I posted a new question on SO this afternoon and immediately after received an offer by e-mail to purchase my StackOverflow account. I'm confused as to why someone would even consider purchasing an account. I thought my account would be basically useless in anyone else's hands: the account in this case is composed of my first + last name, and at 1283 reputation points, it isn't like this is a high profile account.

Not sure what to expect by creating a new question on 'meta', but I figured I'd open the topic up for discussion since it obviously is happening.

Edit and follow-up e-mail:

Make no mistake, this didn't look like it came from @stackoverflow. It is a gmail address. For curiosity, I asked him

  1. Why and

  2. How much it was worth to him, and

  3. How he decided to contact me.

    His reply:

  1. I want to start on the community with a good solid reputation.
  2. $100.
  3. I looked on the memberlist of Stack Overflow and saw your email on your webpage. Your rep caught my eye.
  • 21
    Please send the full email, including email headers, to [email protected] so they can figure out the problem. Stack Overflow does not sell accounts, and if someone is sending emails on their behalf, it is important to notify them. It is possibly a scam or phishing attempt.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:01
  • 5
    @AdamDavis Forwarding it sounds goods, but I don't think he meant it was pretending to be from Stack Overflow.
    – Jeremy
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:03
  • 8
    @AdamDavis It sounds like someone wants to buy Stephane's account, not sell him a Pro account or something. Similar to how Joel wanted to buy the @trello Twitter account.
    – user154510
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:04
  • 1
    Ah, I misunderstood.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:07
  • Do I still forward the e-mail, or just ignore the whole thing? While it is unlikely to be legitimate business, there probably isn't a law or SO rule against people doing such things, right?
    – Stéphane
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:09
  • 1
    @Stéphane I can't find an actual rule against it (related: sharing an account for an organization is okay), but I'm sure the team would object if they knew about it. I'd forward the email; it might be useful to them, and there's no harm if it's not.
    – Jeremy
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:17
  • 30
    Wonder what's the current price for ♦ accounts...
    – yannis
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:36
  • 9
    @YannisRizos Make me an offer.
    – casperOne
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:49
  • 12
    We're talking about a shiny new ♦ on SO. (Fine-print: Price is a metric based on but not limited to the traffic of the site, number of flags previously handled, and just how much I'm (Seller) in the hole at the time. Past performance of ♦ is not an indicator of future gains in popularity in your quest for total domination. Purchase of the ♦ does not guarantee shielding of Buyer from or hold the Seller responsible for future meta posts, chats, comments or any other maleficence/unforeseen acts/acts of God directed towards the Buyer).
    – casperOne
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:50
  • 8
    @casperOne I probably can't afford an SO ♦ right now, but if you consider renting it to me for a couple of days, I promise you'll never have to worry about list questions ever again...
    – yannis
    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:15
  • 4
    @casper - I'll give you $500 US for your diamond, and I'll even throw in my old "Dragon" compiler book from college :-) Feb 16, 2012 at 3:48
  • 5
    My only concern is why he didn't ask me.
    – Someone
    Feb 16, 2012 at 4:00
  • 2
    See if you can negotiate him up, see if you can get a dollar per rep point. And then if he pays by money order don't wire the balance back to him. This will undoubtably be a scam of some sort, so try to play the game of Scam the Scammer.
    – slugster
    Feb 16, 2012 at 5:10
  • 25
    I thought people bought and sold accounts all the time. At least that's what the guy who sold me this account told me. Feb 16, 2012 at 13:19
  • 2
    @AdamRackis Be on the lookout for the feature request to transfer ♦ on meta. Once that's approved, I'll send you details on where you can wire the money/mail the books.
    – casperOne
    Feb 16, 2012 at 14:25

5 Answers 5


I have a more lucrative business plan. "This space for rent!"

For one low payment of $999 I'll write a custom post on any meta question arguing the point of view you hold for that feature request/bug/discussion. It will contain at least 3 logical arguments against and/or for the question in question, each point being backed by a full paragraph explanation and if relevant references to data, statistics, example questions and image macros, as appropriate.

It includes up to 5 follow up comments to comments, and 3 edits to shore up the argument if/when weaknesses are found. The post will contain a tasteful amount of markup allowing others to more easily follow the argument, and to attract attention as they scroll through the page.

It will soundly rebut or solidify the platform put forth by the OP per your instructions.

Lastly, if you act now, I will throw in two 500 rep bounties to be used to attract more attention to the question chosen, and waive my $249 flip-flop fee if you choose to have me argue against myself on a question which I have already opined on.

  • 1
    Hey, if celebrities can get $$$ for product tweets...
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 16, 2012 at 20:16
  • 3
    For you, that might actually be money well spent. Feb 16, 2012 at 20:20
  • 1
    I saw this gig on Fiverr a couple of days ago. Feb 17, 2012 at 8:37
  • 2
    Are those US, Canadian or Australian dollars? Jun 9, 2012 at 7:25
  • What kind of refund policy are we talking about here? Jun 9, 2012 at 16:59

Well one practical use for your SO accont that comes to mind is link spam.

Pretending to have 3+ years membership along with established 1K+ rep, one could hope for a better (much better) chance for spam messages to sneak under the radar of SO community, moderators and automatic fraud filters.

if I would be in the racket of enlarging you know what I'd counter their bid with something like $150

  • no-follow link spam..but still link spam. With 2k rep you just have one do-follow but 100$ looks too much. Feb 16, 2012 at 7:41
  • 2
    It is easier. People could use their rep from SO in their CV. It could bring much more, than 100$.
    – Gangnus
    Feb 21, 2012 at 21:19

I can only assume he will be paying you in a money order in an amount much greater than the 100$ agreed upon and then ask that you send him back or wire the remaining balance.

  • 6
    Probably true, and +1, but honestly I doubt crap like that would work on the average Stack Overflower... Feb 16, 2012 at 6:15

I think there could be another reason , why the guy was interested in buying your account .

Recently companies , especially startups ask for StackOverFlow account handlers /usernames along with Resumes . Someone who is active on SO and has a good reputation is likely to be a good hire .

So may be that is a reason why anyone would like to buy an account with Good Reputation . This would be better than he spending months in building his reputation .

Someone with a lot of reputation may not handover his account to him, so he decided to ask you instead , as he thought someone with 1283 points might give it to him more easily .


I can assume, that the price of 100$ is terribly low. According to the statistics, that I read on the SE blog, average salary of an established SOer is about 80k. That makes about 7k/month, OK, let it be 6k, making around $300 for a workday. It could be counted more precisely. That makes:

The bill for my SO account:

price for a day: $300 [link]
days on SO, according to the account: 162 [link]
moral compensation: $3400
immoral compensation: $10000
Total reputation value: $60000.

I have heard that some people are trading their reputation and now I see, why. But:

  1. The start price should be set according to the article mentioned.
  2. Selling only officially through SE. SE team takes 3% from the every transaction.
  3. Every account should get 2 columns: "price at the last acquisition", "timestamp of the last aquisition".

I would consider also selling the posts. Such economical spirit will surely inspire the SE server to the better GUI and future. Or futures? SE even could go with accounts and posts to the Stock Exchange!


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