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How to convert your Stackoverflow’s reputation into money?

I have a low rating of only 453 which I can use for bounties. This isn't a lot of bounty points. I don't have a lot of questions I need answering but I'm wondering if I was running low and I really needed some answers I'd be tempted to try to buy some SO points on the market. I'm wondering what do you think the $$ to SO points exchange rate is?

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marked as duplicate by Ladybug Killer, ChrisF, jmfsg, random, perbert Jan 12 '10 at 23:57

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3  
Related (possibly dupe? I an go either way): meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30982/… –  John Rudy Jan 12 '10 at 21:56

8 Answers 8

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|            /-\    /
|        /--/   \\ / 
|    /\ /         -
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+-----------------------------------------

This chart proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the value of SO rep is on a historically strong uptick. Buy now before it's too late! Act now and you can get 10000 24-karat rep points at the low, low price of just 12 easy payments of $14.95 plus shipping and handling! And if you call within the next 20 minutes, we'll throw in this set of Ginsu knives:

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... absolutely free! Call now! Hurry, because this offer won't last!

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Are my points FDIC Insured though? –  Michael Stum Jan 12 '10 at 22:19
    
but past results are no guarantee of future performance!! –  Kip Jan 12 '10 at 22:20
    
Don't make me use the mācuahuitl. –  mmyers Jan 12 '10 at 22:28
    
But do you offer an unconditional money-back guarrantee<sub>subject to terms and conditions</sub>?!?! –  retracile Jan 12 '10 at 23:07
    
That's what the mācuahuitl is for. –  mmyers Jan 13 '10 at 23:28

I'd rather hoist a pint then heist a point.

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Virtual goods (i.e. in-game currency in online games) require something to be used for.

Just in real life, Money on it's own is worthless, it's just paper. Money is worth something when it is given away in Exchange for something else.

On SO, there is not much to exchange points for. Bounties is pretty much the only thing you can "buy" for points. The other thing you can "buy" are Downvotes, but that's hardly an incentive.

There are some notable exceptions though: Telerik is (was?) giving away their $1200 .net Package to users with 10.000 Reputation, which gives each point about 0.12 US$ value. Also, Jeff Atwood was (still is?) sending free stickers to users on the first two pages. And I think that users got a discounted price for SO careers, but I don't know if that was if you had X points of if you are just a user long enough.

But these are exceptions, not a regular way to "spend" the points.

Points would start being really worth something when

  • There are more regular Giveaways of stuff to high rep users
  • There is a merchandise shop where you can buy real stuff for points
  • Companies use Reputation as a way to filter job candidates

I don't see that happening anytime soon, but I do see every now and then something happen where points are beneficial. So I wouldn't say that they are completely worthless, but also probably not that valuable either.

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Considering you'll probably be banned if you tried to buy or sell them, $0.

Reputation is intentionally difficult to pass around for just this reason - you'd have to abuse the site (offer a bounty and then accept a specific person's answer) in order to accomplish it, making it a time-consuming and fairly obvious process.

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You don't need to pass it around do you? Just sell them the complete SO account. –  nb69307 Jan 12 '10 at 22:06
    
Heh, yeah that would work... Run each account up to 500 points and then sell it, good for one bounty question. The gift-card scheme... –  Shog9 Jan 12 '10 at 22:22
    
well, I was actually thinking more of selling my real account. Someone did mention a figure of $0.50 per point, didn't they? –  nb69307 Jan 12 '10 at 22:31

It takes a proficient programmer about an hour to get 200 points. Assuming you pay $100/hr for a good programmer, you can expect each point to be worth $0.50 at US rates.

If you ask around, though, you can get cut-rate points from asian suppliers for a tiny fraction of that, and that's where most of the top users go for their rep.

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8  
$100/hr? I'm definitely working the wrong job. –  mmyers Jan 12 '10 at 21:56
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Actually I got a pretty good deal in Nigeria, but you have to know who to ask. –  Ether Jan 12 '10 at 21:57
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It takes a proficient C# programmer about an hour. It takes a proficient C or Perl programmer about three days. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Jan 12 '10 at 22:06
    
@Changing my Meta Name is Cool: Not sure about C, but average vote count for C++ questions is much higher than C#. While the number of C# questions is higher, it's more difficult to get votes in C# tag relative to C++, not to mention there are more people answering C# questions. –  LeakyCode Jan 12 '10 at 22:18
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You're confusing cost with value. It may cost $0.50/point, but that doesn't mean they're worth that much. –  user27414 Jan 12 '10 at 22:36
    
I think Objective-C is in the same camp as Perl. Just think how long it would take the poor LaTeX experts... –  Quinn Taylor Jan 12 '10 at 23:16

I'm willing to sell 232 points for $0.

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I'll take ​'em. –  mmyers Jan 12 '10 at 21:55
1  
I'll split 'em with you. And if that's a signed int, I'll take the positive half. –  user27414 Jan 12 '10 at 22:02
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@Jon B: Sorry. It's only available in 2^32 point gift cards. –  LeakyCode Jan 12 '10 at 22:16
    
@mmyers: Transaction committed. –  LeakyCode Jan 12 '10 at 22:19
    
Why do I have negative infinity points now? –  mmyers Jan 12 '10 at 22:31
    
@mmyers: You have the correct number of points. If you have any complaints, call Verizon support. They'll be grateful to do the math for you. –  LeakyCode Jan 12 '10 at 22:40

If bounties were extremely effective at increasing the quality of answers that you receive, then the value of points might be pretty high as you could use them to buy better answers. From what I see, the effect of a bounty on a question is only marginal. So if we're only considering the value of points as a bounty, they aren't worth very much at all.

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