Are questions that ask if a product exists off or on topic?

Usually in these cases the person already knows what they need to solve their problem, they just need to know if it actually exists

For example (only the last 3 are closed),

  1. Are there any kid sized alpine touring ski boots and bindings?
  2. Are there B2 alpine boot brands in the UK besides La Sportiva and Scarpa?
  3. B2 boots for narrow feet
  4. Getting Alpine Touring (a.k.a Randonee) boots for big feet
  5. Are there boots made for a longer 2nd toe?
  6. Can I get crampons for small feet?
  7. Is there a portable fluoride water filter?
  8. Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than "550 paracord"?

  9. Is there a kayak / paddleboard for large people?

  10. Is there a portable / comfortable pillow suitable for camping / backpacking?
  11. Pink Winter Sleeping Bags
  12. Is there a tool that can calculate the time of sunrise?
  13. Is there a mobile app to easily send a SMS message with coordinates?
  14. Is there a game camera that can immediately alert me when it sees something?
  15. Is there a handgun or rifle target practice set-up for the home?
  16. Is there a smartwatch/activity tracker lasting 20 days for a trek to Everest Base Camp?
  17. Is there still a M1A1 carbine replica production?
  18. What kinds of stores sell multi-mode (adjustable-brightness) flashlights?

2 Answers 2


I think these questions are OK. Like most questions on SE, if the OP did sufficient research, he could answer them himself. If everybody did good research, goodbye SE!

#17 was closed for the wrong reason. There was no element of price in the question. The OP just said he wanted a reproduction because an original was too valuable. That is not asking for price information. #17 should have remained open.

#18 today would be validly closed for lack of research, but in 2013 this reason might not have been valid.

I think there is a certain amount of MSMD in closing.

  • The # character at the beginning of a line makes it a section heading (## is a subsection heading). Adding white space at the beginning of the line seems to fix it.
    – StrongBad
    Jun 15, 2018 at 15:37

I hate these types of shopping questions. The answer is nominally yes or no, but how do you prove that something does not exist. If X does exist, things rapidly devolve into a long list of answers. Sometimes, these types of questions are looking for a sufficiently specific piece of gear that it is not readily available and there might only be a couple of small producers that make limited quantities that are not easy to find.

More often, I think they are really X-Y problems: I want to do Y but cannot find the right gear. In these cases, I think the questions probably can generally benefit from a rephrasing. I think a good example of this is how What do you hang on 1/4" bolts while rock climbing? avoided being a shopping question of this type.

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