Blinksale Review

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Date Established
2005
Location
Dallas, TX

Highlights:

  • Unlimited invoices
  • Easy to use
  • Decent invoice templates
  • Basic client portal

Overview:

Blinksale was created back in 2005. In its prime, Blinksale was a strong invoicing software for freelancers and small business owners. But the times have changed, and Blinksale? Not so much.

Blinksale is an easy to use invoicing solution that offers 14 invoice templates and a client portal where customers can pay invoices directly online. Contact management and unlimited users are other pluses, and the price is very affordable.

However, at this point, Blinksale has fallen far behind the competition. It currently lacks even the most basic invoicing software features, including expense tracking and reporting. In addition, there’s no items list, no time tracking, no project management, no importing capabilities, no user permissions… you get the picture. The software doesn’t seem to be updated as much or as often as it could, and all the customer reviews and support resources are severely outdated.

You could get a lot more bang out of your buck by looking at a full-featured software like Zoho Invoice or Invoicera, but if you are still curious about Blinksale, continue reading.

Pricing:

Blinksale offers a single pricing plan. Subscriptions are paid monthly. There is a free 15-day trial as well. No credit card information is required. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

Blinksale also offers a referral program. When you create your account, you’ll be given a unique referral link you can share with friends. For every friend you get to sign up for Blinksale, you get one month of free service.

You can see what you get with Blinksale’s plan in more detail below:

Blinksale Unlimited:

  • $15/mo
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Recurring invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Contact management
  • Client portal
  • Multi-currency support
  • Unlimited users

Web-Hosted or Locally-Installed:

Web-hosted. No downloads or installation required.

Hardware or Software Requirements:

As a cloud-based software, Blinksale is compatible with nearly any device so long as you have an internet connection. Blinksale does offer an iPhone app (iOS 7+). There is no Android app at this time.

Specific Size of Business:

Blinksale was designed for freelancers and small business owners, although most freelancers would be better off with a freelance-specific software, like AND CO or QuickBooks Self-Employed. Blinksale offers unlimited users, but no user permissions.

Ease of Use:

Blinksale is incredibly easy to use. The support resources and UI design could use some updating, but the setup process is quick and navigating the software is simple.

  • Setup – To create your account, add your first name, last name, and email address. Then choose a Blinksale domain and password. After this, you’ll be taken to a Welcome screen. I recommend spending some time in settings updating your preferences and adding additional company information.
  • Organization – The software organization is intuitive and easy to learn. There is a menu bar across the top of the screen that reads Dashboard, Estimates, Invoices, Payments, and People. There’s a help box on the bottom of the screen where you can search help articles or message customer service directly. There are also links to Blinksale’s privacy policy, terms of service, and email address, as well as their customer service hours and a contact number.
  • Instructions and Guidance – When you sign up, check your email inbox for a welcome email. This email includes a “what to do now?” section that walks you through setting up your software. More likely than not, you won’t need to contact customer support as setting up and learning the software is really easy. However, if you do need to contact Blinksale’s support team, the best options are reaching out by email or giving them a call at (214) 580-2003.
  • Problems – While Blinksale is incredibly easy to use, there are several major problems I encountered with the software.
    • Lack of Basic Features – Blinksale lacks the basic features offered by invoicing software, including expense tracking and reporting. Not surprisingly, it also lacks the more advanced features that are common to all good invoicing software—time tracking, project management, and importing capabilities. Without these features, particularly expense tracking and reporting, Blinksale cannot be a complete invoicing software solution for any business.
    • No Items List – In addition to the above missing features, there’s no way to save items or create an items list. This means that you have to manually type your item name, description, and price into every single invoice you send. This simply isn’t practical.
    • Lack of Integrations – Furthermore, Blinksale only offers three third-party integrations.

Features:

Blinksale has a very basic feature set:

  • Dashboard – There’s a dashboard that just shows your recent history. I would have liked to see something a little more developed, like charts breaking down important financial information.

