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Log In / Register | Jun 26, 2016

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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Best advice is to sell your business and move on

I am trying to sell my store as move on but its not easy.
ITs been on the market for 10 months and only one interested person.
I hope to sell it, so I can at least get back 150,000 on my investment.
I had some good years but now its just all drops and please print my label and retape my package.
I get into one big argument a week about the tape and sometimes I just lose it.I always retake small to medium packages for free but never large ones. I find this fair but customers do not .

My total profits in printing per month is probably around 50 dollars and most stores are doing only around few hundred a month in printing.

Mailboxes used to bring in 50,000 a year but now the USPS offers emails and accepts from non-USPS and can charge about 1/4th the price. My good MB business is falling apart.

My copy business was lost to Fed Ex about several years ago. No way to win that war. I used to have decent copy business, too.

PAckaging- most people rather save a few bucks and pack it poorly at home than pay you.

Shipping- most people have all prepaid returns that are from big business or own personal accounts.

Really very hard to make it.
My only change is too sell it or CLOSE IT DOWN in about 2-3 years.

Lazy

Most of you sound really "lazy" bought a store and expected money to come rolling in, hard work will pay off, get off you A$$ and get more customers

to LAZY

You are ignorant drone.
You have no understanding how difficult UPS is making things on its store owners.
Basically they are turning us all into drop off locations and nothing more.
Many store owners work the store 6 days a week and barely scrap by.
I suggest you read the posts before opening your mouth ever again.

DAVID

Dead wrong

I own a UPS Store. My business has steadily increased by at least 30 to 40 thousand per year over the last three years and we had another store open just a couple miles down the road from us. Its all about good business. My packaging revenue is the highest in the state and its only getting better, and our prices for packing are lower than everyone else. I make a decent living off of it and I Employ four full time staff members one of which is a manager all my guys make over 10 an hour and work at least 35 hours a week and I still make money. I don't know what y'all are doing wrong, but I'm killing it.

Dead Wrong

Don't anyone believe this post. It is just a corporate drone. All he/she has to do is say what store # so it can be verified. But they can't because it only exists in the dreams of MBEC corporate office.

Corporate clone

This ignorant, arrogant statement is obviously by a corporate troll. If his falsehood definition of "lazy" is a quarter of a million investment and 60+ hours of a week work, then his definition of "hell" is "a nice place to stay".

Anyone looking in to a UPS Store...

....should have their head(s) examined. I've used the UPS Store twice to ship packages (not drop-offs). The first time, the package was "lost" not in transit, but according to the tracking number, it never left the UPS Store. At another location, the package took almost 2 WEEKS to get to its destination. I got my money back both times thankfully. I've never used the UPS Store since.

The whole schtick about expanding the printing side of the business seems easier said than done, considering the UPS Stores I've been in seem to be about HALF the size of FedEx Office locations. Where are all those copiers and printers going to go when you just don't have the room?

I can't believe they are pushing this franchise on veterans. I guess someone REALLY hates the troops. But as I say "Don't ask, don't tell, don't join".

Territory Protection please help

I am a store owner stuck with slightly different situation, another store bully markets in my area target sells to my existing clients with cheaper rates and incentives plus multiple jobs rewards and so in. MBE keeps asking me to "put hard work in instead of whining if I complain" I have lost one customer after another over the years, I was sold this store with complete boundary outlined in place but all they care is their royalties that keep coming from either my store or the other. My agreement states so many terms on territory but now they say it meabs nothing except they would not build a full service store in my boundary. I don't think it's the case I need advice to prove them wrong so they can at least do something about the other store if they will. Any feedback would be of great help.

Terriroty Protection

Get a good Franchise lawyer fast. They will give you a free consultation and maybe take your case on a contingency fee. UPS will screw you if they can. They are abusing franchise owners - it is shocking what I hear from other store owners. There will be a class action soon but til then take action.

Territory Protection please help

Any lawyers in Canada who could help, not sure if Boston lawyers can in canada

Lawyer, any names? Really

Lawyer, any names? Really good ones, heard about law suits and stuff many times nothing happens no one dares.....

Good Franchisee Lawyer

Carmen D. Caruso (www.cdcaruso.com) is a tremendous franchisee-oriented attorney and has an excellent reputation.

Call L. Michael Hankes out of

Call L. Michael Hankes out of Boston.....He's the lawyer that got all the IAMCO people their freedom from the MBE Franchise when they sued UPS over the conversion to the "Ooops P. S. Store....It's worth a call....and so it goes....

