How To Deal With Sign Ordinances With “Bandit Signs”


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Read Transcript for “How To Deal With Sign Ordinances With “Bandit Signs”

Here are some tips on how to deal with sign ordinances that make your bandit signs hard to put up and keep up.

“Give us some ideas on how to deal with a city that has a strict sign ordinance.” – Thomas Deedle

Joe: One of the things that I teach is to use ‘bandit signs’. The reason they call them bandit signs is because they defy sign ordinances. Around the areas that I work, there are certain areas that I know that if I put out a sign there, it’s going to be gone tomorrow because they have sign police out and they take them and pull them up.

Joe: There are other places that I put them up where they’ll call me and try to find me, and that happens, too. So, you have to be aware of what kind of neighborhood you’re working in. If you call the city, they’ll tell you there’s a sign ordinance, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to enforce the sign ordinance, so test it out where you are.

Joe: Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission. Most of the time, I’ve seen that if they’re going to give you a hard time about the signs, they’re going to call you up and so, you’ll get a call from the police, saying, ‘Please come and take down your signs or we’re going to fine you.’

Joe: If you saturate an area, for example, I had one guy in Wisconsin who put 100 signs up in a very small town and he got fined, but they only charged him for one sign. It cost him $60 and he had to take down the rest of them. If he had left them up, they could have fined him for every single sign, and they could have done that even though he took them down, but most cities aren’t going to do that type of thing. What they do instead is ask you to come and take them down.

Joe: Also, most cities have ordinances that allow you to put signs up during specific times. If you have new construction in your area at all and you look at new construction signs, look for directional signs to the new construction. You’re going to see these signs on the weekend. They’re the little signs that are sticking next to the stop lights. Look for those on the weekend.

Joe: Take a little piece of paper and write on the back of it, ‘Hey, Mister Sign-man: I’m looking for somebody to put signs out for me.’ Stick it to the back of one or a dozen maybe of those signs and you’re going to get a call from the guy who does it, telling you, ‘I charge a dollar to put these signs out and to pick them back up.’

Joe: I’m paying $1.50 right now. I’ve heard of people paying as much as $2.50 to put those signs out and take them down. They put them up on Friday night, take them down on Sunday night and you’re able to get calls off of them during the weekend. It’s a very effective way to do it.

Joe: If you put out 100 signs and it’s costing you $1.50 a week, then it’s costing you $150 a week to put out those 100 signs. You’re also going to lose a certain percentage of those signs even though you have people picking them up and you’re following the ordinances, so be prepared for that expense.

Joe: Still, that’s not a bad advertising cost compared to what it could be if you were doing classified ads. So, use that technique. It works really well. Good luck, Thomas. I hope you enjoy the videos. Take care.

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