You can skip the explanation, if you wish, and jump to the actual question, which is after the horizontal diving line.


I come originally from Stack Overlow, where the rules have changed such that any question which smacks of recommendation or being opinion-based gets very, very quickly shut down (sigh! I have been round long enough to remember when we had a books tag there).

I am not sure how it is here, although a search for recommendation produces over 2,500 results. I also don't see my topic covered in FAQ answered questions by topic.

However, some friends asked me to ask here, as they are too lazy to set up an account (and argue which would). Despite that, I really want to hep them, but I don't want to lose what little rep I have to downvotes.

[Question] three friends who lost their employment during Covid times are discussing ways to generate some income. Two of them are for on-lien selling, most likely drop shipping on eBay, Aamzon, etc. The third is disparaging, and says that that seam has been mined dry long ago and the margins must be wafer-tin by now.

Is there anyway that I can post an on-tropic question to help them?

  • ask for any source of data on profit margins?
    • per site?
    • per type of item? E.g do electronics have a better margin than pet toys? Do high price items have a bigger margin? I suspect that eBay might provide some data, which might be extrapolatable to other sites.
    • are any niches currently under active, seller-wise?
  • ask for guides & tutorials? This sounds like opinion-based to me. Also, I expect that such things might not age well, although they could give good general guidelines
  • what alternatives are there for them to generate income? (probably too broad)

Since drop shipping form CHina has a lead time, it might be necessary to purchase in advance, but that obviously has ramifications.

Ok, I think than you get the gist of the nub of the essence of the crux of the direction of the drift of my potential question.

  1. is that sort of thing on-topic at all?
  2. is the above roughly acceptable? If not, how can I make is acceptable?
  • 1
    I'm not allowed to suggest an edit in Meta, so apparently I'm supposed to suggest them in a comment and let the OP handle it. diving -> dividing; hep -> help; on-lien -> on-line; Aamzon -> Amazon; wafer-tin -> wafer-thin; on-tropic -> on-topic; form CHina -> from China; make is -> make it.
    – Doug Deden
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


There's a bit to unpack here, along with extra information. Ultimately, the TLDR version is "Can I ask about profit margins of items I wish to sell online?" Right? This seems to be a bit off-topic from person finance as we define it here. Others may feel differently, and encourage you to post the question. Keep in mind, the risk to your rep is minimal, a vote up is 10, but down is -2. I appreciate the pre-ask here, but keep in mind, our meta traffic is pretty low. The same hour on Money.SE might have gotten 100 views by now. I appreciate all the due diligence, the lok at the FAQ, etc. I wish your friends luck.

  • Upvote. But, "Ultimately, the TLDR version is "Can I ask about profit margins of items I wish to sell online?" Right?" No, not really, I was just floating some ideas and that one seemed like there would be fact based & less likely to be closed as "primarily opinion based". The core of it is just "how can they make money, now that they have no jobs?", but, dubiously, that is far too broad. Online seemed like an idea, but "tell me how to make money online" is also too broad. So, what I am really asking is how to phrase that to eb on-topic here.
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 14:37
  • 1
    Sorry. I misunderstood. Keep in mind, there's a huge grey area. Your sample idea may be good enough to not be voted down or closed but another question, that may feel similar to you is responded to differently. The overall thing you are trying to do feels like it's on the edge. Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 14:59
  • loolks like some else decided that a very similar question is on topic
    – Mawg
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 13:11
  • 1
    Perhaps, but, as I tried to explain, a small variation in the way the question is posed, and it would be shut. Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 18:15
  • Well, in any case, they got the answer that I would have expected. I have shown that question to my friends, and they agree, and are trying to think o fa new approach. Thanks for all of your help.
    – Mawg
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 9:30

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