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The UPS Store, Tales of Gore

Stories of ownership failure, carnage and regrets about The UPS Store (TUPSS), formerly known as Mail Boxes Etc. OH, and the rebuttals to those horror stories too.

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UPS - Known for shipping not printing or mailboxes

Yes, it is a rough business, you have to sell your services. I was looking to open a UPS store. The deciding factor not to invest were these reasons. I heard from UPS webinar that you should not count on shipping as your primary source of revenue. Secondly, UPS will be flagging all your outgoing shipments, so if they notice a person or company that is sending out say 2 to three packages a day (not sure on what the minimum is) they will send a UPS rep over to make a deal so a UPS truck can service them. So, all the leg work you do with sales, you might lose to UPS. As UPS Store rep stated " UPS Store are too small to handle large accounts). Looks like a great concept, but not much money for the amount of hours UPS Store recommends you to be stay open.

Completely Disagree - it's the owners...

Str -875000
Take home 225-240K per year

When we bought the store it was at 350K annually - that was 5 yrs ago
My experience is that the store owners are a bunch of whiny folks who thought they were going to buy a store and run up to the counter and make a bunch of money
Get of your ass - go get some business
When you start pulling real numbers, you'll network "magically" with others in the network doing big numbers and you will continue to challenge yourself and will grow.
The owners bitching about this stuff shouldn't be in business for themselves in the first place
Take responsibility for your actions.
You devalue the entire brand by whining about how miserable things are
The reality is if you work it, it works. There is money to be made

Response to Completely Disagree It's the Owners

Are you kidding me right now. When there are 4 UPS Stores within a 5 mile radius, there is no opportunity to go out there and "get some business". There is no "magical" networking going on. There are only struggling small business owners trying to make a buck when the traffic through their door is 3 to 1 drop-offs to in-store processed packages. You are pretty arrogant to accuse well-educated business people about their intentions to "run up to the counter and make a bunch of money". We have worked our store everyday we have owned it and we are not "whiners". We are not devaluing the brand, it is happening because the business plan is not working and all UPS can come up with it go out and sell some copies. There are HUGE players in the copy industry and The UPS Store can not make up the loss of shipping customers to drop-offs with copies. We have seen a loss of 300 to 400 customers per year due to drop-offs. That is $10,000 worth of business, which equates to a LOT of copies. Sadly this is happening year after year. The best thing that is happening because of these posts is that other well-intentioned business people can see this and take their investment elsewhere.

Not For Me

I am presently talking to a UPS store owner...After reading this I have decided to back off, the store is only running a 12-14% profit margin, not to good for the location...Decide to buy a sno cone machine and sell sno cones on the BEACH!!!!


can i ask this store were in which city and state

Response to "question"

All you have to do is go out on the web and see that these bad UPS Store experiences are all over. People are losing their life savings, 401K's, etc because they can't compete with their own parent company who is shamelessly taking their business with on-line drop-offs. The business plan, according to UPS is to sell these drop-off customers copies. Our customers for the most part DO NOT WANT COPIES. As said previously, we have lost 350-400 customers each year for the past 3 years. If this continues, which it will, we will have to close our shop in the next 2 to 3 years and walk like many others before us.
Our parent company, who holds our franchise agreement is our biggest competitor. Hoping someone with some business expertise can help us understand if this is even ethical or legal.

Ways to avoid drop off problems.

Having a store for the last 4 years, you do need to base the store's income on other profits aside from shipping. That's the problem. Dropoffs will come in, whether ups or usps. And be happy to tape the boxes up if people ask you to. That'll bring more customers back. Never charge for taping.
Income must come from other places, and not just copies. Copies are only part of the ecosystem:
1) mailboxes- Build more mailboxes and have small, medium, and large. Find the prices of competition and strategize your prices and 3/6/12 month leases to compete. Mailboxes are the most profitable money maker you have.
2) contracts- AT&T uverse is a good example. Dish network. Or even private ones that you hook up with, for example, like an business to print brochures for. You have to market for opportunities.
3) copies
4) greeting cards
5) office and other supplies - white and Manila envelopes, padded envelopes, tapes, pens, etc
6) boxes, bubble wrap, peanuts
7) shipping still comes good when people have things that need to be packed well. If you have good packagers at your store that people have confidence in, you will have repetitive shippers. People usually don't drop off LCD tvs, mirrors, or items they want to insure more than 100$.

i want to a UPS store

Me and my friend want to buy a UPS store .As a owner of store what you guys will recommend us .I know its a big investment in toronto area.Please guide us .

