In Shopping in Los Angeles , a diamond mod closed the question, saying "Please feel free to ask other questions about Los Angeles, cruises, or Hawaii, but just not shopping - sorry!"

As I understand it, the ban on shopping questions is more or less a ban on "What's the best X?" style questions. I thought it wasn't meant to be a a ban on questions about . Are all questions about shopping forbidden?

Thanks, I was just going here to ask the same question. – Rasmus Faber Jan 29 '12 at 11:20
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Jeff's post is completely irrelevant. Just because the word "shopping" is in it doesn't make it a shopping-recommendation question. It's the same as any other question asking about where someone can participate in a particular activity. If questions about where to travel to see gorillas, to go white water rafting, to eat kangaroo, and so on, are not off-topic, then asking questions about where to go shopping are not off topic either.

It has nothing at all to do with "shopping" questions which are off-topic, which actually refers to questions that ask for recommendations on the best thing to buy etc.

Frankly I'm a bit surprised that people are making that kind of connection.


I'll put my hand up and admit I skimread and answered with a reason a bit too hastily, however the question as it stands is still too vague - asking where to go shopping in Los Angeles is a massively broad question. If it can be rephrased to indicate what they're after - sports gear, souvenirs, Hollywood gear etc, and some more details about perhaps where they're staying, to narrow it down a little from the 500 square miles that is Los Angeles, then we could see it being reopened.


The canonical resource on this topic is Jeff Atwood's blog post:

Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping!

Jeff is taking about the 'what to buy' type questions not the 'where to buy' type. It is a very different thing to disallow the first type on, compared to banning the second type here. Many people just travel to go shopping at their destination. Just because they have a different reason to travel from us, should not mean they can't ask questions about it. – Peter Hahndorf Jan 29 '12 at 22:28
I'm flagging this question "support" so hopefully Jeff or at least a Stack Exchange employee might voice an opinion. I had some controversial questions in this category in the site's early days when I needed to buy a tent and/or sleeping bag in the Balkans or Turkey. – hippietrail Jan 30 '12 at 10:02

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