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Hackagong winners set to Kickstart Kristmas

Monday, 10 December 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

A new website called KickstartKristmas.com, conceived and created over a two-day ‘hackathon’, claims it is the first-ever solution to put an end to unwanted Christmas gifts, by allowing users to create online gift pages to share with loved ones.

 

Kickstart Kristmas allows people to ask for gifts that are usually too expensive for one person to buy. Each user creates an online gift page, and shares it with their friends and family.

 

All of the gifts are group-funded. So a $500 gift, for example, can be paid for by one to 100 people.

 

The gift page takes less than a minute to create and connects to the user’s Facebook account, so they can start receiving funds immediately.

 

The Kickstart Kristmas concept and website was created over two days at Hackagong, the first-ever hackathon held in Wollongong.

 

After 36 hours of creation, Kickstart Kristmas was named the winner of Hackagong. The team consisted of Steve Morlando, Matheos Vlandys, Rebecca Coleman and Rebecca Paget.

 

Kickstart Kristmas describes itself as an online solution to unwanted Christmas gifts.

 

According to Kickstart Kristmas, the sum value of returned gifts in 2012 will be close to $2.5 billion. Of the gifts that are not returned, Consumer Reports estimates 50% are still unwanted.

 

The Kickstart Kristmas team are promoting their website as a way to reduce the costs associated with unwanted gifts, with the tagline “Campaign for Gifts Worth Giving”.

 

“The average gift has a value of between $20 and $100. The problem is that this is an amount that most people are happy to spend on themselves for something they really want,” Paget says.

 

This means people have often already purchased desired items within this price range. And according to Morlando, that’s where it gets awkward.

 

“There has never been an easy way to ask for something you really want, especially if it is a larger gift,” he says.

 

“An item with a price tag of anything more than, say, $250 is an awkward ask. Asking for a receipt is even more awkward. The whole thing could become quite an ordeal.”

 

According to Vlandys, the team’s web developer, the best thing about Kickstart Kristmas is that it gives people a way to ask for just one big gift, which may be preferred to many smaller gifts.

 

“But it is flexible and can be used however the user likes,” he says.