Me & My friend

Me & My friend really...really ...really...WANT TO THROW OUR $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ AWAY !!!!!!!!!!

UPS Store Business Practices

Let me tell you some facts. UPS makes it easy for the average person to print and pay for a shipping label on-line and then take their package to the UPS Store to ship (drop-offs). The UPS Store owner gets 1 buck for shipping this drop-off package when they would have made several dollars if the customer paid the store instead of UPS on-line. UPS is the number one competitor to the UPS stores with this practice. We are seeing a 7 to 10 percent decrease per year in packages that are actually shipped through our store vs dropped off. With this decline in actual shipments from The UPS Stores, many of us will be out of business in the next 5 years. UPS' demand of their franchisee's to make up this horrendous deficit from drop-off packages is to enter into the extremely competitive copy/print business full of very successful established incumbants. It is NOT possible for us to compete or recover the losses!!!

If you base your business

If you base your business income on the at home capability that users have, then yes will not succeed. Drop offs can't be you're excuse for losing revenue or profit. There are other sources.

Free employees

I've been a franchisee for 9 years. Their (UPS) philosophy is that you work for us for free and use our name to build your print shop. My store has been actually been profitable, but I see the future and it's not good. We are now becoming UPS access points (mini hubs) for people to pick up their packages. UPS is saving billions at the expense of the franchisees. UPS may know logistics, but they fail at knowing how to run a small bushiness.

12% to 14% is great

If you found a The UPS Store that is making 12% to 14% you are doing better than most. UPS is your biggest competitor. The management is not your partner, but your biggest rival and frustration!!

My UPS store just closed without warning.

A few weeks ago they taped over the UPS sign but I did not think to yank away my business because I just paid 600 dollars for another year. Now they closed and all my stuff is inside. I had a huge shipment of merchandise delivered by Fed Ex a few days ago and my tax doc's as well as irreplaceable pieces of antique prints are in there as well.
UPSStores says the new owners are independents. Huh? How can this be. And even so I have a contract with UPSStores are they responsible for my mail.
Can anybody tell me what's going to happen to my mail and the merch that was sent there? Where can I get my property???
Any info I would appreciate! Thanks

Getting Mail

I own a The UPS Store and my contract to be able to offer mailboxes (as is every other owner) is with the US Postal Service. We have rules and guidelines that we are forced to follow or they will pull our permit to offer mailbox services. The owner can not hold or keep your mail from you. COntact your local post office or post master and report it. If they try to keep it from you, even after becoming an independent, they USPS will go after them. That is mail tampering and is illegal. They can face some very serious charges and will not ever be able to offer that service again. In the way of our Franchisor, Mail Boxes Etc in California will also do whatever they can to assist all the customers. This is not a representation of The UPS Store, this is a bad owner, and someone trying to avoid something with being a Franchisee. Please do not hold this bad experience against all the other owners who do what we can every day to make sure you receive the execellent customer service you deserve. Please contact your local post master as soon as possible to avoid any further mail or packages being delivered there. If you contact UPS and Fed Ex as well, they will make a note not to deliver to there at all. I am sorry you have experience this and I hope you get all that belongs to you. Our corporate office number to contact is (800) 789-4623. The Post Master is 1-800-275-8777. Good luck!

You're not alone!

I'm an a similar predicament, my UPS store (57th street location) shut down with out warning and now my mail is trapped in there with no way to access it! I'm reading the shocking revelations of how bad owning one of these franchisees can really be and I'm sorry that the owners are suffering under UPS Corp. But my business is now suffering as well. I have money "checks" I have earned trapped in a mail box I paid to rent for 1 full year! What are we to do! A group of us are thinking of launching a class action law suit. If any of you Franchise owners are considering closing down, for the love of god please have the decency to inform your loyal mailbox customers!!

Just read the nightmare these closures have caused so many of us!
Link below.
UPS Store franchise on 10th Ave forced to close by HQ – Hell's Kitsch


My wife and I lost about $500K in 8 year with 4 The UPS Store. We originally had great locations, however our area franchisee didn't want to lose any business to competitors, so he put stores close to other UPS Stores. We had to compete with other store owners. We could beat the competition (FedEx Office) in every aspect (customer service, prices, services offered). We just couldn't compete with ourselves. It takes about $350K in sales to breakeven, more than that if you go along with corporate's strategy to "drive customers into your stores." Look out for that one, you end up losing money and not gaining long time customers.
I bought UPS stores to get away from Corporate Greed just to get into another Corporate Greed situation.

