Amazon Patents "System and Method For Converting Gifts"

posted Dec 28, 2010, 10:05 AM by Calan McConkey
In an attempt to ruin Christmas, Amazon has developed and patented a method to essentially upgrade a "bad" gift to a "good" gift automatically.

As described in the patent (Patent No. 7,831,439), the system was designed because:

"[I]n...gift-giving situations, it sometimes occurs that gifts purchased on-line do not meet the needs or tastes of the gift recipient. For example, the recipient may already have the item and may not need another one of that same item. Alternatively, the item may not be the right size, the right type, the right style, and so on. In such situations, the recipient may wish to convert the gift to something else, for example, by exchanging the gift for another item or by obtaining a redemption coupon, gift card, or other gift certificate to be redeemed later."

The patent continues to describe how the system functions by stating that it: "relates to a computer-implemented method comprising receiving a gift purchase from a user of a network commerce service, accessing gift conversion rules, and applying the gift conversion rules to a gift purchase to determine whether a gift should be converted."

What the system essentially does is allow a user to input certain preferences (e.g., shirts purchased that are not size medium should be converted to medium, or all video games purchased should be XBOX 360) that help to ensure the gift being received by the user is, ideally, usable or desired.

In regards to my earlier comment about ruining Christmas, I quote the original author in that: "There is something to be said for learning to graciously accept a gift that you would not have otherwise purchased for yourself, to appreciate the sentiment of the giver having taken the time to select a gift he or she felt would make you happy, to interact with the giver and acknowledge their thoughtfulness. While I see no harm in setting up a rule to convert an extra large sweater gift to a medium sweater gift so you can actually wear it, converting less than optimally desirable gifts to gift certificates surely embodies the antithesis of the season."


Source: BlawgIT

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