Is The UPS Store a Good Franchise Opportunity?

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Fri, Feb 2 - 11:03 am EST | 12 years ago by
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Craig Hsueh over at Blue MauMau posted a story and a link to an article citing a study naming the UPS Store as the “Most Competitive U.S. Retailer”According to the article:

The UPS Store has the biggest competitive advantage among retailers in the United States this year, according to a new study released by the NRF Foundation, the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation….

…The UPS Store (NYSE: UPSNews) tops the list, followed by Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Walgreens, Kenneth Cole, Petco, Kohl’s, Target, Men’s Wearhouse and PetSmart….


The UPS Store franchise program has been embroiled in controversy and lawsuits from franchisees who contend their franchisor unfairly competes with its franchisees.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? IS THE UPS STORE A GOOD FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

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  • JoAnn

    Just because they have some competitive advantage, does NOT mean it is a good business opportunity for someone.
    Take a look at the numerous lawsuits that have been filed. They are public record.

  • Les Stewart

    I have dealt with several former investors of UPS and MBE over my franchisee advocacy career: both in the U.S. and in Canada.

    If they could, I believe, they would unanimously say…

    They are lot wiser about how aggressively some franchisors operate to suppress free speech regarding the issues of encroachment, support and tied buying.

  • Les Stewart

    I have dealt with several former investors of UPS and MBE over my franchisee advocacy career: both in the U.S. and in Canada.

    If they could, I believe, they would unanimously say…

    They might be able to talk about how confidentiality “agreements” can be used to radically distort business risks for future investors.

  • scott

    The “advantage” if ONLY for UPS- not the franchisee’s. BEWARE, potential investors! UPS gives better discounts to Remax realtors than they do to the UPS stores. The UPS Store owners have been told, by UPS, that they CANNOT expect shipping to be their major profit center. Franchisees are now expected to invest heavily in printing equipment and to “beat the streets” for printing business to be profitable. If you want to be a printer, buy a printing franchise.

  • ups sos

    The Ups store franchise is a scam, i tell you this from experience and have numerous awards from the corporate office for my sales to back it up. If you want to know if it is a good investment pick up the phone and call 20 centers and you can see for yourself.

  • Anna

    UPS is a unique franchise as it is the only one I know of that directly competes with the owners of the stores. When you think of who owns a UPS store, what is the first thing that comes to mind…UPS of course. They like it that way. People own them. People with bills, children, mortgages, a life. Owning this business sucks the life out of you and unless you are wealthy or have a spouse that can entirely support the personal bills as well as the store bills for at least 3 years, but more likely 5 or 6, then don’t get one. You pay a lot of money for the store and it just becomes one big drop off box for UPS packages. Drop offs will at some point exceed your paying customers and then it is all down hill from there. Save your money, don’t franchise. Put your retirement into a good savings or Vanguard account or something. The UPS store is not a good investment unless you need an income tax deduction.
    Of course UPS tops the list of that study, they don’t use their own money to open them. What a great way to do business and one of the business world’s number one rule…use someone’s elses money and not your own…and they are the kings at it.

  • Mike Rodriguez

    Go to the website and read the Executive Summary of a evaluation and grading report of the UPS Store Franchise Agreement prepared by the AAFD. It is rated among the worse for favoring the interests of the Franchisor (UPS)at the expense of those of the Franchisee (You & Me). It is estimated that at least 50-60% of all UPS Stores are losing money.


    Corporate greed always makes a good investment for the franchisor(ups/mbe). Purhased a profitable store in 04 only to close it down in 05 is what you can expect with ups. Heaven forsake if you purchase a new one and the odds are very high you will not break even durning your first three years. Now lets do the calculations 250k investment,three years of financial support 150k, no salary to suport your family = homeless in a card board box(from leftover inventory) underneath some highway! Lets not forget all those personal guareentees you will have to sign. That is the reality of owning a ups store. This post has a 99% truth rating. MY STORY IS REALITY!

  • DAVE


  • cgpeanut

    I, along with several owners of the UPSS called the researcher that presented this paper. Point # one UPSS never even met the criteria. TUPSS has not been in existance for 5 years. UPS’s, as the parent company,financials were used to qualify this. And most importantly the study is not even meassuring competitive edge. No where in that study is it saying the UPS store has a competitive edge over its competition. For the life of me I never could understand what the purpose of the study was.

  • Bill

    UPS is not a retailer. The only experience UPS had at being a retailer was a failure, check your facts on that. UPS bought Mail Boxes Etc. and has now either 1) bankrupt 2) sent into litigation or 3) churned the entire network they originally bought. The “retailers” are dissatisfied! The “competitive advantage” is UPS sucking the life out of small business owners.

  • Ben H.

    Wasn’t there another company that lied to investors, stole their retirement and cooked the books to have it seem they were profitable? Oh yeah!!!! ENRON!!
    The UPS Store is biggest hoax since Enron.I wish when they told me when I became a UPS store I would be competeing against the internet,office depot,staples and UPS itself. I’m sure that was just a small oversight.


    The above heading says it all! No further comments are needed.

  • Susan

    If anyone reads this article and is seriously condsidering purchasing one of these franchises they need to go to or Listen to what the actual franchisees have to say. Our biggest competitor is our franchisor. At least if I had bought a Burger King I wouldn’t have to compete with corporate to sale Whoppers.

  • sean

    I took you up on your invitation and registered at I had read through only a few posts before receiving a nasty email from someone questioning my right to be there.

    I don’t know that much about your situation or the state of the litigation, but I can tell you that if you want the media or public opinion to understand or be sympathetic to your cause, you can’t attack the people who are trying to understand the situation. Any other writer or blogger who was accosted for trying to understand your plight would dismiss at least the Brown Board members as an angry mob of malcontents, not businesspeople with legitimate complaints.

  • cgpeanut


    will try to keep the troops in line. Don’t be scared off. We aren’t malcontents, just tired and in many cases financially ruined. Young couples with young families, losing everything, 200,000 dollar investiments that will take them years and years to recover from, and Ma brown going about business as normal.

    You know what else makes it sickening. go to the Fran-Vets website. UPS is barking these to our Iraqi veterans. Makes me sick.

  • sean

    Is there a good summary of the dispute to-date online? What is the status of the litigation?

    What’s the solution that franchisees are pushing for?

  • Susan

    Please go back to talkbrown.
    I left you a message over there.

  • Les Stewart

    I am interested in the VetFran program.

    I would appreciate program participants in answering the following questions:

    1. Have you achieved your financial objectives? yes or no

    If no, what are:
    a. your total personal net worth decrease to date,
    b. over how many months.

    2. Did you use an SBA 7a Loan to finance?

    3. Was a sales agent or 3rd party involved when you signed up?

    In Canada, I have identified something called Predatory Franchise Lending. More details can be found on Thanks.

  • cgpeanut


    Since UPS converted the Canadian MBE do you have any info on their profitability. I would like to hear how the 250+ centers are fairing.

    I too have been interested in the VETFran program. If you have any info Please contact me over at talkbrown or the brownboard.

  • Les Stewart

    CG Parent,

    Tried to hook up with you on talkbrown [you Calling Michael Webster]

    I’m a klutz today. Too much snow shoveling.

    Les Stewart

  • Twain

    I bought a UPS Store franchise and had to shut it down just to stop the losses. It is true that the franchise has a major competitive advantage – for UPS, not the franchisee. UPS has profited handsomely and has a retail presence paid for by small mom and pop retailers. I have never, never met a franchisee in the game for more than 6 months who was thrilled with his or her decision to invest in one of these money pits. I challenge anyone considering one of these stores to do due dilligence and call 20 or more store owners and ask them if they are happy. If they say they are, ask if they are interested in selling their store. Many owners are desparate to sell and won’t disclose the thruth. You would be lucky to find one owner who has had their store for more than a year that will say they are happy and won’t sell.


    It is immmpossible to do fair due dilligence. UPS/MBE will not allow it.That is privilaged and confidential information. That is at least true up to the 2005 FOC AGREEMENTS. Does anyone think that any of the area franchissees are going to tell you the truth,whole truth and nothing but thr truth so help them g-d. Greed always overrides honesty in this franchise. Sorry to say this is how i feel being involved in this scam. THE TRUTH STINKS IN THIS SITUATION

  • Lee

    I’m a Vet who has paid the initial UPS Store franchise fee, and although I thought I had performed “due dilligence” before making the commitment, I fear that I may be embarking on an expensive journey to nowhere. Does anyone know how hard the franchisor “comes down on you” if you decide to bail before signing a lease or legal franchise documents? I’d rather take a hard hit now than a knockout punch later.

  • frozenokiewi

    Run now while you can…I have been doing this for 6 years changed from MBE to UPS Store in 2003. We have two stores and neither can break even. You cannot get out once you are in…eat your loss and run for the hills! Bid on some oceanfront in Arizona it would be a far more entertaining waste of money. PLEASE back out now.

  • cgpeanut

    take the hit now from a fellow owner. this franchise is a nightmare at this time.

  • ACE

    Listen to your gut, don’t get sucked in any deeper.

    Take everything you got in writing and all contemperaneous notes you made as to what you were told to a good attorney and see if feels you have basis to rescind all agreements and get your deposit back.

    If MBE is convinced that there is some risk to them, they will fold and give your money back. In any event, don’t throw good money after bad by going forward with leasing a location, going to UPS University and all that crap.

    The loss of a deposit pales in comparision to what you can lose going forward in something you do not have confidence in. The losses can be more than financial.

  • Jim Brown

    We’re not being negative, we’re just trying to save as many people as we can from our own fate. Think of owning a ups store as being an indentured servant: Working for free for your master. Do whatever you need to to stay far, far away.

  • Won’tBeFooledAgain

    Lee, call a lot of UPS Store owners; don’t just talk to the ones that the folks at UPS/MBE recommend. Talk to some that are in locations similar to those you’re considering, and have been in business at least three years to five years (That’s when reality starts to set in.) You needn’t have lengthy, in-depth conversations, though that can’t hurt. But be sure and ask the simple question: “If you had this to do all over again, would you?”

    Please post your findings…and your ultimate decision. And good luck on your mission.

  • James Dunn

    You should count your blessings. I wish I had ran and only lost the $7500 fee. These store have no value. After you beg and borrow 300k before you go out of business you will find yourself broke and destitute. When you try to sell you will find how worthless these stores are. I think it’s a sin that UPS is targeting vets now. These criminals have no soul.

  • george n

    What more can be said here?
    I am a former ups store owner. Bought a profitable store in 2004 and started trying to sell it less than a year later. UPS is your biggest competitor, they control your cost and max resale on shipping. That says it all for me.
    I lost almost 100k of my hard earned money in the sale!

  • BIGB

    two words sum this franchise up.


  • NaNimal

    I want to get this information, but I cannot find it.. someone could help me to get this rapport. Thanks

    Mike Rodriguez
    Feb 2, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Go to the website and read the Executive Summary of a evaluation and grading report of the UPS Store Franchise Agreement prepared by the AAFD. It is rated among the worse for favoring the interests of the Franchisor (UPS)at the expense of those of the Franchisee (You & Me). It is estimated that at least 50-60% of all UPS Stores are losing money.

  • Chris

    I believe this is the link Mike is referring to at The Brown Board website: It is under the heading: FOC – Grading & Evaluation.



  • doug

    UPS has used lies and deceit to sell stores. The estimates are that the vast majority of these stores are not profitable. UPS will not admit the truth and continue to take money from unsuspecting, hardworking people. To add insult to injury, Entreprenuer magazine, the AARP, FranVET and the SBA are enabling UPS with recommendations and loans.



    SCAM OF THE CENTURY, BUYER BE WARE! These stores don’t make a dime for the owners, only UPS!

  • thenewguy

    hello, i’ve been doing research on the ups store franchise because im interested in buying one. im 23 years old and have been working for mbe/ups store for 7 years now. so internal wise i know everything. from what i can see the store that i work at seems to make money but when i got thier taxes and profit reports it shows money but a good amount of loss.. but the problem that i encountered is financing, the asking price is 200k and there is no way a business loan the interest is crazy…

    any advice?

  • Anna

    That should be your first red cannot afford it now so what makes you think you can afford to run it? I would find something else that you are really passionate about. If it is an older store and it is still loosing money, that should speak volumes to you. I would spend money on college or something else that doesn’t involve owning a franchise. There will be many in all walks of franchising that says there is nothing wrong with them but in the end, they get their money first and you get what is left over, if any. I would find something that you get all the money first, middle, and last so you are the one in control.

  • http://none Lew

    The company owned FEDEX-KINKOS will take the franchised owned UPS stores and eat them for dinner. UPS is a piece of garbage company try calling them with a question about shipping 1-800-742-5877

  • http://NA not-to-be-fooled

    Thank you for this information. I had almost signed my $7500 away and was to launch a new career with UPS Stores. This info has helped save me a massive headache by offering more background info on their setup.

  • sean

    not-to-be-fooled said I had almost signed my $7500 away and was to launch a new career with UPS Stores. This info has helped save me a massive headache…
    Glad you found the discussion useful. You were smart to do your homework.
    thenewguy said: im 23 years old and … i know everything.
    NewGuy: Keep working and save as much money as you can. In ten years, take all your cash and divide it evenly into two piles. Burn one of the piles. You will then be a hundred thousand or so ahead of where you’d have been had they given you that loan. Buy yourself something nice.

  • Chance

    The interesting thing here is that MBE had the same idiots “misrepresenting” them as the eBay drop off stores. In other words the same people are involved, and both are under heavy litigation and compete amongst themselves. Check the UFOC’s for the same names and situations. The question is: Where will these same corporate people show up next?

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  • Zee

    You seem to lack knowledge and love to throw out crap represented as facts. Our MBE stores were doing just fine until the UPS purchase. The UPS deal is the issue here. Take your crap to another thread

  • Chance

    Looks like I hit a nerve “Zee”. The facts are that many of the stores are and were NOT doing very well, and it is easily verified that some of the same HQ idiots have been involved. Check the growning list of law suits, settlements, and arbitration (of course there are twice as many gag orders we can’t check on) to see how bad it really is and has been! The brown board doesn’t paint a very good picture either, so suck it up “Zee”!

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  • Beenhad

    you want the truth?

  • Beenhad

    I will list how you are about to get screwed by THE UPS STORE. I know because my bottom hurts from the punishing I have been taking. First, you drop 200-250k. Some of the equipment you buy is marked up 40-70% than if you went to walmart and bought it yourself. Next the contractor they make you pay charge 2-3 time what a normal contractor would charge you. Next your “approved Vendors” charge more to you than if found someone else yourself. Ex: box suppliers, postage suppliers, etc. Here is the best part, after you open your drop box, I mean UPS Store you will pay your life saving to UPS for the Priviledge of making them rich. HOW? First 8% royalty fees, plus $300 dollars a month for “advertising fees” which you coop gets to choose your marketing–from a ups approved list. UPS takes 60% of your margin on a box you ship, MBE takes another 8%. If they pay with a charge card, you’ll lose another 3%, and if you give them a discount to gain their business or a promotion…well lets say 10%…add that up. That’s if you convince a person to send a package, and not drop it off. Then UPS gives you a dollar -minus iship fees-other fees then minus 8% of whats left in royalties–. On top of that you WILL be answer 30 phone call a day for people wanting tracking info, lost packages etc and yelling at you because the UPS man left the package on their door step.-None of who will spend a dime in your store. Furthermore, if you land a good customer who ships a lot of boxes, your driver or a sales agent will do lead on them and take that customer right from under you…guarenteed! I know because everything I said happened, and is happening to owners across the country.

