Beside the barcode/ISBN, if there is a triangle with an ‘S’ inside of it, this means the book is ‘strippable’ for returns.
Literally, we strip off and return the front and back covers (showing the barcode and triangle S).
Books should be recycled after the covers have been stripped off. It is illegal to buy or re-sell books without covers.
Usually, the triangle S is found only on mass-market format books.
Mass-market (or MM binding format in Winprism):
They have smaller print, shorter trim size (usually 4”x7”), cheaper paper and are the least expensive print format.
Usually found in airport stores or supermarkets as impulse buys. (pocket books)
They’re ‘strippable’ because they have little retail value to warrant shipping and handling back and forth.
The publisher wants to receive the covers to ensure we don’t attempt to re-sell books we’ve already received credit for.
Textbooks have used a few different MM titles (usually popular authors) ie; Neil Gaiman or Tolkien.
Final note: No S means no strip!
An empty triangle means the whole book goes back.