still lurking around from the bad ol' days. It seems that people are reluctant to vote to close these. My guess would be that this is because they feel that the question is "grandfathered in," or something like that.

My feeling is that we should either close them, or lock them with the "this question exists for historical reasons but shouldn't be considered a good example" text.

What do you think?

  • 1
    I've added the two avenues that I favor as answers. Vote on them if you like them. Or add your own answer.
    – jimchristie Mod
    Apr 25, 2014 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


Close them as off topic.

Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve.

They lead new users to believe that shopping questions are ok.

  • Add a close reason like this one
    – andy256
    Apr 26, 2014 at 1:18
  • As far as I know, this is the normal thing to do; it comes up on pretty much every site eventually, since we all try to be lenient in the beginning then realize some things really just don't work. (It's definitely what we've done on cooking.)
    – Cascabel
    Apr 26, 2014 at 21:24
  • @andy256 That has been done. I've added the text to this answer to reflect that.
    – jimchristie Mod
    Apr 27, 2014 at 1:10
  • These questions lose value fast because the suggested parts/bikes whatever will be obsolete very soon, most likely within a year or two, so no need to keep these questions around.
    – arne
    Apr 29, 2014 at 5:39

Lock them with the "this question exists for historical reasons but shouldn't be considered a good example" text. This way, people have an indication why they were open for so long and are no longer a good fit for the site.

  • I like this solution. That way if anyone needs to look at the question then they can still see it, unlike where it is closed. +1 to you!
    – George
    Apr 25, 2014 at 21:46
  • 3
    @GeorgeH Are you thinking of deletion? Closing questions doesn't hide them - search for "closed:yes" on the main site and you'll see a couple hundred of them. They come up in normal search results too.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 26, 2014 at 21:17
  • Oh God! I have no idea what I was thinking when I posted that! Sorry... blush
    – George
    Apr 27, 2014 at 1:02
  • 1
    I prefer this, as many of these questions are still useful, if only in a limited sense. This fixes the issue noted, but doesn't remove or denigrate the previous work put in by users of the site when those questions were still considered acceptable. Also, I would differentiate "shopping questions" as meaning "which model of bike should I buy?" rather than asking "For this type of riding, what type of bike is suitable?"
    – zenbike
    May 7, 2014 at 10:53

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