Blinksale Review

  • Invoicing – Blinksale offers 14 invoice templates (though many of these are the same template, just with a different color scheme). You can also create your own template using HTML and CSS, which I was very happy to see. You can set invoice reminders and late fees and send recurring invoices as well. Blinksale lets you set default invoice messages and can filter invoices by tags. I was impressed by all of these automations until I actually tried to send an invoice. There’s only a spot for a description and a price, and no place to enter an item name. There is also no place to save the item names in the software. You can choose to invoice based on hours, days, service, or product. You can also add sales tax and freight (or shipping) to any invoice.
  • Estimates – You can create estimates and save them as drafts in Blinksale. Only after saving a draft can you actually go in and send the estimate. It’s easy to see any customer comments on estimates and converting estimates to invoices only takes a few clicks. One of my main concerns with this feature is that invoices don’t always fit on a single page.

Blinksale Review

  • Client Portal – I was pleasantly surprised to see that Blinksale offers a client portal. This allows customers to view their estimates and invoices in their own custom dashboard. They can view, accept, decline, or comment on estimates, and can view, print, and pay invoices directly online. It’s not the most attractive client portal I’ve seen, but it still a nice touch.

Blinksale Review

  • Contact Management – You can create a company contact with the following information: the company’s name, address, website, phone, fax, and tax ID. You can also add contacts to the company. You can add a contact name, email, and phone number. For each company, you can choose a default invoice template, which is a nice touch.
  • Purchases – When another Blinksale user sends you an invoice, you can manage your purchases and payments on the Purchases screen. This is not a full expense tracking feature and only works with fellow Blinksale users. There is also no way to import bank statements or use live bank feeds.
  • Thank You Notes – This feature is a nice touch. Not only can you send thank you notes to customers, you can choose from 12 fun thank you note templates. You can also design your own thank you note if you have coding experience.
  • Sales Tax –You cannot create preset sales tax rates or save sales tax rates for future use, but you can add a sales tax percentage to each individual estimate or invoice.
  • Multi-Currency Support – You can send invoices in over 175 different currencies.
  • Importing/Exporting – You can export your “account data,” although the company does not tell you what the account data contains. There are no importing capabilities.

Customer Service and Support:

In my experience, Blinksale’s strongest customer support is via email. All of my email inquiries were answered within a day and most were answered within the hour I sent them. Phone support is helpful once you are able to reach them. However, both times I called, I was sent straight to a voicemail where I was prompted to leave my name and number. The first time, three days had passed and no one had called. The second time I called back, I received a return call a half hour later. All the representatives I spoke with were friendly and informative, and often the president of the company answers customer questions.

While the email and phone support were positive, Blinksale dropped the ball with its other support options. Many of the help articles are severely outdated. The company’s YouTube channel is nearly nonexistent and their social media accounts are updated sporadically.

You can contact Blinksale from 9:00am – 5:00pm (PST) with the following support options:

  • Phone – Call support at (214) 580-2003
  • Email – Contact Blinksale at support@blinksale.com.
  • Contact Form – Blinksale also has a contact form
  • Help Center – Blinksale offers a basic Help Center with articles covering most questions a potential user could have. The answers are relatively short, but still get the job done.
  • Blog – Although it isn’t updated often, Blinksale does have a blog. The blog itself is difficult to navigate as you have to scroll through each entire post to get to the one you want. There’s no search bar either. However, there are categories, which makes it a tiny bit easier to manage. You can subscribe to the Blinksale blog if interested.
  • YouTube – Blinksale has a YouTube channel with a single video from six years ago. I think it goes without saying that this support option is not worth your time.
  • Report a Bug – If you encounter a bug or glitch in Blinksale, you can report the bug to the company.
  • Social Media – Blinksale has Twitter and Facebook accounts. Both are infrequently updated but feature a few helpful blog posts. For actual customer service inquiries, I suggest sticking with emailing Blinksale.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Blinksale has very few customer reviews. The reviews that exist are generally positive, but almost all of them are from 2014 or earlier. The software receives 5/10 stars on TrustRadius based on five ratings and a single written review. Since there is such a small sampling of current reviews, I’ve created my own list of drawbacks about the software.

