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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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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.

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.


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.

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.

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!



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.


President, UPS Franchise Division


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.

Well said sir!

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

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

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.

To buy a UPS store or not to the questions

I review and read the comments; which dated back in 2014. I am look for recent factual information to make an informed decision.

Will you please provide your top 5 good and 5 bad reason to buy a UPS store.

good advice needed.

Tales of Gore ...

Isn't the title of this story clear enough???

Ask one of the attorneys ...

Ask one of the attorneys representing UPS in the upcoming [October] trial!!

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 !!!!!!!!!!


youre a fag

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.

Free Employees

My perspective is a little different. I am an employee/ customer service representative. I have worked at different UPS stores in severall different locations in the US. Form San Diego, DC area, Richmond Va. All UPS franchisees continuously worry about the same thing, and thats corporate. Not one out of the 4 out of the 5 stores that i have worked for have complied to their royalty duties (meaning accuratly submitting them) and all have cut corners on pratices in order to safe money to turn a profit. Dont get me wrong I like alot of my employers and have no grudges againts. I dont blame them for any of their practices because they need to do it in order survive.

The newly featured Access Point in my opinion is ridiculous. I understand it helps out the customer who are not home at the point of delivery. However as a clerk who is payed more than the average employee just sees it as extra work with no benifit to the franchisee or employee.

UPs Stores will never be a viable print store for several reasons. Franchises cant pay employees or hold employees that are qualified to manage the printing side. They cant afford a grapics deseigners at 40 an hour, or a tech savy person. They hire people they can sort of take advantage... but thats a different rant on its own. We have lots alot of Most stores have only 2 copiers because they are required to have one b&w and the other color. However any issues such as large printjobs are not feasible let alone multiple print jobs that come in at the same time. Our turn around time is "it will be ready in two to 3 days" particularly if we have to outsource it... which only adds on the the cost.

I had an area rep for corporate come in and asked how i new so much as an "new" employee.. so i told her my history in working in stores. She seemed interested and went on saying that i should apply to own my own store. All i could do is laugh in her face and say no. This rep went on saying that stores make alot of money...and insisted. So I let out a rant on how UPS stores operate....she ended up silently agreeing with me.

Salesman knows the finances

VISITOR: "I am an employee/ customer service representative... Not one out of the 4 out of the 5 stores that i have worked for have complied to their royalty duties"

How do you know that? Are you also the business' CFO? Do you keep the financial statements? Can you be specific? How much did the last store earn in revenues? How much did it pay in royalties?

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.


what i really love is how your area franchisee will get pissed if you refer to a new store that, opens, say, right in the middle of a zip code that makes up a third of your business as "competition." having worked at three different stores, i've seen area franchisees that are very helpful, but ultimately they will toe the party line and take corporate's side no matter what the issue.

and, yes, "we need to expand our printing services" is the mantra they want you to chant while they slowly strangle your shipping business

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.

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