Is there a standard or best practice for us in terms of when ( how long after starting ) to award a bounty?

I offered a bounty on a question ( the current one ), and I was hoping for better answers, but it appears the best answer is already given, based on the votes.

  • Have you checked the main meta site? Or the help pages on bounties? That should cover pretty much everything you'd want to know. If you still have an unanswered question on the bounty system you should probably post it on main meta as well unless it's about something site specific.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:08
  • I have read the text, and understand how it works to an extent. My question is more along the lines of should I wait the full 7 days or if I feel the best answer is there, to go ahead and award it.
    – Neo
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:10
  • 2
    I would suggest waiting for the full 7 days. You don't lose anything by doing so. You might get an even better answer in the coming days.
    – Masked Man
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:55
  • 1
    @MisterPositive Seems like there's no "best practice" on how long to wait, just mention of the 7 day duration + grace period. Since this is site-wide you'll want to ask about a best practice on the main meta, not here.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Apr 25, 2017 at 13:09
  • I'm curious - why did you award a bounty? The question seemed to already have good answers. And the OP doesn't appear to have written any comments asking for better answers. Apr 25, 2017 at 13:51
  • @JoeStrazzere 2 reasons, 1 I wasn't thrilled with the other answers, and 2 I thought mine was better. The votes show I was mistaken. :-)
    – Neo
    Apr 26, 2017 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


I think the bounty help page has good advice:

"If you’ve asked a good question, edited it with status and progress updates, and still are not receiving answers, you can draw attention to your question by placing a bounty on it."

  • Ask the question
  • Give it a few days to see if it attracts a good answer or not
  • If not, try to edit the question into shape
  • Give it a few more days or so
  • Assess if the question still isn't receiving good answers
  • Decide if you still need an answer
  • Then place a bounty and hope for better answers

Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. I haven't seen convincing evidence that a bounty will often attract great answers to a question that hasn't already attracted them. As far as I can tell, if you are going to get a really good answer, you'll get it very quickly after asking the question or not at all.

But I could be wrong.

  • LOL It never entered my head to edit the question in this scenario!
    – Neo
    Apr 25, 2017 at 13:43
  • 1
    @MisterPositive - LOL. I could reply with RTFM, but I won't! ;-) Apr 25, 2017 at 13:44

A bounty buys publicity for a question. (One hopes it also buys a good answer, but what the bounty "pays" for is the exposure.) That publicity lasts for as long as the bounty does, so I usually don't award my bounties until the end of the week. If a good answer comes in early on then it's going to get the bounty (unless something even better comes in), and I'll probably leave a comment telling the answerer that it helped me so he knows I'm not waiting for him to add even more. But why not get all the publicity you've paid for? Let the question be featured for a week; something even better than the good answer you already have might come along.

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