Every year you dread getting a gift from that one person, most likely a stuffy old aunt or uncle, that gives the worst gifts ever. If it’s not a plaid sweater with a large unicorn embroidered on the front, it’s a “make your own soap from chicken fat and other household by-products” kit. Why these gifts are even being manufactured want these gifts in the first place is anyone’s guess, but you get them without fail each and every year.
Well, Amazon just patented a new system that would allow you to actually preempt gifts like this. The system is basically a way to filter gifts you don’t want or already have and don’t need multiples before they even get shipped to you.
How the system works is you set up a filter system, or what they are calling a gift conversion rule set and when anyone orders a gift that qualifies for a particular rule, such as if you have a hat on your Amazon wish-list but someone ordered the hat with the wrong size, that order is converted to one that matches your needs; the hat size is changed from what the buyer selected and what size your hat should actually be.
This part of the system is great; imagine never having to exchange something you actually want for the same item in a different size. This is especially great for online retailers because you would save money that would have been required to ship the gift back and have it exchanged for the proper size. This can be used for sizes, styles, colors and anything else about a particular item that may be customizable.
The other way this system can be used is that if a gift is ordered for you that you don’t actually need or want, you can set the gift conversion rule to simply exchange the gift for something else on the spot and ship the new gift to you instead. Alternatively the system can send a redemption coupon, gift card of gift certificate to you in the amount of the gift.
While many still think it’s the thought that counts, an antiquated notion evident by the rise in gift card sales over the past few years, this system would allow you to just bypass all that awkwardness when you receive a gift you really don’t want and save you the trouble of lying to your friends and family. The system can even send a thank-you note for the original gift to whoever sent it to you.
Although only the patent has been approved and so far this system has not been put in place at Amazon or anywhere else, it looks to be extremely customizable and I think will be very useful for those of us that have tacky relatives that have finally gotten on board with ordering things online. If you are always getting VHS movies for Christmas from distant relatives, set a rule in place to always convert VHS gifts to DVD’s. If you loathe a particular popular brand and expect to get some iFad of a gift from someone, put a conversion rule in place to change that to a gift certificate before the gift even hits your doorstep.
The only downside I see right now is that for this to work, whoever is shopping for you has to buy things from Amazon…good luck with the customized unicorn outfit.
What do you think, is this wrong? Should we take things as they come and be grateful no matter how horrible the gift is?
Image by MarcinMoga / Lolek br>
Tags: amazon wish list, colors, conversion rule, dread, filter system, gift card, gift certificate, guess, hat size, household, money, notion, one person, online retailers, preempt, redemption, soap, that matches your needs, unicorn, worst gifts