I recently asked

Cost a local would expect to pay for a short Indian elephant “safari” [closed]


I don't care about the "cheapest" option, nor do I care about a specific location or a specific cost. All I want to know is beyond what price is something exclusively geared towards tourists and should be ignored.

To prevent myself from getting scammed ("exclusively geared towards tourist" I am equating to "scam"). And I added a secondary related question (maybe should've split it in two?) asking about which areas these prices would apply to as India is practically as big as the entire EU.

The reason this was closed by a moderator was

prices are subject to change so this question is unlikely to be useful to anyone in a few months

which is completely reasonable when asking "Where in Moscow can the cheapest beer be bought?", but is far less sensible when asking "Where in Europe can the cheapest alcohol be found?". The former will change in a couple of weeks, the latter has been consistently the same for the last decade or so (answer: "Slavic countries"). I elaborate on this line of thinking in the comment section of the original question.

Reason I am also asking is that the following question: What is the cheapest way of travelling between London and Paris by public transportation? has recently been doing very well on the site which seems to be far more likely to change.

Point in question, are there price shopping questions which are general enough to be on topic? (Not assuming mine was worded well enough to fall in that category)

  • @JoErNanO As the mod who closed the question figured you would want to see this :) Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 10:41
  • I've edited your question to completely remove the price shopping aspect and have reopened it.
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 15:02
  • I think the problem with asking about an elephant safari is that there is such a wide range of things that could entail. My friends and I each spent $3800 on our Kilimanjaro trip, but others have done it for less than a third of that. A rate of $700 is extremely reasonable for the St. Regis in New York on a summer weekend, but some would deign to stay at the YMCA for $75. And forget about trying to negotiate near the "local" price unless you have a local bargaining for you.
    – choster
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 0:07
  • 1
    Outdoors.SE is running an experiment to clarify what constitutes a 'shopping' question.
    – choster
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 0:12
  • @choster Perhaps we should do the same. Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 21:05
  • 1
    @JonathanReez Um. You edited in the sentence "But what price would a local Indian resident expect to pay?" and you claim to have "completely remove[d] the price shopping aspect". Does not compute. Not even close. Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 12:53

2 Answers 2


Personally, I answer all such questions, and vote for them to stay open, if the answer will have long-term longevity for future readers.

What's the cheapest pre-paid SIM card to use in France? There's no point in answering that question. The answer will change over time, and possibly quite rapidly.

What are my options for having mobile phone access in France? This answer may gradually change, but we can reflect that in updated answers. The answer is likely to give other people a lot more value than a simple "what-is-cheapest" question/answer set. Also, the answer here can cover a lot more scenarios and be of broader value to the random reader than a simple price shopping question would.

  • I have to disagree. "What are my options for having mobile phone access in France?" is still a typical shopping list question, to which every answer is equally valid, and half of the answers will be outdated within a year. Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 13:51
  • @DmitryGrigoryev Plans change quickly, and we shouldn't discuss them specifically, but carriers change only slowly. Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 14:44
  • I think it's a slippery slope. First, I don't see how you can prevent such answers from discussing plans. Second, allow question about operators, and soon we will get question like "What castles can I visit in France?" I'm not concerned about answers' longevity (they don't build new castles do they), but about answers which are equally valid. In OP's example, how would you deal with answers like "I paid $200 when I went on a ride last year, so I guess that's a fair price"? Would one such answer be OK? What about 10? Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 15:12
  • @DmitryGrigoryev Alas, almost all boundaries we set are going to be arbitrary, but we need to err on the side of helpfulness, not rigidity. Most countries have no more than a few mobile networks. Listing them isn't that problematic. If a country has 300 castles, yeah, that's too many. If it has three, no, that's not too many. Common sense must prevail. Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 16:51

My rationale for closing was that the price a local can expect to pay today will inevitably be different than the one they'd pay next year. This makes it a rulebook price-shopping question:

[...] the best shopping recommendations will be utterly obsolete within a year! What’s the point of a bunch of labor intensive questions that provide only temporary benefit to a limited (some might say Too Localized) audience? There isn’t any.

Asking for ways to find out what locals might pay *(i.e. the way the question title is phrased now) is a completely different question. Personally, I think the body is still asking for a price margin which still makes it a price-shopping question:

Prices I have seen on the internet for 1 hour tours (2 people) literally ranged from $200 to $800. But what price would a local Indian resident expect to pay?

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