Forget using eBay or Craigslist to get rid of unwanted presents. Forget the local swap meet. The Times reports that William Dodd has won for a patent for regifting. Patent No. 6,633,849 is for "methods and systems for electronically forwarding an online gift." So, let's say Gothamist receives an email telling us that Cousin Pearl has ordered a snowman–appliqued sweater for us. Well, since Gothamist is not the snowman–applique type (no matter what you all thought!), but we don't want to hurt her feelings by returning it, we do something decidedly more twisted: We regift it by forwarding it to our friend who likes snowman– (something about being ironic'n'stuff). Holy shizzle. Now, only if we could everyone to send us gifts electronically. Dodd says that the technology could impose a time limit, to reduce the possibility of a gift being regifted till Christmas 2020.
To avoid having your gifts regifted, why not see if the giftee has an Amazon Wish List? Gothamist has them and can't for the life of us understand why no one orders us anything off of it. Sure, the links may be broken, but still, it's a good idea.