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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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Is it true?

To be honest, I have been thinking about opening a UPS Store. However, having read the reviews here I started to have cold feet. So it's either that those who complain are indeed a bunch of lazies who though that money will just flow without doing much, or UPS corporate is a real monster that competes with its franchises.. Another possibility is that you guys are trying to deter anyone from opening a store to avoid competition. Who knows ..... I will get insulted for this I know, it's just that I have no idea what to think, especially that UPS ranks among the best franchising opportunities almost everywhere ...... why the hell is that ?

Dear Visitor

Its true. Look into history of this frinchise.


I can tell you that in the northern suburbs of Detroit all but one of the UPS Stores went out of business.


I'll revise my comment... I'm a customer now using my third closest UPS store, as the two that were closer to me both went out of business in the last 5 years.

franchise rankings, etc

In answer to your last question, the rankings of franchises/ businesses have virtually nothing to do with reality. It is simply a pay to play system in which the franchisors/ corporates pay to advertise in them and get positive spin for their money. Follow the money. The old "whoever pays for a study, gets the results they want".

Run, Don"t Walk

I also was a MBE franchisee who chose not to convert to UPS and I am still successful on my own. After all the negative on this forum I can't believe you would even remotely consider the possibility of investing in this franchise. Yes there is a chance you could be fortunate and become one of the minority who makes a decent living. The vast majority do not. This business model is slowly on it's way out. Having UPS as your name will not help this. I was lucky that I was able to build my printing business from day one as a Mail Boxes Etc. twenty years ago. It has always and still is over 50% of my business and is much more profitable than shipping. With the UPS Store name that will not happen for you although they will tell you to have to do more printing to make money. The UPS name screams shipping not printing. Believe in the posts that you see here and on other websites.

Perry Shoom's picture

Franchise Rankings and a Personal History

Nowadays I tend to follow these discussions but rarely post.  This question, however, is interesting despite the anonymity of the author.

Business is rarely easy.  Most business decisions are made with imprecise information.  While history remains the best indicator of the future, similar circumstances can result in different decisions which is why so many tend to believe history is not an indicator of the future.  A good business decision requires that one sift through fact, fiction and hypothesis prior to making a decision.  If the decision is a good one they are successful.  They have a level of business acumen that others do not possess.  In fact, most business ventures are not successful.

Some may say I am no longer in touch with the industry and unqualified for providing advice to current and prospective UPS Store franchises so here are a few facts from my experience.

  • Franchise rankings are frequently a form of marketing and usually should be construed as such.  They offered no influence on my decisions.
  • Opened a Mail Boxes Etc. (subsequently purchased by UPS) in 1998.  It was a great business decision with no regrets.
  • When UPS purchased MBE and rebranded I refused to convert and was part of a lawsuit (2001).  Again, this was a great business decision with no regrets.  Most of my peers who had converted to The UPS Store eventually closed up, went bankrupt or simply disappeared.  A few managed to sell.  Refusing to rebrand was a great business decision with no regrets.  I subsequently received calls from numerous UPS Stores saying they made a mistake by converting to a UPS Store.
  • Sold in 2011.  Another great business decision with no regrets.  Made more than enough money every single year to support a family and buy a house.  Many years the income earned was considered "impossible" by less successful UPS Store owners.

I can provide many reasons for the decisions made in 1998, 2001 and 2011 and specific strategies for remaining highly profitable.  Bottom line is that I made some good business decisions and have no regrets.

Good luck with your business decisions.

UPS Tracking

Sounds Like Great But Little Disappointed Welcome to the Ups Tracking Website Track Ups Couriers & Parcels By Entering the Ups Tracking Number Track Ups Global Mail Tracking
ups tracking


So just the stores in New York overcharge? Right! ALL the stores, nationwide, do it to stay open. This is a complete scam and it all starts with this criminal, smug corporation and it's passed off to the customer. If the stores charged the 'correct' price, there wouldn't be any stores left strictly because of corporate greed and this nationwide scam called The UPS Store. UPS lied when they proposed this dog to the original MBE owners by saying they'd be the go-to shipper and the MBE model was 'broken.' Now, it's ten times worse because the stores are compensated a dollar a piece for 80% of the packages that leave the store..prepaid drop-offs. It's a complete scam. And the store owners are ignored when they plead for fairness and profitability and pushed to sell copy services by these crooks. Everyone knows THE UPS STORE is the place to go for copies. What an embarrassment. Why have all the owners either closed, want to close or sell to unsuspecting people? Because they're sick of this scam and being bullied by illegal practices. This scam has been in the courts since day one and the lawsuits keep piling up. The poor franchisees or indentured servants- a term the TUPSS legal team is very aware of, are charged thousands of dollars each year for unnecessary computer equipment and security upgrades, just to help pay TUPSS lawyers to keep this scam going. Hopefully one of these judges will wake up and see the destruction, hate and illegal practices these criminals have caused.

1/3 of UPS stores will disappear

I can only guess that 1/3 to 1/2 of all UPS stores will be bankrupt within 5-10 years because the shipping has dried up so much.

