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There is a question about light switches, which I think is borderline just a simple shopping question. If it's asking for guidance on the class of device, or what to look for, I can see an argument for it being on topic, but presumably we will follow the general SE policy of saying simple device recommendations are out of scope?

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  • "Where can I buy..." should be closed straight away. We should not post answers about prices, webshops and distributors.

  • "What device would be the best for the following application..." is fine provided there are enough details and specifications.

    If there are not enough information the question should be closed as too broad or unclear.

    To help decide users when to cast close vote or how to ask such questions we could set up a list of viewpoint that should be met. For example:

    1. Security requirements, such questions should always mention what is the desired security level. It could narrow down the possibilites a lot.
    2. Preferred network. Using a hub/gateway is acceptable or it should be directly connected.
    3. Some research about preferred technologies that can be used.
    4. Details about the end-application.

In general if we allow -and according to the event we tend to allow- recommendation questions if they are detailed enough, then we should give some aid what counts as "detailed and clear".

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@Bence covered things pretty well, but just I'll just tack on my thoughts in detail.


Price / shopping assistance has the major issue of being outdated quickly. If I ask, for instance, "How much will it cost me to do...", a year from now, or even in a different location, the cost will could be very different, hence producing false information.

In view of this criteria, I would stand very much against questions of these types:

  • How much does xxx cost?
  • Where can I get xxx?
  • Does Yyy company carry xxx product?

On the other hand, if there are other questions that would fall into a similar category, except when we compare them against the quick outdating policy. Questions like...

  • Is xxx product invented yet?
  • Is xxx product available to the public yet?
  • Has anyone designed xxx product?

These questions do not out-date. A product will not become less invented over time. It may become less available to the public, but it will have been available to the public, and it will never become totally unavailable to the public unless every iteration of xxx product is destroyed.


In the question you referenced, I tend to bend toward editing it to make it clearly in the second category: something like,

  • Has anyone designed custom wall...
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    Price is maybe OK in a comparative sense, even if that will eventually date. – Sean Houlihane Jan 4 '17 at 21:50

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