  • contrarian

    you guys are all giving me a great idea. I’m thinking I’ll locate a UPS store, rent a space near it and go into business for myself and put the UPS store out of its misery. shipping isn’t exactly a durable competitive advantage, so whoever does it better closer will always be the winner. I do feel sorry for all of you who lost money. UPS should be held accountable.

  • MBE/UPS stands for “Mostly Bad Experience”

    My wife and I purchased an MBE store in 2000. It was a new style store, one of the first in Canada. We did our due dilligance by checking with stores in our area. What we did not realize (and weren’t told) was that they built their stores for max $75,000 at least 5 years prior. This was the amount they were expensing off in their financial statements. We knew we were paying somewhat more than the original stores, what with inflation and the cost of the series 2000 store. It cost us over $250000 to get up and running with the buildout and equipment. We tried for over 4 years to make it. I never drew a penny out of the complany in over 4 years. I was fortunate my wife had an income that allowed us to live. I was relieved when she finally said she would not invest in more money. We closed the doors, and our esteemed Area Franchisee paid all of $11000 for our $250000 investment. Enron fraud — MBE and UPS are worse. MBE stands for mostly bad experience. Don’t touch it unless you’re looking for a huge tax write off.

    We had a Small Business loan from the Royal Bank secured by equipment and a personal guarantee and had a 25% Government Guarantee. When we closed the store, the Royal Bank seized the store for the secuity. To reopen the store, the Area Franchisee made an offer to the Bank for $11,000 and received the store in return. We had to pay the bank the balance owing, (except the part secured with the Gov Guarantee) based on our personal guarantee. Needless to say, our losses are much larger than the small business loan, because we had mortgaged our house to the limit (it was nearly paid for before our crazy decision to go into business with MBE). We will be paying on the mortgage for the next 15 years. And we are both close to 65.

    Further to my comments above, a surprising benefit we did receive was from Revenue Canada. When we closed the company books with our Chartered Accountant, he made a very conservative filing of our loss so we would be eligable for a tax write off. He told us we would be getting an audit from Revenue Canada. He said Revenue Canada are not your friends, and to only tell them what they asked with their questions. We filed our income tax, and sure enough, we received a letter from them that we were being audited. I sent them all of the information they asked for. Within a few days, Revenue Canada phoned me. The gal doing the audit asked me what was going on with MBE/UPS. She said she had several files on her desk that were very similar to ours. I told her the whole story. I twigged that this may be a way of getting some come-uppance. I knew we would never know the results of the audit. She almost sounded excited. She asked who the Area Franchisee was, and the names of the big wigs in Oakville. She asked me to send proof of our total losses (on top of what our accountant claimed). To make a long story short, regardless what we think of Rev Can, we received a great tax write off. Also, I would love to have been a fly on the wall in Oakville when Corporate Office was audited.

  • sean

    To “MBE/UPS Stands for…” and the other closed or struggling franchise owners posting, I -and I’m sure many others here – feel for you and find your stories to be, well, heartwrenching as well as infuriating. Thanks for sharing the specifics of your situation and experience – at the very least you’ll know you probably helped someone else avoid the same misfortune… and at best you’ve called attention to the kinds of issues that need to be dealt with more effectively at a higher level.

  • Oregon Store Owner

    Oh, Beenhad, word to your entire post! It’s EXACTLY what will happen. Truly, UPS stole our top customer and is working on another one, according to the disclosing customer. We’ve lost $300K to the UPS/MBE casino and I’m not sure we’ll ever recoup it.

    I’ll add to your list that UPS/MBE will require that you lease space in the newest shopping center in town (AKA: high rent). The’ll give you spreadsheets showing P&L’s that show how you are going to be profitable in six months. It’s taken us 3 years to be even close to breaking even and according to them we’re doing things the right way.

    Even when you’ve hit the “break even” point, we’ve found we only net about 10% after all the fees. This franchise has sucked the life out of us financially not to mention that our kids see their dad about an hour daily on Sundays when we’re closed.

    Would we do it again? No. Will we make it another two years without losing our home and/or filing BK? I’m really not sure.

  • UPS Store Owners Friend

    ditto, ditto…my firend owns one. they are a hard-working family 3 years into it at break even who has emptied 401ks, motgaged homes to the hilt just to keep the thing going and they are one of the top in their area in doc services and in typically top 30% of local area. They are battling depression, emotional anxiety, fear of financial loss and trying to maintain a healthy house for their young children. Then they have to work at the counter and have someone ask for a waybill (don’t hand them out btw) or wand another dollar drop-off package. Enron is an understatement. I wish all UPS customers knew how bad UPS is screwing their franchisees and all of their families, I wish the press knew, I wish the FTC knew.

  • Josh Paschall

    RUN AWAY RUN AS FAST AND FAR AS YOU CAN. I just endured 6 months of nothing but lies. From day one I explained the location I wanted the store to be. I was told it was on there radar and that would not bea problem. From then on everything went wrong. I would go 2-3 weeks without phone call backs. I would excuses that my area rep was in oral surgery. I 4 months into it I got an e-mail saying that my location would not work and I could choose from other locations. Guess what the other locations already had a post net in the area and they had a non compete clase that no one could lease that had the same type of business. UPS Proposed to put my store 200 yards away. Couldnt do even if I wanted to. Good job of research by there real estate team. I again argued about location they said they would look into again. Finally I said YES or NO. Those are the only answers I want, if no I want all my money bcak. Just tonight 6 months into it, I got a phone call from the President of Operations Pete Lindsey to go over my frustrations. He said he was sorry but the good news was is that I could have my store in Pleasant HIll because they believed in me and my past successes. Although still skeptical I said I would wipe the slate clean as long as he promises that from here on out communication would be top of the line. he agreed and we were on a our way. 45 MINUTES LATER HE CALLS BACK AND SAYS HE SUBMITTED THE PAPERWORK AND I WAS NO LONGER APPROVED AND THAT THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME ANYTHING LIKE THIS HAS HAPPENED IN HIS 17 YEARS AND HE WAS SO SORRY BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. UPS is a joke. There people are a joke. I AM GETTING MY $7500 BACK. I explained to him I wanted it overnighted to me, but that he better use FEDEX to make sure it gets to me on time.

  • SD

    TUPSS would let you put a store in the middle of the ocean as long as your check clears. Their must have been some underlying reason why you couldn’t have your location. I would try to find the answer to that question. If they refund your full $7500 they are trying to hide something.

  • Chance

    Josh your story is heart felt, and let us know if you ever see the check! In the meantime, perhaps starting a website about their poor franchising ethics would help others (check out for an example). These franchisors are only interested in the upfront money (franchisee fees and profits on assests they will sell you), and not on whether you are successful in business, or if the market is flooded.
    What is sad, is that the UFOC doesn’t show a true picture of the business, and they can get away with it, like so many other franchisors!

    SD, my guess is that they have deals worked out with some landlords, and/or perhaps they get kick backs – imagine that!

  • Jim B

    God was looking out for you my friend. Take it from someone who was approved some years back: You dodged a bullet.

    Best wishes for the future. I hope the scam artists give you your money back soon, but don’t hold your breath; they’re thieves, and damn good one’s at that!

  • Josh

    SD. I am not sure what the reason is. I was not financing anything this was a cash deal. They said because the population was under 10,000. At the begining it was OK Because it was so close to a Metro Area. Who knows. I was told today that I would have my check for the full $7500 Monday Morning. I will let you know.

  • Josh P

    I Got My Money back. It took longer than they said of course but it happened. Still My Opinion of UPS will never be the same.

  • pudge

    Where were all of you store owners 2 years ago when our law suit against UPS began to take root?! Out of 5,000 or so stores in the U.S. only 200 of us could be counted on to realy chalenge UPS…not in some commette group, not on some “talk brown soup” web site. Only in the court of law can UPS be FORCED into opening up what is the real story of these store failures. While this suit is still in the works as of this second and nothing major will be happening till summer, SOME of us have something that others don’t …HOPE. We really could have used you guys two years ago…

  • Franck

    Hi from France,

    Do you know where i can find articles or informations about any drop off store finally lose in justice ? or have been sentenced ?

    It’s too have more arguments in court with my french attorney. Thanks a lot for your help !

  • John

    I’ve had several MBEs and coverted all of them into The UPS Store locations. I’ve been doing this for 14+ years and I’m not doing it for nothing. Buying and operating a TUPSS franchise is like owning and operating any other small business, whether it’s a franchise or independent. While I don’t know the specifics of the business failures of many of the posters on this topic, I am aware that some of them are Extremely angry about their situation, and that they have spent a tremendous amount of time tearing down the value of this franchise over the past 4-5 years. The hard facts are that MANY TUPSS owners make a very good living with their stores. Mike Rodriguez’s comment that 50-60% of the stores are losing money is so absurd that it’s laughable. The successful store owners spend their time working on their businesses, not posting all over the internet how successful they are. There are unhappy franchisees in every franchise system. I’ve talked with many of them over the years. Franchising is about using the franchisor’s business management system or operational model. It has been my experience that most of the franchisees I’ve talked with who are unhappy with TUPSS, do not even come close to following the guidelines and business management system provided by the Mail Boxes Etc, which is the franchise company for The UPS Store. If you think you are interested in owning a TUPSS franchise, you should talk with as many TUPSS owners as you can. AND, you should talk with owners of other franchise businesses as well. Go visit your local SCORE (Senior Core of Retired Executives) office and get advice from other small business owners. Don’t base your decision on the opinions of ONLY the franchisees who are angry, and please, if you do listen to their advice, arm yourself to ask the right questions to find out the root cause of their failure. If some one choses NOT to follow the franchise business system they purchase, they ought not to blame the franchise company for their failure. Franchises that are operated by the book by people with the requisite business and personal skills are generally successful. There are always situations that can’t be foreseen, such as an anchor tennant moving out of a stip mall, which can have a very negative impact on an individual business, but that’s not the franchise company’s fault. Owning a small business is both rewarding and difficult. If you’ve done the proper due dilligence to invest the money, you’ll likely make the right decision and be successful with the business. Don’t let the naysayers keep you from investigating what may be an excellent opportunity for you.

  • BS

    It’s kinda hard to survive owning one of these stores when your parent company UPS is your direct compeition!!! RUN LIKE HELL from this franchise!!! 60% of the stores don’t make a dime!

  • NJ Owner

    This guy John is either is complete idiot or he is working for MBE/UPS trying to do damage control. He has his head completly up his ass. This franchise system is in shambles due to neverending UPS/MBE greed. Don’t Do it unless you have a desperate need to destroy the next 10 years and all life savings!

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  • sean

    I’ve given John’s thought-provoking comment the honor of it’s own post.

    Click here to go see it and comment, if it’s not too much effort:
    UPS Store Franchise Owner Says You’d Succeed If You’d Stop Whining

  • Susan

    “John” is a perpetual committee rep out of TN.
    He has owned several of these stores, but what he doesn’t tell you is that he has been on FAC and insists on touting the company line. He refuses to listen to realistic people, ONLY people who are the “Right” business people.
    Go to hell John

  • Susan

    If any of you negative people would like to contact

  • http://none Fedup

    John might or might not be one of the handful of successful owners. Just as likely, he’s a UPS/MBE “mole,” who pop up on boards like this one, Blue Mau Mau, and others, to try and spin the facts and make it appear that the franchisees are, variously, stupid, lazy, incompentent, etc. If you want the honest truth, get off YOUR lazy butt, and this board, and talk face-to-face with at least a dozen owners, and be sure they are not “stalking horses” who have been hand-picked by a UPS/MBE management type and who are sure to give you their spun version of things.

  • Jim Brown

    John Fuller doesn’t even follow his own PACE recommended guidelines for his stores. This franchise is a sham, and he knows it. Don’t let his foolishness ruin your life.

    John, why don’t you ask Stuart Mathis what percentage of stores are making money according to the Boston Consulting Group report that MBE/UPS refuses to share whith it’s franchisees?

    And before you pick on Mike Rodriguez, it might surprise you to know that Mike was parroting Barry Barnes, region five Franchise Advisory Counsil member, and owner of four stores.

    Completely irresponsibble John. You want to portray this franchise as being a victim of disgruntled franchisees, rather than explaining that these franchisees are disgruntled because they are victims of a well thought out scheme to make UPS a great deal of money on the backs of hard working, albeit failing, Ma and Pa store owners.

    Shame on you. Just keep your mouth shut and your fingers off the keyboard. I’m sure there’s someone out there who believes that the $1 million dollar store is attainable by making mousepads, but there aren’t any takers here.

  • sean

    Are you each willing to advance the debate from the abstract to specifics? I will set up posts for the dueling submissions.

    It will be TCS (Team Corporate Suckups) vs. TLS (Team Lazy Slackers). At the end, we’ll open it up for a public vote. No legal fees, no drawn out court cases, just our version of Franchise Idol. The winners get to change their team name to whatever they want, and the losers will keep their moniker on this site from that day forward.

    John and the TCS: Can you get me a list of ten successful stores that you think are run in accordance with the company’s guidelines and that show that the The UPS Store model, if diligently run on typical-to-good circumstances – will be successful? Store location, when founded, owner’s names, estimated revenue, type of area and a picture for each would be great, but not an absolute requirement. No stores with extraordinarily high traffic or uncommon locations.

    BS and the TLS: Can you get me a list of ten unsuccessful stores (open or closed) that you think are or were run in accordance with the company’s guidelines and that show that the The UPS Store model, even if diligently run on typical-to-good circumstances – will be not successful? Store location, when founded, owner’s names, estimated revenue (and basis for that estimate), type of area and a picture for each would be great, but not an absolute requirement. No stores with extraordinarily poor traffic or uncommon situations, please.

    A priority will be placed on promoting – not maligning – any open stores and their owners.

    What do you think?
    Is your side ready to back up its claims with examples?
    You’ll be able to post your info on the stores directly, and I’ll give you a place to email the pictures up a place to upload.

    Feel free to email me at info[at]

  • sean
  • Josh

    Here is the thing that everyone really needs to understand. The reason these stores are not successful is simple. The people making the decesions are idots. I was lucky that I ended up not owning a store. I posted earlier that I actually got my money back. From Day one I was Lied to. I was told I could have a store in the city and location I wanted. 6 months later I was told I could not. The first person I spoke to during the interview process had to cancel his first trip to interview. He was nice enough and had no problem accepting a $7500.00 check. The real estate “Guru” cancelled 2 meetings then he was going to have 2 other people with him and guess what I was told they had to go to St. Louis for an emergancy at one of the stores. I drove this guy around at 8:00. He stunk like alchol so bad I had to put my window down while it was raining. After the meeting he said looked like a geat place for the store. this was about 3 months into the process. Let me remind everyone as I said in my earlier post this was a cash transaction. Nothing against anyone who is financing but just a point that there were no contingencies. All of the sudden no communication at all. I left message after message after message. To make it short I got a call from the operations manager whom I mentioned(just scroll up) called me and said they were so sorry Yada yada yada!!! My location was approved Blah Blah Blah!!!. 30-45 min later he called me back and said he was sorry but it was not approved but I could have a different location. Why do these stores not work because the people in charge of setting thenm up are idots. Just to let everone know. I just bought a Goin’ Postal Franchise. It has been 2 months and I am loving it. These people are great. My store will open June 1st and it will offer more than a UPS store at half the cost.

