Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Present Gift Return, Made Easy

In my youth I worked for a big department store in a mall during Christmas.

I thought last minute shopping was crazy, little did I know.
Went to work day after Christmas expecting some calm, call me naive but little did I know.
Before the doors opened an announcement was made over the public announcement system that every returned product would be refunded, without question even if it did not appear to have been bought at that store.
That day was insane.
Never able to understand, unless it was a really an inappropriate present, I do not understand bringing a present to a store for a cash refund.

Not only is it inappropriate, but costly to the merchant.
But then it is about the giving which is the Christmas spirit, or cashing back.

Amazon patents procedure to let recipients avoid undesirable gifts

Undoubtedly, the Thread and Bobbin Sewing Kit that Aunt Mildred sent from for Christmas will never see a stitch. The Stallion Stable Music Box might have looked pretty on the computer screen, but under the tree's flickering lights, it is frightful. The polka-dot nightgown has never been a good idea, even with free shipping.

Amazon is working on a solution that could revolutionize digital gift buying. The on line retailer has quietly patented a way for people to return gifts before they receive them, and the patent documents even mention poor Aunt Mildred. Amazon's innovation, not ready for this Christmas season, includes an option to "Convert all gifts from Aunt Mildred," the patent says. "For example, the user may specify such a rule because the user believes that this potential sender has different tastes than the user." In other words, the consumer could keep an online list of lousy gift-givers whose choices would be vetted before anything ships.

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