I have answered a question recommending a product I'm developing.

I have looked around here, and in the FAQ, and the only thing mentioned is to clearly state your affiliation in the post. I have done that, however, I'm still a bit uncertain about the part where I mention the rates (prices).

Personally, when reading SO answers mentioning software I divide them by the following criteria: opensource or not. Following that line of reasoning, I find it dishonest to recommend an API (be it mine or not) and not to mention that, it is free-of-charge during the beta testing only.

I might be overreacting, but I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the matter.


About "mentioning the prices" - this is the only sentence in the answer reffering to that:
"The API usage is free during the beta testing phase"


After the OP gave feedback, it became clear that it was a matter of wrong judgement, so I updated&reformatted the answer, removing the references to commercial product completley.

As for the my original question, I think it was wrong judgment in the first place. If the OP asks specifically for commercial service/product, or it is clear that he needs one (which was absolutley not the case here) then I think it is acceptable to acquaint him with a commercial product. The only situation I have seen in practice on SO like this is the telephony and SMS API's, so I believe these are rare situations here.

Thanks for your answers.


4 Answers 4


Personally, when reading SO answers mentioning software I divide them by the following criteria: opensource or not.

Just mention the fact that it's not free. That's enough. There's no need to specify prices.


Why should it ever be useful to mention the prices of your product? Only if someone asks for a shopping recommendation.

These questions are off-topic on Stack Overflow (and should be closed and not answered). So there is no need for that at all.

  • 1
    this is an excellent point... the question is Not Constructive and needs to be closed. Mar 2, 2013 at 13:06
  • you might want to open a link before you shoot. glad to see this answer got the most upvotes! :)
    – linski
    Mar 5, 2013 at 16:50

There's nothing wrong in linking a tool of yours to a problem as long as it solves problem and is extremely relevant to the question. Provided you clearly state that the product is yours and any other reservations (license, copyrights etc) are made clear. Even then I'd recommend you avoid doing this.

The problem is some people go on to find relevant questions and link their site/product everywhere! This is unacceptable.

A better place would be your profile where you can give link to your tool/product and also you can have a description there. Or you can change your username to your product/website. This will make it easier for you to advertise without violating any SO rules. So if anyone is interested in your product then they'll check out and no issues for the rest of the community.

Because sometimes it'll be annoying to people to such advertising in answers even if it's quite relevant to the question.


I think it is fine to mention products you are affiliated with, but mention the relation. In such a case, I'd refrain completely from comparing with other offerings. Don't give prices, but certainly link to the page where such information can be found. And as Pekka says, state if it is free or not, in general terms.

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