# How do we formulate good and bad shopping questions for FAQ?

One point in our current FAQ is that a shopping or buying recommendations are off-topic.

It is not uncommon for questions here to be about shopping or buying and we need to differentiate between "good" shopping questions and "bad" shopping questions.

I'll put some example questions in answers. My idea is that we should up-vote those that should be acceptable and down-vote those that should be banned.

I hope that after that, we'll be able to formulate some sort of policy on what are exactly good questions and what aren't. After that, we could refer new users to the policy instead of simply telling them that such type of questions is off-topic.

I want to buy a (misnomer/common name of component/name of hard-to-find or deprecated/obsolete component) for task T. My Google-fu is failing me, and I can't find anything. I've tried looking for:

• Alternate
• misnomers
• for component

but they don't get the results I want.

Am I looking for the right component for task T, or should I use something else? Alternatively, is there a different set of terms I should be searching for?

I have a device/circuit which performs system function Z. It uses obsolete/hard to obtain component X.

What modern alternatives are available to getting component X from a surplus store? I want the new system to be cheaper/more robust/more flexible than the original.

What parameters should I look for when purchasing component-type C? I want to experiment with/develop a product that does task T.

I need component X, but I can't obtain it.

Which of the elements on the following short list is best replacement:

XYZ
XYY
XXX
YYY

Component X has properties A, B and C. I need something just like X, but with its A-ness of 2A.

OR

I need component like X, but it needs to be available in package Y.

• I'm not sure that these two questions are related. For example, the first question would be on-topic (and educational) if they wanted a 0.1V Schottky diode, or a 100 $\mu$F cap with the ESR/stability of a ceramic. There's some educational value in that kind of problem. The second question is purely a stocking/availability issue. – Kevin Vermeer Mar 31 '11 at 17:09
• @reemrevnivek Maybe I wasn't clear. My idea was in second part of the answer that component X isn't manufactured at all in package Y, so a similar component is needed which is manufactured in package Y. For example ATmega 162 isn't manufactured in ceramic DIP package and user really needs ceramic DIP. Which similar (with "similar" clearly defined in question) microcontroller is there and is available in ceramic DIP? If you still think that they are unrelated, feel free to separate them. – AndrejaKo Mar 31 '11 at 17:48

How do I get €ELEMENT in €REPUBLIC_OF_FOO?

Such questions have for now been closed as too localized. Some examples are:

I need component just like component X.

Here's list of stores I use: