It pays to know where to look
Need Expert Advice? Get It Here for Free
by Alex J. Coyne
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Expert advice is expensive. Lawyers in the US can charge anywhere from $100 to $500 and upwards per hour for their services, and a visit to the doctor (with or without health insurance) can be a huge knock to your bank account. If you just have a quick question for an expert, here are the best places where you can get an answer for free.
AllExperts claims to be the oldest and largest Q&A site with two million questions already answered. Categories include a huge range of topics, including animals, industry, religion and spirituality, science, and even real estate. Questions are posted by selecting your category and expert and then submitting your question.
JustAnswer gives you instant access to lawyers, mechanics, doctors, and vets and even provides answers on topics like firearm repair, antique and instrument appraisal, structural engineering, and etiquette. They guarantee a 100% satisfaction rate and usually answer in a couple of minutes. They also allow you a one-on-one discussion with your expert and let you upload a file relevant to your question.
Health24's expert panel is diverse and you can expect a knowledgeable answer within 24 to 48 hours of asking. Experts include psychiatrist Professor Michael Simpson, psychologist and sexologist Marelize Swart, gynaecologist Dr. Chantel Stewart, and nutritionist Andrea du Plessis.
ScienceBuddies.org is specifically geared at science fairs and projects. This is your place to go if your children have run into a tough project and need some extra help.
Stumped by income tax or want to know how you can get the most from your tax return? To ask your question, just fill out the questionnaire and submit. A tax expert will get back to you with an answer in 48 hours.
A free service offered by the US Department of Health & Human Services, Ask Karen allows you to ask a food safety expert any questions related to food. For example, at which temperature will you know the pathogens in chicken or beef have been killed?
This site is for plumbing questions when DIY isn't quite doing it. Their site also offers a list of various tips and tricks related to plumbing.
Gone fishing? Find answers to your wildlife, birding, and backyard questions at eNature.com from experts Ken Burton, George H. Harrison, and Cathy Nordstrom.
Techulator.com has a team of experts geared at answering your technology questions. Topics include security and safety, finance and banking, operating systems, social networking, and more.
FreeMathHelp.com has a message board on offer and recommends AskDrMath and AskMathNerds for more. FreeMathHelp also offers an interactive problem solver that lets kids enter their math problem. The problem solver can be set between question categories, like precalculus, algebra, statistics, finite math, and more.
Calculator: Should I borrow from my 401(k) plan?
Asking the Orkin man promises an answer to any pest-related questions. If you don't find your question already answered in their database, submit it with some basic contact information and they'll get back to you.
The Hopkins Center for Breast Cancer remains one of the leading facilities in breast cancer treatment, and if you have a burning question about breast cancer, you can ask it here.
Remember that asking an expert is by no means a replacement for actually seeing one. Instead, it's meant as a helpful guide and sometimes even an online doctor will refer you to a medical specialist for a further look.
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