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I saw this question, .net api for amazon and eBay (the link is for 10k users), and realised I wasn't entirely sure how to respond to it:

Hi I am willing to pay for some help with eBay and amazon api help.
All I need to search is search the vinyl records category and return all buy it now items.
Same with amazon, but just needs to search vinyl record category.
Language. .net 3.5

After a bit of thought I decided that in this case the question is a clear "too localized" and voted to close it, but it raises two interesting questions:

  1. Is offering to pay someone for help acceptable on Stack Overflow?
  2. If not, should this type of "I'm trying to hire someone" question be flagged or just close-voted?

It's unclear from the FAQ and other questions on Meta whether Stack Overflow allows code-for-hire type questions. It feels to me that Stack Overflow is not about paid work; rather it is all about helping people because we want to help, not because we want a reward (apart from all that reputation, of course).

If this kind of question is bad, then what is the appropriate response? When does a question like this hit the "this should be flagged" threshold?

share|improve this question
@kiamlaluno, though I agree in this case it's a bit more compact, I've seen you use line breaks rather than paragraphs earlier too. Just so you know: there is a difference between the two, which balpha nicely explained. – Arjan Oct 1 '11 at 14:18
@Arjan In this case there aren't paragraphs; there are just four lines that make a paragraph. – kiamlaluno Oct 1 '11 at 14:25
I disagree, @kiamlaluno. Four lines making a paragraph would not have any line breaks at all. – Arjan Oct 1 '11 at 14:33
up vote 13 down vote accepted

It's essentially a "Gi'me Teh Codez" question, regardless of whether the asker is willing to pay for the code or not. Shows no research effort at all.

Voting to close as too localized or NARQ seems quite acceptable.

(I'd also approve an edit removing the "I'm willing to pay for this" part.)

If the question is good, it should be answered. If the asker wants to hand out a reward beyond reputation on SO, he can figure that out with the person who answered (in the comments). Nothing really wrong about that IMO.

share|improve this answer
+1 Exactly what I was about to say. Any question where the user is offering to pay is likely a question where the user just wants a dump of code. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Oct 2 '11 at 2:49

I think this type of question is just off-topic on SO. He is not looking for an answer to a programming problem, he's looking to hire someone to do the programming for him. At least that is how I read the question.

I think vote-to-close is appropriate here, flagging shouldn't be needed to close in most cases.

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