One sticker after another


In an effort to use up a gift card from a well-known but rather stodgy retailer, I picked out a somewhat random assortment of items and headed to the checkout area. After tallying up my purchases and asking for payment, the clerk proceeded to put a price tag-sized sticker on the bottom of each item. What purpose, I wondered, could these additional stickers possibly serve?

As it turns out, the stickers contained special barcodes to be used when processing returns and exchanges. That’s all fine and good, but don’t they realize that customers hate removing stickers from products? No matter which method you use, most stickers leave some sort of pesky residue behind. Adding yet another sticker to every item is a surefire recipe for unhappy customers.

Instead of plastering each product with a return sticker that’s hard to remove, retailers should consider customer-friendly alternatives. Granted, I’m not up to speed on the exciting world of permanent and semi-permanent adhesives. But it’s pretty clear to me that better solutions aren’t exactly rocket science. For instance, a piece of paper and transparent tape would work a lot better than the crude stickers that I came across, thus saving customers a small but significant amount of aggravation for every product they buy.