If you’re new to drop shipping then you might be curious of some of the terms that are referred to in forums of threads.
Blind shipping is one of them. It’s a very useful process in drop shipping if you know to ask for it. In this article I will explain what exactly Blind drop shipping is and when to use it. For some businesses this is a invaluable service that they would not be without, but is it worth it for you? let’s find out
What is blind shipping?
So let’s start with the term blind, it means you can’t see right? That’s exactly what we mean when we say blind shipping. It is when one of more parties don’t know who the shipper of the parcel is. In other words they are in the blind. Hence the phrase “blind shipping”.
You can also choose to go even further than blind shipping and go “double blind”. This means as you have probably guessed where both parties do not know where the parcel is going or has come from. Businesses sometimes choose to go ‘double blind’ when they do not want their supplier to have their customers contact information. In other words they are preventing the supplier doing business directly with the customer. But for me this just says you are doing business with a shady supplier and dont use them.
If this is something you are interested in, you can use third party businesses such as Rapid Express Freight. They can set this service up for you, but this will add to your costs so you really need to ask yourself if its worth it.
What process is involved?
It should be noted that there is a bit of extra effort involved when blind shipping. But if you want your customers to think of you in the future I personally think it’s worth the effort.
In most cases its the middle man that requests from the supplier or manufacturer to blind ship, what they are asking is that the Bill of Lading (BOL for short) is altered or concealed altogether to hide the real address of shipment.
To the supplier blind shipping is a additional service, meaning there are additional charges applicable. You should discuss first with your supplier.
This should then be taken in to consideration for your profit margins, again to reiterate your profit for sure will be less but its about thinking of future business too.
Why use Blind Shipping?
If you are dropshipping because you want to keep costs down or you don’t have space to store then blind shipping could be right also. It is about protecting your future orders. Imagine if you ordered a item from a business and what turned up had someone else’s details on it. Would you in future shop with the third party or would you shop direct with the supplier? I know what I would do if this was a regular purchase.
This is exactly why the majority of dropshippers go down the blind route. Below I have summarized in a pros and cons to help you decide.
- Hides unwanted details from customers
- Helps build repeat business from your customers as they do not know you are the middle man.
- Building your own brand not not someone else’s
- Looks more professional
- Process can be complicated
- Additional charges can eat into your profits
- More time consuming
Blind shipping when should I use it?
You should use blind shipping anytime you feel it is inappropriate to share your supplier contact details with your customer. Especially if you supplier is able to deal directly with the customer, i.e. your supplier has no minimum order quantity.
The main selling point is about protecting your brand integrity. Don’t forget your customer is now building a relationship with your business and not your suppliers!
What is the difference between blind shipping and dropshipping?
Good question, well the two are similar. Blind shipping is merely a type of drop shipping. After all you are still doing the same process the only difference is you are hiding your suppliers details.
How does Blindshipping work?
It can be a complex process when doing for the first time, this is because you are using multiple bill of ladings (the real one, and the one you want your customer to see). Some suppliers are experienced in this and some might not be. It’s best to get your freight brokers help with dealing with this as they will create the BOLs.
Then most carriers just need a notification to say the shipment will be blind. Some carriers require additional paperwork filling out so its best to research your carriers to save yourself time.
Show me an example
Probably easier to show! Below I have created a simplistic but credible example on how blind shipping can work.
Are there any restrictions?
Yes, there can be. This is why it’s best to use a freight broker and confirm everything before going ahead. For example some carriers place restrictions to ensure the billing is correct on their end. This usually means that the business name, street address and contact information can be altered but the city and zip must be correct. Some only specify the zip code, and some are ok with everything being incorrect. Just check with your broker by asking what restrictions the carrier places if any.
Is it even legal?
Yes 100% legal. The biggest headache you will have is getting your head around the process.
Where can I find blind dropshipping suppliers?
Because of the headache involved with the process you ideally want access to lots of different suppliers so that you can compare for yourself the best location and method to blind ship your goods.
To have this choice I would recommend a dropship directory. The best I think is Salehoo which has access to over 8000 verified and experienced suppliers. If you want to read more you can access my review and complete guide here.
Congratulations you made it to the end! Hopefully by now you understand a little more about blindshipping and what’s involved. It’s ok if you still feel a little nervous or confused it can be tricky until you have completed the first few times. That’s why it is important to use a freight broker they have processes in place to support you along the way and hey it’s what they do! So what do you think, do you think blind shipping is worth the hassle for your business? Let us know in the comments below.