Source tagging is when you add the security device to the product at the point of manufacture, so it arrives at the retail location already secured. Source tagging is an alternative option to in-store tagging (where a store employee adds the security device). 

There are pros and cons to both tagging options. This article will explain in further detail what is source tagging and how to determine when you should source or in-store tag your merchandise. 

What is Source Tagging?

As mentioned above, source tagging is an alternative to in-store tagging. The source tagging process involves the product or packaging manufacturer directly applying the electronic security tag to the item. There is an additional cost for this option; you’ll have to compare the price to in-store tagging to determine if the time saved is worth the money invested. 

Now that you know what is source tagging, here are some products that work great with it:

  • Clothing 
  • Appliances
  • Healthcare items (soaps, shampoos, razors)
  • Home decor items
  • Tech accessories
  • Stationery
  • Computers
  • Shoes
  • Food
  • Liquor and wines 
  • Cosmetics 

Benefits of Source Tagging

Although there is a costly investment, here are some benefits source tagging offers.

  • Merchandise is ready to sell as soon as it arrives 
  • Consistent location for label placement
  • Employees focus on other job responsibilities 
  • Maintains the product’s appearance

What is In-Store Tagging?

In-store tagging is when the store employee directly applies the security device to the merchandise when it arrives at the store. This is usually a more cost-effective option than source tagging since you can reuse many security devices.

In-store tagging works great on these types of products:

  • Boxed items 
  • Cleaning products
  • Clothing 
  • Footwear
  • Luggage 
  • Sporting goods
  • Electronics
  • Liquor and wines 
  • Cosmetics 

Examples of In-Store Security Devices

Benefits of In-Store Tagging

While adding the loss prevention device yourself may take additional time, in-store tagging has other benefits.

  • Reusable devices
  • Custom solutions are available to fit your needs
  • Save money by buying loss prevention devices in bulk
  • Many device designs are easy to apply and remove 

Source Tagging vs. In-Store Tagging

There are benefits to both tagging options; you’ll need to review your business needs and goals to select which is best for you. Below are some different scenarios to help you determine if the source or in-store tagging is best.

Limited Budget

In-Store: Many security devices can be reused on the same or similar sized products, giving you a bigger ‘bang for your buck’.

Source: If you’re looking to protect the same item in large quantity for one big sale, then source tagging might be an affordable option. 

Small Staff of Employees

In-Store: Determine how many items need to be protected. Many loss prevention devices can quickly be added and removed within one minute. 

Source: If you have an overwhelmed staff, tagging at the manufacturer’s site could save you valuable time and money. 

“Testing” Out Different Loss Prevention Tools

In-Store: You can buy various devices in small quantities to “test” out which ones work best for you. 

Source: There is usually a minimum order amount for the manufacturer to place the tag. You’ll have to determine if it meets your budget. 

Need to Protect 100+ Same Items 

In-Store: Manually applied devices may not be the best option unless you have a dedicated employee or team who can do the work. Sweep theft tools are available that don’t require employees to apply the device manually. The Swing Gate is one viable option. 

Source: Typically, the more you order, the more you save, making this the ideal option for protecting large quantities of merchandise. 

Visual Theft Deterrence 

In-Store: Loss prevention devices applied directly to the product is a strong theft deterrence. Especially benefit denial products that threaten to destroy the product if the thief forcibly removes it.

Source: Talk with the manufacturer. Usually, you have the option to place the security tag openly or hidden under a label. 

Still, Need Help? Talk with the Experts 

At Product Protection Solutions (PPS), we work with businesses that use source tagging and in-store tagging options. Our team is familiar with both and can help you determine which choice is right for your goals. Then depending on your need, we can help you find and purchase the loss prevention devices needed for your business! 

We’re here to help you. Contact us with your questions using our online form or calling 866-750-5744.