  • http://none Fedup

    Sean, many of the stores who know the most about what’s going on in this mess are involved in lawsuits and cannot play your silly game. If you’re genuinely interested in finding out what’s what, get up from the keyboard, off your butt, and talk to at least a dozen–better, two dozen–store owners who have been in the system for at least 6 or 8 years, and not the mouthpieces that UPS/MBE “handlers” point you toward.

  • sean

    The silly game is giving you an opportunity to make your case to the tens of thousands of people who visit this site every month, searching for information. This includes writers from the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and other major publications who are looking for real information. It also includes many, many people who are considering UPS franchises right now. Take a look through the comments and you’ll see several thanking this site for information that saved them from making a huge mistake, like buying a UPS franchise.

    If joining a lawsuit means that you give up your freedom to discuss your situation or warn others, I’m sure UPS is thrilled with your lawsuits. Think about it, Fedup. This is a public company with investors, carriers, and small business customers whose perceptions of the company are critical. And now, instead of being able to protest, send them letters, pitch your individual stories, urge a boycott you agree to go silent and pay attornies to slug it out on some obscure battleground.

    Does anyone read those boring lawsuit press releases? Does anyone seriously thinks a group of shop owners can outgun a corporate giant with unlimited resources in the courtroom?

    The “silly game” is an invitation to use the Court of Public Opinion, which is where UPS Store owners have a fighting chance, and a chance to outgun the corporate “handlers” with specifics.

  • cg


    It is in court that the decision will be made. You are asking us to post on a public forum what UPS has to use their lawyers to get. I haven’t spent 5 years of my life so that it can be thrown away on a public forum

  • sean

    cg said: sean It is in court that the decision will be made. You are asking us to post on a public forum what UPS has to use their lawyers to get. I haven’t spent 5 years of my life so that it can be thrown away on a public forum
    I hadn’t realized that being in a a lawsuit means that you cannot post rational, specific arguments, but it does allow emotional, anonymous attacks and insults?
    Or that it prohibits linking to publicly available examples, like the story I posted about the franchisee who ended up in a trailer park?

    The average consumer and UPS corporate knows nothing about your lawsuit or your struggles. No one I speak to outside the franchise world knows about most of the litigation with UPS, Quiznos, Coffee Beanery or any of the stuff we in the industry are up on. When they come on a discussion like the one that prompted my “silly game,” they don’t know whether John or you are the credible ones. As the franchisees are attacking a respected company without providing specifics, John’s seem more soundly reasoned to the outside observer.
    Ranting and raving in generalities about the FR being crooks, etc. makes it easy for a FR to dismiss you at Discovery Day. It validates their characterization of unhappy franchisees as ranting, raving negative crybabiess blaming others for their own failures.
    Specific examples of stores that followed the system and failed – perhaps even in the market a franchisee is considering – is a lot harder to dismiss.
    The “challenge” was meant to provide you with an opportunity for you all to refute John’s argument with compelling examples rather than personal attacks.
    CG, I recall we conversed in a rational manner before when I was immediately attacked on your forum. Unfortunately, arrogant idiots like FedUp would rather represent your group as favoring personal attacks. At least, that’s my impression by the spate of insulting emails he barraged me me with today. Sometimes your worst enemies are right there alongside you.

  • sean
  • http://n.a. Fedup


    I’ve emailed my credentials, etc, privately. I could not care less what you think of me personally. What annoys me about you, aside from your remark that a group of store owners like us would be “outgunned by a giant like UPS,” or words to that effect, is your lack of professionalism (incidentially, my screen name here is “Fedup,” not “Fedups.”), and your continuing attempt to elicit information from that has bearing on litigation in progress. To that point, I quote from one of the lawyer Michael Webster’s posts, which was addressed directly to you.

    “I used to be in many of the UPS/MBE boards. But I had to disengage because I was basically doing the same thing that Sean was doing: asking people to make statements that might have hurt their litigation chances. I miss being on those boards because I learned a lot – but my presence was not helping.”

    You want information? You want statements? Get off your duff and go get it.

  • Chance

    Fed Up, I am a former franchisee of a now defunct ebay drop off store franchise, which is only defunct due to the diligence of people out here who have had the balls to speak out about what is really going on in these franchises. Sean is well aware of the fact that a handful of franchisees can and will have an impact for the greater good of the struggling franchisees and potential victims. So step off the dance floor or learn to dance – the truth will prevail!

  • sean

    Thanks a lot.
    Though this is not a group that can be reasoned with. They kind of come in like a rabid pack, all frothed up from ranting on BlueMauMau or their own boards. There is no discussion that does not immediately become about them and their lawsuit.

    They would do well to go to and see how a flawed business model can be convincingly exposed with facts and logic. Ask them for an example and you’ll get assailed, attacked presented with their 5 year old Ad test results.

    With the arrogance and rudeness that’s typical of at least a number of this group, it’s no mystery why their customers would want to go direct with UPS… or Staples… Or OfficeMax… Yikes.

  • Chance

    Some people that are desperate strike out at others. It is time they get their ego’s in check.
    Are they aware that some of the corp. snakes of the drop off stores were with MBE (the UPS precursor)? These guys go from franchise to franchise creating havoc in their wake, they need to be stopped, and it takes all of our efforts. Those who want to hide behind the shirts of corporate corruption, or the arm of the law are out for only themselves. Unity and facts are what win lawsuits and allow franchisees a chance. Perhaps a website of facts is what they really need. I am sure that the folks at will help them out.

  • OutToLunch

    I am dumbstruck Sean.
    Not ALL people have done this, in fact, I see very little that have.
    So you have lumped us all in together. I spent some time last night laying out what I thought was pretty good information.
    You never even commented on it.
    You did comment on a couple of other “Who cares” posts though

  • sean

    OuttoLunch said: Gee.
    I am dumbstruck Sean.
    Not ALL people have done this, in fact, I see very little that have.
    So you have lumped us all in together. I spent some time last night laying out what I thought was pretty good information.
    You never even commented on it.
    You did comment on a couple of other “Who cares” posts though

    You’re, of course, right and I apologize. I read every comment, but they come in waves. I’ll go back and respond to yours.
    From the first time I started looking into some of the disturbing stories about what UPS has done since their acquisition of MBE, it has taken a conscious effort to remember that having a few bitter, arrogant loudmouths is not a reflection on the many UPS store franchise owners who deserve better treatment than they’ve received. Unfortunately, it’s probably the same 2-3 people who tend to turn every conversation into an argument, and always with their particular situation in the spotlight.
    The attacks I was responding to were on a different post, so, again, sorry.

    The topic here is whether or not The UPS Store is a good franchise opportunity or not, and why. It’s not about the particulars of your lawsuit and it’s not a continuation of your insider conversations on your brown board, white board or whatever board you rant on. I proposed a tongue-in-cheek “duel” in an attempt to have some evidence or examples posted illustrating how the business model isn’t profitable even in normal to good circumstances.
    To be blunt, I was giving TUPSS owners (or others) an opportunity to raise the level of the argument above “The reason these stores are not successful is simple. The people making the decesions are idots.”
    I perhaps got spoiled in the conversations on the iSold It and Snappy Auctions post. The franchise owners, like Chance, understood, and cared, that prospective franchise owners were here looking for real information as an alternative to the FR’s impressive propoganda machine. Some stuck their own necks out to prevent others from making the mistakes they did.
    As much as I sympathize with The UPS owners’ situations, I can’t help but think they’ve just traded one cage for another, one master for another. They have gagged themselves, and signed on for years of negativity and rancor. I hope any settlement is worth it for them, and not just their law firms.
    But that’s a topic for another post.

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    Another very worthwhile insight from Michael Webster: “Traffic created by your posts allows B5Media to sell advertising here – from which they in turn pay Sean to write.”

    “Ask the Man” has again suggested that if there are really success stories to be heard, that “John” or others provide the details. They haven’t, because they can’t.

    On the other hand, it’s been made clear that the lawyers want those in the lawsuits to button up ’till the shooting is over and the smoke clears…”don’t make yourself a target.” What Sean keeps agitating for is exactly that. Again, lawyer Michael Webster has agreed.

    If a prosepective franchisee wants the whole story, not just what the franchisor’s “propoganda machine” cranks out, it’s as close as google.

    Bottom line, apparently, Sean keeps stirring the pot ’cause it puts money in his pocket for blogging.

  • sean

    Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

  • Chance

    To all the UPS owners other than the Corp. puppets like Fedup:
    Please realize that this idiot, Fedup, is only trying to deface Sean and anyone else that could help the franchisees who are speaking out. As for gags, a gag does not mean you can’t speak the TRUTH about problems the store owners are having, in fact, speaking out will most likely get you more allies in your fight against the Corp. powers above. Remember that some peoples ego’s can’t admit they are losing the battle with these stores, and so they may tout unbelievable facts. Form a group by finding the common issues you are all dealing with(Sean will help), and if you are being threatened (which often happens with rotten franchisors) – seak legal advice! A group action will get much more attention! Good luck!

  • http://none Fedup

    “Chance,’ as you noted previously, you are NOT a franchisee who’s involved with UPS. So you really don’t know what you’re talking about. And far from being a “corporate puppet,” I’m simply warning those in litigation to remember what their very competent legals have said, which is exactly what Michael Webster said earlier on this thread: “I used to be in many of the UPS/MBE boards. But I had to disengage because I was basically doing the same thing that Sean was doing: asking people to make statements that might have hurt their litigation chances.”

    “Chance,” the facts are all to be found via google. The courts will help sort out the rest.

  • sean

    Fedups keeps referring to Michael Webster’s decision to stop participating in a UPS franchise owners forum which – unlike – is largely populated with UPS litigants discussing matters directly related to their litigation.

    This is an open forum with a primary focus on helping people who are considering a franchise investment see past the hype and be able to make a truly informed decision. This is largely accomplished by the contributions of franchisees and ex-franchisees willing to share their insights and the hard lessons they’ve learned.
    The secondary focus of is to help franchisees and franchisors celebrate best practices, and expose and discuss worst practices, for the betterment of all involved.

    Fedups, I don’t know how many more ways I can say this: This conversation is not about you or your lawsuit. Comprende? It’s not about you or your lawsuit. It is you, not Chance, who does not know what you are talking about.

    If you cannot grasp that concept, and if you have nothing of substance (your lawyers will allow you) to add, please go pack some boxes, lick some stamps, arrange your return labels, alienate some customers, or start a blog dedicated to telling people, ad nauseum, how you can’t tell them anything.

    Don’t go away mad, but go away knowing that your intellectual superiority and your righteous indignation at the misdeeds of your evil overlord are well established.
    Go away knowing the citizenry is safe,
    And your work here is done.

  • Dharma

    If you want to know about franchises, go to Blue Mau Mau and read there. Sean is an instigator who wants those reading to see his superiority over those who post. You asked if this was a good franchise and we answered…NO IT ISN’T. So leave it at that and if readers decide they want one, then so be it. But if the readers wait for a few months or so, they will know why we advised not to buy one. No one in any kind of litigation should be here on this board talking to anyone about it, even if you haven’t disclosed anything. So if you are, stop now. Walk away, never to come back until everything is finished. There is enough info out there if people are willing to dig for it.

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    Sean, I’ll quote the esteemed Michael Webster once again, ’cause you simply don’t seem to be able to grasp simple English:

    “I used to be in many of the UPS/MBE boards. But I had to disengage because I was basically doing the same thing that Sean was doing: asking people to make statements that might have hurt their litigation chances.

    Add the fact that your blog is more public than the UPS/MBE boards–and might even have a higher readership–and it requires only a modicum of common sense to realize that anything posted here IS or about the litigants and their lawsuits, so it’s just as bad an idea to run one’s mouth here.

    Finally, try and get at least one thing right. My screen name is “Fedup,” not “Fedups.” Details do matter.

    Dharma, you’re right again, as you often are on that “other” board. I’m walking away and not coming back, and I can just hear Sean’s sigh of relief that I departed before revealing that his highest achievement in franchising was as marketing director of “Aunt Annie’s Pretzels.” Oops, it just slipped out. ;^)

  • sean

    By God, I miss Fedups already…. sigh…

  • cg

    Your last statement speaks to your lack of professionalism more than Fedup.

  • Chance

    Actually Fedup(s), I DO know what I am talking about. It is NOT necessary to be a UPS franchisee, but more importantly that I have had franchisee experience very similar in nature (by some of the same nasty guys who over sold MBE).

    The whole point of this blog is to save one more potential franchisee from being a bankrupt victum. However, you would have to care about someone other than yourself! As for Sean, he has been very diligent, as have others out here, in helping those potentials steer clear. He and others have given alot of constructive help to those dealing with major issues or closing. That is above and beyond the call of duty (getting the word out), so a thankyou would be more in order here!

    And Dharma, the whole problem here is that people DON’T dig for info, including yourself, or you wouldn’t have bought into this franchise in the first place – the data has been out there for quite a few years now.

    Stating what has happened (truthfully) and not just bitching, can only strengthen your position – not hamper it, and I am sure Mr. Webster will agree with that! You have to get the issues out there, and blogging is just one of the ways to do that.

    Lawsuits (or arbitration) on the other hand, can take MANY years and dollars to complete (and most likely never will). So, perhaps you should start working on rallying the troops instead of tossing arrows at every and anyone who attempts to help. I believe that if you direct your anger toward the abuser (UPS in this case), you just might help bring them down, or reach some kind of equitable settlement for everyone. If only two people at AITOO can take down most of the ebay drop off store industry, just think what you and a handful of franchisees can do together!

    PS. And remember that Sean is entitled to be frustrated and FED UP sometimes too!

  • sean

    cg said: Sean Your last statement speaks to your lack of professionalism more than Fedup.
    You’re right. It was juvenile. It occurred to me that it hurts the overall record for future readers. I’ve only ever banned one person in a year and a half, but I should do that the moment someone gets abusive, sends me a personal, insulting email, or ever disparages the pretzel, the noblest of all snacks.

  • Michael Webster

    Sean is not your enemy.

    He asked for some posts about how the system could work better.

    Correctly, many of you said that it was not in your legal interest to explore this in a public forum.

    At the end of the day, win or lose the lawsuit, you still will have a business of some sort or another to run.

    Sean was asking you to reflect upon how that business ought to work.

    Now I do understand how such reflections may be “banned” by your legal advisors, and for good reasons.

    But at the end of the day, you collectively are more than merely plaintiffs in a lawsuit – you are business people.

    When you win all that money – what services would you buy for your business? How would you make it better? (And please, don’t say that you would just sell it to the next sucker.)

    I don’t want you to answer these questions in public – it would be a mistake.

    But, equally, Sean raising these questions for you to think about is important.

    What are you doing with the rest of your life when this litigation is over, one way or the other.

  • Dorian

    Who’s the idiot that bought a Goin Postal franchise? What a fool! That name and concept will be gone soon.

    The fact is if you are smart, market and treat your customers right, then you will do well. Problem is many franchisees are weak and lazy.

  • Chance

    Concerning Goin Postal, they are no more a fool than you are, and they have many of the same issues that UPS does. They are only seaching for answers like many others out here.

