How To Remove Target Security Tag

How To Remove Target Security Tag


Security tags are (usually) small devices attached to commodities in order to discourage thieves –particularly shoplifters –from stealing the commodities. These small security-aiding devices are commonly used by retail stores.

Why these tags work for security purposes is that they are so strongly attached to merchandise that it’s difficult to pull them off the merchandise with mere hands. One would likely need a screwdriver or a some other special tool in order to remove security tags from the merchandise.

Target is one of the merchandise stores that attach security tags to their products. With this, it’s a forgone conclusion that if you go shopping at Target and you pick up one of the store’s products (such as a piece of clothing), you’ll find a red-colored security tag somewhere around it.

If you ever think it’s impossible to get Target’s security tag off your clothing without partly ripping the clothing, this post is likely the ideal content that would make you rethink. In this post, we’ll show you how you can use various tools in removing Target’s security tag from your clothing without ripping it.


Four Crucial Reasons Why Target Uses Security Tags

Target is one of the best places where you can purchase a broad variety of commodities at relatively low costs. It’s a well-patronized merchandise store which not only caters to dozens of customers but also strongly prioritizes the security of its merchandise. This is one of the reasons you’re certain to find security tags on all the articles of trade at Target.

Since security tags readily serve as devices that help deter those intending to shoplift, it’s unsurprising to find such tags on Target’s merchandise. And if you always found these tags on Target’s clothing while patronizing the merchandise store, you might want to know why Target uses such security devices.

Well, we’d like to discuss four of the crucial reasons why Target’s merchandise bears security tags.

Prevention of (Avoidable) Merchandise Loss

Merchandise loss can occur in various ways, and one of those ways is to lose the merchandise to shoplifters. Some cases of merchandise loss may look understandably inevitable.


However, losing merchandise to shoplifters is a case of avoidable loss since security measures –including use of security tags –can help prevent the loss. Target understands this really well and so, the merchandise store prioritizes use of security tags for all its merchandise.

Security tags are designed to give a beep –as a sort of alarm –indicating that somebody hasn’t paid for the merchandise they’re about to take out of a store. It’s therefore a predictable outcome that serial shoplifters would consider it unsafe to shoplift at Target. Since they can hardly get away with any of the store’s merchandise, they’d likely want to ply their shoplifting elsewhere. Ultimately, this has the advantage of helping the store avoid merchandise loss.

Helping to Keep Thieves Away

This is understandably the chief reason why devices like security tags really prove useful. Target understands that if such devices are placed on its merchandise, they would discourage thieves from shoplifting the merchandise.

If an ignorant shoplifter picks up Target’s commodity and tries to make away with it, the security tag attached to the commodity would give a sound. This way, the ignorant shoplifter would be caught.


If, in a different instance, the shoplifter is aware that the commodity has a security tag but still intends to steal it, they might want to remove the tag. However, Target’s security tags are not some loose devices that anyone can quickly pluck off Target’s merchandise by mere use of the hands.

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Even if equipped with a sharp object such as a screwdriver, the shoplifter would still have to exert some energy and spend a couple of seconds, trying to pry the security tag off the merchandise. It’s more than likely that the shoplifter would be caught while trying to remove the security tag.

Use of Security Tags Indirectly Protects Customers

Target’s use of security tags does have its own way of protecting customers. The fact that you can’t make away with the Target commodity you haven’t paid for is enough to discourage thieves –especially shoplifters –from lurking around Target.

If shoplifters, pickpockets and other breeds of thieves hardly visit a particular merchandise store, the customers of that store should be able to shop with a high assurance of safety.

It Helps Save Cost Indirectly

Since avoidance of merchandise loss constitutes the reasons why Target uses security tags, it’s pretty safe to argue that use of security tags saves cost indirectly.

Target’s commodities bear security tags, meaning that it’s difficult for shoplifters to make away with any of them. In the long run, this helps prevent merchandise loss. When a store doesn’t lose its merchandise to shoplifters, the store would have to replace only its sold merchandise with new merchandise; the store wouldn’t be under pressure to replace stolen goods with new ones.

Are Customers Allowed to Remove Target’s Security Tags?

Removing Target’s security tag is illegal only if it’s certain that you haven’t paid for the commodity you removed the tag from. Meanwhile, Target maintains a policy that recommends a permanent ban for any customer who removes the security tag on its merchandise prior to purchase.

It’s however worthy of note that a customer at Target might not suffer any ban if it’s very clear that they didn’t intentionally remove the tag. The bottom line is that you’ll be permanently banned from Target if you’re found (intentionally) removing the security tag on a Target-owned commodity you are yet to pay for.

If you remove the security tag of Target’s commodity without first paying for the commodity, you may be thought to have committed shoplifting, as per provisions of state laws. Though some stores might not impose strict policies or recommend stringent punishments for customers caught to have pulled security tags off the stores’ merchandise without first making payment, Target frowns upon this act and might permanently ban anyone found guilty.

Removal of Target’s Security Tag from Your Clothing –How’s It Done?

While there are several innovative ways in which you can rid your new clothing of Target’s security tag, what matters most is being able to remove the tag without leaving any damage on your clothing.

