Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Price Tag Removal Dilemma

I purchased a gift for a friend but couldn't take the freaking price tag off without damaging the box!! How many times do we all face this dilemma?

Sometimes I question the ethics used by the store to secure its pricing on its products. Electronic tagging, huge ugly magnetic clips, super tough price tags glued on an obvious spot and those ugly rubber strings holding the tag and shoe together. At times when you try peeling the price tag or size sticker off the shoe's in-sole, the leather becomes damaged and peels off with the tag or a sticky residue is left marking the impression where the notorious price tag once was. But of all the tortures, I find the super-glued price tag as the most offensive, clinging on and refusing to let go of the product!!

I've used scissors, box-cutters, my own nails and knives to scratch off or deftly cut around the price tag after the initial attempt of simple peeling fails. For some products I've devised the "oil-method" for removing the tag. Products like dishes or other glass/ceramic/porcelain etc, tough price tags can be removed by immersing the product in soupy water and then rubbing a bit of oil for a cleaner removal since water doesn't take off the stickiness left behind by the label. I've even tried the oil-method for removing residual stickiness of in-soles and it has successfully removed the label's stickiness. After the oil-method is used, make sure you wipe the spot clean afterwards with water to take the oil off.

But lets be honest; there is no one solution for this menace of secure price tagging tactics used by stores. Everyone has a different way to combat the problem. For me, when oil doesn't remove something or when I can't use the oil fearing the box or product getting damaged, I simply use the trusted scissors and carve a cute price tag shape into the otherwise beautiful box and/or leave the very obvious sticky residual on the product for the recipient to remove afterwards themselves.

For some people, it is wise to just leave the price-tag attached as my father once advised. Those are people that cannot be pleased by merely receiving a present as they "price and weigh" your gift thus taking their next step equivalent to what you gave them as reciprocal is key to such relationships. In such cases it is wise just to pretend you 'forgot' to take the expensive label off so that the recipient can value your feeling behind such a pricey gift.

For every sane person here is the real dilemma:
1) To remove or not remove?
2) To carve, cut, scratch or rub off?

What do you do?


  1. Just like you, Marjaan. I've tried all of the tricks you mentioned. I have reached a point where (I know--so tacky) I take a black Sharpie writing marker, and very carefully obliterate the actual price, leaving ay price-tag bar codes untouched. Include a gift receipt, and if the recipient wants to exchange it, the bar code is readable for the store AND it then becomes the store's problem--the same entity that chose to affix that danged price-tag in the first place. Glad to see you putting up a post! :-)

  2. Thanks Teresa! I'm glad to post 'something' too . Finally the writer's block is going away... I'm happy to hear from you too!