Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
This would work fine, except in terms of success.

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Actually know what to buy your friends and relatives.
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How often do you experience "gifter's block" when trying to pick that perfect present for your friend or relative? Do you know that someone who is so rich or so old or so "vanilla" that getting them a gift is difficult? What if it could be easy? Well, maybe it can.

At www.PerfectGift.com (the hypothetical site I suggest, not the one actually using this URL) you'll have all the information you could ever need. The idea is to ask your friends and relatives to visit the site and to register. Upon registering, each person completes a questionnaire related to their likes and dislikes. It would not only include lists of actual products or services they way want, but ones they don't want. It would also list all sorts of preferences better describing their likes and dislikes.

One registrant might have the following list:

Things I Want

1. Pflatzgraff dining set - Naturewood collection #1089

2. Red wine - not white wine - like: Reuniti

3. Blue Jeans - like: Levis, Wrangler, straight leg; dislike: stonewash, Sears jeans, generic - size: 32x30

4. Books - like: mystery fiction, Danielle Steel; dislike: anything else

5. Dress shirts - like: 100% cotton, checked patterns or solids, prefer muted earthy colors, Nautica, Polo - dislike: stripes, pastel colors, polyester, cheap shirts (<$50) size: 16" neck, medium 42" shoulders

6. Wrist watch - like: Swiss army watch, thin leather bands; dislike: alligator skin bands, metal-link banks, imitation watches

7. 1-hr Massage - available at Changes day spa

Things I Do Not Want

1. Art supplies - just because I'm an artist doesn't mean I'm one dimensional and only want art supplies as gifts

2. Audio CDs - I have picky musical tastes and would prefer to buy my own CDs (would rather have a gift certificate)

Notice that the lists are as much about exact items and things that the receiver likes as well as things he doesn't like. It also includes more general items. The idea is each person can enter in their lists and their friends/relatives will have somewhere to go to make informed buying decisions. No more wondering if a gift is the right gift or not.

Plus, as gift buyers visit the site they can check items off the list that they have bought or plan to buy for the receiver. The receiver when logged on will not have this information available to her as to avoid ruining the surprize.

Furthermore, the site will facilitate creating links to the exact item or to online stores where items of the given category can be purchased.

The site will also handle sending out reminders of upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays based on the people you add to your watch list (or "family" list).

And finally, the site sends out paper versions (with self-addressed, stamped envelopes) of the questionnaires to older relatives who many not have a computer with internet access.

I thought to create this site long ago and always wondered if the friends or relatives in question would actually consider entering their lists a chore. The idea has great potential, but only works well if the majority of persons in a family take advantage of it.

Think about how easy it would be to take care of Christmas shopping if everyone on your 15-person list, was registered on PerfectGift.com. Maybe it'd restore some of the waning Christmas spirit.

mlanza, May 03 2004

yup we missed a winner again. http://www.giftag.com/
the very same [blissmiss, Apr 20 2009]


       Not referring to merely a gift registry of goods sold at one particular location, but a gift idea registry that includes goods available anywhere as well as detailed likes/dislikes. A person's list may also have generalities: books, car accessories, business-casual clothes.
mlanza, May 04 2004

       //Maybe it'd restore some of the waning Christmas spirit//   

       being picky and bitchy about what you get as a gift is hardly a step in the right direction.   

       why don't you just go buy the stuff, wrap it yourself and send a thank you card and the bill. saves the giver a lot of trouble and has about as much good cheer.
xclamp, May 04 2004

       Too constrained - there's a danger that everyone will buy you a pair of jeans.

(In my family at Christmas, children get toys, books, etc. as presents; presents for adults have to be food or drink though - makes everyone happy).
hippo, May 05 2004

       One of my favorite quotes "the best gift you can give anyone, is to appreciate the gift they gave you."
dentworth, May 05 2004

       How is this different in principle from an online bridal registry?
ldischler, May 05 2004

       Our family get together at Christmas time. We have a party. We all buy gifts for the kids, so they can enjoy Christmas. We also each set aside $50 per adult and donate that money directly to a charity. That's a donation of about $600 each, from the twelve of us, every year.   

       It seems to do a lot more good than the usual display of conspicuous consumerism.
Zanzibar, May 05 2004

       A site like this would be very useful if most people have a list there, constantly update it, and tell all their friends that "by the way I have a wish list on this site just in case you guys ever want to send me presents"...   

       Signing up people and ask them to create such lists would be hard.
sharpenio, Jun 27 2004

       An implementation of the idea: http://www.giftag.com/
mlanza, Apr 19 2009

blissmiss, Apr 20 2009

blissmiss, Apr 26 2016

       Funny name for a horse.
pertinax, Apr 26 2016

       You too. Ha.
blissmiss, Apr 27 2016


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