I've noticed a couple of questions like these two recently, where the questioner is asking for add-on recommendations. I didn't find anything in the FAQ that seemed to discourage this type of question, but my gut tells me it isn't really the kind of question we want to encourage. How do you feel about this? I can see how the information could be helpful, so maybe it is good to have them, but it also is much more likely to be an unanswerable question, and also seems more likely to lead to add-on marketing on the site. I don't have a solid opinion either way, just a slight feeling of discomfort with these types of questions. What do you think?

4 Answers 4


I feel like these two questions you mention are actually fine, because they are specific and answerable. They're not asking for a discussion, but looking to solve a problem they have. They're also not lazy questions.

But I know what you mean, and it's good to keep these issues at the front of our minds here so we can keep the site helpful and high-quality.


Please see How do I ask a question that may require recommending a product.

Some questions asking for general product recommendations ("what's the best smart phone?") are what prompted this blog post — Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping!. But some questions question don't really fall into the problematic "shopping question" often discouraged on these sites.

If the author asking about a well-researched problem which only incidentally needs a specific product to solve, it isn't likely a "problem" shopping question. That's not really the same thing as asking for a recommendation — "Which brand is best?" — for which that blog post was written.


You can flag questions you feel are inappropriate for the site and the moderators can review them. It's also something we can review as a group going forward if things get out of control. I agree with Derek that they aren't lazy questions and specific in their details to allow for a "correct" answer.


I think that those questions are fine, but if worded differently such as which is better CartThrob or Espresso Store then it wouldn't be a good question. So basically I'm saying is that these should be looked at on a case by case basis with some guidelines in place as to when something should be closed/deleted.

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