Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thrifty Acres: A Price Tag Pet Peeve

Hello! While cruising the Christmas aisle of a local thrift store last week, I spied this:

A package of Noma Easy-Trim Tree Clips: "No More Trouble Trimming Trees" we are informed. The clips were meant to hold strings of lights to Christmas tree branches. Sounds like a good idea, but I was interested in the vintage graphics of the packaging - another goodie to display next month!

I was also interested in the low price of 50c - an especially good bargain when one considers that this particular thrift store has a glass display case plus a shelving unit devoted to vintage goods. Not sure why this Noma package wasn't put in that section of the store, but I'm not complaining - if the staff had done so, it would have been marked higher. 

I did complain, however (and politely, I hasten to add) to the counter clerk about that masking tape price tag on the front of the package. This is a pet peeve of mine, as such tags can be difficult to remove without marring the original packaging. I explained to the clerk that I was buying the item for display, so it would have been better if the price tag had been affixed to the back. 

She immediately agreed and said the folks doing the pricing had been told this in the past, but they didn't always seem to remember such admonishments. I joked that I ought to make a big sign reminding them to please put the price tags in inconspicuous spots. 

Although I hadn't asked her to do so, the clerk began trying to peel the price tag off with her fingernail - bad move, as the cardboard underneath began to peel off with the masking tape. So she stopped that action, I paid for the Noma Easy-Trim Tree Clips and went home. 

Decided to look online to see if there was a recommended tip for removing masking tape from cardboard. On, I learned that a bit of WD-40 or rubbing alcohol could be dabbed on a cotton swab (ie Q-tip)and then applied to the underside of the masking tape - after a small section of the tape had been carefully lifted up. Since that clerk had already peeled up some of the tape, I started at that end of the price tag. I used rubbing alcohol since I figured it'd be less messy to deal with. 

Worked like a charm, as seen below:

No more masking tape price tag, although of course I was left with the bare section of cardboard, courtesy of that clerk trying to be helpful. At least the rest of the cardboard stayed intact, and it'll still be a fun display piece.

Looked on eBay to see if I could learn how old my purchase is- no firm date, but in general sellers seemed to think these had been manufactured in the 1940's or 1950's. That seemed right to me. 

By reading a little further on how to best remove masking tape from cardboard, I learned that some people recommend using a blow dryer to loosen the adhesive. Could try this the next time I come across a poorly-placed price tag on a thrift store purchase - though I hope the message about this practice gets through to those folks doing the pricing!


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