    As for marketing and treating your customers right, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know you are not guaranteed success. In fact having a bad franchisor only compounds problems no matter how hard the franchisees work, and they are amongst the hardest working people in business.

    From your comments it sounds like you are NOT a franchisee, have never been one, or you’re an arrogant franchisor trying hard to cast a bad light on this blog (surprize surprize). Call me an optimist, but it seems that working together out here would accomplish alot more!

  • Josh

    I am the one who bought th GPS Store. Guess what they are light years ahead of UPS. I am sure there are people who have had success with UPS. I did not go forward with UPS for one main reason. They could not communicate and when they did it was a different story from whom ever I spoke with. AS noted earlier I did get my money back and it was a blessing. My GPS Store opens up June 15th. I am sure there will be problems, questions, concerns, disagreements and things I will not like, but Communication is the key in any business. GPS had done a great job. It may not be the store for everyone just like UPS but so far so good

  • Chance

    Good luck to you Josh! I am sure you will do well.

  • Nobody

    Worse business, don’t invest any money into this businee.

  • Nobody

    This Business is nothing but eat your money and time. no profit at all.

  • Chris

    i am 42 and in Debt up to my A$$!
    they decided to put 4 stores in my area and one store had to close its doors, O’yeah my store!

    now i am paying the bank and the lease off plus trying to run another store, so i would think that will go under sometime cause it is supporting two NOTES. WELL THANKS ALOT

  • upsdreamin

    The Goin Postal just closed down here in Tucson AZ the owner LOST his ASS. After less than a year and right down the street from a UPS Store that closed down 6 months before. If you going to buy one of these businesses buy an existing one wtih cash flow.


  • http://FranchisePick Franchise Lover

    Hey guys, cut the crap. I currently own 5 The UPS Stores and I’m in the process of buying 2 more by the middle of next year. I have been at this for over 8 years now and I love it. Have I ever been dissapointed at MBE corporate?? Hundreds of times!! Am I making money?? Of course!! Each store brings in between $30k – 40K. Multiplied by 5 that is almost $200,000 a year that I make. My goal is to own a total of 10 stores by the time I’m 42 years of age. I’m 37 now. The first 2 years were really tough. I was managing 2 of my stores by myself and I was working my butt off. One day I realized that the only way to make this process fun was by hiring competent managers. I pay my managers an average of $32K a year. I visit each store once per week and I work from home. My stores average between $300k to $450k in sales per year. One word of advice: if you are over 55 years of age do not get into this. Its hard and it takes a lot of effort. Plus, you have to be patient. TUPSS model is a “small business model”. Small business means that you will not get rich of one single store. You need to have several of them, cut your overhead costs and run as lean an operation as possible. To all of you TUPSS owners who are not happy, try buying a Quizno’s or Postal Annex franchise. Those are horrible!!!

  • cg

    I am glad this is working for you but unfortunely when they market these that is not how they are marketing them to prospective buyers

  • carol cross

    Maybe cg is one of MBE’s pet hyenas who is a multiple store owner because he gets to pick the bones of failed start-up owners of The UPS Store.

    It is my opinion that The UPS Store has only survived to this point because MBE does actively help third parties to pick up failed stores in fire sales, Churning through third parties, in my opinion, is a management tool of MBE-UPS that helps both entities to maximize their profits on the backs of innocents who provide the cheap labor and cheap venture capital to build new units that perpetuate their system in success OR in failure, when the hyena comes in to pick the bones.

    Of course, the SBA and other lenderrs also subsidize and perpetuate the churning franchisor in granting loans for the fire sale purchase, knowing that the new borrower/owner has greatly reduced risk and overhead.

    Unfortunately, the failure rate of first-owner franchisees of The UPS Store has been obscured in the disclosure process and new innocents are buying franchises even today.

    Unfortunately, the failure rate of first-owner franchisees is not even known to the banks or the SBA when many of these first-owner franchisees continue to pay on their startup debt to prevent bankruptcy and the loss of the collateral (the house) posted for the loan.

    I don’t blame you “cg” —-you are an entrepreneur and your “hyena” status is apparently legal and premeditated under federal regulatory policy. Everybody has to try to make a living!


  • cg

    NOPE carol, no hyena. Just didn’t drink the Kool-aid and am not afraid to take ups to the wire in the court of law.

    I agree with you. the issue is it shouldn’t take 5 stores to make a decent living. if they sell a store then that center should be able to return a decent return to the investor and owner of that store. If it can’t then they have the wrong business model. It shouldn’t be the FAC and MAC and there pets that succeed. The store should stand on there own. Try having UPS drive paying shipping customers to your store. Something that they REFUSE TO DO.

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    Carol–If anything, it’s “Franchise Lover” who’s the hyena. I’d be willing to bet he/she picked up most of those stores at pennies on the dollar, as the original owners bailed out for anything they could get, in absolute desperation. Let’s hear the rest of the story, the backstory, “Lover!”

  • Carol

    CG, You are right! It is “Franchise Lover” who is the pet hyena of MBE/UPS —I’m with you (cg) and I would hope the courts would look at the fraud of this arrangement, The UPS franchise, that MBE/UPS anticipated would maximize profits for both with no thought or care as to what the premeditated exploitation of their franchisees would cost the franchisees.

    They have been able to hide the failure rate and the unprofitability of the stores from new buyers and from the court. Their in-house legal person for MBE gives a testimonial for the SBA Franchise Registry and their SBA failure rate doesn’t reflect the REAL failure rate of first investors that is disclosed in all the churning and turning of their units. The President of MBE was out on the Internet in 2005 suggesting that “entrepreneurs” buy “hobbled stores” and this is probably where “Franchise Lover” got his start.

    Hopefully! with all the mess in our economy, the Regulators will put a stop to this cruel exploitation of franchisees by franchisors. It may be that they will see the necessity of more transparency, and franchisors will have to disclose the true viability of the units in their systems to new buyers of their franchises and to new buyers of their stock.

  • http://FranchisePick Franchise Lover

    I paid an average of 175k per store. I do not buy stores in distress. That would be suicide. I buy stores that have in buisiness for more than 12 years. My second store was a startup and it was the toughest of them all. Buy existing stores, get owner financing, work your tail off. It works.

  • carol cross

    When you buy the stores that have been in business for 12 years, Franchise Lover, you are buying MBE stores who have updated to UPS Stores, I assume! If your second store was a startup, you have been doing this a long time. and it was an MBE startup, no doubt.

    No doubt, you didn’t take the advice of Stuart Mathis in 2005 and were buying “hobbled stores” whose sales offer an opportunity for profit when you buy them at 175K — and you were spreading your risk, even before 2005.

    I know you won’t share with us the amount of sales these stores have to have generated in order to make them attractive to you at an average sales price of $175K per store.

    You are buying stores that built up sales as MBE franchisees, before the advent of the UPS Store, if you are buying stores that are 12 years old.

    You can’t build a new UPS Store and put aside working capital for 175K and your experience proves that UPS/MBE is selling pigs in a poke to new buyers knowing that the famous name is a shill that will help them to continue to churn visibility in our economy on the backs of the first owners of franchises who will provide the cheap labor and cheap venture capital to maintain the visibility of the UPS Store on the American scene.

    I understand that you should have no shame but what about this great American Corporation UPS, who brags about its integrity, but who bought a franchisor “cheap” so that they could maximize THEIR profits and minimize their risk by exploiting the cheap labor and cheap venture capital of good faith middle -class Americans who stand to lose everything when their UPS stores fail? —-and who have no idea of the high failure rate of original UPS owners when they make their investment.

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of first owners of The UPS Store have actually survived and how much of this UPS/MBE network actually is composed by people like you who do benefit from the churning mechanism that MBE has perfected as a management tool.

  • http://wellmaybethiswillchangeyourmind cg

    Do you know Mr. Rich Kolman (inhouse council) person most knowledgeable (PMK) when asked if he was “aware that the Boston Consulting Group came to the conclusion that 77 percent of the networ,– when I say “network,” I mean 77 percent of the stores — were operating in what it called either an at risk or worse status?”

    His answer was NO. This is the man that wrote the EX 11 in the back of the the UFOC “Risk Factors Associated with the Purchase of The UPS Store (TM) Franchise.

    Wouldn’t you think that was a risk factor that can not be blamed on away by the “ability to Opereratea The UPS store Center ( and to provice Expectional Customer Service.) surely more than 3/4 quarters of the operators or not incompetent business men and women, and when UPS/MBE has tried to imply that the poor performance has to do with the owner I challenge them to explain why they sold franchises to (more than 3/4) such incompetent people in the first place.

  • tony

    i want to make a ups store if some one has a honest oppinion if its a good inversion or not please tell me thankyou

  • Francois


    Here is my honest oppinion, yes if you make a ups store it will be a good inversion!!!

  • Lee


    I am in the process of buying a UPS_store for around $100k which is breaking even. No profit…no loss. Should I go though with it? Can this be a profitable business for me since I am not the original owner and the store is already breaking even?
    Or am I just going to waste my hard earned savings?

    I really appreciate your help. This is very important to me…

    Thank you

  • Geesh

    OH Come on!
    Have you read this website?
    Have you read BlueMauMau?
    Have you searched the internet for UPS Store failures or some such?
    Did you not read the above comment that was posted by CG that says that 77% of the UPSS are FAILING?
    You think you have the miracle cure? You are smarter than 77% of the UPSS network?
    Why is the store only breaking even? OH, I know what they told you. The owner doesn’t work the store, he doesn’t market it (properly maybe?), it’s all the owners fault.
    The UPSS is a huge scam for you to serve UPS’ customers at your expense.
    Go and find a franchise attorney that can explain that FOC to you. Then, when you ignore that attorney’s advice and buy the damn store, make sure you hire yourself a LITIGATOR, and then PRAY PRAY PRAY!

  • Francois

    RUN, RUN RUN as fast as your little feet can carry you! Do not look back, do not look sideways, just keep running. Someday you will forget that you have ever heard the name The UPS Store!

  • Oregon Store Owner

    Have you consulted with the owner about what is causing them to just break even? How long has the store been open? Are the mailboxes full? What is the competition? Talk to the local Chamber of Commerce and the business climate. Go to some local businesses as ask them about the store. Hard to say whether $100K is a fair price. Get a list of the 10 closest UPS stores, and try to focus on those in a similar demographic, and talk to them all. Ask them if someone came along and offered them enough money to walk away and “break even” on their investment, would they? Read this entire blog and formulate questions from that. There is a lot of good content here to ask owners about. The biggest issue store owners have is “drop-offs” where people buy their own UPS Shipping lablel, tape it on their package and drop it off at your store. You make less than $2 per item for this when you could be making a 40% margin if they bought the label from you. UPS has to be competitive with USPS and FedEx so the issue is not going to be resolved any time soon.

  • Wake Up!!!

    OH Come on!
    Have you read this website?
    Have you read BlueMauMau?
    Have you searched the internet for UPS Store failures or some such?
    Did you not read the above comment that was posted by CG that says that 77% of the UPSS are FAILING?
    You think you have the miracle cure? You are smarter than 77% of the UPSS network?
    Why is the store only breaking even? OH, I know what they told you. The owner doesn’t work the store, he doesn’t market it (properly maybe?), it’s all the owners fault.
    The UPSS is a huge scam for you to serve UPS’ customers at your expense.
    Go and find a franchise attorney that can explain that FOC to you. Then, when you ignore that attorney’s advice and buy the damn store, make sure you hire yourself a LITIGATOR, and then PRAY PRAY PRAY!

  • Wake Up!!!

    In Regards to Oregon Store Owner’s comments:

    The owner is NOT going to be honest–name the excuses….he wants to retire, has been offered another opportunity, the list goes on. The real reason? He wants to dump the dog.

    You don’t get “less than $2 for a drop off” . You get a buck. That’s it. On a $10 retail package a drop off nets you a buck, if they bring it to you to process and pay, that same package gets you around $5.
    Take that scenerio, take 20 packages. You would get $20 bucks for 20 drop offs, whereas, you would net around $100 bucks. Take that times 6 days a week x 52 weeks, you have lost a LOT of money.

    But Hey! It works for UPS!

  • Wake Up!!!

    Why am I being moderated and nobody else is????

  • Oregon Store Owner

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, If someone came along and asked me those questions I would tell them the real deal about how much money we don’t make after many years of owning this business. How many vacations we haven’t had in the last six years, how many days a year we’ve haven’t taken off from the store, how many times we prayed that a lack of having health insurance wouldn’t be the end us financially. We’ll be lucky if we ever reach the point of selling the store before it bankrupts us in every way possible. The business profit model doesn’t support the majority of individual store owners and we too feel like we’re took on the financial risk for UPS so they could have a corporate store front. Here’s another think to ask UPS Store owners – how many times a week does a customer come in who got an estimate for shipping on Ebay online to find out the The UPS Store retail price is 30% higher than they obtained online. We really dig having that conversation with customers trying to convince them we aren’t jacking up the pricing.

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    “Wake Up,” you’re probably being moderated because Sean is a jerk with his own agenda. If anyone is thinking about opening one of these stores, they would do well to read every post at Blue Mau Mau on the subject…

  • Sean Kelly

    Fedup wrote “Wake Up,” you’re probably being moderated because Sean is a jerk with his own agenda.

    Actually, Wake Up, you aren’t being moderated. The first time a new person leaves a comment it’s held for approval. After that, it goes through without being held… as evidenced by the return of the incessantly banal and self-absorbed Fedup.

    Fedup: don’t you have boxes to pack and customers to alienate?

    Note to self: put learning how to ban annoying commenters on the agenda

  • Francois

    “Hire a Litigator” Now that is some serious advice! If you want to know how dumb you are to sign a franchise agreement, hire a Franchise attorney, but if you want a remedy because you are tired of picking up the soap, a Litigator is for you!!!

    (Right Mario H, size does matter!)

  • Chance

    Lee, there are plenty of reputable franchises out there, this is NOT one of them. Email Sean here, and Don at Blue Mau Mau, or talk to the folks at for good references. A good FRANCHISEE attorney can help as well. The reccomendation here is to RUN – VERY seriously! This is one of those franchises with a poor concept and corporate greed!

  • Wake Up!!!

    Well, Chance tells you to see a FRANCHISEE attorney.
    They are NOT litigators though!
    You should consult a FRANCHISEE attorney in your due diligence stage. They are great in that area and can tell you what the contracts really mean, and what you are getting into.
    Once you ignore all this advice and want to get out, you need a bonifide LITIGATOR. Someone who litigates as their job. Most franchisee attorneys do litigating as a part of the job, but the are not pit bulls.
    You HAVE to have a PIT BULL!!
    The UPS Store is not just a franchise that is full of corporate greed. They have UPS’ money and very experienced attorneys behind them, which gives them a HUGE advantage.

  • Wake Up!!!

    All of you people who think you are smarter than actual franchisees, let me give you an example.

    UPS/MBE carried out a study of The UPS Stores, that cost millions of dollars.
    One of the little tidbits that comes out:
    “Rather than meet with an independent
    association of The UPS Store
    franchisees, the Brown Board, UPS met
    with a business consulting firm, Boston
    Consulting Group, and a public relations
    firm, Fleishman-Hillard, which
    conducted interviews of MBE and UPS
    executives, franchisee and area
    franchisees, and, among other things,
    concluded that the channel conflict was
    worst than expected and that seventy
    seven percent of the franchisees were at
    risk or worse.

