The Dulles Town Square (this sounds like a mall) is sponsoring a post-Christmas exchange for unwanted gifts: "For the Rejects Of Christmas, A 2nd Chance" (Rosalind Helderman, Washington Post, 12-29-04, B01)
The mall has set up a table, set out cookies, made participants eligible for a raffle, and advertised. People who got stuff for Christmas that they don't want (has to be worth more than $10) set their gift on a table, taking some other gift in exchange. The mall creates the market in hopes of increasing customer traffic. At the end of the week excess gifts will be donated to charity.
Have the Dulles Town Square and eBay reduced the potential for deadweight losses associated with Christmas gift giving? Now, if you are given a present that you don't value at its market price, you can sell it on eBay for relatively modest transactions costs.
I don't think the Dulles Town Square can be very far from George Mason. I'm trying not to imagine Tyler Cowen and his mother, surprising each other at the table as they exchange the gifts they gave each other.
John Palmer looks at the practice of re-gifting.