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I would like some guidance on how to pick the correct Stack Exchange site to post a question to. This problem has come up in the past, and I have seen that questions inappropriate to the network get downvoted or deleted.

I expect other newbies have the same question, or even that this question has been asked before, but if not please help.

For example, if I asked, "How reliable are cheap electronics, like laptop chargers, that are sold on Amazon or new from Ebay, and is there reason to buy name brand instead?" Would this question belong on Electrical Engineering, otherwise how would I identify the correct network?

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    Referring to SE sites as forums is something that I would recommend against. The network becomes much easier to understand and navigate once it is realized that they are designed for focussed Q&A rather than discussion. – PolyGeo Nov 6 '16 at 20:43
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    Take a look at quora.com – Pekka Nov 6 '16 at 21:58
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    Not only is your sample question about cheap electronics very broad, your Meta question about how to pick the correct Stack Exchange site is too broad as well. Your question (asking us to extrapolate from one example) seems to be so general as to cover the entire scope of the site-recommendation tag. – 200_success Nov 7 '16 at 20:14
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That question is off-topic on all Stack Exchange sites, for a few reasons.

Most of our sites don't do recommendation questions. That is because recommendation questions attract opinionated answers and spam.

The question if cheap electronics sold on Ebay or Amazon are reliable, is subjective. It's very broad; what are "cheap electronics"? And when it is about second hand items, we could only judge by actually knowing the actual item that was being sold.

However... there is an exception. If you need hardware to solve a specific problem, you can ask on Hardware Recommendations. They have guidelines that are linked from their Help Center. They don't want you to ask "Should I buy X?". They want you to explain what you need and why. And you can explicitly specify a budget.

So - if you're asking because you're doing research into the items sold on Ebay and Amazon, you're out of luck.
But if you have need of hardware for a specific problem, and you're on a budget - then we may be able to help.

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The question you have asked is primarily opinion based, and as such, wouldn't be appropriate on any SE site.

As for how to determine where to ask your question in general, each site has a section in its help center that defines what questions are on topic there. You can look through that to determine what the acceptable topics are for a site.

  • let me rephrase the question and see if it makes it any clearer – Dan Powers Nov 6 '16 at 20:27
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    Nope, still a very subjective question that doesn't belong anywhere on the network. – Oded Nov 6 '16 at 20:29
  • Well, if I had a good question, would the way to locate the correct forum be to comb through help center section? – Dan Powers Nov 6 '16 at 20:35
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    @DanPowers Combing the help center is the right thing to do after you've identified a candidate site or two. For most topics, there is really one site to consider (e.g. cooking or cycling). For some other topics, particularly software-related topics, there can be a constellation of inter-related sites, which can overlap at the edges. In that case, there are some general guidelines already posted here on Meta.SE, but for specific questions the procedure is to post a meta-question here with the tag site-recommendation. – Dan Bron Nov 6 '16 at 20:47

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