How do we handle pricing requirements stated in questions?

Do we:

  • Consider them hard limits?
  • Expect proof of sale-price in all answers?

One of the problems is that pricing differs all over the world. A piece of hardware in the USA may be 30% more or less expensive than on the other side of the world.

I think it's important to get this straight early on.

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  • 3
    I was wondering this too myself earlier, great question for meta. – enderland Sep 9 '15 at 18:39
  • In looking at several questions, the OP's budget was never mentioned. I feel that should be almost a de-facto requirement. – JYelton May 1 at 2:58

Prices vary a lot, not only from country to country but also over time. Any price requirement should be considered approximate.

Any price requirement that doesn't provide a precise reference (e.g. shipping and taxes can make a non-negligible difference) should be considered an order of magnitude.

For example, if someone asks for storage that costs about $50/TB, answers should recommend a normal hard disk. If the cost requirement is about $500/TB, a high-end SSD is suitable.

We're here to recommend products, not suppliers. Any price difference that's to the level of comparing suppliers is too localized. If you need to compare individual suppliers to find one that fits within the budget, that's more precision than we want.

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In terms of conversions, we should use the currency the OP does. If they've specified a limit in US$, then we should reference the price of the item in the US. Likewise, if it's in EUR, then use the European price.

Proof is unnecessary - if someone takes the advice of an answer and finds the price different, they can downvote, comment, or edit as necessary. Take into account that prices change, too, so keeping an answer up to date may be difficult, especially when you have lots of answers.

As to considering them as limits - well, use your common sense and the context of what the OP has written. If they specify an "absolute limit", then don't go over it. If they say "around", then give it ± 20%, or something like that.

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I think pricing should be taken for what it is: a way to compare the value of a good (or service) against another good (or service). Therefore asking

I'd like a US $50/Tb HDD

does not make much sense in my opinion. Exactly due to the limitations that you mention.

However, when comparing different laptops or other HW, it is a plus that one is cheaper than the other. And the price difference rarely changes its direction: what is more expensive in the US, will almost always* be more expensive in Europe, and so on.

* almost because I did not do extensive research on that, but so far I never seen a case where that would be reversed.

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