HELP...They're taking my signs!!!

I’ve been investing for about 10 months now. Picked up 11 properties (single family) and the “bandit signs” I put out can’t make it 24 hrs on the street corner. Initially they would sit for a week or two but now…haaa!! I’ve read the city ordinance, and yes I can’t do this and must do that but even if I follow the rules, my signs are still disappearing.
I actually had a gentlemen call me and tell me he was with the city and has all of my signs. He would be willing to sell them back to me at $2 a pop!! What the hell?!?!
Can anyone recomend a cost effective way of letting people know I have homes available?
I’ve tried the paper (way too expensive $100 for 3 days) I’ve also tried a “Pick Your Neighbor” campaign. Offered $100 for referrals…no luck. Any Suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Welcome to the wonderful world of bandit signs. ::slight_smile: It sounds like you’re on CAUSS’s radar (! Bottom line (as you know) is that it’s illegal to put that stuff in public easement or on private property without permission. Anyone who chooses to use this method of advertising runs the risk of having this problem; its the price you pay for cheap advertising. The only other suggestion I can give you is to try billboards (which are very cost effective) or make arrangements with private property owners to put signs on their properties. It sounds like you need to allocate more money from the deals you close to advertising to keep your business going. Legal advertising often isn’t cheap, but it does pay for itself in the long run if you plan correctly.



If you’re working within the guidelines then it shouldn’t be the city that’s taking them down. It’s probably sign-haters or realtors.

There are tons of things you can do to keep them up, here are a few:


  1. Put them as high up on poles as possible.
  2. Place them 3 or 4 poles up the street from intersections.

3. Smear petroleum jelly on them, so if someone takes one down they might think twice about what that “slimy stuff” is and leave your other signs alone!
4. Paint the edges with that stuff that’s invisible until it makes contact with human skin, then it stains it red or blue for several days.

5. Place nails and tacks sticking out of them.

6. Set up a security camera to catch the thief.
7. Conduct a stake-out.

Why not consider a legal form of adverting like legitimate businesses do? Posting bandit signs is sleazy and is usually an indication of the character of the individual posting them. I remove those bandit signs in my neighborhood and put them in the garbage at every opportunity because they are unsightly and illegal. Why is it that the Carleton Sheets seminar crowd think they are always above the law?

After reading the replies I’m going to do the following…I’m going to remove 100 bandit signs in my town today.

Buccaneer, if you know of a billboard, newspaper, etc. where I can advertise for $10 and get 100 calls then I’d be happy to do that instead of doing the equivilent with signs.

Oh, I forgot the #1 way to get your signs to stay put. Sign up dozens of houses and put your sign in the yard like realtors do! Very few places prohibit/enforce sign laws on yard signs.

I appreciate the responses so far ( Buccaneer seems to have issues though). I’ve read and followed the law…10 feet from the street, received permission from owners, etc…they still disappear. I even place one of our signs on the corner, “legally,” among about 10 other signs, just to see what would happen. Overnight, our sign disappeared and the other ten…sit right where they were left.

Don’t these people (Buccaneer) understand that we are actually helping the people, the neighborhood, the city!! By not letting homes go to foreclosure, become abandoned or worse, we are increasing their property values and keeping their taxes reasonable?

I’m really looking for a way to show people where the house is and who to call if their interested.

If your sign is disappearing while a pile of others in the same spot stay put then you’re either dealing with a realtor, a competitor, or someone who has something against investors or you personally.

It’s not the city (they would take down all the signs) and it’s not sign-haters (they would also take them all down or deface them).

I think your best bet is to make it unpleasant and/or embarassing for them to continue, by using the vaseline or “red-handed” paint.

There simply is no other way to market your properties that is anywhere near as cost-effective as signs. The closest would be a website, which I hope you have, then use all of your marketing to point people to your site. After awhile you’ll have lots of people going to your site regularly (I have about 3,000 a month) looking for houses to buy.

Once you have some good traffic then you should be able to maintain that with yard signs and the occasional newspaper ad, direct mail or flyer campaign. Then you may be able to get away from “bandit” signs altogether.

It appears that you’ve opened a can of worms on this one! :slight_smile:

Have you thought about printing the city’s ordinance code and the fact that you are complying with it and placing it on the back of your signs? You might want to hint that there “might be” a camera placed where you can see the person holding your signs. Kind of a “Smile, you’re on hidden camera” type of thing. Also, if you’re placing them on private property with the owner’s permission, you might want a written statement about that on the back of your signs. Just something small, in the corner saying, “I’m within the law, don’t take my sign.”

As for the city hall guy who’s holding your signs for ransom, I’d get his name and report him. There’s no way that’s legal. I’m not one to stand by and allow people who think there’s above the law to run over my business.

You have rights just like every other citizen. If you are complying with your code enforcement law, then you have a responsibility to stand up to the creeps who are taking down your signs.

***Note: If you’re placing them in the right-of-way or on private property, then I would expect the signs to come up as well.

I have to agree with DougON about your competition stealing your signs. If yours is the only one vanishing, then you’ve got company. It’s not the city.

Big Cheese