Curious

As someone who is currently researching the UPS franchise to purchase I am glad that I am doing my due diligence and finding out what current owners are saying. Thank you all for sharing your comments. This has given me food for thought about buying a franchise from UPS. My questions is if this brand is so bad - why does it appear on the top 20 best franchise list of magazines like Entrepreneur? It makes me question the magazine's credibility.

Not anymore

The list of top 20 does not include UPS and has not for many years.
Even 24 hour fitness is a massive shame and they are on the list and some owners lost everything in that business.
UPS Store is a dead end to bankruptcy and poverty and I strongly advice not buying one.
However, if you have 500,000 dollars you could buy a higher end UPS Store and make a good living but any average or below average store is almost impossible to make money.

UPS has basically stolen most of our customers with corporate accounts and just uses us as drop off locations for pre-paid packages, in fact, its all pre-paid about 80 percent , now lol

Don't do it!!! You will pay

Don't do it!!! You will pay more in royalties then you will make over your costs!!! Especially be very leery if you are in the South Florida area. Jim Pagliaroli is the territory franchisee, he is only interested in making as much money as he can for HIMSELF! He is a scam artist, BEWARE!

Pay to play

If you pay or advertise in a publication, they will always give you a good review. It is the old "if you pay for a report, they will tell you what you want to hear."

What about independent stores?

I find it crazy that UPS only pays about $1 for each package dropped off when they'll charge the shipper a (minimum) $5 fee for each pick-up.

I am considering buying an independent store, but am worried about the future potential. I'm one of those who drop off all the time - I truly presumed you got that $5 they would have charged me, so I never think anything of it. Now I know....

Being one that drops off a lot, I know that there are 4 stores within 2 mile of my home (I live in Summerlin, a suburb of Las Vegas). They're not all UPS Stores, but they all accept UPS packages.

Independent stores

I am also looking at an independent store for purchase and live in the Carolinas. I had heard about the drop off but did not know shipper was charged $5 . Appreciate the feedback on this site as it has provided me good questions. The store owner I am dealing with has been very upfront and professional about everything. They have a high volume store but even so, there are still some challenges to face.

Successful shipping stores

Successful shipping stores are close to dinosaur status.  Why would anyone invest in one?  UPS has destroyed any ship and pack store.  Basically nothing for drop off customers (other than they ruin your carpet, expect free taping, etc)

In fact, why would anyone buy a FRANCHISE???

UPS Store owner here

Trust me you want to avoid this terrible Franchise at all costs. They have a completely broken model that does not work for many stores. Only the big stores can do well but most cannot.

Shipping is your main source of Income, let me explain how terrible this franchise is ( I am trying to sell mine and salvage anything I can )

1) 80 percent of all shipments are now drop offs. When I first took over it was only 20 percent drop offs. You will have 50-150 customers a day just dropping off pre-paid packages that of course you have to re-tape and make only cents on. Even worse UPS continues to go after your current customers by having national personal accounts. I have lost my best customers over the years because UPS offers them bigger discounts than I can.

2) UPS loves to force you buy super expensive computer stuff and other upgrades all the time. That means you will spend a good few thousand every year to please them and remain a franchise.

3) They believe the future is in printing which is extremely difficult to get into and very hard to find customers.

This franchise was once a good venture, but now it is utter garbage and you want to take it from somebody who knows. Do not waste your money on this because you will lose most of it.

in Toronto area

I am currently researching The UPS store in Toronto, Ontario, area, and stumbled onto this forum.
Majority of comments are negative and quite bleak. Q - does this sentiments also hold true for Canadian operation? Any one in Toronto area with feedback/advice? Thanks!

Canada Stores

Yes it is the same in Canada. Very small percentage are making a living. Drop offs are not quite as high but increasing rapidly. DO NOT consider investing in this franchise. I did own one in the Toronto area and was fortunate to get out.

Yes, the same. Bleak.

Yes, the same. Bleak.

I Agree

I am too trying to sell this garbage business off but not easy.
I remember back several years ago when I only received about 20-30 percent drop offs.
Guess. what.. Now I am lucky to ship 20 percent and get 80 percent drop offs.
Utterly impossible to make a good living because UPS continues to steal all my customers and drive me to the ground.
I am guessing 1/4 of the store are losing money. Another 1/4 are breaking even.Another 1/4 are making under 40 grand and only the top 1/4th is making good money.

Terrible business and has no future.

