There are two business models that are commonly used by Internet-based vendors of vinyl lettering. Those are the models we venture to examine closely. The vinyl letters in question here, by the way, are commonly used in making a wide variety of signage products – billboards, directional signs, banners and so on. Normally, the arrangement is one where the typically glossy vinyl letters are pasted on a surface (the banner or the billboard or the directional sign board), thus incorporating the messages meant to be communicated by the signage products. This is seen as a better alternative than, say, painting a sign board (as painted signboards tend to look rather amateurish, compared to ‘professional’ signboards made out of pasted vinyl letters). In other cases, the use of the vinyl letters is seen as a better alternative to printing materials such as banners or billboards, given the fact that this sort of printing tends to be very expensive.
The people keen on getting the vinyl letters for all those applications can either make them (through the use of computers and plotters) or buy them ready-made. Those who opt to buy them ready-made can either do so from the local stores where signage-related materials are sold or buy them online. It is the latter alternative which gives rise to the Internet-based vendors of vinyl letters. The two business models commonly used by such Internet-based vendors of vinyl letters include:
Where they sell pre-designed, ready-made (standard) vinyl letters. In this model, the vinyl lettering vendors just work out which types of vinyl letters are commonly used, pre-design them, and then proceed to sell them as ready-made and packaged products. This is akin the model used by apparel vendors. Apparel vendors sometimes work out the types of clothes people commonly buy, and proceed to simply make them (even without any specific orders) and present them into the market, where they hope to find buyers looking for them. It emerges that there are certain types (font types and colors) of vinyl letters that are very frequently used in signage products. This is to say that majority of people making signage products often find themselves in need of these font types and font-colors. And thus, all an Internet-based vinyl lettering vendor has to do is identify them, make them and avail them into the market: where there are bound to be people looking specifically for them.
Where they design vinyl letters as per individual customers’ orders. This is where we see some Internet-based vinyl lettering vendors who allow their customers to specify the types of vinyl letters they’d want made, and then proceeding to make them. This is usually through a feature on their websites where a customer can specify the font type, font color and font size of the vinyl lettering needed. It is akin to the model used by tailor-made apparel vendors: who first get specifications from customers, before proceeding to make clothing items of such descriptions. This is arguably a less risky model to the vendors of vinyl lettering: as they only make vinyl letters for which there are actually ready-buyers. But on the downside, it emerges that most people who are keen on buying ready-made vinyl letters don’t really have the time to make specifications, and then wait for vinyl letters meeting those specifications to be made for them. Majority seem to prefer finding suitable vinyl letters in a store, buying them, and going home with them the same day – so as not to delay their signage projects, which are usually very time sensitive.