I get asked this question over and over at either our TBREIA meetings, our Wholesale Boot Camp training, and all over social media: Bandit Signs – Are they illegal & do they actually work? That question is tough to answer for multiple reasons. Let’s break it down.
Are they illegal?
Technically they’re not “illegal” in most parts of the country, however, they are usually against city ordinances that prevent “littering”. So what does that mean? It means that if you put out bandit signs in your city you MAY be subject to a fine. I’ve heard of fines as high as $250 per day, per sign! If you’re like me and put out 150 signs a week that could get expensive fast! (150 x $250 = $37,500 per day!) So be prepared to have to answer to someone about putting out that many signs. I haven’t been fined yet and I have a highly recognizable brand/logo in the community (www.1800outfast.com). See the quick tip below to stay off the city’s radar.
Do they work?
YES! Bandit signs are by far the cheapest form of advertising in real estate investing (we’ll dive into the cost and effectiveness of other types of advertising in following blog posts). Bandit signs typically cost around $2 per sign (with the stake) when you order at least 250 of them, and yes you’ll want to order at least 250 of them at a time (we order 1,000 at a time for a better discount) because a couple of things will happen:
1) Your signs will get picked up and thrown away by you COMPETITION! What?! People don’t play nice in the sandbox? Not in our city haha! That’s why, if you can, it’s a good idea to find a way to fasten them to a post or staple them into a wooden pole on the side of the road. You can go to www.signstapler.com to purchase a pre-made sign stapler, or you can go to Home Depot or Lowes and build it yourself. If you’d like a video tutorial on how to create one yourself shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Your signs will get picked up by the city or county code enforcement. This is the most common reason your signs will disappear. Here in Tampa I’ve watched it happen so many times, even on weekends (sometimes). It is literally their job to keep the city clean and free of “litter” and bandit signs do fall into the category of littering especially if they end up on the ground. Again that’s why it’s sometimes best to staple them to poles. You can also use zip ties if your city has upgraded to
I can almost guarantee that you’re not going to jail for putting out bandit signs in your town, but use caution and if you do get caught apologize and say you’ll never put them back there again, go pick up your signs and move them to a different part of town.
**Another quick tip: Always use an untraceable number so that the city code enforcement officers can’t find out who you are. Never advertise that number ANYWHERE online. Use a specific number for bandit signs.**
A few examples