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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
Irked with Borders
My friend kikotei's recent problem with Borders has reminded me of my own little ongoing feud with them about the damned annoying adhesive security tages they've started placing in the manga books.

Now I understand why those books would be a target for shoplifting, and I don't mind security tags, per se. But why the hell do they have to pick sticky adhesive tags and attach them to the interior pages of the book?

After damaging one or two of my newly purchased manga trying to get those damn things out -- as soon as possible because those pesky tags have a nasty tendency to weld themselves to the pages if you leave them in place, not to mention making the books difficult to read and stack because of their bulk -- I finally started to make the salesclerks at Borders remove them for me.

The typical conversation -- say, 6-7 out of 10 times -- goes as follows:

Salesclerk: I don't need to remove the tag. I've already deactivated it.
Hydra: I want you to remove the actual tag, thank you.

Saleclerk: But I can't find it. ::staring stupidly at manga::
Hydra: It's that blatantly obvious lump smack in the middle of the book. ::instantly locates tag::

Salesclerk: Oh, but I'm afraid of ripping the page!
Hydra: ::very toothy grin:: That's why I want YOU to remove it, not me.

Salesclerk: But....
Hydra: ::calmly looks prepared to stand there blocking the register until salesclerk complies::

I figure that if the saleclerk screws up, I can just get another copy off the shelf or otherwise get credit for it right away. After all, I'm not paying ten bucks for a book that I might be forced to damage because of their poor choice of security device. If Borders insists upon using these types of tags in manga, on paper that are can easily be damaged, then the store has a responsibility to remove the tags and ensure that the customer gets an undamaged product! ::huff::

-- Addendum (3/1/2006) --
I don't mean to say that I object to Borders using security tags to prevent shoplifting. Given the price of most manga versus their relatively compact size, I do understand that why the bookstores feel a need to prevent theft. I just think they need to come up with a better method or security device -- one that doesn't risk damaging the book when removed.

Or they should at least make it a standard store policy to remove the tags for the customer when purchased, just like when purchases a CD/DVD in those security cases or buying clothing with security tags, instead of making the customer ask (and sometimes argue) about it every single time.
13 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
mukanshin From: mukanshin Date: February 22nd, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn straight!
spacehussy From: spacehussy Date: February 22nd, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is brilliant! XD

When I picked up a copy of FMA the other day, the security device fell out when I got to the middle of the book. Either they're learning that adhesives -> STUPID, or I just got lucky O:
ryvian From: ryvian Date: February 22nd, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that's such an impractical place to put a security device. Whoever thought of that needs to be fired.
yashahime From: yashahime Date: February 23rd, 2006 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
When I worked at a library, they told me NOT to put it on the covers because that makes it too easy to find and remove and thus makes it not as, you know, secure. I think it's annoying, but at least that could explain why they're there. And that is why I mail-order all my manga.
kotoshin From: kotoshin Date: February 23rd, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
My local bookstores are wise.

The franchises tack the sticky security tags still ON their sticker and stick them RANDOMLY inside the books. (They do the same with hardcover books, not just manga)

In the case of manga, they SOMETIMES shrinkwrap eet so you can't stand and read in the bookstore.

The smaller owner-operation of manga/cards/comics stores don't even bother. XDDD
From: beefbowl Date: February 23rd, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is a very good idea... I don't think I'd have the guts to question the man like that. I'd probably just go home and cry. ;_;
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 27th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

I couldn't agree more!

I've had the same thing with the stupid little tags happen to me. Only I wasn't smart enough to come up with the idea of having the sales clerk remove it for me *Sigh*.

Ciao XP
redcrest From: redcrest Date: February 28th, 2006 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
LoL, that's fantastic! I don't think there's a better way to draw the management's attention to what a STUPID idea it is to stick those security tags to the actual PAGES of a manga (wait for real?! That's ridiculous!). Haven't bought manga at Borders in awhile (then again, haven't been in America for awhile ^^;;; ), so I don't know if it's a widespread practice, but really-- the teeniest smidgen of common sense would keep you from doing such a thing, wouldn't it? =__= *sigh* And I had such a high opinion of Borders, too (for having such a well-stocked manga section). I guess big industry's discounted prices come with a different kind of price to pay...
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 1st, 2006 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Can't speak for the Borders you frequent, but on the assumption their organization is akin to that at the one I work for, if all the manga suddenly got tagged with the little chicklets, that means that on their last inventory count, manga was one of their three highest loss areas. In dollars, not in numbers.

Tis the case in our store, where it's number two, right ahead of books about computers. Which average at about $50 per book. We lost thousands last year in stolen manga, and I still find several chicklets stuck to the undersides of shelves every day, so the things are only slowing it down, not preventing it. So there's your reason: when they can't be easilly seen, they're harder to remove without being obvious.

Good idea with asking the sales clerk about it, though; it's what I'd do for a customer who was concerned about the bloody things. (Think getting them out's hard, try getting them in without breaking the book's spine.) But if it really bothers you, I would try to talk to someone much higher up the food chain than anyone *in* the store; our general manager thinks it's an assinine policy, but has no authority to change it.
akane2040 From: akane2040 Date: March 1st, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reading this entry makes me appreciative of my fellow employees at the World's Biggest Book Store (in Canada, eh!) of the placing the security tag with backing attached inside the book and then sealing it in plastic wrap. Usually I try to pick up the latest issues at a couple of local comic shops but for back issues... WBB does the trick nicely.

a fan of lovemode and tiger claw *Which is how I stumbled upon your blog...*
kotoshin From: kotoshin Date: March 3rd, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
.... OMG, you're here in TORONTO and working at WBB?

.... by chance, are you going to Anime North 2006? :D *planning to put up an artist alley table with baby sis & friends*
akane2040 From: akane2040 Date: March 3rd, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I work at Coles but Indigo, Chapters, Coles/Smithbooks, and the WBB are owned by Heather and Indigo Inc. And yes I am attending AN this year. Let me know the name of your booth and I will definitely pass by.
kotoshin From: kotoshin Date: March 4th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Time & Tide will be our circle name, and we're booking as soon as AN06 gets off its ass and actually update with artist-alley info. :O

You're in luck if you like obscure/cultish videogame art - babysis specializes/LOVES/plays such games, like Valkyrie Profile, Shadow Hearts (although she's miffed it's becoming more 'mainstream' and known), and Star Ocean: the Second Story.

And since there's gonna be a MILLION and one other people doing stuff like Death Note and Naruto, we're not gonna bother. :D

(I do, however, have stockpiles of Monster World themed YGO! bookmarks to unload ...)
13 hisses or Hiss in my ear....