Amazon Patent Looks To Make Receiving Lousy Gifts A Thing Of The Past
from the provided-all-gift-giving-runs-through-Amazon,-which-is-THE-PLAN dept
An interesting patent has surfaced over at Quartz, detailing a method for exchanging unwanted gifts. Amazon filed this patent application in 2006 and had it granted in 2010, but so far, has yet to make use of it. (This is not to be confused with Amazon’s more controversial, broadly written “method of buying gifts online” patent which was granted back in 2009.) The twist in this patent is the exchange method, which would take place prior to receiving the unwanted gift.
A number of “rules” can be set, heading off unwanted gifts before they even hit the order fulfillment queue. In the case of the hypothetical “Aunt Mildred,” the user can choose to make the best of her good intentions that disguise themselves as bad gifts and eliminate her almost entirely from the gift selection process while also leaving her completely unaware that she’s been cut out in favor of a checkboxed “middleman.”
In addition, users can select whether to be notified and carry out the exchange manually or allow the algorithm to do all the heavy lifting. Interestingly, the patented system will also allow purchasers to place limits on exchanges, which should lead to some very interesting post-Christmas conversations, once all the behind-the-scenes gift trading has finished.
Of course, the whole setup process is wasted should gift givers decide to purchase from other services, but adding the ability to painlessly ‘hot swap’ yet another sweater for something you’d rather have, without having to go through the rarely painless return/exchange process could have many Amazon customers recommending the service to familial holdouts.