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In this answer, I linked to a product on Amazon to show that its price meets the question requirement. Two days later, the price dropped around 15USD. Luckily, in this case, it didn't contradict the question requirement, though now the price in the answer is different than that on the store page.

My question is about what to do on the flipside. When someone posts an answer for a product, then the next day, the price rises such that it crossed the asker's threshold. Of course that would vary from case to case, but wouldn't the site benefit from a general guideline?

How about posting answers with prices of products that are temporarily on sale at the time of posting. Should it be discouraged?

Lastly, is it possible (and is it a good idea) to embed product links in answers so that the prices are updated along with the store page?

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  • You can just say, "currently available for about $15" and this seems to solve the problem?
    – enderland
    Oct 12 '15 at 13:46
  • @enderland My concern was that if the asker comes the next day and the price has changed to $25 for example after you saying it was $15. Given that their budget was $18, would that invalidate the answer?
    – Tymric
    Oct 12 '15 at 15:59
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Price fluctuation is the nature of retail and capitalism. The goal is always to make a buck and often times that buck comes at the expense of a competitor.

Our goal should be to answer the question now with prices now. You can mention that it is "on sale" at a certain retail location, but I think it's also important to mention the usual price, because a sale lasts a limited period of time.

In several of the answers I've provided, I've intentionally not posted a sale price and instead listed the full retail price. In my mind this does two things:

  1. Provides the original poster with a price they'll be paying if they wait to make a purchase
  2. Allows them to see that the product is on sale when they click the link I provide. I said it was $X. The link is showing $X-$Y. It must be on sale.

For your last question about live updates, I do not believe this is possible for many places. If a retail location provides a live updating image (much like the flair here), then it can be done. However, the answer should be about much more than price. If your explanation says anything about price and the live updating thing contradicts it, you may get questions in confusion.

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  • I agree. And, since price variation is natural, should one consider budgets as soft guidelines rather than strict criteria? Or ask for clarification on case by case basis? I would hesitate to post an answer with a product that is $80 where the asker has budgeted $65. However, the same product could become available for $60 the next week.
    – Tymric
    Oct 12 '15 at 16:09
  • Concerning the full retail price. Those numbers are often outdated or exaggerated in order to show a big difference in favor of the online store. Amazon has a reputation for doing that
    – Tymric
    Oct 12 '15 at 16:10
  • 2
    I'd consider them soft guidelines. If the value is "close", post the recommendation. But, if the user is asking for a $50 item and someone comes along and recommends a $1000 item, I wouldn't consider it "close". $100 (double the budget), is probably not close either. It's going to be a sliding, and relative to the budget, scale.
    – Andy Mod
    Oct 12 '15 at 16:11
  • 1
    @Timmy I'd consider price to be just like any other guideline. If someone asks for an x that does y and z, for $100, then I recommend an x for $1000 that does y and z, and also turns wood chips into gold bars, it would probably be a reasonable recommendation. If it didn't do anything drastically better, though, I would expect my answer to be downvoted.
    – Undo
    Oct 13 '15 at 5:00
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    But what would we do in the future ? how to track these price changes . For example, a question like " best GPU under 400$ " would potentially yield a lot of not-anymore-so-relevant answers. How would one filter them in the future ? should we have also a year tag ( automatic ) , similar to the option mentioned here ? I know it is really strange - but looking into the future - It might help . Is there any other way to easily filter only recent answers ? Oct 13 '15 at 10:49

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