Are questions where a user asks Where can I buy X? on or off topic?

Where can I buy X? (all examples open but the last 3)

  1. Where to buy ethanol in Canada?
  2. Where can I buy bear banger launcher and ammunition and have them shipped to US?
  3. Where can I get long but light bottoms for water?
  4. Where in USA can I buy high end telescopic surf rods for fishing?
  5. Where to get replacement parts for a Ugly Stik GX2
  6. Where can I find an iodine crystal water purification product?
  7. 20-shot magazine for Lee-Enfield?
  8. Places to Find Rock Climbing Ball Holds
  9. Kayaking/canoeing in Korea

There is an old meta post on this as well, but it seems like we have yet to come to a consensus on this.

2 Answers 2


I think these type of "shopping" questions have a lot of edge conditions that make having a simple rule that can handle all of them difficult. Basically, to me it depends on how big of an area "where" is and how common X is. If the question is asking about buying a backpack in London, then I think it is off topic (despite possible confusion between rucksack and backpack, because Brits understand what a backpack is). If you want to know where to buy stove fuel in Yosemite National Park, I think it is on topic because stove fuel goes by lots of different names and some types are not available everywhere and there are not that many stores in Yosemite and they don't all have websites.


I think 7 and 8 should have remained open. #8 didn't ask for price assistance, just assistance in figuring out how to do it himself. Every Q that says cheaper or cheap is not necessarily asking for price assistance -- just warning that answers that feature hand-made in London by a 200 year old firm with a royal warrant is not a useful answer. As for the Korea question, that did seem too broad.

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