Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Tim (CT)

Posted by Tim (CT) on April 04, 2002 at 06:58:34:

I’ve never heard of anything called a ‘county courthouse’ in Connecticut (not that one doesn’t exist). I’ll check around though. It might be a terminology issue. We have a ‘District courthouse’. Maybe that’s it. I know we also have the city or town courthouses.

I just created my delinquent taxpayer letters last night from information I got at the assessors office. Hope they get me some leads!!

Thanks Phil.


Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Tim (CT)

Posted by Tim (CT) on April 02, 2002 at 14:45:28:

I have a question about flyers, postcards and mailboxes. I am in the process of trying to figure out how I’m going to get my message out (i.e. ‘We buy houses…’). I have an ad running in my local paper (no leads yet (1 week) but early) and I also want to do a saturation mailing. Now, I called the local post office and tried to get some rate information from them but it seems overly complicated and much work. I don’t have any problem going this route but only if it’s the last resort. Also, the bandit signs are tough for me because I barely have them up a day and I get flack from local officials telling me to take them down.

What kind of issues have people run into when delivering flyers, postcards or business cards to mailboxes? I know this kind of practice is technically illegal but so is jaywalking!! My thought was to either put flyers between the flag and the actual mailbox or to just put the postcard and/or the business card directly in the mailbox. Now, I’ve gotten these before from landscapers and remodelers and such but I just don’t know if the risk is worth it. I can’t imagine that the postal delivery people really care about a postcard or a business card in the mailbox, as long as they can get the mail into the box without stuffing it in because your stuff is there.

Any ideas? My guess is that it’s at least worth trying to see what kind of flack I get (either from homeowners or the post office). But, my thought is that at least I get my message directly to the homeowner without the local officials beating down my door and threatening to fine me because they see a ‘bandit sign’ posted somewhere.

One other thing, I read a post here in the archives that say to put out bandit signs but don’t do the professional looking ones that you buy from the bandit sign web sites (sorry, David). Actually write up the flyer yourself on an 8 1/2 X 11 peice of paper and copy it on bright green or yellow paper and put these up on telephone poles. They’ll be more conspicuous to the local officials eye because they’ll look like just another ‘tag sale’ flyer but you’ll still get your message out to the people. Also, what about putting them on car windshields under the wipers at local mall parking lots. Is this a big-time no-no!!

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on April 02, 2002 at 21:21:37:

I agree alot with Joe Kaiser about targeting people. If you want to send out a zillion postcards or hang flyers on mailboxes, windshields, etc. that’s all fine and dandy.

How about spending 4 hours on a Saturday morning doorknocking instead. Get a list of the people in default on their mortgages ($100 a month for me to have somebody else professionally do this) and bang on their door. Can you say motivated sellers??? Sure it takes some guts and lots of them will tell you to get lost or that they have it all taken care of, but many will want more info and will tell you there whole life story. I’ve sat down at kitchen tables with people in foreclosure and had them bring out a whole file of 50 letters from investors, attorneys, lenders, etc. that were bugging them about their foreclosure. But how many of those guys dared to knock on their door, just me.

Why bother? - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on April 02, 2002 at 17:48:58:

If you took that same time and energy to figure out the workings of your county courthouse, instead of TPing the town, you would end up with REAL leads that are a hundred times more likely to make you a deal.

That’s where I’d put my energies.

I’d be willing to bet that more money is spent on “marketing campaigns” then is made by most of the newbie investors paying for this sort of advertising.

I think it’s a Legrand thing . . . at least that’s the first time I remember this sort of marketing being taught.

It’s really really simple . . . you can spend of a lot of money splashing your message all over town in hopes a motivated seller will find you, or, you can go find motivated sellers yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I still send lots and lots of mail, but it’s targeted, it’s got a name on it, I know why I’m sending it and I?m not just out killing more trees.

Save your money, save a tree . . . and go figure out your courthouse.


Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Bruce IL

Posted by Bruce IL on April 02, 2002 at 17:27:02:

A couple of days ago I went out and figured I would get some exercise and pass out flyers.The area I was in, were all townhouses and have the newer type mail boxes are made of steal and contain a entire section and are located at the end of each block. One would have to put 15 flyers in each box.So instead I thought it best to place the flyers under the door handles of each unit.As I’m making my rounds I noticed a police officer in his patrol car watching me, but I continued my task.The officer pulled his car up to me and inquired what was I doing? My reply was, that I knew it was illegal to use the mail box to put my fyers in so I’m leaving them at the door.He asked to see one of the flyers, and then asked if that was my name on the paper. I answered yes it was, and he told me, go ahead it was ok.

I wonder what he thought after I left the area with my “WE BUY HOUSES” signs staked up all over LOL

Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by J (TN)

Posted by J (TN) on April 02, 2002 at 15:31:41:


I used to run a postal contract station in Oregon, so I am familiar with the rules regarding this. It is against the law to place anything inside a mailbox that does not have the proper postage on it. Of course that begs the question, “if I pay postage, why not just have the mail carrier deliever it?” Exactly!

However, as long as you are not placing the flyer, card, etc. INSIDE the mailbox, as far as I know, there is no law regarding it. You should be able to tape it to the outside of the box, wedge it between the box and flag, etc. without too much hassle (other than perhaps an angry homeowner. Mad, yes, against the law, no). Just stay away from actually going inside it.

Now, having said this, one thing you may want to consider: Is this a good use of your time? If you have loads of time and are short on funds, then perhaps. But, I would think that there are more valuable ways to spend your day. Spending four hours going from mailbox to mailbox yourself…?

Please note, I am not a lawyer, so to be safe check out the rules in your own area. This is just my 2 cents based on past experience.

Hope this helps.


Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by BobbyGA

Posted by BobbyGA on April 02, 2002 at 14:58:23:

Although I have not stuffed mail boxes or sent out mailings, I have done the flyer thing- just started this past weekend. No calls yet, but I will keep trying. I started at the back of the parking lots and worked my way forward in case someone said something. No one did. Only saw one person throw it down when they got to their car.
I ran a free ad in the local shopper-" Wanted: 3 BR house in city, area, city. Will pay cash or other" Just ran yesterday and I’ve had 10 calls this morning. Mostly no deal, just people who want to sell but are not motivated. Still trying- and it’s free so what the heck. Thinking of changing for next week to “3 BR fixer-up house wanted, cash available or other”

Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Aaron330i (Austin)

Posted by Aaron330i (Austin) on April 02, 2002 at 14:48:55:

I’ve been wondering how effective flyers (under wipers at the mall) are myself.

TPing the town…ROFLMAO - Posted by LeonNC

Posted by LeonNC on April 02, 2002 at 22:20:02:

And I’m not one to easily crack up. Good one!


It’s a time issue… - Posted by Tim (CT)

Posted by Tim (CT) on April 02, 2002 at 20:16:53:

…of which I don’t have alot of!

I am in the process of getting information from the courthouse but I wanted to do other things as well. I work a 40+ hour work week so it’s difficult to get to my town hall because they’re open the same time I’m working. So, I wanted to try other avenues as well.

Thanks for everyone’s comments and suggestions.

Re: Why bother? - Posted by RP-VA

Posted by RP-VA on April 02, 2002 at 19:33:42:

What in particular do you look for at the courthouse. Any good course information on this approach.

Re: I agree “Why bother?” - Posted by LJ

Posted by LJ on April 02, 2002 at 18:36:54:

I am a new investor and have yet to post a sign or mail out anything. I have three deals in six months and I have found all of them at the courthouse. The whole thing about grafiti your name all over town and sit by the phone for deals to fall into your lap has never made sense to me. Like Joe said “save a tree”.

Re: Why bother? - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on April 02, 2002 at 18:29:43:

Hi Tim,

Joe makes sense here. If you target your motivated sellers, your chances of getting a call are greatly improved. By going down to the courthouse and researching whose in default and then sending them post cards, chances are better that they will call you cause they have a real urgent problem. Meaning they are motivated.

