Help Me Get Over My Bandit Sign Jitters

That’s what I kinda thought, but I’ve seen so many people putting up signs on poles around here I didn’t think anyone really cared. I mean, you obviously don’t want to do it right in front of a cop or anything, but around here you see people with homemade gadgets to get signs high on poles. Most of the ones up high are still there…

I’ve been putting up bandit signs for the investor I work for(Now im looking to go out on my own) for almost a year. I live in Atlanta and the counties around me have strict sign laws. So me and partner go out on Thursday nights from about 11p-2-3a and usually put out around 200-250 signs. Now since all these laws are in effect about bandit signs we also go back out on Sunday nights and pick them all up.

ya…ouch. But like everyone else has said once the calls start rolling in(and we get a lot) you won’t worry about it anymore. We do get the occasional fine and have been stopped by police countless times. The worst they’ve ever done is make us pick our signs back up where they saw us put them out for “littering”

…but it’s o.k. for the politicians and lawmakers during
election season.
At least the investors are actually trying to help and
add some value to the community.

If you put out 200 signs on say Friday night and pick them all back up Sunday night/Monday morning. How many calls can you expect to get from sellers?

I know that I would expect to get at least 500 calls from buyers if those were “rent to own” signs. But I’m curious about the response to “we buy houses” signs.

I guess they can do it since they write the laws…jerks.

Code enforcement might take down your signs but they don’t seem to work on the weekends really :slight_smile:

When I started out I was a little nervous too and didn’t want to get in trouble so I would post my signs up Friday evening and take them down early morning.

After a while you start to realize that it just doesn’t matter. They are so cheap who cares what happens when they get taken down.

I know you can be fined for it but I “heard” that if you have a cell phone number on the sign, somehow they can’t track you or something odd. Anyone hear something like this too?

Can’t track you down? All they have to do is pick up the phone and call you! Even if they can’t find your home address (if you have a cash pre-paid cell with no ID). Then all they have to do is pose as a seller and perform a sting on you.

I read in the local paper this week about a sting operation they set up to bust a sign bandit! They followed this guy for months before they finally caught him red handed, halfway up a pole, sign in one hand, plastic ties in the other. I’m sure he is rotting away in jail as we speak.

On a more serious note my elderly neighbor was jacked up yesterday for jaywalking. The cops had her face down and cuffed in the middle of the street. Pretty intense.

Obviously I’m joking, but I thought this was a pretty comical thread so I would throw my two cents in.

GUYS/GIRLS, cut the crap and drama and go put your F’in signs up.

500 calls? that would be a dream.

Generally we’ll get b/w 15-25 calls on Friday b/c of rush hour…and then Sat and Sun maybe 10-15 more will trickle in. These are the “We buy houses” type signs. We also have “lease to own” signs but we only use those in areas where we have a house ready to go.

And to the guy who was talking about putting a cell phone number on the signs…We’ve been using the same number for 2-3 years on our signs b/c the investor I work for is a big advocate of karma coming back to you. But anyways, we got in trouble with code enforcement in one of the counties around here and had to actually go down there. They tracked us down all the way to what make/model of trucks we were using, where our office/warehouse is located, etc. The subject of people changing their phone number every few weeks to avoid this was raised, and this particular county now has an agreement with the phone companies in the area so that they can still get your information. if they want to find you, they will find you.

Yeah I normally get 1 or 2 calls per sign per day for the “rent to own” signs.

So for the “we buy houses” signs you’re looking at about 1 call for every 10 signs.

How many signs do you lose on an average weekend?

Sorry for the 20 questions, I’m just trying to figure out if it’s more cost effective than direct mail. Right now direct mail costs me about $6 per call.

Find out what the downside of bandit signs are BEFORE you put them up. Some cities out here WILL fine you $200 PER SIGN. Of course they have your phone number so they know who you are.

Once you know what the downside is - and are prepared for it - it will be easier to put them up. :deal

San Antonio News

Public opposition to bandit signs has grown to an all-new high as volunteers in dozens of San Antonio neighborhoods prepare for national “SICK OF SIGNS” week. San Antonio’s Code Compliance department wants to get the word out that it is not illegal for public members to pull down bandit signs, otherwise known to sign adversaries as “abandoned trash”,“street spam”, and “vertical litter”.

