Handling Marketplace Topics

Almost every #marketplace topic ends as a #support topic lately.
I’m not sure if this is good or bad.


I won’t swear, but I think it’s been the case that it’s been for topics that likely don’t have enough budget to actually pay for for work. This one has no stated budget, but basically implies that there isn’t much of one. My guess is that the budget is on the order of $50.

Is it worth $500 @DavidO? $200?


At the risk of hijacking the topic (please split into a new topic at will) I recall at least two other recent topics without an insufficient budget but which turned into a #support topic anyway:

This one had a $500 budget which sounded pretty realistic to me [PAID] PunBB forum to Discourse, it has 13 support replies and one marketplace reply.

And then there was I need someone who can install a voting plugin where the OP even explicitly reconfirmed they’d rather want to hire someone and then was told to make another marketplace topic if they “really” want to hire someone (!).


This has been moved to #site-feedback for more meta discussion – I think the marketplace category could use a little bit more moderation in seeing these divergent topics.

I’m watching it now, but in the future if we miss something and a topic goes off the rails, please feel free to:

  • Point discussion to the appropriate category or topic
  • Flag it to have a moderator move or split the topic appropriately if needed

I’ll also continue to encourage our community to include a budget range when posting as well.


And maybe include in the topic template that if the budget is under $100 ($50?) then just post in #support. In general, if it’s truly a $10 problem, most of us would just tell them how to do it.


I’m behind the idea of encouraging low cost requests just to go to community support, but I’m not 100% certain the topic template is the right place to put it. Sometimes folks don’t even read things :slight_smile:

For now, I think trying the redirection approach is a good starting place. In my mind, it’s the similar to the viewpoint we have on shadow banning – direct discussion is much better at changing behavior.


BTW, @RGJ can’t read this topic.


I agree with @RGJ here. People shouldn’t be offering support on #marketplace topics. Posts who aren’t about offering service and wanting the job should be flagged as off-topic.


I agree with that, with a caveat that topics created without a budget over $100 be flagged as off-topic or moved to #support.

Does that sound right? If they don’t offer a budget, reply with “moving to #support because there is no budget” and re-categorize?

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First step should be to ask for a budget if there isn’t one. If no or too low budget is offered, there are a few paths topics can take:

  • If it’s a complex development task, leave it alone to close, but someone should probably communicate that the likelihood of getting help is very low for the budget available.
  • If it’s reasonable to answer as support, flag to have it moved.

At the same time, someone might want to take a task for $30 bucks if it’s reasonable. Not everyone getting started has enough in the pipeline to turn away an hour’s work for $30-$50.

Additionally, off-topic discussion in #marketplace will either be deleted or moved to support.


Not sure.

If someone puts an announce on your local newspaper wanting a baby sitter for $0.20 cents a day would you call then to say that it is too low?

If the OP explicitly asks for price feedback, or is someone brand new to Meta, maybe a hint here and there may be ok, but shouldn’t be a rule at all.


No, but neither would I call them to suggest free baby sitting services.

Yeah. A rule is hard, but there could be a norm and we could decide on a nice way to help them get their problem solved if it seems that their budget is missing or wildly short of reasonable.

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Completely agree, people who are willing to work for the lower end of the scale should have an opportunity to earn some money as well. If there are no takers, then OP will eventually understand that they’re apparently not offering enough.

Personally, I just ignore whatever happens in #marketplace for a budget that is too low - for me. No need to flag or tag.


That’s what I usually do (I think), so then we’d flag anyone’s attempts to help as off topic and they’d think that there were no responses.

And there’s a recently-updated topic now from someone in @customer that has no budget, but if they’re paying >=$100/month for hosting, it’s a decent bet that they have a budget.


I am a bit conflicted. Personally, if I see a marketplace topic with a request that has an easy answer, I feel compelled to respond to help the person. Especially if they are new and don’t know their way around yet, or if the problem is a common one and providing the answer is likely going to be helpful to others.

It seems a shame to let a request hang with no response, or to make someone pay for something unnecessarily. But then of course I understand there are folks here who make a living providing help to people.

Maybe in future I can PM those people to direct them to an answer if it exists elsewhere, without cluttering the marketplace topic and discouraging others from offering paid support?

The I need someone who can install a voting plugin topic is an interesting case study - @jobro did you eventually get your problem solved, with or without paid support?


I think it’s okay to engage requests that end up being easy to answer for community support, but we need to move them out of #marketplace. So please keep helping people, but when you see topics like this, please flag so we can move it to the appropriate category to continue discussion.


And if you’re TL3, feel free of course to move it yourself.


This turned out to be a customer of ours so there was just a switch to be flipped for this plugin.

When I have a problem with my bike, I take it to the repair shop. People sometimes tell me that I can fix my tire myself, but I don’t want to get my hands dirty and I want to spend my time doing things that I like (or earn money) instead.

When I take my bike to the repair shop, the last thing I want is to be told that this is an easy task which I can do myself. I made a deliberate choice to outsource this task. Of course, when I demand a new tire, I appreciate it when I am told by the shop owner that patching it is less expensive. But I don’t want to be told that I can do it myself, especially not by other people that are hanging around in the repair shop.

Same thing here: people are explicitly posting in #marketplace. They do know that #support exists, and still they post in marketplace. Let’s assume that is a deliberate choice instead of assuming they’re missing an ‘easy answer’. What is easy for some people is very hard for others.


Exactly @RGJ! Imagine going to the coffee shop and being lectured how it be easier to DIY.


That’s a helpful analogy - thanks! I get it. :+1:

Hah! Except when I’m traveling and I can’t do anything about it, I do prefer to make my own coffee because it’s cheaper and often better than what I can get at coffee shops.

Of course I make coffee in my own home and not in a coffee shop, because that would be ridiculous.

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