If you haven’t seen Joe’s Dominate Your Foreclosure Market course, check it out.

Great way to distribute flyers - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on April 02, 2002 at 16:46:00:


I think JT has a point, why deliver the flyers yourself, unless you have lots of time and/or want the exercise.

I would suggest that you hire a church group or a boys scout troop to pass them out door to door. You get your message out for cheaper than $40 per 500 and you look like a heck of a guy.

Another idea would be to see what the local paper charges you to put a flyer in their paper. In my area it is like $150 per 1000. The positive thing about this is that you have a better chance of getting your message to homeowners, since more homeowners than renters get the daily paper.

Good Luck,

Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Tim (CT)

Posted by Tim (CT) on April 02, 2002 at 15:39:46:

I think I’m looking through the trees and can’t see the forest. What do you mean ‘Of course that begs the question, “if I pay postage, why not just have the mail carrier deliever it?” Exactly!’ I think I’m being thick on this one (mostly because you said ‘Of course…’)

As far as ‘your time’ question, you’re right. I don’t have 4 hours to go from mailbox to mailbox and my thought was to hire somebody to do this. Now, the question rises, how much do you pay him/her do to this - $40/500 sheets delivered? Might sound about right for my area (CT). We’re not cheap up here!!

I actually asked the guy at the post office about the flag and the outside of the mailbox just to see what he would say. I got the stock answer '…the whole mailbox, inside and outside, is off-limits but the post holding the mailbox is not.

Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by Tim (CT)

Posted by Tim (CT) on April 02, 2002 at 15:01:21:

So, at this point, you haven’t run into any issues with putting your flyers on cars in mall parking lots? I mean if someone yells at me because they don’t like the flyer on their car, I can deal with that. I just don’t want a local authority coming down on me because of it. I can’t see why they would.

Time is money . . . - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on April 02, 2002 at 20:32:54:

“Dependable part time records researcher wanted, $8.00/hr. No experience needed.”


Re: Why bother? - Posted by Brian M. Powers(MI)

Posted by Brian M. Powers(MI) on April 03, 2002 at 09:38:42:

Hi Phil:
what kind of info are you looking for at the the records office? Foreclosure filings? Eviction filings?

Re: Great way to distribute flyers - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on April 02, 2002 at 23:47:57:

$150 per 1000 is robbery! That’s $1150 for just 10,000!

Newspapers are very expensive for this type of advertising. If you have a pennysaver or shopper type thing in your area check with them. You use to be able to get 8 1/2 X 11 flyers on colored paper for $40 per 1000. They would do all the art work and layout, print, insert and deliver for that price. But you had to take the full zone for that mailing which is usually between 10,000 - 15,000 depending on the zip code. $400 for 10,000 is a lot cheaper than paying $1150 to a newspaper! Plus, when using those pennysaver or shopper type papers the flyers stick out of the paper where its the first thing the homeowner pulls out and sees.

Another avenue to try would be Val-Pac or Money Mailer. They usually mail 10,000 per zone and you can get that between $300 - $500 per zone.

Re: Flyers, postcards and mailboxes - Posted by J (TN)

Posted by J (TN) on April 02, 2002 at 20:34:57:

Begging the question…

What I meant was that if you are going to go through the expense of adding postage to it anyway just to make it legal, then you may as well let the carrier do the “leg work” for you. Why would you spend that much money and then do it yourself?

RE: hired help. Sounds like it may be worth checking out. Sometimes high school kids (or in your case, boy scouts) would love doing stuff like this for a bit of “blow” money. I would certainly look into it.

RE: Postman’s stock answer. Hmmm??? I have never heard that before, but then again my experience was in Oregon, perhaps CT is different? I would stick to the post’s then, if for nothing else than your mail carrier can be a great source for leads if you can get “in” with them. No sense in getting on their bad side. Know what I mean?