I've seen an influx of shopping-style questions lately:

  • Where can I buy _____?
  • What options for ______ are available?
  • Is there a cheaper version of ______?

Since the field of robotics involves actual shopping (versus something like mathematics or programming), I'd imagine that the majority of StackExchange sites don't concern themselves with shopping when it comes to defining "opinion-based" questions.

In other words, could we explicitly list shopping questions in the list of questions to NOT ask on robotics.se?


2 Answers 2


To answer the question in the title. Shopping questions should be closed as "Opinion based" with a comment to explain what we mean by that.

We have a limited number of off-topic close reasons, so although we originally had a Shopping question close reason, we had to remove it to make way for others.

As to the question in the body text, sadly we can't edit dont-ask help center page, we can only edit on-topic page, so you should direct people there.

We do have Copy-pastable comment text for common problems with questions? though, and one specifically to deals with shopping questions.


Now that the "shopping based" site SE Hardware Recommendations is in commit phase, would it be possible to set up a question migration path to that site?

Admittedly, that would depend on SE Hardware Recommendation mods being willing to accept Robotics hardware recommendations. In addition, I fully appreciate that some Robotics purchases do not strictly fall under the Hardware umbrella.

Update 20160327

Hardware Recommendations is now in Public Beta, and has been for a few months.


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