Choosing the right EAS tags

Choosing the right security tag

Selecting the right security tag or label to protect your merchandise comes down to a series of key factors, including the type of merchandise you sell, its value, and the existing electronic article surveillance (EAS) system you have in place.

At, we have tags compatible with radio frequency and acousto magnetic EAS systems, and our tag styles are suited to a wide variety of merchandise, ranging from clothing and fashion accessories to liquor and eyewear.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the features to consider when choosing the right tag for your store.

Your existing system

Your type of electronic article surveillance system determines which type of EAS tags and labels will be required to protect your merchandise.

EAS systems are commonly available in two types; acousto magnetic (AM) and radio frequency (RF) with the difference between the two systems being the frequency at which they operate.

AM systems, such as Sensormatic, will only work with AM compatible tags, while RF antenna like Checkpoint will only work with RF compatible tags.

Merchandise type

The type of merchandise you sell, along with the volume that is sold, also influences which tag or label will be suited to your security needs.

Clothing – Clothing is generally secured using hard security tags which are available in a variety of shapes, with different operating mechanisms and strengths. Each of these factors adds up to improve the security of your items.

Clothing tags comprise three key elements; the tag (which houses the EAS receiver), the pin (which passes through the garment) and the locking mechanism (which secures the pin into place).

More will be explained about the locking mechanism and strength later, but in terms of security, round (shell) tags are often favoured because the shape is harder to prise apart, while the size of the pinhead should also be taken into account.

The larger the pin head, the harder it is to pull through the garment without shoplifters damaging the item and rendering it useless.

Meanwhile, ink dye tags are also commonly used on clothing and can be employed to enhance an EAS tag or instead of electronic article surveillance.

Ink dye tags are a benefit denial strategy that sees permanent ink released into the garment when the tag is tampered with.

Fashion accessories 

When it comes to fashion accessories such as handbags and shoes, they are most often secured using a cable tag or a lanyard and tag, rather than having a pin pass through the actual product.

Lanyards should incorporate high-strength cables that cannot be cut readily or pulled off by a thief. Meanwhile sunglasses can be guarded using purpose-designed optical tags.

Electronic accessories and high value consumables

Electronic accessories and consumables such as batteries and razors are some of the most frequently stolen items within the retail environment. The best ways to secure them include display hook stop locks, and multi-function tags.


Whether it’s top-shelf liquor, or a rare bottle of red, there is a range of tags designed specifically for liquor bottles, with straps, caps and secure locks available.

Small items 

For small items like groceries or hardware which tend to be sold in high volumes, adhesive security labels are the best option due to their affordability and disposability. However, you will need to factor in whether flat, paper-thin labels are preferred or small two-dimensional labels.

It’s worth noting that pharmaceuticals often have a high foil content, so AM based systems are better suited to their security.

Level of security

The locking mechanism that secures the pin into the tag determines how easy it is to force a tag apart and remove it.

This locking mechanism can either be mechanical or magnetic. In terms of magnetic locking mechanisms, they come in a variety of strengths, with the latest technology boasting almost impenetrable security.

Magnetic strength falls into the following classes:

  • Standard – Featuring a standard strength magnet, this option remains popular with legacy systems but has the greatest potential to be circumvented by thieves.
  • SuperLock – Using a high-powered magnet often more than double the strength of standard magnets, tags of this grade provide increased resistance against illicit removal.
  • HyperLock – Unlocked using a combination of multiple high-powered magnets arranged into a single detacher body. HyperLock is available in tags such as the BossTag range.
  • HyperLock offers extra security as detachers are difficult for would-be criminals to manufacture, source and carry around.

Further questions?

If you have further questions about which security tags or labels are best suited to your retail environment, our staff are available to assist and can be contacted here.