That's exactly why I sold my

That's exactly why I sold my store back in '98. They allowed someone else to open a store 10 feet outside of my territory. This was in Manhattan. Never even gave me first right of refusal! They were forcing owners to cannibalize each other's sales. The only sweetspot in my situation was I actually sold my store to the people that opened the store 10 feet from my territory. I later heard they closed that store, transferred all business to my store, then that one closed as well.

First right of refusal

Visitor: "Never even gave me first right of refusal!"

Franchisees are not given the right of first refusal. This is a right that franchisors keep in their adhesion contracts, not just the franchisor for The UPS Store. The other problem is that the new store was ten feet outside your territory so it is out of bounds of your contract. If you invest in another franchising brand, you will have the same problem.

The good news is that you had a defined territory to make encroachment difficult. Many franchisors do not even stipulate that limit on their authority. They can unrestrainedly sell a new store to another franchise buyer just ten feet away from your store, let alone ten feet outside your territory.

that, my friend

That, my friend, is why I would NEVER buy a franchise again!!!

Before you close the doors lets try and salvage your business.

We are purchasing existing UPS stores. If you are seriously looking to sell and move on I suggest you check out our web page.


It's been said that UPS very quietly settled with the Franchisee's in October 2013....Has anyone heard anything about this or what the "TERMS" of the settlement are ??


There were wasn't a settlement.....UPS won

Wrong MBE case!

The case won in appeal by the plaintiffs is still ongoing. You have the wrong case! It's not Samica. Try D.T. Woodard, Inc. vs. Mail Boxes, Etc., Inc.

Once again thank GOD FOR

Once again thank GOD FOR IAMCO................

UPS Stores out of Business

I have read nothing about your cusomters! I showed up at my local UPS stored today where I had a mail box with a contract apid until July 2014 and a notice on the door said: "Store Closed".

Where the F--- is our mail? The money we paid for our boxes? And all the money we have spent on business cards, advertising materials with the UPS Store address on it with our box #.

We are OUTRAGED that this store owner at 5661 Ventura California gave his customers NO NOTICE WHATSOEVER. Just rolled up the carpet, locked the doors....and we are to try to track our mail WHERE????

Don;t forget the customers who are the inocent victims here. Any suggestions for us? This SUCKS! Poor business practice for sure!!!

Conversion of a UPS store to a Go Postal

I am sorry to hear about all of your situations with the UPS Store Franchises. I have watched 2 local UPS store franchises go out of business in the last 5 years. I have read all about the gory problems regarding your situations. I have personally seen the owners literally starved out of business by owning UPS franchises. I have read how almost 80% of all UPS store franchises are at financial risk.

I have a solution to most UPS Store problems.
Check out our distributorship.

Last November (2011) We bought out a UPS store franchise in a small town. The UPS store was strangled out of business with the help of being a UPS Store Franchise. You know all to well how that happens.
We converted it to a Go Postal.The total conversion cost less than $5000
Our first year we grossed over $170,000+. I kept the same employee and store hours approximately.
I personally worked there less than 3 weeks the entire year.

If you would like convert or sell your location feel free to contact Ken at [email protected]

Tortious Interference

You may want to review Paul Steinberg's post here on Bluemaumau or do some research on the topic before potentially admitting to such as in the post above.

Once Again All I Can Say Is

Once Again All I Can Say Is Thank God For IAMCO...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You all should have listened to us.....

To Buy or Not to Buy a The UPS Store Franchise

In 2006 my wife and I purchased an existing The UPS Store. As most we were very excited to have our own business and break away from nearly 30 years in the corporate world. When we purchased an existing store The UPS Store corporate office required we put $25K into an escrow account for our "build-out". The UPS Store we purchased had the old red and white decor and would need to be updated within 2-3 years of purchasing the store. At the "quarterly meetings" we met several franchisees and heard complaints and success. We tended to block out the complainers and focus on those who were succeeding. We would visit the "successful" stores where printing was going gangbusters and others where royalties were high. I even interviewed 12 franchisees prior to the purchase. Some said don't buy while others claimed it was the best thing since the printing press.
As time went buy our enthusiasm started to die down. It became harder to make ends meet as business slowed down and we were thankful for our full-time 30 year corporate jobs. In 2009 we closed our store. We borrowed and borrowed to keep the store alive and reached out to The UPS Store corporate office, our area franchise office and UPS for support but it was like being on a busy street shouting for help and no one listening. After closing we contacted The UPS Store corporate office regarding the $25K in escrow. We were told the funds were not available to us since we closed prior to the term of our 10 year franchise agreement. Our royalty fees were averaged over the past 12 months and corporate said in a letter the amount we owed them, per the franchise agreement, for future royalty fees equaled the $25K. The funds were going to be used to pay down our $150K SBA loan. Read the franchise agreement carefully, in fact hire an attorney to it for you. Don't be so excited to start a business that you don't understand what you're getting into. The franchise agreement is written to protect The UPS Store corporate office, not you. I used to think this web site, Blue MauMau, was the enemy now I see its value for many to share experiences and I should have listened closer to the complainers.

