Bandit Signs

Bandit Signs: Sorry to take it down. Stop It!

Scott Costello All, Blog, Featured, Marketing 15 Comments

Bandit SignsThis is a first post in a series about my bandit sign hanging experiences and tips.  

This past weekend my partner and I went out at our usual 5:30am to hang bandit sign.  We’ve pretty much retired the stakes and the staples for nails and zips.  They seem to be working out better.  The only draw back is you need a few more tools and it takes a little longer to hang each sign.  All worth it though if they stay up longer right?

Most of our signs are all in the proximity of the main town, bit there is this one particular spot that is 20 minutes away from our main area.  That is a 40 minute round trip!  On the ride back from this time, my partner and I actually had one of those “no da” thoughts, why were we spending so much time hanging this one sign?   The way it always worked was we’d be just about finished with our main area and one of us would say, “We’ve got a few signs left (or some extra time), lets drive out to that spot and put them up.”   So we would go…

If I can remember correctly, the first time we ever put a sign in this location we got a call from it but I don’t think we have gotten one since.  You get one call from a sign, might as well keep it going is what we thought.  Low and behold, we got another call from this sign this morning!!  It said and I google quote it…

“I’d appreciate it if you would stop putting signs on ****** st.  Sorry to take it down. Stop It! Or i’ll press charges”

Turns out there was a good reason we never got any more calls from that sign, because this dude was taking them down as soon as we put them up.  I guess now we don’t have to come up with a game plan for making our time more productive in order to hang a sign in the spot anymore!

Would you stop hanging signs in that spot because one person had a problem with it?  To be honest what kind of charges could this guy press?



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Scott Costello

Scott is a part time wholesaler, but full time real estate investing addict! As his family grows and his free time shrinks,He has been slowing building his wholesaling business over the past 7 years in between life events.Drive, dedication and never giving up are his strengths.
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Comments 15

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  1. I agree with Sharon. What size bandit sign were you using in this spot? If using a larger sign, perhaps this disgruntled guy would be willing to tolerate a smaller sign? I dunno … some people are overly sensitive.

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  2. You’re probably right Scott … I was just thinking out loud so to speak.
    Are you having success with this bandit sign campaign though overall? How would you compare it in terms of lead-generation to your direct mail? I know it’s comparing an indirect form of form of marketing to a direct form, but I’m just curious.

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      We don’t hang a lot a bandit signs compared to how many letters I send out, so it’s tough to compare the two in that regard. The signs do bring in some calls, but we haven’t gotten a deal from them yet.

  3. Scott –
    Are the signs legal? If not, aren’t you doing your business and reputation more harm than good by doing it? I’m a firm believer that bandit signs – even where legal – are a nuisance to our neighborhoods and are one of the reasons why investors have a bad reputation.

    Some people certainly find value in their use, but that’s not the way I want to run my business.

    Just my $0.02

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      You do bring up a great point and one to be honest that I never thought about. Legality is a fuzzy mess when it comes to bandit signs. Is it illegal for me to hang them but not the hoards of politicians who put 1000’s of them up? I’m not trying to argue here just verbalizing my frustrations with double standards in regards to bandit signs.

      Going back to your other concerns for bandit signs, I do agree they are ugly and I wouldn’t want one around my house. Something for me to think about because I always try and live my life with the mantra…”treat others as you would want to be treated”.

      1. Scott –
        Are the politicians putting up signs for their campaigns or are their supporters? I’m going to guess we’re talking about the supporters.

        That said, I appreciate your feedback and do believe in the same mantra. The bottom line to me is that 1) they are mostly illegal, 2) they are unsightly and used to target the poor, littering these neighborhoods (try and find one in an upper class neighborhood — not going to happen for obvious reasons) 3) if you have to put a phone number that is untraceable on your marketing materials because they can get you in trouble, I think you really need to think harder about why you’re using these.

        Bottom line . . . I’m definitely not a fan. Thanks for your response to my opinion, which happens to be wildly unpopular amongst many in the industry, sadly.

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          I can absolutely respect your thinking Josh. Every investor that I’ve ever talked to has always seemed to have little problem with bandit signs so your opinion is nice to have. It gets us all thinking differently.

          To me whether it’s the actually politicians putting up the signs or their supporters it’s all the same. The politicians know it goes on and they gladly reap the benefits of them. Just my 2cents on that.

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  5. I’ve been taking down bandit signs now for about 13 years and I estimate that I have removed around 5000 signs. I will not stop. I’ve been told by by some people that only code compliance officers can take the signs down. I laughed at them and gave them the phone number to call and complain.

    Bandit signs are no different than the any other litter you see strewn along the streets. As a citizen of your community you have every right to pick up trash from the roadside, the right of way or on traffic signs or utility poles. Once the spammer nails that sign to the pole or sticks it in the ground it is classified as abandoned trash and can be removed by anyone who cares enough about the community to do so.

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