I Agree

I am too trying to sell this garbage business off but not easy.
I remember back several years ago when I only received about 20-30 percent drop offs.
Guess. what.. Now I am lucky to ship 20 percent and get 80 percent drop offs.
Utterly impossible to make a good living because UPS continues to steal all my customers and drive me to the ground.
I am guessing 1/4 of the store are losing money. Another 1/4 are breaking even.Another 1/4 are making under 40 grand and only the top 1/4th is making good money.

Terrible business and has no future.

TRUE!

You are right on the mark. I want out too!

UPS Store is not worth it

I own one and it is tough. My gross sales are below 300,000 but I can make only 45 grand a year because I have very low rent and only one employee.
UPS has made it extremely hard the last 5 years with huge increases in drop offs and pre-paid accounts. Now people can actually ship packages to our stores without having a mailbox. I am not joking.

However, I cannot simply find any other franchises that are any better than this garbage. Right now I am sticking with UPS, but very reluctantly

better franchises then UPS

There are plenty of BETTER out there. SAFE SHIP is by far the best I have found . better then any other concept I have researched. More shipping options,. and also better services available.
CHECK THEM OUT YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID

Selling my store !!!!

I am now selling it as the drop offs continue to greatly increase every month and more and more customers switch to personal accounts.

Many UPS stores can barely make 20-30 grand from whom I talked too. Only the big ones are doing well and those can cost 500,000 to buy or more.

I expect over the next 10 yrs that many UPS stores will be closing down. With on-line and personal accounts you have ZERO future in this type of work.
Look at something else. I only hope to sell my store to another suck and move on. I am going to lose a good chunk of money but will still salvage most.
You have to be a total fool to buy this.

Get a load of this!!! To sell my store. UPS takes a good 15 percent of the closing price as a "Finders fee" Plus they have other high fees you have to pay. Utter joke.

15% is the least they will

15% is the least they will take.  You will have to pay for a remodel, or a refresh, whatever the hell they are calling it these days.  They new buyer will want to negotiate those fees.  I am sure the Area Franchisee will still get a fee.  Afterall, they are always in on the $$$$!!!

store

The ups store in Victoria tx only makes it because they pull some shady sh*t , add buttons to go around paying certain royalties, putting his own pricing on packing and service.and ups was going to open another store the same owner took it on so he wouldn't have a competitor in the same town. This guy slanders his employees, slams items while customers and potential customers are in the location if he's mad , buddy he will show it. It sucked working for this guy .

store owner

Oh heavens I agree I will not step foot in the doors at any location, I heard Craig yelling at an employee. And if he will treat an employee this away that shows you what type of person he is.
I felt sorry for the manager shame on craig "tisk tisk".

Buying an existing Store

Looking at a high volume store doing about 675K in sales. About 4% increase over each of last 3yrs. 125k in cash flow however I am looking to drill down on the tax returns for more details than what is outlined on the
P & L. Reviewing some of these comments makes me think there is more to consider than the numbers reveal. Store has 2 full time employees plus the involvement of current owner.

I feel your pain...

but dumping something onto a "sucker" makes you as bad as UPS.

UPS Store Has Great Potential

We opened our store less than three years ago with no prior business experience. We are in a medium sized market with 5 other stores in the area. We crossed the "break even" mark at 18 months and just missed $500,000 last year by a smidgen. We grew 25% last year and are on pace to grow more than that this year. If all goes according to our strategic plan, we will come close to $600,00 this year. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of potential business.

I would agree that not all stores do as well. The reasons are varied: bad location, high overhead, lack of marketing, and lack of planning, and inadequate leadership can all be culprits. We have not found the franchise model to be a detriment. We do find the brand recognition, advantageous pricing on supplies/equipment leases, and customer opportunities to be very powerful tools when combined with aggressive sales, diversified product offerings, and amazing customer service.

While there are certainly factors beyond human control that can ruin any business, in my humble opinion, a UPS Store franchise offers a great platform for a person to make a legitimate income and have fun doing it!

Agree - why not prove it!!!

In all areas of business there will always be RED X. i.e. very unique cases. Similarly there is one smart person who becomes President of the USA or one Prime Minister of Canada.

As to The UPS Store business (at least in Canada), few years ago average sales numbers were about $200k in gross after 5 years of opening a store. And this comes from DATA.

Seriously????   PROVE

Seriously????   PROVE IT.

Signing your name and store number would be of no detriment to you.  In fact, UPS would love you.

