I think I've seen questions saying something like "how can it be possible that the price for this one-off, fully assembled, and hopefully tested, unit/module/... is less than I can buy the key part alone in 1000/10,000 off bulk?"
I am not a long time member, and I don't read every question, but I think it seems to pop up every few weeks that I notice. Here is an example of the 'genre', though this might disappear.
Sometimes people start to answer, though AFAICT, it gets closed as off-topic relatively quickly. I understand that to professional engineers, it is off topic. However, to some newbies, especially young people who may have a simpler understanding of manufacturing economics (or counterfeiting) , it may seem like a legitimate, helpful question to ask of professional EEs.
It feels like a 'closed, duplicate', with a link to a good 'standard' answer might be a more helpful way to deal with them than 'closed, off topic'
I have seen some extremely helpful questions, posed and answered by some of the community. I don't feel experienced and authoritative enough to do an adequate job myself.
So I am asking, is their a process intended to create one 'standard' answer that 'sweeps up' most of the issues? Or is the general view that answering this sort of off-topic question 'only encourages more', and so 'shouldn't be entertained'? Or something else?
I think the scope of an answer might include simple market economics, fraud, over supply, dumping, clearing obsolete inventory, sub-standard parts, unlicensed knock-offs, potential lack of continuity of supply, maybe 'sweat-shop labour' etc.