  • Lack of Features – Blinksale lacks many of the key features it takes to compete in the invoicing software world. There is no time tracking and no project management. I could forgive these oversights, except the list doesn’t end there. There is no expense tracking and no reports—features that even companies on the low-end of the invoicing software spectrum offer. Invoicing software is incomplete without these additions; it’s as simple as that.
  • Poor Design – While the Blinksale interface is incredibly easy to use and navigate, the software could use a facelift.
  • Past Its Prime – Between the lack of feature updates and the incredibly outdated customer reviews and customer support resources, it seems to me that Blinksale may be past its prime. It could have been a wonderful software back in the day, but now the company needs to make some serious improvements if they want to be of value to small business owners and compete with other invoicing software companies.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

Blinksale receives 4.96/5 stars on GetApp (based on 23 reviews, most from 2014 or earlier) and 4.8/5 stars on G2Crowd (based on two reviews from 2016 and one review from 2014). Although many of these reviews are outdated, we still want to give you an idea of the Blinksale user experience from real people. Here are the most common things users praise:

  • Easy to Use – Many users find the software easy to use, especially for freelancers who don’t have time for complicated software. They also like that the client portal is easy for customers to use as well.
  • Good Invoicing – Users appreciate that Blinksale has good invoices and make it easy to bill clients. They also like the ability to receive payments online.
  • Strong Customer Support – Apart from being easy to use, this is by far one of the most common comments about Blinksale. Users loved the customer service support and report fast responses and kind support representatives.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

Blinksale only offers three integrations.

  • Paypal – Accept online payments and enable electronic payment of invoices. Read our full PayPal review to learn more.
  • Stripe – Payment platform for both web and mobile payment methods. Read our full Stripe review to learn more
  • Basecamp – A team management and communication platform. Read our full Basecamp review to learn more.

Security:

Blinksale offers very little information about their company’s security, mostly because nearly every aspect of their security is handled by someone else. The company uses GeoTrust for their SSL encryption, Amazon Web Services for hosting servers, and JetPay to manage credit card information. Go to each of these sites or contact Blinksale for more information.

Final Verdict:

Blinksale has a few notable perks: ease of use, client portal, and custom invoice templates. However, these pros definitely don’t outweigh the cons in this scenario.

It may have been a good solution in years past, but as other invoicing companies have stepped up their game, Blinksale seems to have fallen far behind. Good invoicing software offers more than just invoicing and provides time tracking and project management; even the average invoicing software offers expense tracking, reports, and importing capabilities—all of which Blinksale lacks.

At this point in time, we don’t recommend Blinksale as a good invoicing solution. Take a look at Zoho Invoice, Invoicera, or any of our 4-star invoicing software reviews for another alternative. If you do decide to give Blinksale a try, be sure to use the software’s 15-day free trial first.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer, avid reader, and researcher. In addition to loving writing, she became interested in accounting software because of her constant desire to learn something new and understand how things work. When she's not working or daydreaming about her newest story, she can be found drinking obscene amounts of coffee, reading anything written by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files with her husband.
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2 Comments

    Geoff

    Agree with all the above: Blinksale was good eight years ago but now it feels like abandonware. When you fire a question to support about how to do even basic procedures that ought to be in the program, they simply state something along the lines of “Sorry, you can’t do that yet.”But by far the worst issue with the platform is the lack of a proper data export/import function. Only the most basic of details can be exported. This makes archiving a risky proposition (depending on local accounting laws) and as for moving your data into a different system, forget it. You’re well and truly locked in for the long haul.

    2

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Jon Hooton

    I signed up for Blinksale for two reasons, the first being their promise to make the invoicing process painless and effortless and secondly, for the simple, yet beautiful, design of the app itself. Blinksale, without a question, delivers on their promise to be the easiest, most productive way to send invoices on the Web. The process is so simple, whether I’m sending 10 invoices a month, or one-hundred! I can effortlessly send estimates, convert them into invoices, and track payments. I signed up for Blinksale for two reasons, the first being their promise to make the invoicing process painless and effortless and secondly, for the simple, yet beautiful, design of the app itself. Blinksale, without a question, delivers on their promise to be the easiest, most productive way to send invoices on the Web. The process is so simple, whether I’m sending 10 invoices a month, or one-hundred! I can effortlessly send estimates, convert them into invoices, and track payments. I can’t recommend Blinksale to creatives and small businesses enough. From web interaction, to stellar customer support, Blinksale is a small business owners dream application.

    5

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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