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I recently discovered that if I have posted an answer to a question, the minimum bounty I can offer for that question is +100 (instead of the usual +50).

Temporarily deleting the answer reinstates the +50 bounty (a workaround!).

As far as I can tell, this is not mentioned in faq#bounty, /privileges/set-bounties, or How does the bounty system work?. I've also tried searching on meta but didn't get very far.


  • Should the FAQs be updated to include this information?
  • Why have this rule in the first place if it's so easily bypassed?


This is indeed a new feature (introduced in September 2011) to prevent abuse of the bounty system.This is mentioned explicitly in a few meta answers but, as far as I can tell, not in FAQs. This information is therefore out of reach of mere mortals who do not have a finger on the pulse of MSO/SE.

The loophole mentioned above should have been fixed, but as of this update, can still be exploited (tested on superuser).

We can haz bugfix and faq update, pliz?

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It's not supposed to be easily bypassed. I'd say that this is a regression of some sort. –  lunboks Dec 19 '11 at 14:37
@lunboks I can't test this here since I've maxed out my bounties, but a quick test of SU and SF shows me +50 once I delete my answer (no refresh required). –  Shawn Chin Dec 19 '11 at 14:39
loophole that will shortly be removed. –  waffles Dec 19 '11 at 21:20
Is this also true for questions? I have added two bounties to my question (stackoverflow.com/questions/8526820/…), but still couldn't get a 100% useful answer. So I wanted to add a third bounty, but now I have to set it at least to 200. Why this? And why not 150? –  RoflcoptrException Jan 3 '12 at 12:10
@Roflcoptr The minimum spend is doubled for successive bounties, so that is as expected. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/105275/…. This was introduced in September 2011. –  Shawn Chin Jan 3 '12 at 13:02

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yeah, there was a bit of a loophole in terms of deleting your answer. From the next build, you won't be able to do that (or rather: you will - it just won't affect the bounty values).

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Thanks Marc. –– –  Shawn Chin Jan 3 '12 at 12:00

That's the reason: "Abusing" bounties for unlimited profit

It was implemented about three months ago, and appears both in Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange under September 2011 section (2011-09-20: The minimum bounty on a question you have answered is now 100) and in How does the bounty system work? under Can I offer a second bounty after the first one has expired?:

The same user can also cast two different bounties on the same question. However, he will have to offer more reputation than he did on the first bounty. That is, if your first bounty was worth 250 reputation, you won't be able to start a second bounty for less than 300 reputation.

The simple hack is indeed a problem, guess the team will have to think of something.

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It is in the list of new features: "2011-09-20: The minimum bounty on a question you have answered is now 100." - see also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64824/… –  Mat Dec 19 '11 at 14:35
@Mat Where can I find that list? –  Shawn Chin Dec 19 '11 at 14:36
@Mat thanks, saw it too just now.. anyway better add to the faq as well. –  Shadow Wizard Dec 19 '11 at 14:37
@ShadowWizard: agreed, a FAQ update sounds good –  Mat Dec 19 '11 at 14:39
That's clear now, thanks :) Now we just need to get the FAQ updated. –  Shawn Chin Dec 19 '11 at 14:44

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