 

PROVE IT

UPS STORE

I OWN A STORE IN A DOWN TOWN AREA OF A SMALL TOWN BUT WITH AN EXTREMELY BUSY TRAFFIC THROUGH OUT THE DAY BUT FOR THE LAST 9 YEARS HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE ENOUGH VOLUME TO MAKE ANY REASONABLE PROFITS FOR A COMFORTABLE LIVING. UNDER THE PRESENT STRUCTURE N GUIDELINES I AM YET TO SEE ANY BODY HAPPY.
I FOUND YOU ONE WHO HAS DONE EXTREMELY GREAT N WAS EXCITED ABOUT YOU VIEWS.IT IS REALLY ADMIRABLE. I SHALL GREATLY APPRECIATE IF U CAN ADVISE YOUR BUSINESS N MARKETING TECHNIQUES AND THE SERVICES U OFFER WHICH CAN HELP ME IN THE GROWTH OF MY BUSINESS. PARTING KNOWLEDGE TO OTHERS N HELP THEM WOULD MAKE U FEEL PROUD OF YOURSELF. MY NAME IS VINNY N PHONE NO; 609 395 7900 . good luck to you in YOUR FUTURE VENTURES. THANKS IN ANTICIPATION.

The BEST thing to happen to

The BEST thing to happen to my MBE store .......Was going indy & throwing UPS out the door...And not being FORCED to become a UPS STORE DROP BOX!!!!!!!!Can you say HELLO FEDEX...Thank you L.M.H....A Former (Thank God) MBE Franchisee!!!!!!!

Q: How could The UPS Store improve?

The UPS Store Zee: "a UPS Store franchise offers a great platform for a person to make a legitimate income and have fun doing it!"

Q: What practice would you like your franchisor to change to help you better pay off your capital expenditures?

Sounds very professional UPS employee

This sounds like a very savvy UPS Corporate employee. If I could take advantage of your knowledge and put all those things that you mentioned to good use, then I would then be working for corporate and not at a store. What? Are all your Franchise owners supposed to be as educated and hard working as you mention? Then why even have a franchise? Then I would have elected to be a rocket scientist.

Signed

President, UPS Franchise Division

Really?

The opinion above reads like it was written by someone from corporate, not a franchisee. It’s tough to mae a living in this business if you own a single store. Most SSO I’ve encounter actually live on income from elsewhere—a spouse, another job, or retirement income.

I own a $500k store too. Have for nearly 6 years. With royalties, rent, payroll, loan, I can barely afford to pay myself and myself $12.50/hour straight time for the time we spend in the store or working on store business (about 50-60hours per week for me). I have a lot of complaints, now that I’m from the inside. Here a just a few.

Increasingly The UPS Store Inc has been shoving retail costs onto the backs of the store owners. Prepaid shipping dwarfs shipped on my account by 3-4:1 these days. I’ll ship 30-40 parcels a day on my account and have 70-150 going out that were drop-offs. UPS only pays us ~$1 for the drop-offs (before royalties are extracted by the franchise, which is owned by UPS). They’ve not raised the payment in 10 years despite annual UPS shipping retail pricing increases of 5%/year. Now they are forcing UPS Store to act as “Access Points” for customers. They are paying us $1 even, netting less after paying Royalties, to receive and hold parcels for UPS customers. And deal with customer problems. And hazardous materials. Originally hazardous materials were banned. Yet UPS permitted customers to reroute shipments containing firearms (which are banned by Federal law), ammunition (which they now say we must accept); wine & alcohol, and other banned or controlled materials. Franchisees were not consulted. when this service was added. We were told what to do and how to do it; with compliance legal letters going out if you resist. Worse, The UPS Store Inc and UPS took the attitude that you should not ‘inconvenience’ UPS’s customer by rejecting shipments that were oversize, overweight, or contained materials that may be illegal (firearms and alcohol) to receive.

The UPS Store Inc has a Franchise Operations Manual, incorporated by reference into your franchise agreement. They change it willy-nilly, without notice, continually during the year. There were, last August, 43 sections and 25 of them were revised in July-September. What changed? Who knows. They don’t advise the franchisees of the changes until they decide to send you a notice that you are ‘out of compliance’ with legal threats. The changes have not been trivial— those changes have done things requirements like require 5 year sunsetting of expensive copiers regardless of how well they function.

The franchise still operates its custom point of sale systems off Windows XP. They spend 2 years attempting to develop an alternative. It was SO BAD they finally quit deploying it and reverted 200+ stores back to the current system. They still do not have horizon for moving the store POS systems off Windows XP despite that fact that Microsoft discontinued ALL support and security patches for Windows XP in April of 2014. Meanwhile, they forced us all to buy MX915 credit terminals, for $600 each to improve security and comply with card issuer regulations. They still do not support encryption and there is no announced date to support pin & signature transactions with chipped Smart Cards—required by October this year or merchants bear the costs of fraudulent transactions and not the card issuers.

