Everything you need to know about security labels

by Charlotte Aksenchuk on March 28, 2022

EAS tags and labels offer a variety of benefits when protecting your product against theft and shoplifters. EAS products are used by over 81% of US retailers, leading to an approximate 60 to 80% decrease in theft from external sources.  

With a variety of options to choose from, it may seem like a daunting task to choose the correct label or EAS products for your store. This post will go over when choosing an EAS label over a security tag, such as spider wraps, pencil tags, or tamper-resistant tags.  

What is the difference?  

EAS labels and tags both work on the same premise — a receiver is housed inside the tag or label, and when the tag or label comes into proximity of the antenna (usually a gate at the entrance and exit of the store), it makes the gate alarm, notifying the employees that theft is being attempted. Some EAS products such as tags are a less discreet way to monitor these goods, while labels are a perfect discreet way to monitor when a theft is taking place. Labels are perfect for goods with a high volume and can be lower in value.  

At the checkout, labels are deactivated, while tags are removed. The label deactivator breaks the circuit, to not be detected by the antenna.  

Labels are highly affordable EAS options, and only single-use, while tags are more expensive but reusable for years.  

You may still be wondering when to choose labels over tags...  

When the product is high-volume, and low value 

Since labels are deactivated, they are best suited for high-volume items, such as non-perishable groceries, or pre-packaged goods, such as meat and cheese. The label ensures the product remains protected but can be deactivated as part of the checkout process.  

When a hard tag is unable to accommodate the product  

Security tags come in a variety of shapes, sizes and frequencies, for many uses. While security tags can accommodate a large range of products, labels are better suited for specific products. Labels can be used to protect cosmetic products, books, CDs, perfumes, and electronic accessories such as lower value cables, cords and headphones.  

Types of labels 

Security labels generally come in two different frequencies, RF or AM. Knowing which frequency to choose based on the security system you own can ensure lower rates of shrinkage.  

40mm round Security Label used by retailers to protect merchandise from shoplifting and theft. has fake barcode on it and has circuit to generate 8.2MHz RF signal for EAS equipment

RF Frequency 

RF labels are typically paper-based and can be printed on – such as barcodes. Retail stores that sell high volumes of hard goods, such as home stores, discount stores, or grocery stores are best suited for RF labels. While RF labels are a great solution to prevent shrinkage, caution must be exercised, when placing labels on or around products with metallic or foil packaging, as these materials can decrease the effectiveness of detection for the antenna.  

Security Label used by retailers to protect merchandise from shoplifting and theft. Decoy barcode on one side and other side has circuit to generate 58KHz RF signal for EAS equipment

AM Frequency 

AM Labels are usually plastic-based and have a raised profile, where the circuit is kept. This frequency and type of labels provide higher detection compared to RF labels when used on products with metallic and foil packaging. These labels are best suited for stores such as drug stores, electronic retailers such as cell phone stores, hardware outlets such as home-improvement stores, and cosmetic stores, all due to the nature of the products being sold.  

While either frequency may seem like a great fit for your products, these labels are rendered unusable if they do not match the frequency of the antenna you have in your store. INEO Products offers custom starter packages for clothing stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores in either AM or RF technology. To learn more about these custom starter packages, click here.  

If you are unsure where to start when selecting a frequency or label type, please contact INEO’s Online Customer Support Team, through an email to APannu@ineosolutionsinc.com, or a phone call to 1-833-244-1895.