The American Association of Code Enforcement came up with the plan for “National Sick of Signs Week” as a way to focus attention on illegally placed bandit signs. The first official national SOS campaign kicks off May 19th and continues through May 25th. Other US cities have hosted their own local SOS events in past years and Florida recently held a statewide event. Along with dozens of cities across the country, San Antonio’s Code Compliance department is encouraging neighborhood association members to participate in the campaign by tearing down and tracking numbers of bandit signs.

The San Antonio war against bandit signs started in the summer of 2005 when city council passed ordinance #101020 amending Chapter 28 of the city code. The ordinance put teeth into existing rules and declared that “such signs are abandoned trash that may be discarded without notice to their owners.” Additionally, violators (as determined by information on the signs) may be subject to a fine ranging from $100 to $500 per violation!

Recently the city stepped up its efforts to “bust” bandit sign owners in a “Bandit Sign Busters” sweep. City staff removed more than 620 signs and investigators are filing court action against the businesses advertised in the signs. Code Compliance head, Liz Garcia, is a leader in the bandit sign controversy. “We have had tremendous success in attacking the bandit sign problem. Between July 13th, 2006, and mid-April this year, our records show our staff removed 12,447 bandit signs based on complaints from the public. And we don’t know how many more signs were removed by the public during that period.” It is estimated that from April 2005 to March 2006, volunteers at city-sponsored events tore down 9,000 bandit signs. Hundreds more were pulled down by neighborhood volunteers during that time.

Not only does the 2005 ordinance condone the public removal of bandit signs, but the city also offers training to individuals wishing to volunteer with the Bandit Sign Busters Program. Training includes information about sign regulations and how to safely remove signs.

Additionally, there is an organization called “Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam” or “CAUSS” which is comprised of an informal group of citizens from around the country who want to eliminate bandit signs. Through the web site, supporters exchange information and organize sign removal volunteers. This organization boasts that they have active members in virtually every city in the United States.

Defenders of bandit sign use say that big businesses with large advertising budgets destroy small businesses whose owners cannot afford expensive advertising. For real estate investors, bandit signs get the word out to homeowners that there are non-traditional and immediate solutions to their real estate ownership problems. Bandit signs provide basic target marketing resulting in the renovation of problem properties, enhancement of neighborhood property values, and increased property tax revenue.

In spite of real estate investors’ genuine interest in improving neighborhood housing, the oppositional trend is clear. From Code Compliance and private citizens, to homeowners associations and the AAAE and CAUSS, the use of bandit signs is clearly under serious attack.

fadiz, does that apply to Realtor’s signs too? I’d be happy to clean the neighborhood up of all the realtor yard spam.

Maybe if their living depended on those signs they would see them differently.

Is it illegal to rip down political signs?

Is it illegal for one to rip down the illegal signs of those who make the laws. Is how that should be phrased. :slight_smile:

Probably not, but its ironic in mroe than one way.

Heck yes. I bet if all these whiny websites that promote taking the signs down had to make their money using htese signs they wouldnt have a problem.

And it isnt like they really care about the looks of the signs. Go on and read one of those forums. The way they talk really is disturbing, and I am saying that from a neutral standpoint.

One guy told a story about how he followed a pickup putting out signs, and was so enfuriated he called the cops and then parked and watched the guy get ticketed. He was so happy, he just sat in his truck eating cheetos and was late for night shift work because of it.

I think its more of a “my life sucks, and this is MY town dangit, no sings here!!!” Not “Those signs are ugly and it makes the neighborhood ugly.”

Yeah and a 80’ McDonalds sign makes the neighborhood sparkle?

But what else is Susie supposed to eat on the way to soccer practice??

In my state we get fined $1000 per sign. We’ve paid quite a few of those over the last few years. In one weekend we put out about 200 signs, and we’ll lose between 50-75 every weekend b/w competitors, cities picking them up, homeless people using them for their own…etc.

Hmmm, by my calculations that makes bandit signs less cost-effective than direct mail!