    What do UPS’ attorneys counter with???
    “relevance, improper opinion, hearsay”

    and this is exactly what UPS hired the group to do!

  • http://Joe,thePlumber carol cross

    While we lay people may think it is the worst kind of “fraud” to sell a franchise to the public that the franchisor KNOWS is unviable for a great percentage of its startup franchisees, apparently franchisors and their corporate owners know that any legally required competency of the franchisor or viability of the franchisor’s proven plan is not a settled matter in the law because of the actual legal effect of the subsidy of the incompetent and ineffective FTC Rule governing franchising. This matter is not settled because, of course, it has never been litigated in our courts.

    The package of the FTC Rule and the State FDD’s and the unbargained boilerplate contracts appear to technically protect franchisors from franchisee charges of fraudulent inducement to contract and for the concealment of material risk factors from new buyers. (If we look at the comments of Robert Purvin of the AAFD to the FTC in 1997 and the comments of Susan Kezios of the AFA in l997 and in Congressional hearings in 2002, we have to understand that this was the primary intent of the federal regulation of franchising in the late 1970′s)

    Apparently! when the law, as developed by public policy and the special interests, protects huge corporations from the consequences of any torts/crimes that they may commit, they feel very free to take advantage of their “get out of jail” passes. If the law makes it possible to treat franchisees as merely expendable contracted resources who can be churned and turned and used to enable large corporations to attain visibility and compete in the marketplace, the definitions of common law fraud in tort law and in contract law have to be adjusted to serve public policy, even if this public policy is immoral and unethical. .

    We would hope that the courts will be forced to look at the unintended consequences of dishonest and ineffective regulation and the use of law, process, and procedure to protect dishonest regulation of franchising and dishonest and greedy franchisors and their greedy corporate owners.

  • Scott

    I am a partial owner of a UPS store and everything I have read sounds all to familiar. My partners and I have invested everything into our operation and it is still stinking. We opened 4 years ago and over that time have been very disappointed in the support or lack of from the franchisor.

  • Francois

    If you are disappointed in the support from Mail Boxes etc. that is because you are confused. Mail Boxes Etc. does not support the franchisees, like yourself, it supports UPS! And, after the job they have done on the franchisees I’ll bet UPS is not all that disappointed in the job Mail Boxes has done for them!

  • http://Joe,thePlumber carol cross

    Obviously UPS is able to cheaply compete with FedEx for the domestic market because they have been able to CHURN, USE and EXPLOIT franchisees who bear the entire expense of of building and operating the physical retail units that wear the famous brand name, the UPS Store. Cheap drop boxes is the name of the game.

    The public thinks UPS owns and operates these stores, and why wouldn’t they? The employees wear brown shirts with UPS insignia in brown stores with big UPS Store Signs that are lit up for all to see.

    The public is like the Congress and doesn’t really understand the true nature of franchising which in many instances is much like indentured service was in the old days when franchisors churn and exploit franchisees.

    UPS operates no corporate retail units but FedEx had to form their own division of FedEx when they purchased Kinko’s at a fair price in their efforts to compete with UPS.

    FedEx Kinkos are employees and have all of the protections of employment laws whereas UPS Store Owners are out there swinging in the wind with no protection under our laws —UPS store owners can work 70 hours a week for nothing with no pay and no profits, and then lose everything when they finally go under. Only a small percentage survive to try to address the courts. Churning, when compounded over time, allows franchisors to hide their track records.

    UPS and MBE will continue to stand and use their franchisees to unfairly compete with FedEx if their whole network is operating at breakeven or below. They hide their abusive practices and churning from new buyers of the franchise and from the courts. They evade and avoid the expense of fair employment laws and avoid the expense of complying with State and Federal Laws concerning the operation of the physical store units that wear the famous brand name.

    MBE-UPS used the world-famous brand name to shill the sale of The UPS Store to both the old and the new franchisees in 2003. You can bet that UPS KNEW that they were getting a good deal in the purchase of MBE at a low cost and UPS, of course, was aware of the status quo of the law surrounding franchising and knew that they could only PROFIT from the purchase of MBE.

    MBE-UPS weren’t worried about what would happen to the franchisees who would make good faith investments in the building of The UPS Store that was hyped as an unprecedented opportunity for success. They knew they didn’t have to worry about the franchisees as long as they could churn an appearance of viability to new buyers that would be based on the “visibility” of these stores — and they could remain visible if they could also remain compliant with federal disclosure laws that didn’t require them to clearly disclose the unprofitability of the stores and the high failure rate of first owners that could be obscured in the transfer columns of the UFOC/FDD’s.

    All attorneys learn in law school that franchisees are merely a resource for the franchisors under the status quo of the law —–and that is why there are very few, if any, attorneys who are one-unit owners of franchises.

    If franchising has grown in the economy these last 30 years since the FTC regulated franchising, it is because franchisees are a source of cheap labor and cheap venture capital that encourages franchisors —-and it is because the FTC doesn’t mandate the disclosure of unit performance statistics to new buyers of the franchise by the seller of the franchise, the franchisor. Apparently, the mandated disclosure of unit historical financial performance of franchise systems would somewhat inhibit the sale of franchises to the public.

    This has always been all about UPS and MBE and franchisees are merely cheap and expendable resources that perpetuate their visibility in the World Community. Who says you can’t put lipstick on a pig?


    I have worked at TheUPSStore for a long while and finally had to admit the store is a SCAM after seeing young/smart people just print their labels online at and drop the packages at the store for FREE. This is UPS’ policy, EVERY STORE MUST COMPLY!! Because our business model is now that of a slave to UPS we must try to make money by purposely ripping off old folks as well as marking our boxes up 1000%. We are ‘posers’ plain & simple. IT’S SICK

  • Francois

    What happened? Someone slip a little truth serum in the egg nog?

  • scott



  • Francois

    Why do people undertake due diligence after signing a contract? Isn’t the time to ask questions and do careful research BEFORE executing a contract?

    I do not get it. People act like there is not a ton of info on the web from UPS Store and MBE franchisees? Does the Franchise offering circular mention any litigation? Seems like if it does that might be interesting reading!

  • What??????

    You say you have read all these postings and then you ask what to do?
    I don’t know—-Lose 225K Lose 15K.
    Which is the lesser of the 2 evils?

  • What??????
  • What??????

    They are TOO lazy to do that.
    What are you thinking!!

  • scott

    the store im buying is absentee owned and profitable for 7 yeears. i have done the numbers and by reducing payroll as owner operators it becomes a viable investment. i understand all the negatives of what folks on this board are saying, but bottom line is we are locked in now unless we walk away and lose 15k…. the numbers are the numbers and unless they change big time i think its still a go. Am i missing something other than drop offs apperantly its not a big issue with this store as it still makes money….thank you all for any advice

  • What??????

    Then why did you come here?
    You have already decided!

  • What??????


    See you back here in a year when you are crying!!!!!

    You were warned!

  • Francois

    I do not see how dropoffs could be an issue, hell the store is profitable now! Cut the payroll, work a few hours extra, certainly the trend for these business’s is positive, why the heck would you waste any time talking to people who actually understand the business? Seems like a no brainer to me! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

    Well, at least a no brainer is involved!

    PS Bernie Madoff has a fund you might be interested in!

  • scott

    well its apparent that i can not get intelligent advice from store owners on this board, just the normal rants and raves and criticism..good day.

  • chance

    Losing 15K is not as bad as it will be in a year, and the fact that you feel you can do a better job than the previous owner is exactly what most of these franchisees felt at one time too. The facts are out here, and these people aren’t just complaining, they are trying to warn you and others. Take heed, they are in the middle of it all and KNOW what they are talking about!

    PS I counsel franchisees in litigation, and I DO NOT reccommend you go any further with this franchise-otherwise, see you in a year or too. (And the numbers are not usually completely accurate, start by finding out WHY they are selling if it is SOOOOOOOO profitable, and how long can you live without ANY pay!). Happy Holidays!

  • Wake Up!!!

    It’s pretty obvious that you didn’t want advice, all you wanted was validation.

  • Francois

    Hey Scott,

    If you do not think you got intelligent FREE advice that is fine. Post on here in a year or so and we will recommend a good bankruptcy attorney! Please post where you are buying, this way we can watch how long before you have lost everything!

    And here is a little free advice for any other nitwit. RESEARCH AND DUE DILIGENCE FIRST, EXECUTE CONTRACT SECOND! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

  • Susan

    I wish I had the time and patience to count how many threads are on this.
    Every bit of information that someone might want is sitting here. It’s disingenuous, at best, to come on these things asking “what should I do”, yet it happens so often.
    When the majority of your revenue is shipping, and the margin is less than 50%, the numbers do NOT work!
    Much less having the carrier control everything on the margins (and worse, the carrier just happens to be your franchisor).
    It doesn’t work. It can’t.
    Their interests are not yours.

  • chance

    Please excuse any harshness here, but the people out here are in the thick of all the problems with this franchisor and believe us, it is NOT good news. They need to feel like you are listening. You ask for help, but say you can’t get out. That is not true! Take the loss of 10k or whatever and move on, it will only get worse. Your gut is telling you that something isn’t right. An absentee owner tells you the owner does not know the real problems involved with day to day running of the store. And People do not sell off a business if it is really profitable. Sounds like you need to pay yourselves as well, and that will most likely not happen. So how long can you live without and pay? Important question! And the numbers for this and last month are the top numbers for the year because of the xmas season. Have you had a “franchise attorney” look over the documents? A regular attorney is not going to catch the problems that a franchise attorney will. Remember too, the more work you get in at the store, the more overhead needed), in otherwords, it costs you more than you make to increase business. 15k gross shipping a month WILL NOT PAY THE BILLS (not even payroll!) Do you have private health insurance for yourself and family, best add that in too (mine is more than my house note), and why don’t you send the stores “numbers” to one or two (or 3,4 or 5) or the folks out here so they can tell you what is missing, suspect, or grossly overlooked! The folks out here really do want to help, they do not want one more family in bankruptcy. But next to the bull the franchisors give out it sounds like bitching-and it’s not! So contact Sean, and ask him to send your email on to a few folks who can give you the true picture of what is going on. The UFOC’s usually do not accurately reflect the stores that have closed, the people (stores) that have been paid off and sworn to silence, and don’t itemize ALL costs. We wish you and your family the best no matter what you do, but we would rather see you in another business that has a healthy chance of survival! Hope this helps!

  • scott

    thank you. i will email Sean. i would love someone to look over the financials on this store and tell me what i am missing before i proceed or most likely walk away from 10k in this bad economy. Something i should have done during due diligence but that’s past now…..yes that did help!!

  • Francois

    the fact of the matter is that for someone to come on here, ask the questions asked, make the statements made, including things like this: “drop offs apperantly its not a big issue with this store as it still makes money….thank you all for any advice” shows that this person has not done even the most rudimentary due diligence. You ask us to take you serious and treat your questions in a serious manner, yet by your own admission you have not undertaken even the most rudimentary steps to investigate a franchise prior to signing a contract to purchase one. If you read the UFOC carefully and were of average intelligence you would have no questions. And, although one of the above posters is correct that UFOC does not always tell the whole story, this one certainly should tell you enough. I doubt you understand what you are getting involved in. To speak of dropoffs in such a cavalier manner means you either do not understand this business, did not take the time to understand this business, or are unable do to a lack of intelligence to understand this business. If you want people to take you seriously, then you need to behave in a serious manner, not like a buffoon. Posts like “Help I signed a contract is it really a bad deal” do not really strike people as serious!

  • chance

    Scott here is hoping that your store owner will work with you on returning $$$, doubt the franchisor will (however they hate bad publicity…so there is a chance). Check out franchising donuts, and Sean (here) and Don at BluMauMau can steer you in the right direction-there are good franchisors (yes few and far between-but this is not one of them!)

    Come on zee’s, help this fellow out, let Sean know to forward Scotts email to you, lets get him the real numbers – - – its Xmas!

  • scott

    i never got a ufoc, just a franchise disclosure document book from the area office, is that the same?

  • financials

    FDD, UFOC, FOC are the same.

  • scott

    if a store grosses 356k and 70.24% of that is ups shipping is not that a sign of a good store?

  • financials

    Simplify this…
    70% of your sales/profits are controlled by your vendor, who just happens to be your franchisor

  • chance

    Scott, the FDD is similar in nature to the UFOC. It is a new document that franchisors can use and manipulate like the UFOC. Many times half truths are in them. Contact the folks at for help in decifering the FDD.

    Francois, perhaps he didn’t do the due diligence you or I would have, but remember that some of the knowledge we have is from being in the middle of a bad franchise. Scott has to learn the right questions to ask, and we can still help him get out before it costs him $200k+, his family, and his sanity!

    Scott, the biggest thing the franchisees here run into is newbies who are so excited they aren’t listening, feel they can solve all the problems, and have money to spend. Once out of cash, ideas, and excitement, they become as the franchisors say “complainers”, when in truth we are just more knowledgeable, not afraid to speak out,and somewhat impatient with folks asking for help (because there is so little we can do to really help)! So bare with us, and know that we truely don’t want to see you end up in a bad situation!

    So, the FDD is similar in nature to the UFOC. It is a new document that franchisors can use and manipulate like the UFOC. Many times half truths are in them as well. Contact the folks at for help in decifering the FDD, and talking directly to franchisees who have failed and are failing is the best information you can get, because the franchisors don’t want you to hear the true problems. Also remember that even when you are speaking with franchisees, quite often they are afraid to say what is really going on because they have been threatened by the franchisor, or have been gagged (that is why you can’t get certain info).

    I know this is overwhelming, but in todays economy this is only the beginning, and most of these franchisees are fighting off bankruptcy, bad franchisors, poor economy, and what ever else has been dumped on them (tends to make one a bit testy), but they are good people like you, who just want to make a living! So I am glad you found us!

    Now about the numbers, divide the 256k by 12 months and that is $21,333 a month gross(that is NOT alot). Take out all overheads, franchise fees, cost of goods, and you will never make payroll. Our store grossed $40k a month and could not survive (even with 60,000 cars a day passing it ), in an upper end community, and my spouse and I worked it with one parttimer. On top of that, it is intensive labor! I am sure others here can help you break the numbers out further—and yes they have done it before, but lets do it again, like I said it’s Xmas!

  • scott

    chance & finan thank you very much for your help. correction 51% of sales of 356k are shipping -postal svc,parcelpost,firstclass,stamp etc=15%- copies 6% mailbox 6% fax 5% and the remaining split between all other profit centers

  • chance

    Correction: 356k divided by 12 is 29,666K a month, still not enough. And play the what if game??? What if new equipment is needed, someone claims unemployment, utilities go up ie gas, taxes. Try to get net $$ after tax and insurance-bet they won’t have em! Also remember that you are restricted (franchise aggreement) to what you can sell and do…so if you want to start selling donuts, you can’t! Remember too that people can now print thier own postage, can call in for a pickup, and make copies on a computer printer, I would call this a downward spiral. Technology has hurt the business, and you compete with the US postoffice, as well as your own franchisor. These are NOT good things! Check the advertising, when was the last commercial for you business?!? That is the main reason for buying a franchise-brand recognition, and YOU are paying that % too. NONE of the corp advertizing did us any good only the big city near us, and most ads were non existant-advertising is VERY expensive just to stay in business, then what is the income loss with coupons. Scott, this is only scratching the surface of costs, please consider them carefully and who has control over them, quite often the franchisors have access to accounts.

