Stop Ruining My Books With Your Inventory System!

I ordered a copy of Ex Machina from Amazon (a terrific comic about the first superhero mayor of New York City but that’s beside the point) and when it came I found that someone had stuck one of those permanent RFID tags in the middle of the book. It was placed just right so it covered part of a panel and right on the spine. So I got covered up art and the tag pushing apart the binding. Naturally I complained and Amazon gave me an exchange.

The new copy arrived today and the problem is worse.

I want to skin whoever is responsible for this decision, use that skin to make books of indescribable evil, and then stick RFID tags over the pictures.

It’s adhered to the page? That is amazingly dumb of them.

Yep. I can tear the page, live with it, or return it.

I’ve never had a problem with the tags tearing the paper in the books I’ve ordered from Amazon. Have you tried removing it? If you go slowly, it should come free without damaging the page.

Well I pulled at it and was mangling the page but you did give me an idea since I could get an easy grip on this tag (as opposed to the one wedged into the binding). I took a hairdrier to the opposite side of the page and that loosened the glue enough that I could get it off. It doesn’t change my complaint, though.

Why does a book in a warehouse need an RFID tag? Haven’t they got barcodes?

Never mind —

I was under the impression that the RFID tag would be able to set off security alarms in the event that the product decided to “grow legs” and follow someone home…

Is this not a feature of RFID tags?

It is… but why do they need one in a warehouse.


Also, if I heard those radio commercials about correctly, all those years ago, they don’t necessarily store their inventory in their own warehouses; rather they have arrangements in place with other providers (perhaps such as bookstores) who do have their own shelf space, who then ship the product to the customer, using Amazon’s packaging and shipping accounts.

Come to think of it, if I was a bookstore operator with such an arrangement, I might want RFID tags around, to distinguish my store’s inventory from what I was holding onto for Amazon.

All of the above is WAG, btw.

It’s not an RFID tag…Although those are manufactured in a similar form-factor by the same company. It’s a Sensormatic Electronic Article Surveillance Label. It only controls for theft, not for inventory, and why it was actually stuck to the middle of a page is utterly beyond me.

Yeah, given that my book was new from the warehouse I think it was an RFID for inventory rather than than one of those anti-shoplifting tags.

I’d tend to agree with Grither. When I worked at Zellers, the higher-uppers would just give us oodles of those little tags, attached together in a spool. There was no programming required, and we didn’t have to stick them on specific items.

This is most likely why you were stuck with a misplaced tag… temp warehouse workers make the lousiest employees…

Retailers can order goods with the tags already added by the manufacturers. Hence the tags will be there throughout the whole supply chain. It is called source tagging.

The manufacturer often supplies them installed as a matter of course. That saves the retailer having to do it.

Jesus. Am I just lucky that I’ve never seen one of those fucking things stuck in a book? CDs and DVDs, sure, but never on the pages of a book. The OP is right to be pissed, this is outrageous.

I’ve bought several books that had them stuck in there. I think mostly from real book stores, not online stores. I’ve never had any problem pulling them off, I just stick my fingernail under and pull up, and they come right off. Never has ripped or messed up a page, and never left any glue or residue behind.

It is still annoying, and I never understood why they would be in there, but it’s a very temporary annoyance.

You must read books with remarkably durable pages. Every book I’ve bought with this problem tears horribly if I try to remove the tag. Easily removeable tags would defeat the purpose of defeating the shoplifter. This makes me so pissed too! Sometimes those damn things are placed so that they obscure parts of a whole paragraph. They suck.

I sometimes find anti-theft RFID tags in books from Chapters, but they are this kind, and are just slipped in between the pages with the backing still on, so they don’t stick to the page and are easily removed. Your example is just brain dead.

It feels like someone who doesn’t read is sticking these things in there, to be honest - a sort of ignorant disrespect. I have way relaxed on what you do with a book once you own it, but a brand new book I get should be inviolate.