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Sites To Register By: Wish I Had Known Sooner

Registries are weird--you tell people what you'd like and then they buy it for you. But what about the surprise and excitement of opening a totally unexpected gift? Well that also comes with the hassle of returns or the reality of stacking up a pile of itchy sweaters you'll never wear again. And I'm about to get married so I can tell you how cool (and kind of bizarre) it is. "How did you ever guess that this is what I wanted most of all the stuff I said I wanted?"

So these days there are wedding registries, baby registries, even registries to fill your new home. Now there's a single site, MyRegistry.com, that will aggregate gifts you'd like from a range of different sites--everything from gadget gifts from Amazon.com to books from Barnes and Noble, to pots and pans from Macy's.

It separates the idea of a registry from the assumption that you're getting married or about to pop out a baby, and it means you no longer have to commit to a single store. I wish I had known about it when we registered!

Now if you don't know what to buy people and they haven't registered, check out this site Wize.com, it aggregates expert reviews of different consumer products. Then it ranks items with a numerical score, a combination of user and expert reviews, to help people decide between two camcorders or electric toothbrushes.

It sticks with things that are pretty quantifiable, like scales, and not perfume, which is totally subjective. It applies the Amazon.com theory, that you want to know how people like the product, not just how well it's selling, to a pretty broad range. NOT a bad idea.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.