Absentee Owner is Recipe for Failure

While not a fan of The UPS Store, this post certainly provides a recipe for failure in any business.

From what you describe, you and your wife were absentee owners. Both of you continued to work full-time which means you allowed someone else to manage your business into the ground.

While never a good idea to rely on employees to replace an owner, doing so in the first years of a business is exceptionally dangerous.

You would probably have failed regardless of the business you purchased.

As for the money owned upon closure, this was spelled out in the documents that were signed. They were within their rights to demand these funds.

Not an Absentee Owner

Take it from a full time owner/worker. The UPS Store is NOT a good investment. I work 58 hours a week, I have no other employees (can't afford any) and make barely minimum wage. Have not been on vacation or even to see my grandchildren in another state for over 2 years. I too left corporate America, for what?? Don't do it!!!

Location, location, location.

Do you mind me asking where you are located? Do you follow the business plan provided to the letter? Curious, as considering this as a business.

Response to Location Location Location

Dear LLL:

I am reluctant to tell you where I'm located because I know UPS Store/MBE goons are monitoring these blogs to see what they can find out about individual stores, sorry if this is not you. Anyway, we of course attempted to follow the business plan to the letter in the beginning. We did everything we could. Now we are just fighting to keep our heads above water and still attempting to follow the plan. However, the plan is not a sound business model. The best research you could do is to "stop in" and make cold calls at as many UPS Stores as you can. Ask to speak to the owner. Most owners will be happy to tell you to run for the hills. If you ask them about the business plan, they may break out in laughter or start crying depending on what day it is. There are a very few stores in awesome locations that do very well. However, they are VERY FEW and far between. This is not a recommended business investement. Trust me, find something else to spend your money on. I got some swampland in Florida for you.......

Not an Absentee Owner

Take it from a full time owner/worker. The UPS Store is NOT a good investment. I work 58 hours a week, I have no other employees (can't afford any) and make barely minimum wage. Have not been on vacation or even to see my grandchildren in another state for over 2 years. I too left corporate America, for what?? Don't do it!!!

Not an Absentee Owner

Take it from a full time owner/worker. The UPS Store is NOT a good investment. I work 58 hours a week, I have no other employees (can't afford any) and make barely minimum wage. Have not been on vacation or even to see my grandchildren in another state for over 2 years. I too left corporate America, for what?? Don't do it!!!

Owner Was't "Absent" - Your Brain Was When Reading His Post

Do me favor "visitor" and get a brain. The franchisee above was saying that when he became a franchisee (after having LEFT corporate America) he realized he was screwed, that he was going to lose all his money and HE WISHED HE WAS BACK IN CORPORATE AMERICA.

At least in corporate America, if you get 'downsized' you don't lose your life savings, including your home. You weren't defrauded out of your retirement savings and your home. You just lost your job and now you go find another one. I am sick and tired of you franchisor apologists twisting and turning posts in order to confuse those potential franchisees who read the comments so they can be your next mark.

Once Again....THANK GOD FOR

Once Again....THANK GOD FOR IAMCO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to buy Ups store Franchise I need advise

I am interested in franchise business, and I thought of Ups.
I really want to contact with some owners to know all about it. Is it a good business to go for?
how much money I can earn?
and many more....

Please contact me in [email protected]


Don't buy The UPS Store franchise

I bought into the franchise 12 years ago. I was filled with so much hope and enthusiasm. I thought I was investing in my future. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. You work, work, work and everyone gets paid except the owner. The overhead is too high and corporate keeps trying to squeeze more money out of us. I could write pages as to why this business is a bad idea, but I'll keep it short. Look for another business. Sorry, fellow franchisees, but the truth is the truth. This business fell way short of my expectations.

