My BIL once asked his mother what she wanted for her birthday. She did they old 'oh, don't waste your money on little old me' line several times, he kept asking and finally she named a very common household product (name changed to protect identities). It is the sort of product that all of us buy on a regular basis and use frequently. So he bought her a big boxful. When she opened it, she cried.
The families remain divided on whether he was clueless, and should be given a pass, or whether he was deliberately trying to be rude. I think he just got tired of being gamed.
And personally, considering that said product is useful, and he bought a goodly supply that wasn't at all cheap, that it was as good a present as any. Especially considering the odds are excellent that there was something she had in mind that she wanted, but he was supposed to figure it out on his own, so that whatever he bought was going to be the wrong gift. But then, I would rather get a big box of Useful Product That I Use Weekly (my brand) than Something I Have No Desire To Own, or Stinky Cheap Perfume, or something like that.