  • scott

    are you telling me the franchisor will have access to our business account????

  • financials

    Of course they do!!!!!
    Read that FDD!!!
    They will take out:
    UPS bills
    Local Advertising Coop

  • scott

    its late in the game but im gonna have to drink some coffee and really read this fdd. we were so happy when we got our approval rushing to get the final items they needed. now we are both here considering to walk away and lose our deposits at least 10k assumming we can get the selling broker to refund our 5k earnest money deposit. we have a contingency that we must get a lease to our satisfaction. Thank you and God Bless you for your help.

  • financials

    Don’t forget!
    UPS bills WEEKLY, and their share out the NEXT week.
    Say you have a customer that does $3K a month with you.
    That customer has float time, YOU DO NOT!

  • financials

    Meant to say that UPS will take their share out of your bank account the next week.

  • chance

    Scott, these things are all pretty standard with franchises, however it is hard to get a monetary handle on anything when others can sweep funds in and out of your accounts (add merchant services to that list as well). Not a good business practice-but done often.

    Your lease may be your saving grace, be sure that there is an “OUT” clause which allows you to get out of the lease for a fixed dollar amount if things don’t work out, or that the lease is only yearly and renewable if you choose. Signing a “personal guarentee” allows them to take your home in most states, be very careful! Too many franchisees (of different types) have bankrupted due to landlords. Also, Arbitration (negotiations) with the franchisor are VERY costly and do not favor franchisees either (we spent close to $100k and nothing got resolved in 3 years). That is where a good franchise attorney can help!

    I am sure it all feels like a nightmare at the moment, but here’s hoping it won’t turn into one!

  • financials

    Scott and Stacy now declare that they are FRAUDS…
    They posted this on another board..





  • http://FRANCHISEPICK.COM Reality Check

    Everyone here seems to have a serious attitude problem, in particular “financials”. No wonder you people have all failed in your stores. Think about it……you risk about $45K cash on the SBA downpayment and others closing costs, you buy a TUPSS center that averages between $250K -$300K a year nand you expect to pull around $70K a year in compensation. Tell me of any other franchise model out there that that costs around $200K and that will will earn you about $70K a year..?? You should all go back to being an employee in Corporate America.

  • Sean Kelly

    Reality Check writes: Everyone here seems to have a serious attitude problem, in particular “financials”. No wonder you people have all failed in your stores.

    I think that the UPS Store franchisees – especially those who converted from MBE – have some serious, legitimate grievances with UPS. However, Reality Check makes a good point. A few of TUPSS commenters are abrasive and nasty Zees. The thought of some of them dealing directly with the public is pretty scary. They are the kind of people who will charge a customer for tape, then launch into an anti-UPS tirade if they object.

    Though tempting, it’s not fair to generalize about TUPSS franchisees based on a few obnoxious bretheren.

  • Francois

    Actually Sean, Financials is 100% Accurate. Scott and Stacey posted the same ridiculious questions on another board. Several people tried to go through the financial info with them. The next day Stacey posted that it was all a big joke. I beleive that Financials posted the exact language. So, you are incorrect.
    With regard to charging for tape and being a bit abrasive, how can anyone be surprised. The business model for the UPS Store is clearly broken. The franchisor and its parent company send people into the stores who expect service but expect not to pay. Last time I checked the main purpose of owning a business was to produce income! Non paying foot traffic, demanding free services does not produce a whole lot of income. So, if someone comes in that is not a paying customer and they want their dropoff boxes taped, obviously the owner needs to charge. Last I checked tape did not grow on trees!

  • Chris


    I believe that you misunderstood Financials last post. It was a quote from another board by Stacy & Scott. Here is what was posted on that board by Stacy:





  • Sean Kelly

    I did misunderstand. My sincere apologies to Financials.

    It did seem inconsistent with the previous posts.

    I’ve adjusted my comment accordingly. Please redirect my insult to the supposed “punker”

  • Sean Kelly

    I agree that the purpose of a business is to produce profit. However, venting on the customer for your broken business model is self-defeating.
    When you go to a restaurant, do you want your waiter or waitress to tell you the food costs of your entrees, and be upset when you order from the low-margin section?

    Napkins don’t grow on trees either. Would you object to a $1.00 napkin laundering fee?
    Would you want the manager to explain how food costs, labor, rent and but not linen expenses are reflected in the menu prices?

    You’d never return to such a restaurant, and your customers will not return if you make your problems their problems. Or if you treat them differently because they saved $5 printing a label at home?

    The situation sucks, but the customer is not the enemy. They are small business owners, trying to survive, just like you.

  • the manager


    You are comparing apple and oranges here. The patron at your restaurant is there to purchase a meal. He IS a customer. The person printing saving the 5.00 label is UPS customer and not a customer of the center of the TUPSS. That is the difference. Now if you have a restaurant and the customer comes in with his own steak requests you to cook it and then sits at your table and then eats the steak without the expectation that he will be charged for the service then you have the scenario that we are talking about. The customer has no intention of being your customer. Is your manager going to let him set up shop in the restaurant give him a napkin the use of your kitchen and say the same things that you just told us to do. I don’t think so. UPS is a parasite using us as his host.

  • Francois

    Hey Sean,

    You are right on one count and I disagree with you on another. First, the CUSTOMER is not the enemy. Second, you are also correct that when I go to the restaurant I expect a free napkin. The difference in this analogy is that I also expect to PAY the restaurant for my food. Now, if I walk into a restaurant with a hunk of cow and tell the owner that the cow slaughtering industry said they would cook the hunk for free, should I then expect a free napkin and service. A person that comes into a store with a dropoff is not a customer, they have spent no money in that establishment, they are not supporting that establishment. The owner is well within his rights to charge for any ancillary service (which might normally be gratis to a paying customer) which assists the non paying leach (encouraged and abetted by the shipping company) in completing the transaction with the shipper (notice that the tape really does not help complete the transaction between the shipper and the storeowner, since there is no transaction!)

  • financials

    The general public does not understand, yet UPS does. It’s unfortunate that UPS chose to put the owner in the middle, and out of frustration, the owner now takes it out on UPS’ customer. (notice it is NOT the stores customer).
    Lets put this in a cruder form.
    If you are beaten for years by a boyfriend or husband, a lot of women find they HATE men.
    Now, there are a lot of great guys out there, but the beaten woman can no longer see that.

    The fault does not lie with the store owners. This lies squarely with UPS.
    There are so many ways they could rectify this situation, but UPS has chosen not to.

  • Sean Kelly

    The general public does not understand, yet UPS does. It’s unfortunate that UPS chose to put the owner in the middle, and out of frustration, the owner now takes it out on UPS’ customer. (notice it is NOT the stores customer).
    I agree completely. The customer sees “UPS” and assumes you are all one and the same. I understand that it is torture to serve as a billboard for a company that is, in essence, using you as a low-to-no-cost drop-box. It’s unfortunate that some are pushed to the point of perceiving their (or UPS’) customers as freeloaders… thus alienating them.

    TUPSS franchise also provides unique pain to those who started as MBE stores. Most franchisees share some guilt since they bought in to the company in the first place. Since MBE was acquired, you really had UPS thrust upon you.

    However, any business that hates its customers, or some of its customers, is doomed. At least hide it from them.

  • Francois


  • the manager


    “However, any business that hates its customers, or some of its customers, is doomed.”

    Sean you keep insisting that the person that drops of Prepaid ups packages are our customer. Why do you think they are a customer. I love MY customers and I treat MY customers great. It is UPS that is forcing us to service THEIR CUSTOMER. UPS need to figure out a way to have that customer pay at our counters. You are not talking about a few customers a day here, you are talking about a steady stream of customers utilizing our facilities to do business not with us but with UPS. THIS IS NOT A CUSTOMER. THIS IS A FREELOADER THAT WANTS US TO KEEP OUR STORES OPEN PAY OUR RENT SO THAT HE CAN GET LOW RATES FROM UPS YET HAVE THE CONVENIENCE OF US SERVICING HIM, ANSWERING HIS QUESTIONS, TAPING HIS PACKAGES. You are right they are small business people and they should know better but they don’t. Just like you keep insisting that we owe UPS to give “world class customer service” too THEIR customer.

  • financials

    I am not a UPS Store, I have never been a UPS store.
    I opened an MBE in the 90′s, fulfilled my franchise agreement, then closed it.

  • financials

    You seem to think that most of the stores that are on these blogs actually treat their customers terribly. I know a few of them, and nothing is further than the truth. They are good owners and managers, and they are frustrated. There is frustration in their stores, but most of the time is comes out in postings, not at people entering their stores.
    I do recommend that you re-read Francois’ and Managers posts though. You seem to think that UPS’ drop off customers are the stores customers. They are not. –In fact, many of the drop offs are abusive–demanding tape, wanting a receipt (for what???), and line cutting in front of the stores REAL customers.

    Let me give you a scenario….
    I just called a UPS Store that I know.
    Packages Paid today: 27
    Packages Dropped off: 53

    Think about that.

  • Sean Kelly

    Wow! Attitude problem was an understatement! I’m not saying that it’s not understandable for you to feel that way under the circumstances, but whew… what a toxic situation.

    Let me share an experience from the customer’s perspective. A few years back my firm did some work with Unishippers, a DHL reseller. Unishippers gave us these flat-fee overnight packs to send work products to them. We called for a DHL pickup and the guy was really nice until he saw the Unishippers packages and then he got rude. We learned that they didn’t make as much via the Unishipper’s arrangement and they let us know it. From then on, our pickups got delayed, packages misplaced, etc.

    Know what I think? Screw DHL. They’ve got the nerve to mistreat my employees cuz their company made a bad deal? That’s my fault? Screw’m. I’m supposed to study their corporate structure & their margin? I’m the customer. I had used them regularly for overseas shipping before, but never again. I’m still pissed off, years later.

    Servers at my restaurant clients hate the “coupon” people & the Entertainment Book 2 for 1 people. It’s understandable, but not acceptable, for them to treat these customers differently. If the server makes a curt comment or sends a signal, they’ll lose good customers. Some are life-long discount hounds, but some, like me, are usually full-paying customers and decent tippers. I remember those who treated us great when we were in discount mode and those who didn’t.

    It’s hard enough to create a good service environment when the mandate is to be nice across the board. I can’t imagine that you can pick and choose who to be nice to without creating a toxic environment.

    So… what solutions are you pushing for? You can’t increase the drop-off fees? Or create some sort of membership account? Other than the big, neverending lawsuits, what kinds of solutions/concessions are franchisees pushing for? Is there any hope of improvement?

  • chance

    Can we step back a moment on an issue that got overlooked. Scott (real or fake) is unfortunately a real scenario as long as UPS sells new or preowned franchises. There is a “Scott” born every minute, and with all the issues that the franchisees have to deal with, why isn’t there some type of collective positive action happening here.

    On this site you can help steer newbies away, or you can complain and get it out of your system, or you can share what is working and help someone else, or you can find someone else who is hurting as bad a you and work together. But as much as the anger is understood (due to what some franchisees have been thru), what is pointless, is blaming the “potential” customer! It is much more important to focus on getting the word out about how this business concept is not sound, and should NOT be invested in.

    It is only a Merry Christmas if YOU make it that way! MERRY XMAS!

  • Sean Kelly

    Packages Paid today: 27
    Packages Dropped off: 53

    How much to franchisees make on each drop-off?
    Would you refuse drop-off only if you could?
    Has anyone tried, or is that (I assume) a breach of the contract?

  • the manager

    UPS has it rigged. they have tied their vendor agreement as a shipper to the mbe franchise agreement. if you breach the vendor agreement you loose your franchise.

  • financials

    As I stated earlier, not a UPS Store but I know a few and can likely answer.

    Each drop off package less than a buck.

    Refusal of drop offs would be a resounding yes. Difficult though. Dropoffs have become known as “frisbees”. You have 2 or 3 people you are servicing. Drop off comes in, leans to counter, sets package down and says, “just dropping off!!”, and takes off. Do you really stop with your paying customer to chase out the drop off?

    Yes, in fact it is a cross default. If you breach your UPS agreement, you breach your franchise agreement. Some have tried, some have been caught and threatened with their franchise.

  • financials

    Meant to answer that yes, it is required that you accept drop off packages of any type—then read the above last paragraph

  • the manager

    There is an article out there entitled the “the true cost of a drop off” I have it somewhere you even might be able to google it. worth reading if you can find it.

  • Sean Kelly

    the manager: I didn’t find that article but did run across this Yelp review of a store. I was hoping financials was right about the venting only being on the blogs, but this is exactly what I’m talking about:

    Of the Cupertino store,one reviewer writes the owner always acted unfriendly whenever I dropped off a prepaid package. She doesn’t understand the American concept of “customer service” with a smile or the word “Thank You!” I found that she acts all moody everytime someone drops off a prepaid package. If you ask for anything extra like an envelope pouch (which UPS provides for free), she gives you a major attitude! She’s ONLY nice if you bring an UNPAID package and pay for the hiked up shipping fee that UPS stores charge. I thought the UPS store owners still get paid for the prepaid packages but probably not much. The UPS driver picking up the packages was even annoyed by her nagging…LOL So if you are looking for any good customer service, avoid this place!

    All but 2 of the 8 reviews seem to say the same thing:

  • chance

    There is a great old saying that hangs in one of my stores and sums it up…

    “We enjoy all of our customers,
    some when they come in,
    and some when they leave!”

  • financials

    OHH, come on Sean!
    I never said nor meant to imply that every single store owner is perfect! I could probably find 20 complaints like that myself!

    I know you get this, but why not, I will post one more example time, then I think I am done.

    You say, you want to HELP franchisees. You have asked several times for franchisees to help others so that they don’t find themselves in the same predicament.
    Yet…I have posted on here from time to time.
    I post one thing last night that YOU mis-read, and you call me out.
    Sure you apologized, sure you revised your post. Can’t revise all those emails that were sent out though huh?
    Instead of emailing me, or asking me to clarify, or EVEN post and ask for an explanation, you called me out. You even admitted that the post seemed out of character for me.
    Would you call that great customer service?

    Nobody’s perfect Sean, and that includes these UPS Stores. 5 years later, many are still going through a court system that I can only classify as broken. Most get up everyday, go to their “investment” and watch as it fades away into UPS’ hands.
    Some have children to provide for, some are caring for elderly parents, some have partners and spouses out of jobs.

    Cut them a little slack.

  • Sean Kelly

    Which of these stores do you think does better financially?  Which of these franchisees is happier (or less miserable)?

    UPS Store, Portal Ave, San Francisco
    Rated: 5/5 stars   Customer comments:

    “I… had the opportunity to witness them service other customers.  They were great to all of them too.”
    “I’ll definitely ship through this store from now on :)”
    “I can tell you “ALL” of their staff are so helpful and great people. They treat all the customers that come there, even the crazy ones with kindness and professionalism.”
    “I listen to them telling someone information that they probably repeat hundreds of time and just think, how they always say it in an informal nice way? I don’t know how they train or pick their people but it empresses me.”
    “They win the award for best businesses in San Francisco for me.”

    UPS Store, Cupertino, CA

    Rated:  2/5 stars  Customer comments:

    “Good attitude if you ship from this store.  Bad attitude when you just drop off the package to ship.”

