It seems that the reasons available for closing a question are ill suited for closing bad shopping questions.

The currently available reasons are:

Why should this question be closed?

  • exact duplicate: This question covers exactly the same ground as earlier questions on this topic; its answers may be merged with another identical question.
  • off topic: Questions on [Site] are expected to generally relate to [Topic], within the scope defined in the faq.
  • subjective and argumentative: It's impossible to objectively answer this question; questions of this type are too open ended and usually lead to confrontation and argument.
  • not a real question: It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.
  • too localized: This question would only be relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

A bad shopping question could be considered off topic, but if a user is shopping for items within the site's scope, that's not quite right. It could be considered subjective or argumentative, because a good answer isn't defined objectively, but that's not really why it needs to be closed. You could describe a shopping question as not a real question because they're not searching for knowledge, they just want a link. I think the best option is "too localized", because the specifications required by a given user only apply to a narrow set of people, and answers rapidly go out of date.

However, none of these is really applicable to the general case of a bad shopping question. I've noticed that other sites have specialized close reasons, so it seems feasible.

  • bad shopping question: This isn't a fish store, we'd rather teach you to fish. Please read about how to ask a good shopping question, and ask a question that get objective answers and be useful for future readers.

or something to that effect.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The existing catagories for closing a question already cover shopping questions in several ways. There is no problem to solve here. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 30 '12 at 15:07

Upvote this community wiki answer if you believe...

The existing close vote reasons should be used for shopping questions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ took me a moment to realize what you did there. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 25 '11 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ it seems minus us no one really cares is more of the issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 25 '11 at 23:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Any references to "shopping" should be removed entirely from the FAQ, and we should stick with the actual reason for closing such things. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Jul 29 '12 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @endolith: I can see the logic behind your proposal, but we should at least point out that shopping questions violate several of the criteria for questions, since they come up so often. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 30 '12 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop: No, it shouldn't be mentioned at all, since that just encourages people to abuse it and close anything related to shopping even if it's in the majority of legitimate questions. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Jul 30 '12 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @endolith: It's a rare shopping question that isn't too localized, off topic, overly broad, or subjective. We do get them a lot here, so pointing out specifically that shopping questions are not appropriate for this site spares the user getting his question closed later and us the hassle and noise of having to deal with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 30 '12 at 16:35

You can classify any shopping question as a number of things:

  • It is not a question: it is asking us to look something up for them, not asking a technical question.
  • Too localized: applies to their specific situation and timeframe, 2 strikes.
  • Subjective and argumentative: what a good price could not be more subjective and argueing about suppliers is very common.
  • Off topic: I will add that this forum is not for shopping advice to the faq.

I would agree that a shopping advice subject is a nice touch, but then we could close anything with that. Giving a new user an immediate answer of "Bad Shopping Question" is a little negative. If it does not fit in to the other close topics then it stays open.

  • \$\begingroup\$ > You can classify any shopping question as a number of things. This is precisely the problem! \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Mar 23 '11 at 13:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Reemrevnivek, if it does not fit any of these issues though then it is a good shopping question. There is clear feedback to the user on what needs to be improved. The new close method would just tell them "bad job, fix it" without direct advice on what they have done wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 23 '11 at 23:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - But usually, all four issues are in effect for this sort of question. Closing it and listing only one of these reasons would highlight only 25% of the problem. I'd welcome a rewrite of my proposed close reason text if you feel that it reads like "Bad job, fix it". \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Mar 24 '11 at 0:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Reemrevnivek, Yes, and we pick the most obtrusive, if they decide they would like to fix it, then we let them. Excluding the absolute worst of the shopping questions there is normally one section that fits the best. Is it worth adding a close reason for just the absolute worst of question when the system already has available close reasons? \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 24 '11 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - "Fits the best" doesn't necessarily line up with "Fits better than a 'Bad Shopping Question'". To answer your question, I thought so, that's why I made this feature request! Since my question has two upvotes, and your answer has none, I've created two CW answers to let the community decide. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Mar 24 '11 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek, I am not trying to answer for popularity, I understand why you would like another option. I am sharing with you reasons why you will not get it. They may surprise me, I talk to the man behind the curtain regularly, s/he still surprises me. As a mod I am just giving you instant feedback as best I can. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 25 '11 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek, BTW, the way meta works downvotes do not hurt you so that voting on questions and answers can be done to show agreement disagreement with that is being said. Most people still use it as upvotes are a method of showing that it is a good question. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 25 '11 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ "I would agree that a shopping advice subject is a nice touch, but then we could close anything with that." I think this is happening now. 'Giving a new user an immediate answer of "Bad Shopping Question" is a little negative.' Yes, but it's still happening. electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/12217 \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Mar 29 '11 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @endolith, I think the community was helping him in comments about how to ask the question in a better way. Some of the way I judge how well the question is doing is by the answers that are received. Notice the only answer was, go here. The other comment was, they are also sold here. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Mar 29 '11 at 14:34

Upvote this community wiki answer if you believe...

A "Bad Shopping Question" reason should be added to the close vote dialog


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