I have surprisingly made the experience that you don't get back your reputation points if the bounty ends and no one has answered your question.

Even if you find an answer yourself before the bounty ends, and mark it as answer you're not getting your reputation points back.

Why is this so? Is it a bug or is it done intentionally? In my opinion, it would be good to redeem the credits to someone if he/she comes up with an answer finally.

  • 3
    Downvotes on meta site have not the same meaning as downvotes on main site. Here, downvotes mean in general disagreement with the statement in the question. On your particular question, you can interpret those downvotes as: "No, bounties should not be refunded at all". Downvotes are not personal (neither on main site). Reputation is worthless on meta anyway.
    – user138231
    Feb 1, 2013 at 14:42
  • Downvotes in Meta don't mean the same thing as in the Main site. This is not a forum and hopefuly and much probably it won't die ;)
    – brasofilo
    Feb 1, 2013 at 14:46
  • If there are no questions asked anymore because all visitors press the downvote trigger first, then this forum will die someday and you will not have a benefit anymore visiting it. I love this! I mean seriously, SO has now 1.7 million users...do you think we can scare them all away with downvoting duplicates? Challenge accepted! Feb 1, 2013 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


It is done intentionally. The point of the bounty is not the reputation per se, but the visibility it gives to your question.

Reputation is used because well, people will be attracted by that. So you use some reputation and the other users see the question in the special tab.

You're not given your reputation back because the bounty, for all we know, worked: you got visibility. People saw your question, perhaps they didn't answer, but your question received a "special" treatment being put plain view for the other users, more than regular questions.

That's why reputation is not given back. Hope this helps.

  • 5
    This - you're paying for eyeballs. You can't claim money back from the newspaper, either, if your ad doesn't generate enough sales
    – Pekka
    Feb 1, 2013 at 10:49
  • @Pekka웃 Perfect comparison. Basically the reputation here works as money. You buy your own space of visibility and in turn you receive a service, which doesn't guarantee tangible results, so you accept the risk when setting the bounty. Using this comparison it's easy to understand why you wouldn't be given your money back (even if it hurts to let that 500 shells go away). :P
    – Alenanno
    Feb 1, 2013 at 10:55
  • @Alenanno: Thank your for your answer, that sounds reasonable. What's a pity is that many people seem to have a builtin downvote-reflex in their hand. That doesn't encourage to ask questions. Good that there are still people like you around who take the time to answer questions.
    – Matt
    Feb 1, 2013 at 11:49
  • 1
    @Matt I asked a related question Point out that bounties are non-refundable
    – Pekka
    Feb 1, 2013 at 13:54

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