    “The lady here is not nice…   it’s the first time I’ve ever been to The UPS Store. =( But probably not to this one again.”

    “…she gave me attitude and said ‘you didn’t give me the business, and bring me in the trouble.’”

    “Did I really need to be lectured twice…?”

    “the lady behind the counter was pretty angry.”

    “I’m not fond of being verbally abused”

    “She’s ONLY nice if you bring an UNPAID package… avoid this place.”

  • the manager


    Happy holiday!

    Love the comments such as

    told her she could scan the package manually.
    didn’t know packages needed to be taped

    Notice none of the 6 that rated this store actually spent one cent in the store.

    I hate to tell you Sean but 99% of the drop off customers ( if you are nice or not nice do not spend money in your store) I happen to be nice to mine but that does not mean that I admire or respect UPS as a company. Do you like this economy. Well congratulate UPS and Suppy Chain for it.

  • Pingback: THE UPS STORE Franchisees: Drop-Offs Can Drop Dead

  • Sean Kelly

    Happy Holidays!

    Even if they never buy a thing, here are some good reasons to treat them right.

    THE UPS STORE Franchisees: Drop-Offs Can Drop Dead

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    As a recap for Sean, who has obvious and recurrent difficulty telling the difference between a customer and a UPS customer, and a “cost-omer”: People who come into our stores with their own labels are not our customers. They are UPS customers. They are, at best, using us as a glorified drop box, for which we are paid less than a dollar.

    The worst of these UPS customers want us to provide them a box, and/or tape it for them…or use our computer and printer to print out their free label. Some of ‘em will even whine that we don’t provide a receipt. They want to cut in front of the line of actual customers, saying, “It’s paid for.” In short, they are NOT our customers. Sometimes, they’re referred to as “cost-omers,” because they cost us money. Unfortunately, we are prohibited from refusing dropoffs from these parasites. So, as much as possible, we grin and bear it, in the thin hope that maybe someday one of ‘em might actually buy something. I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that’s happened, in over a dozen years. Yes, some store owners are less than pleasant to these freeloaders. It’s completely understandable.

    My employees are instructed to suck it up and treat them well, as I do, myself. It’s called “wearing the mask.” However, when one of ‘em comes in–as happens more than Sean can possibly imagine– with a box they fished outta the trash, and a loose label they printed out, and an item rattling around in in the box, and slaps it on the counter, saying, “This is paid, just put some filler in there and tape it up,” and turns to leave, you can damn well bet that I’ll tell him or her in polite but certain terms that the item must be brought to us ready to go–just as if it were being dropped into a drop box–any other products or services are chargable. That’s when you hear some of ‘em cuss and bitch. These people are NOT customers, and never will be.

    What I don’t see discussed here is the fact that we are considered the “shipper of record” for these dropoffs…and any one of these packages could contain what is considered Hazmat, which could be anything from perfume to an aerosol can to solvent-based paint to a gun or ammunition or booze. I guarantee you that dropoff people are absolutely clueless about what is prohibited–considered Hazmat. And I also guarantee you that as the rules are currently written, WE are held responsible for the contents of ANY HAZMAT PACKAGE shipped through our store, dropoff or not. I also guarantee you that such packages are being dropped off every damn day. Last week, I had a live .22 round fall out of the bottom of a poorly taped dropoff. The week before that, a minister dropped off a large box containing what he said was “grape juice.” I checked. Yeh, fermented grape juice…a case of wine.

    The penalties for shipping Hazmat are huge, the fines would bankrupt a store owner, and jail time is quite possible. All it would take is an inspection by a carrier, BATF, or Homeland Security. If a Hazmat item has been shipped through your store, whether or not the dropoff customer deliberately lied about the contents or not, IT IS THE STORE OWNER WHO TAKES THE FALL.

    So, Sean, let’s hear more about how we should be happy that these “cost-omers” are gracing us with their presense…for under a buck.

  • Sean Kelly

    Fedup writes: My employees are instructed to suck it up and treat them well, as I do, myself. It’s called “wearing the mask.”

    We’re in complete agreement. I never argued that owners should be happy about it, just that they should suck it up.

    That’s the same thing you are saying.

  • Happy Retailer

    UPS store owners are the best customers ever.

    Every time I run a sale, they insist on paying full price. They refuse to use coupons and insist on paying extra because they take responsibility for my profitability.

    I am sure they insisted on paying full price for all there holiday purchases and even paid extra for boxes and bags. god bless them for not trying to get the cheapest prices possible like the moochers that steal from them.

  • Ricard

    Pak mail vs TUPSS So im in due dilegence stage and have been disclosed on both stores. Pak mail actually gets a better rate from UPS than the actual UPS STORE.

  • Ricard

    i think the key is to find a store with cash flow and get a good dea. whatever store an investor buys…..


    TheUPSstore franchise is a SCAM, plain & simple. Nearly EVERY young person(under 30) I see come into the store is DROPPING OFF a package. They actually use their brain for 2 seconds and think about how much the stores rip people off by overcharging for boxes, materials & B.S. service charges. People either print their own labels or have one sent to their e-mail and print it off in 2 seconds. This is a generational shift & things are NEVER going back to the way they used to be!!

  • http://Joe,thePlumber carol cross

    I agree. The UPS Store is a SCAM! And the Scam seems to be enabled by ineffective regulation of franchising. What is the purpose of regulation if it doesn’t require the franchisor to disclose the material risk factor of the unprofitability of the franchise that is being sold to the public?

    Unfortunately, new buyers of this franchise find out the hard way that this franchised opportunity was designed from the beginning to profit UPS and MBE through the use of the cheap labor and cheap venture capital of “good faith” investors in THE UPS Store who believed that a respected American Corporation like UPS would not rip them off and destroy them to maximize their own profits with no thought as to the blood that would be spilled in the process.

    Apparently, they knew that they could use the status quo of the law, process and procedure concerning franchising to acquire drop boxes cheaply to accommodate UPS customers and to cheaply compete with FedEx and other shippers for the domest market.

    It worked out beautifully for UPS and MBE who will continue to churn and turn discounted stores and sell NEW franchises as long as possible because, of course, they don’t share in the failure of the individual owners who are dropping off like flies.

    If, eventually, these UPS stores die through attrition, the only real losers are the Mom and Pop investors —which apparently was the plan from the beginning. It didn’t cost UPS much all to acquire a retail presence. Most of the American public believe that UPS owns these stores and that these stores are a division of The United Parcel Service —-and UPS likes it this way.

  • Interested in buying

    From reading the statements it looks like it wouldn’t be a good investment. (UPS Store) Just curious how do you know what a store is worth. When I ask I can’t get any good information. What can you make with a good running store?

  • Ricard

    Well i have signed the franchise agreement to buy a ups store. One problem is they are really pushing us to do a facelift upgrade as opposed to a R/W upgrade that the seller is paying for in full… we would pay the additional cost of a facelift.. With all the problems with this franchise im not willing to give anymore? or invest anymore. any advice?

  • the manager


    I am curious why you would ask our advise now, after the fact, when you obviously didn’t take the advise of upss owners that is plastered all over the internet?

  • Ricard

    I did my due diligence, talked to local owners some positive some negative, crushed the numbers for this 15year established store and its profitable. Ive done a yahoo search and i am aware of all the litigation and complaints against ups. I decided to go ahead and proceed with the purchase. i just signed the franchise agreements yesterday but have only deposited 20k so far. I have noticed that when i declined there facelift upgrade they were pushing on me, there attitude changed negatively. Is this what i can expect from my area office when i dont do things according to there plans?? Are they making commission on the higher priced upgrade?

  • Chance

    Good luck to you, the nightmare is just starting! It is everything you have read and then some, remember that the store owner and franchisor were trying to sell you something-I doubt they gave you the full facts! You have been warned, 20k is much cheaper than $220,000, get out while you can.
    PS If the store was making such good money then WHY are they selling??? Just one of MANY questions you needed to ask BEFORE signing!

  • http://Joe,thePlumber carol cross

    I guess you are indicating that this 15-year established store is profitable because you are buying it a price that will make it profitable for you to operate. Apparently you have seen their tax return for the business, and you think you can make a living on this store —or is this an investment for return on your investment principal? You wouldn’t want to share the price you paid for this 15-yr. old store, would you?

    You aren’t going to survive on “shipping” and you might want to factor in the state of the economy that may mean that consumers will not be using this store as much as last year, etc.. and how will the additional investment to updatre to The UPS Store impact your profits.

    Some attorneys involved in franchising for many years are suggesting that UPS will find no merit in helping franchisees of the UPS store and will let these stores die through attrition, if this is the future of The UPS Store franchise offered by MBE, who was merely an expedient solution for UPS to get a retail presence cheaply in the US Market.

    Have you really carefully checked out the contract you have signed that means you are a captured resource for UPS who will profit whether or not you ever make a dime?

    Are they making a commission on the higher priced upgrade? Possibly the area Rep that you have been dealing with would make some kind of commission on the higher priced upgrade. But, of course, you can ask this question.

    Are you pulling our legs, Ricard?

  • Ricard

    Dead serious, not pulling anyones leg here. im using my hard earned 401k money and life saving to purchase this store. again i have 20k at risk now. i have signed the franchise agreements yesterday, Seller agreed to pay for the r/w upgrade.. store is priced at 200k and does 377k a year 34k net with 70k payroll. 51% of sales is shipping the rest split between profit centers. Seller will hold a 25k note and we prefer to pay that off instead of using it for a Facelift upgrade with this bad economy. The area rep seems to not like that we decided to go this way and that sends me a red flag to stand by my position or bail. Any thoughts i would greatly appreaciate them.

  • Chance

    First point is WHY are they selling so low if it makes that kind of money (believe me they are not doing you any favors). Sounds like the owner really wants to unload it if HE is willing to upgrade. You should be able to still get out of the contract (buyers remorse) for up to three days. And if you think they are nasty now, wait till you are fully on the hook. Some Franchisers tend to threaten franchisees continually. Also, the lease can be the biggest problem to get out of if it fails (they can take you house). Did you sign ANY personal guarantees? DON’T! Get to a FRANCHISE attorney fast, the agreements are written to ONLY help the franchiser, and arbitration is VERY costly.
    There are many other good investments, this is NOT one of them!

  • Ricard

    the seller has another more profitable biz that takes up most of her time. Yes there were personal guarantees in the franchise agreement i signed yesterday, by the way they gave me 3 franchise agreement books to sign i did not get to keep a copy? maybe there are other good investments but i have not been unable to locate one. is that 3day buyer remorse in everystate? i did not see it in the agreements. they gave me 7 days to look it over before i could sign it.

  • http://Joe,thePlumber carol cross


    I wish you had paid $1,000 to Richard Solomon of Franchise Remedies to give you the negatives on this situation, based on your situation. Investing your life savings and your 401K is a really serious decision and I know this is a life changing event for you —and your family?

    Maybe the deal is good for you and maybe it isn’t, but now you have $20,000 invested and if you have already signed the contract, you just can’t back off without losing this $20,000 under the terms of the contract you signed, can you?

    Once you are captured under the very hard terms of the UPS Store Franchise contract, your options are really limited. This contract was graded as one of the worst by the AAFD in terms of fairness, etc.. and consideration for franchisees. They OWN you under contract and you will have to come to terms with this. I’m sure you have signed a release to the MBE as well as the seller when the transaction was completed.

    The Area Rep is probably under pressure to get all of the old stores up to meet the standards and look of The UPS Store that was introduced in 2003 and how will she/he explain this to the master? Push him/her on this and ask her if you will be getting a notice of “default” from the franchisor if you don’t update within a certain time period.

    Your life savings —your 401 —your money — PUSH NOW and then make your decision. You did see the tax return on the business, didn’t you?

  • Chance

    Well if this business is as profitable as she has you believing, than she could surely hire someone else to manage it and make her money(next excuse!).

    As for a copy of the aggreement, YOU should have one signed copy, something fishy there. Check with an attorney in your state regarding buyers remorse, or perhaps you can get out of it because you were not given a copy (most franchise agreements have no OUT clause for the franchisees, only for the franchiser-are you starting to see how the game is played yet?!)

    Regarding profitable businesses, start here at franchise pick and Blue Mau Mau on “Good” franchises, they will have a truer picture of who is good, bad and ugly! Not just the PR most franchisers throw around. Good luck!

  • Chance

    Said well Carol, and perhaps it is NOT too late to get out of it, certainly worth an attorney fee before going on the hook for 200k more.

  • Ricard

    i have seen P&L for the last 4 years, also the royalty reports for the last 4 years. i have not seen any other financials. avg royalty paid incl. national ad is $2700 a month. Considering the nasty attitude i got from the area rep when i steered away from THEIR plan, i am even more suspicious now. Yes i will push now before i release the other 175k plus closing cost. the landlord wanted to increase the rent on the premises by 4% a year and the folks in the area office telling me “thats not a bad deal” another red flag. decisions, decisions.

  • Ricard

    by the way thanks Carol and Chance for the advice. it was needed.

  • Chance

    Ricard you are certainly welcome! Keep us posted and is their any reason you can’t put a stop payment on your check?! Good luck!

  • Ask The Man That Owns One

    I believe that the FTC says they are supposed to give you ten days not seven before you sign.

    They take all signed copies so that they can send them to the home office for approval and counter signing. Until you are accepted by the home office, nothing is final. This could possibly be your way out. They don’t want you to have a copy until it is too late for you to take it to a lawyer and try to stop the deal. However, a sharp attorney may be able to get you out if you move fast, they haven’t given you a countersigned copy, there is no final deal until they sign, so get to the lawyer fast. By making it a matter of record, they may not be able to sign off before the lawyer gets to them. Keep in mind the area guy has to send the contracts to San Diego, Withdraw your offer before it is accepted. It seems they are trying to intimidate you on the upgrade. I believe the face lift is less than a full upgrade, perhaps the R/W upgrade is even less, not sure they are using the terminology exactly correctly. I don’t think the area guy gets commission on this, but probably gets a fee for managing the contractors that do the work and may get kickbacks from them.

    Don’t waste time on the nits and lice, focus on trying to get out of the deal quickly while you can, every hour you wait could give them time to cover their tracks and notify you that you have been accepted which puts you in a worse position then having an open offer that they have not yet counter signed.

    Been there, saw the signs, had the feelings, did not move fast enough!

    Hope it all works out for you!

  • the manager


  • http://n.a. Fedup

    Ricard–You didn’t listen before, to what others were telling you, on this board and others that you researched.

    Now, will you listen to what your heart and gut is telling you? Let us know….

  • Ricard

    THE NERVE OF THESE PEOPLE. WE TALKED TO THE SELLER TODAY AND CAME TO AN AGREEMENT THAT SELLER WOULD PAY FOR THE R/W UPGRADE IN FULL AND WE WOULD CONTINUE ON WITH THE PROCESS THIS IS THE EXACT EMAIL RESPONSE FROM THE AREA OFFICE ……”Unfortunately, it is not in your best interest to upgrade as R/W. As we discussed at the TCOP meeting, this is a very outdated & soon to be discontinued configuration. The Facelift will provide you with the current look and add value to your center”.

    “I have, on your behalf, gone to MBE for consideration of a ‘partial’ Facelift loan for the difference between the R/W and the Facelift costs”.