Our store makes alot

I work at a UPS store and see the numbers we do and the amount of income we make. The key to a good UPS store is the corporate accounts that UPS sets up for the stores. Our biggest client is a corporate account that we average 5k a month on just there equipment returns. We also do banking services for another account holder that earns us quite a bit. We are in a busy location in orlando, so we get alot of foot traffic, but we also branch out to local business offering them services that are not advertised on UPS commercials. The biggest profit maker is our mail box rental which is complete profit and depending on how many units you have to rent can make you easily $250k per year in profit (thats after franchise fees) .Another thing to consider is you need good sales people to work in your store, not retail associates! Our staff is always thinking outside the box coming up with new ways to get people to come back. We have offered discounts to UPS account holders to ship through our store and pay us. We don't make a huge profit margin on those, but every little bit helps. I agree with most of the posts about it not being easy, customers have a hard time with understanding some of the nuances of UPS shipping policies. We offer so many services that even if one goes to the wayside we have more to take its place. Just a few are public notary, computer rental, business cards, mailbox rentals, shipping, resume building, copy services, and many more. So find out what works best in your area and good luck. I am sorry to hear about the other stores having problems, but wish them the best in there next venture.


You must be smoking the illegal stuff some of your customers ship through you!
$250,000 a year profits, not only are you smoking but you must be mainlining HEROINE.
Now listen BRAINS. After 2006 the stores had to go to gold shield or face loosing the franchise. This means you are working on a 27 1/2 % profit margin instead of the old 65%. So jerk to make $250,000 profit your store would have to do a minimum gross of over $ 1,000,000. What a load of crap. In mid 2006 I had 3 of those POS(Piece of Shit) stores and thanks to the help of vulture momma ups I was doing 40% less gross business with 3 stores than I was doing in mid 2005 with 2 stores, again before GOLD SHIT, SORRY I MENT SHIELD! WAS IMPLEMENTED. Anyone who believes this JACKASS should go for counseling because their brain is only getting 1% of the oxygen it normally needs to stay alive. OR you're from vulture momma ups. BEFORE ANYONE ELSE BUY'S ANY OF THOSE POS STORES LISTEN TO THE 2 SLOGANS I HAD IN MY STORES. 1 - UPS SHE EATS HER YOUNG. 2 - AT THE UPS STORE WE DON'T SHIP WE S I N K !.

There are few if any stores

There are few if any stores that "make you easily $250k per year in profit" on mailbox rentals. The original message appears to be written by someone delusional or a shill.


Hi Jodie - the UPStore looks like a sweet little niche that just turns money but don't be fooled. There are approximately 20 value streams with shipping charges (UPS) being the most fruitful. Generally speaking people don't need things printed, faxed, or word processing anymore so thoses similar value streams are quickly disappearing. The ordinary income is modest around $150K - $250K annually with the Cost of goods in the $45K - $90K ( expense of just producing a product ). Than you have lots of expenses not to mention a Franchise charge around 14% of the Gross Profit. Roll in the required national advertising expense around the $2500 - $3500 and quickly you see your working for the fat cats on top and the independent person is working hard with no income to show.
Nearly 40% of the UPS stores in operation are loosing money and of the remaining 60% most are making South of $30K / annually. Are there some successes? Yes - but what it really comes down to are customers. Generally speaking, most people are shocked at the prices because they are high and the normal Joe that walks in the door will not be a reapeat customer. Most of the stores I have looked at have revenues hoovering around $12,000 / month. December will typically double that or a little more but it's not enough to make the store a real winner. Hope that helped.

Good Luck

Incorrect numbers

This is in reply to your numbers. The royalty fee is 8.5% not 14% and the national ad fees are covered in the 8.5% if you own a store look at your royalty report it shows a break down. I have been the manager of the store I am at for a little less than a year (Officially), but I have been running it for three years. Our monthly take is between 28,000 and 36,000 depending on the time of year. My bosses take home is about 85,000 and that's after my generous salary. The UPS Store franchise does have its issues but if the store is run right and you put in enough community effort an existing franchise is good. Now as far as new stores they are a bad idea. There was a store opened just a few miles from us and they are in bad shape. They try and steal our customers but they can't take enough to be successful. Now granted the actual take home is about 20% but if you are in a good area and you market well 20% is a decent take home.

gross versus net revenue

8.5% of the gross translates to 17.5% of the bottom line you moron

Thank GOD For IAMCO....The

Thank GOD For IAMCO....The only way out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is what you make of it.

It is what you make of it. Corporate does try to squeeze money... but you have to build your business. We have raised the print business in our store quite a bit. We did close to $300,000 in print alone is 2012.

absolutely full of crap - I

absolutely full of crap - I have a store in the top 10 nationally and am nowhere close to that - nobody even goes over 200k…..

$300,000 IN PRINT ALONE.


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