The Franchisor is competing with the store owners. They redesigned an On-line printing portal trying to take on Vistaprint and other online entities. That portal sends sales, by default, to corporate and bypasses the local store owners. When it does, the local store owner gets less than half the ‘cost’ of the sale as the franchisor takes the cost plus ½ the profit. And taxes the poor store owner with royalties on what the owner keeps. Franchisor refuses to provide what their cost is so you just have to take their word for it. Franchisor continues to offer discounts, like the recent $9.99 business card offering, which grossly undercut and undermine the value offered by franchisees and their profit margins. For many of us, even if we did print the job in house, our cost is more than $9.99 for materials and labor. Before you add the burden of operating a retail location.

Franchise continues to push ‘print’ as a solution to declining sales in shipping. Yet in the 5 years, it is strongly evivident that Franchise is foundering for a strategy. They have no published business plan, no ROI figures for different sales volumes, no strategy to move from A to C. They’re like the underpants gnomes on Southpark - B is a “???”.

Management - decisions made by management are made entirely for the benefit of the franchisor and UPS. It’s obvious they are not working for the Franchisee with the programs they push down our throats to benefit UPS; the refusal to negotiate better shipping rates or compensation with UPS; and the dismissive attitude toward Franchisee complaints. Franchisor is proud to receive a 60% (D level) grade on Franchisee relations survey every year. Never publish anything about what they are going to do to improve franchisee relations. Franchisor maintain a Franchise Advisory Council only for appearance of listening to franchisees. Not only are they dismissive of complaints voice by the FAC, Franchisor refuses to seat, or eject, duly elected representatives of the franchisees who voice disagreements with the franchise. And the last time there was a disagreement, Franchisor threatened to disband the entire FAC (which IMHO would have been good move).

Finally, price advantage of purchasing? Are you kidding? Most equipment (POS, fixtures, etc) must be bought through the franchisor. They routinely charge 30% more than market price. The rest of the supplies and equipment must be bought from approved vendors who stick the stores with market or higher prices to sustain their “fee” (kickback) to the franchise for being an approved vendor. I can find lots of things cheaper on Amazon than the Franchise store. And on top of everything else, if you have any construction in the store at all, the franchise forces you to use their approved contractors (which charge 50-100% more than you would get if you bid the work out yourself), and to add insult to injury, franchise charges a 20% ‘construction fee’ on any work you have done. Even if it’s just repairs due to an insurance loss. Sheesh.

The UPS Store franchisor must be one of the worst franchisors in the nation. If you want to feel disregarded and a serf, get a UPS store franchise. Mine’s for sale.

in agreement

Yep that describes the experience

Well said sir!

I had my third quarter visits from the nazis today. Everything word you wrote was fact!
Ayon Walters
Store 6094
4042721490

Equipment package from Discovery Point was awful too

I guess, all franchises operate in similar principles. Discovery Point gave me stuff worth about $55K from Home Depot and Dell and charged $175K. That was approved by the SBA loan appraiser.

Totally Agree

We have made a number of posts on this blog and "totally agree" with all of your complaints. Be aware, when The UPS Store goons see that you are pulling in more than $300K per year, they investigate doing whatever they can to get another store in your area, just a couple miles down the road. The UPS Store corporate does everything they can to sabotage good stores with good ownership by opening as many stores as they can in a small radius and they don't let you know about the new store in case maybe you maybe wanted to open another one. They just do it and you find out about it. That is a profit center for them and they don't really care if one of you goes belly-up, they made their money. Don't let them intimidate you with legal threats, stand your ground!!

Best wishes to you. Fight the Good Fight!!

UPS Store is not worth it

I own one and it is tough. My gross sales are below 300,000 but I can make only 45 grand a year because I have very low rent and only one employee.
UPS has made it extremely hard the last 5 years with huge increases in drop offs and pre-paid accounts. Now people can actually ship packages to our stores without having a mailbox. I am not joking.

However, I cannot simply find any other franchises that are any better than this garbage. Right now I am sticking with UPS, but very reluctantly

UPS Store is not worth it

I own one and it is tough. My gross sales are below 300,000 but I can make only 45 grand a year because I have very low rent and only one employee.
UPS has made it extremely hard the last 5 years with huge increases in drop offs and pre-paid accounts. Now people can actually ship packages to our stores without having a mailbox. I am not joking.

However, I cannot simply find any other franchises that are any better than this garbage. Right now I am sticking with UPS, but very reluctantly

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