The top 1/3 stores will survive because of great locations and because they excel in Print or Freight

Another serious factor is many cities are going to $15 an hour min. wage and this will further kill many stores ( I dont blame some cities for doing so because how can anyone survive on 8 bucks an hour in a high price city).

My store was low end profits but I was able to make only 50,000 a year because I had extremely low overhead or I would have went bankrupt years ago. I also charged more for Mailboxes and packaging to help me survive as other stores also do.

UPS STore was a superb idea back in the 90's and up until around 2010 or so. UPS corporate also targets your best customers with "house accounts" and now they allow people to ship packages to your store without having a mailbox and you only get less than $1.000 lol
You cannot win lol


Yes I know, the model has greatly changed and now UPS wants you to succeed as a Print Store.
We all went into this because of the shipping and packaging ,but with 80 percent of your packages being pre-paid you have to go into Print Service to succeed or do Freight.
Utterly amazing how much the business changed the last 5 years or so ,and I went from maybe 20-30 prepaids a day to triple that with 1/3 less shipping.
To make things far worse, UPS continues to make you pay for super high priced Computers and Software almost every 2 years which really drains your profits. Starting last year they introduced a new program where people can now send packages to your store without having a mailbox. This program was the end of it for me and I since sold the business and got out. I had to sell the store for a loss of tens of thousands but i had no choice.
Would I recommend this business ?? NO WAY .. unless you are very good with networking on VERY GOOD with producing Fed-Ex quality prints

It's not easy, but it has potential

the ups store is a unique franchise in the way it can somewhat control the income it makes. It requires more of a salesman than say a another franchises selling fast food or video games. You have a requirement to sell materials, labor, and service at all times to every customer or you will never turn any reasonable profit for the time invested. I was never part of the Ups store when it was MBE and more owner operated, but I hear the stories and can attest to constant profit seizure and compliance mandates. With that being said, if you want to be your own boss and work extra hard for your money it's a a solid potentially risky endeavor with decent reward. The real reward comes from a total understanding of what managing and motivating employees to run the business for you and being able to run 2 plus stores. If you can get a good sales force and drive traffic to your location through customer service you stand a good chance of success

The Difficulty is Competing

The difficulty is competing with Staples. Staples offers much more than the UPS store. It has a large parking lot, the employees are friendly and honest. Case in point, I took a package down to the UPS store as I didn't want to drive down further to Staples. The parking at the UPS store was limited and trying to get out of the parking lot was a real task due to traffic. I took the package in and the UPS store wanted $35 postage to return it! I was astonished! I refused their service and drove to Staples. They charged me $10.00 less to mail the package. There was no hem-hawing around and I felt like the UPS store workers were taking me for a ride. So, I won't be going back. Actually the store owner and another clerk was there. Neither one of them were very friendly people. The store owner had another business in town that went belly up. I can see his store going the same route.

You have to understand

In order to survive many stores are going to greatly inflate the prices because they will go under if they dont.
When the shipping dries out ( and it has thanks to technology) it becomes very tough to make it in this business unless you offer the FEX EX type of Print service. Many owners are stressed out because all they see is 100-300 drop offs a day and this takes a huge mental toll. Still sorry they ripped you off.

I would strongly guess the lower 1/3 of all UPS STores will be out of business within 5-10 years because they are struggling right now and are lucky to make 25,000 a year.

The top 1/3 of all UPS stores will survive because of their great locations and because they excel at things like Print or Freight .

UPS Store Montana

Opportunist/investor -William says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
July 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm
I looked into buying a few UPS store franchise in Montana, but after meeting with the owner of Montana area ( Brad ) and talking to his franchisees who are not happy with the way that corporate was squishing the profits out of them. I found out that corporate UPS is doing most if not more of what the previous commenters mentioned.
I’m a very successful experienced franchisee looking for opportunities but a UPS Store in Montana is no win situation. Good luck


You the best William thanks JM

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.


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


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.


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.





zero details...just generalizations that anybody can make up

too bad....some REAL good news about successful UPS stores would be appreciated.

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 ( 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....

Yes, call Hankes...soon!

I owned and operated a quite successful Mail Boxes Etc. store for over 10 years...UNTIL UPS bought the brand. MBE was sold down the river by its then-CEO, Jim Amos. UPS never understood the Mail Boxes Etc. concept, all they wanted was a lot of dropoff locations. Which they got, at a bargain price. MBE store owners got the shaft.

Call Hankes, or at least get a referral from him for another legal. Many of us MBE owners who sued UPS actually got a decent settlement. As result of UPS' actions in destroying the MBE brand, I will NEVER use UPS ship anything again, ever!

Ex-Mail Boxes Etc. Owner


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.


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.

Update to 2017

Well add the doom and gloom of stores closing did not happen. I opened in 2009 and I am still going strong.

Do I have challenges, yes. As a business owner can I work to fix them within the Franchise structure, yes.

Have I seen stores close, yes. Mostly by people that should not have tried to own any business to start with.

So, to update this thread, as in any business, it is up to you and not them.

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