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Offering actual money as a bounty?

I'm really stuck. My post here isn't getting any help yet. I'd be thrilled to pay a few bucks for a solution. I'm thinking of posting the following. But before I do, this seems like a good place to check first to see if something like this is ok. So, would the post below be ok?

I've been working on solving the problem described here for too long. I will pay $40 to the first person who provides the answer I need to fix the problem. Yes, real actual money for real help.

The conditions of my offer are:

  • Yes, you'll just have to trust me to actually pay up. But you can - I'm good for it.
  • You'll need a PayPal account where I can send you the money.
  • I'll pay the first person to post a usable solution. I'm the sole judge on who's first and what I consider usable.
  • When I have a usable solution, I'll post a reply inviting the person providing the answer to email me their PayPal account info so I can pay you.
  • If you're skeptical (very reasonable) feel free to email me at the above address if you'd like reassurance that my offer is real.
  • 6
    Stack Overflow is not paying people to answer your questions. Period. And if that ever changes, I'll immediately delete all of my Stack Exchange accounts.
    – user164207
    May 28, 2012 at 3:43
  • 6
    -1: Came here expecting a story about your poor son who is doing the missionary on a missionary in Nigera and needed my help to transfer funds from the US that a wealthy man left behind when he died. I am disappoint. May 28, 2012 at 6:15
  • Not a dupe, the other one is feature request asking to integrate cash into the bounty system this one is just a discussion. Jan 27, 2014 at 8:01

2 Answers 2


I totally appreciate your willingness to reward people's efforts, but offers of money are extremely frowned upon on Stack Overflow for various reasons - mainly out of the fear that allowing them would introduce very harmful dynamics into the community (ie. people tearing each others' eyes out for the $$$). If you're interested in previous discussion on the subject, see e.g. here and here.

You will have to look elsewhere in this specific regard.

That said, @Makoto is giving great advice on how to improve your question in order to get help within the normal Stack Overflow system. If something good comes out of it, you can still offer a gift afterwards to those user(s) who helped you most.


If you want to pay for help, hire a legitimate programmer. Stack Overflow isn't the place for that.

You can do some of the following to get the attention of others, though:

  • Clarify and pinpoint what you think is wrong with your code. In other words, show the effort that you've tried to fix this on your own, but are really stuck.
  • Revise your question so it reads clearer for those that are reading it.
  • Appropriately tag your question so that people from certain walks of life can help you with your question. I'm not noticing , which could help.
  • With 75 reputation, you can place a bounty on your question. It doesn't guarantee that it will be answered, but people may be more inclined to look at bountied questions.
  • " hire a legitimate programmer. Stack Overflow isn't the place for that." - outdated advice now that SO has the whole "careers" website.
    – JoshDM
    Jun 4, 2014 at 17:19
  • No; Stack Overflow still isn't appropriate to want to hire someone. Careers is. You shouldn't be asking a question that either offers a cash reward, or links to a Careers entry. The latter would just be tacky.
    – Makoto
    Jun 4, 2014 at 17:20
  • I consider all of SE just one "big 'ol website"; from that perspective, "careers" is an aspect of SO and therefore a place you can hire legit programmers.
    – JoshDM
    Jun 4, 2014 at 17:22
  • If you post that as a question to the Stack Overflow main page, and blatantly ask to hire developers, you're going to have a bad time...
    – Makoto
    Jun 4, 2014 at 17:42

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