There are a pretty number of objects –such as pliers, tweezers, screwdriver, scissors, etc. –that you can use in removing Target’s security tag. But to avoid ending up with torn clothing, you should exercise a lot of caution while using any of the objects.

Removing Target’s security tag using a screwdriver

The screwdriver is one of the objects that make it pretty easy to pull Target’s security tag off your new clothing. We recommend that you use a flat-headed screwdriver in this regard.

When you’re able to locate the red-colored security tag on the clothing you purchased from Target, you’ll notice that the tag has an opening. Grab your flat-headed screwdriver and fit it into this opening, making sure the tip of the screwdriver appears on the other end of the security tag. Also, ensure the screwdriver firmly grips the security tag.

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Then grab the handle of the screwdriver and gently hit one side of the tag against a wooden table or any similar hard object. This way, the tag should easily separate from your clothing without wreaking any damage on it.


Removing Target’s security tag using scissors

Using a pair of scissors could be the easiest way to free Target’s security tag from your clothing, but if care isn’t taken, you might end up using the scissors to slightly rip the clothing.

To remove Target’s security tag with a scissors, get a good pair of scissors. Since you’ll need to pull the security tag apart, you may place the scissors at the mouth (tip) of the tag and start cutting through till you’re able to split the tag. This would also help detach the tag’s small metal pin from one half of the tag without ripping your clothing.

How about using pliers?

If you’re really good at using pliers to prise closely-fitted objects, you may simply arm yourself with a pair of needle-nose pliers while attempting to remove Target’s security tag.

Grab the handle of the pliers with one hand and hold your clothing with the other hand. Then use the pliers to pull the security tag apart. A pair of pliers would really help rid your clothing of Target’s tag, but the downside here is that it could be risky if you aren’t just good at using pliers; you might end up partly ripping your clothing.

How about using a string?

A screwdriver, (a pair of) scissors and (a pair of) pliers are seemingly some of the best objects for detaching Target’s security tag from your clothing.

But if none of those objects are within your reach, you can opt for a sturdy string as an alternative object. Simply pass one end of the string through the tag’s opening and fasten around the tag.

Ensure it’s well fastened around the tag so that by the time you stretch the other end of the string taut, the security tag would be forced to pull apart. Importantly, make sure you hold on to one side of the security tag with your left hand while stretching taut the string’s other end with your right hand. This is in order to prevent your clothing from tearing by the time the tag eventually splits.


Does a knife work for removing the tags?

A knife –advisably a small one –is part of the sharp objects you can use in removing Target’s security tag. If none of the rather safe-to-use objects are at your disposal, you might just have to go with a sharp (small) knife.

Grab the small knife, place its edge in the middle of the security tag and start cutting. Rather than just position it anywhere, ensure the knife’s edge is placed on the tiny line that divides the tag into two halves. This way, you’ll be able to quickly split the tag. While using the small knife to cut through the middle of the tag, ensure you hold your clothing apart, probably using your left hand.

During the cutting, always ensure the tip of your clothing isn’t stuck in the security tag. This is to prevent your clothing from ripping by the time you’re done cutting apart the security tag with your small knife.

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Removing Target’s security tag using a nail file

A nail file is one of the objects with very low, if not zero, risk of leaving your clothing ripped after removing Target’s security tag from it. In other words, it’s very safe to use a nail file in detaching the security tag from the clothing you bought at Target.

Why a nail file should work for this purpose is that Target’s security tag comprises two not-too-hard plastic strips held together by a small metal pin. So, the nail file can be used in pulling the (two) plastic strips apart. The only awkward thing about this is that you’d have to be patient as the nail file gradually thins out the security tag.

Rather than position the nail file just anywhere, simply place it on the tiny line between the tag’s two plastic strips. This way, it shouldn’t take you much longer to split the tag.

How about using a safety pin?

This is probably not one of the best ways to rid your Target’s clothing of its security tag. But if the safety pin is the only usable object at your disposal while attempting to remove the tag, we advise that you exercise a lot of caution so that you don’t injure yourself.

To use the safety pin, fit its sharp tip into the middle of the security tag. Begin to forcefully drag the pin until the security tag becomes loose. It’s at this point that you can carefully use your hands to break up the tag without ripping your clothing.



What Is the Best Way to Remove Target’s Security Tag?

While some people claim that using a magnetic tag remover is the best –or perhaps easiest –way to remove Target’s security tag, we can’t exactly tell which removal method is the best. Our verdict is that if you don’t have a magnetic tag remover, endeavor to use any of the earlier-recommended tools at your disposal.

Is It Hard to Remove Target’s Security Tag?

You may find it difficult to remove Target’s security tag from your clothing if you ever think you can do the removal with mere hands. And if care is not taken, you might injure yourself or cause damage to the clothing.

Nonetheless, removing the security tag of your Target clothing shouldn’t prove any hard except you aren’t using the right tool or do not know how to use a particular tool. We strongly believe that you’ll make success with any of the tools recommended earlier in this post.


We are very sure that some, if not all, of the tools recommended in this post will help you easily free your clothing of Target’s security tag. If you carefully read our explanation on how to use each of the recommended tools, you should be able to decide which tool is best for you.


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