  • Ricard

    Fedup, I am now listening to my heart and gut and its telling me not to risk our life savings on this franchise. They almost had us. We are now looking for an attorney to help us recoup what we can.

    Thank you so much and God Bless You.

  • Chance

    Ricard, what part of the country are you in and we can recommend an attorney? Just glad that you got a taste of it this early, before investing further.

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    Please continue to keep us updated on how this plays out. It’s my hope–and I think I speak for many others here–that you are able to recoup most of your investment to date.

  • Francois

    Does anyone else around here think that $200,000 plus is expensive for a store that yields 34K?

    In this environment, and in this industry, with these trends, you have got to get a better deal than that to attract me!

  • http://FRANCHISEPICK.COM Reality Check

    QUIT COMPLAINING AND GET TO WORK GUYS!!! Instead of waisting time giving ill advise regarding your business you should all spend more time doing local marketing and trying to attract more biz into your store. So what, you thought your investment would bring you more money and you thought you would not have to beat your behind every day in your store…well surprise.. you should of done a better due diligence and you should of asked better. These stores bring between 13% – 16% from your gross sales, so if your are buying a store that does nets $34,000 you should not pay more than $102,000 for it (34,000 x 3 = $102,000). What are the total yearly sales for hat store. Remember, you can always go in and cut your costs by 15% to 20%. I bet that store does around $250,000 a year, right??

  • http://FRANCHISEPICK.COM Reality Check

    Francois, to answer your question please tell me how much that store does yearly and also tell me if it has a full time manager. If so, how much does he/she make?? What is the monthly rent on the space?

  • Ricard

    reality check, a store does $350gross and 19knet- has a full time manager at 12per hour-tatol payroll $55k-rent $2800 inc cams. is this store worth 200k including upgrades

  • Francois

    Actually, for me I do not need any info like that. It netted 34K last year. With the economy the way it is it will lose more than that this year. By the time the economy picks up the dropoffs will have overtaken real shipping.
    I can give you some advice about what to do with your money. Vegas! Red or Black, one spin!!!!! If you win doubled your money. If you lose, you saved yourself a few years of torture and just go and get that job!

  • financials

    350K gross and 19K net??? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So, if you buy the store and it does no better NOR any worse, and you take the 19K as your income—You STILL will not have made your 200K back NOR any ROI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ricard

    LOL, Yep

  • Sean Kelly

    Francois wrote: I can give you some advice about what to do with your money. Vegas! Red or Black, one spin!!!!! If you win doubled your money. If you lose, you saved yourself a few years of torture and just go and get that job!
    That’s just crazy! Don’t gamble… Put your money into a 100% guaranteed no-risk higher-powered investment like Don Stewart’s Green Prosperity Prayer Hankie:

    To be safe, you could put 20% into collectable Obama commemorative plates.

  • Francois


    I think Beanie Babies would be a better investment than this store!

  • Reality Check

    Ricard, dont listen to Francois!!! Yous should go to vegas anyway and do 1st 12 on the roulette. It pays 2 to 1 and you have a 33% chance of winning. Seriously, at 350K a year and with a manager at $12 an hour you should pay yourself no less than $50K a year. In my opinion, take the chance an buy it. Cut the costs down to the bare minimum, keep your manager and have fun. I own 5 stores and they each average $360K a year. I love what I do. I hate some people at the home Office and sometimes I depise UPS and their business model but hard work will give your results.

  • Chance

    I hope you have been able to get out this one. Those numbers can be crunched various ways, and none are making it feasible. It is a bit more than work, work, work Reality Check. Ever hear of Location, location, location, and that 1/3 of business is overhead, 1/3 cost of sales, and 1/3 profit—thats the basis of MOST businesses (that aren’t franchised!), and folks aren’t paying their bills personnel or business on those numbers. Besides I have a guy who buys beanie babies!

  • Ricard

    well i have informed all parties of my intentions not to go any further in this transfer sale and i did it before i received final approval. We may have to hire a franchise attorney regarding our $20k in deposits. thanks for saving us the grief of owning one of these stores….

  • financials

    You don’t need a franchise attorney, you just need a GOOD attorney

  • Chance

    Beep, wrong answer! A franchise attorney understands the contracts, I promise you a regular attorney is not versed on franchise issues, nor understands the franchiser mentality and games. FIND A FRANCHISE ATTORNEY! The cost is the same! Ya did good Ricard!

    PS Try the folks at they have dealt with a number of attorneys and franchisors, I am sure they can steer you in the right direction.

  • financials

    This isn’t a FRANCHISE issue. This is a contract issue.
    It has nothing to do with territory infringement, or any of the other franchise issues.
    This is a straight contract issue.
    He SHOULD have contacted a franchise attorney BEFORE he put down the deposit though.

  • Chance

    Actually this is a franchise issue. That is what you have and are buying into, and you are still dealing with the franchisor and all their wonderful games. What any one of us SHOULD have done, is no longer the point. A franchise attorney has the best chance of helping Ricard recoup his 20K. Franchise aggreements are contracts, and a very special field. Analogy: You can go to an MD for cancer or an Oncologist – it is whom ever you feel can do the best job!

  • Chance

    PS. In fact, if any one of us had gone to a “franchise” attorney upfront, we wouldn’t be in this mess now!

  • http://n.a. Fedup

    PS. In fact, if any one of us had gone to a “franchise” attorney upfront, we wouldn’t be in this mess now!

    Not exactly, Chance. Some of us old-timers bought into the Mail Boxes Etc. franchise concept, and did our due diligence, including having the paperwork vetted by a franchise attorney…the UPS bought the MBE brand and changed the rules–and the name of the game–and destroyed the MBE brand.

  • maryjo

    Some of us old-timers bought into the Mail Boxes Etc. franchise concept, and did our due diligence, including having the paperwork vetted by a franchise attorney…
    This makes The UPS Store controversy one of the most disturbing to me, because the moral is that even if you do your homework, and buy from the most ethical franchisor, who can say that they might not sell out to someone with other priorities than your success in mind.

  • http://Joe,thePlumber carol cross

    Absolutely, maryjo! Very disturbing that a huge corporation would do this.

    I personally believe that UPS and their attorneys knew the status quo of the law and regulation surrounding franchising, and knew that they could acquire “drop boxes” really cheap with immunity and impunity under the status quo of the law, no matter how many franchisees were destroyed in the process.

    Do you understand that there has never been any litigation or a jury trial that has established that a franchisor has a duty to be competent or to offer a viable business plan to prospective franchisee? Apparently, under government regulatory policy, franchisors can sell franchises to the unsuspecting public at any degree of unprofitability or risk of failure of the first and subsequent owners —–as long as they are “somewhat” compliant with the FTC Rule.

    There is a trial in the Denver Federal Court that may decide this issue if it goes forward? Look at the Franchise Times Article concerning the Peaberry Coffee Company and the expert witness testimoney to be given for the franchisor and for the franchisee! It is due to be heard in Febuary. Let’s see what happens.

    If you understand that franchising was regulated to protect franchisors from those franchisees who failed who would claim that they were fraudulently induced because of false earnings claims and/or fraudulent concealment of material risk factors, you understand that UPS knew they could USE THE UPS STORE franchisees to their great advantage and could “churn” visibility as needed by shilling the famous brand name to new first buyers of The UPS STORE.

  • Chance

    Absolutely Mary Jo and Carol. In fact, the scoundral that over sold MBE (to the point of 3000), is the same person who over sold the bad ebay drop off store concept (they were in business only 3 weeks before franchising). And I understand, MBE had ALOT of litigation against them, including one of the biggest cases in Georgia, and that was BEFORE UPS changed the rules and made things go from bad to worse!

    By the way the new FDD (as opposed to UFOC) does nothing toward telling the truth. Add that Arbitration is stacked on the side of the franchisor, and there is not a prayer in #$!@% for the franchisee. Welcome to reality!

  • Chance

    PS. Carol, the majority of franchisees that contest anything are legally gagged by the mother company, and they don’t have to report it anywhere.

  • Ricard

    anyone know a good franchise attorney in Georgia

  • Chance

    Email the folks at they are from Georgia and their specialty is franchisees in litigation.


    ATTENTION!!: UPS is starting to send anybody who needs to pickup a package to their closest UPS store to meet the DRIVER WHEN THEY ARE PICKING UP AT NIGHT. The store gets NOTHING!! Thus, the person sits in your store like an idiot for up to 30min…

  • http://Notapplicable Propspect of UPS Franchise Store

    I am trying to buy a UPS store here in Ohio. It does $250K in Revenue. 65% of the revenue is from shipping. ( I hate drop-offs ). The pay roll is around $40K and the business has been netting between $28K-$34K annually. The guys is asking $150K for the franchise. The guys gives the same reason that he is old and wants to retire and has not done that much marketing bla bla.. On top of this 150K, I have to give $4.5K in franchise fee, $5k in processing fee to UPS, and also the transfer fee of $5k to UPS. Isn’t that a rip-off. Also not to forget $4K for training (not counting flight and hotel charges). Anyways, what is the appropriate bid amount that I should make for this store. any ideas…. hmmmm $95K and 50% of transfer and processing fee. PLEASE HELP??

  • Spanky

    Propspect of UPS Franchise Store:
    Have you read the 250 comments from UPS Store franchisees? Have you read the other UPS Store posts on this site? This is one of the most heavily litigated franchise companies in the country, you are already complaining about it being a rip-off, and you are looking for guidance on how to get IN?
    What is the appropriate bid amount that I should make for this store?
    My advice would be to bid every penny you’ve got. Might as well get it over with quick!

  • Dave

    Folks, I’m thinking of getting an UPS franchise. Can you give your comments based on the numbers below ?

    Year 2008
    Gross 224,000
    Cost of Goods 76,000
    Gross Profit 148,000
    Expenses 146,000
    Net 1,500
    Owner Salary 33,000
    Benefits 11,500
    Owner Benefit 47,000


  • Kelly

    What part of Ohio are you looking 2 buy?

  • prospect of UPS store

    It is around dayton area. Yeah I am complaining about it..thats true!, but I need to do something, i have no job and i want to atleast take care of my expenses. i know there won’t be much growth, but what else is out there that is consistent and has good store hours and is somewhat of a nice clean business. I was thinking of gas station, but its dirty, long odd hours penny business. About the litigations, i don’t care that much. local owners I talked to, don’t really care that much and just say that focus on ur business and sales. i mean i am not looking to strike rich, but u know just have a decent honest simple clean living. don’t have to worry about getting laid off and crap. Advise please??

  • prospect of UPS store

    how much is he asking?… what area?…. basically u buy a job.

  • shak

    I am planning to buy in a UPS store in Monetery Bay california. Current owner is asking for $55,000.00 for the sotre. In 2008, the store grossed $300,000.00. Currently, there are 1 manager and 2 part time worker employed. Franchise fee is 8.5 % . I have never been to any kind of business before. Is this a good deal ??? What should I investigate before investing ??? Help needed . Thanks!

  • Carol Cross

    Unbelievable that you could buy a UPS Store for $55,000 when it costs a NEW franchisee $275,000 to $350,000 to build a new store and to try to bring it to breakeven status —-but is it a good deal for you? What kind of return will there be for you? Will you be the manager and how much will you make for the six-day-a-week, 11-hour days? Are you buying from the first owner or is this a resale of a resale unit? Why is the owner selling?

    Make sure you actually SEE the Business Tax Return of the Seller to confirm that gross was $300,000.00 and be sure to canvass the neighborhood and see where your competition is now, or where it may be in the future if this is an old neighborhood and new commercial space is being constructed, etc…

    Good Luck to You.

  • shak

    thanks for reply, carol. Please comment further.

    Here is the crosssection of the store:

    Seller’s Asking Price: $55,000.00 ( Plus Buyers Fees )

    •Opened: June 1, 1998
    •Lease goes to: May 31, 2013
    •Option(s) to renew: One for 5 years
    •Adjusted Gross Sales:
    2006 $352,051
    2007 $344,241
    2008 $302,764

    Fees: (In Addition to the Asking Price)

    •MBE Transfer Fee – (Buyer) $ 5,000.00
    •Escrow Fees (1/2 Buyer & Seller) $ 2,000.00 (est.)
    •MBE Processing Fee(Seller) $ 4,000.00
    •In Center Training Fee(Buyer) $ 2,000.00
    •MBE Training in San Diego – (Buyer) $ 2,500.00 (+ food & lodging)
    Additional Person $1,250.00
    •Sales Tax on Fixtures & Equipment(Buyer) $2,000.00 (est.)
    •Fee to bring Center to 10 years on Franchise(Buyer) $ 750.00 (est.)

    Total Buyers Fees $13,250.00 (In addition to the Asking Price)
    Total Sellers Fees $ 5,000.00

    MBE Required Upgrades

    •Fixtures & Equipment Completed March 2009

    Monthly Fixed Costs Include:

    •Space Lease $3,885.00
    •CAM (Bldg Maintenance) $ 970.00
    •Insurance $ 229.00
    •Phone (+Yellow Pages) $ 288.00
    •Copier Lease $ 386.00
    •Employee Salaries $ 2,800.00
    •Payroll Taxes $ 900.00
    •Utilities $ 300.00
    •Ad Association Dues $ 250.00

    Note: P&L”s are available on this Center upon the completion of the Buyers Application.

    After a purchase contract is signed, a Letter of Intent and a $15,000.00 Deposit must be sent to MBE along with the Buyers Application in order for the buyer to be approved by the Home Office of the UPS Store. The deposit is returned if the buyer is not approved.

    Buyer assumes the Leases on the Copy Machines

  • Carol Cross

    I would:

    1) Make sure the deposit is refundable.
    2) Have an accountant analyze the financials
    3) Reconcile the finanacials with actual copies of all of payments to:
    a. MBE (royalties, advertising, etc.)
    b. UPS for Shipping

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  • Z

    Looking to purchase a UPS Store for resale in biz since 6 years.

    Sales Close to 300 K

    What price is right? I am in IT should i quit my career and go in this business?



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  • Current Store Owner

    I will save any potential victim possible…by saying DON’T DO IT! The only one who makes the real money here is UPS. The franchisee’s work their butts off, with no financial gain. You have to gross a tremendous amounts of money (not even realistic) to make a measly salary. And that’s NO OTHER employees but the owner. Most never even get there. UPS found a way to get others to work for THEM (the franchisees) and NOT pay them. We pay to work for UPS. It’s sad and heartbreaking. It has bankrupted many, and continues to hurt so many innocent people. I wish UPS would someday actually care what happens to their franchise. But they don’t. The only ones who should buy into this franchise…are those who have money to flush right down the toilet. That’s where it all goes. I am stuck…and looking to get out. And there are no good options here. Most likely we will go out of business. That becomes the only way to stop losing more and more money.

  • Tom

    11/8/10…Going to the meeting, this week, whereby the regional UPS guy pitches franchisee ownership to me. Any current comments regarding UPS Store ownership?

  • Drop-off King

    comments on The UPS store being a “drop off”!! Totally true. I just drop off my labeled package from my pre-printed home made label and drop off. Lawsuit should include % of drops-off revenue to the store. UPS makes money on the shipping, the store should share that profit. You’re in a good location, UPS should give “bonuses” to those stores in good locations as they save their “Drivers” from leaving their route to pick up at a residence. I was thinking of a ups store, but after these comments..NO WAY…THANK YOU for everyones honesty.

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