1. Money

The UPS Store Brand is a globally respected market leader. There is no doubt that franchisees will immediately enjoy public trust and the established familiarity of a nationally recognized brand, but do the pros of owning The UPS Store franchise outweight one very important and major con? You be the judge...

Pros

  • The most advanced technology - The UPS Store franchising network utilizes one of the most innovative and highly developed digital information systems in the world. This technology enables UPS franchisees to deliver more than 13 million documents, pieces of mail and packages every day. The cost for this sustained development is reportedly in excess of $1 billion annually and comes with an unequaled tracking and distribution capability.
  • Number 1 in its category - Voted the #1 franchise in its category for 19 consecutive years by Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500.

Con

  • Questionable Profitability – According to a very reliable source it takes “about $365,000 in annual gross sales” to produce a modest “$35,000/yr income for the owner” and “about 60% of all US stores do not break even.” In other words, you will not see a nickel in profit until your UPS Store does over $30,000 in monthly sales consecutively every month and you have to hope you are one of the 40% of franchisees that see any profits at all.

We suggest you do thourough research before investing in The UPS Store franchise. Ask lots of questions and be sure the location you are choosing has the capability of generating enough business to be able to feed your family.

Read the full review: The UPS Store Franchise Review

Comments
September 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm
(1) Jason Rager says:

This is a very useful information especially for the prospective franchisees.On my part, I’ve shared in my franchise guide a number of important points for the potential franchisees to know before making important decisions in franchising. Besides, extreme care in choosing where to invest your hard-earned money is really a worthwhile step to make.

October 14, 2009 at 4:22 am
(2) Sandeep says:

Great post. It really helped me a lot.
Bronchitis

Lung Cancer

August 3, 2010 at 10:48 am
(3) John says:

The profitablity statment is not true. My store did $280k last year which was down from 2008. My profit was $40K. You have to know how to run a business.

August 28, 2010 at 12:16 am
(4) ACouey says:

I was hoping to see a nice article with some pro(s) and con(s) and… instead there is just the “questionable profitability” con… I’m thinking they must have more… or there should be more input into why they are unprofitable… and ways that could be overcome… I could think of a few more pro(s) too…. such as discounted xmas package mailing :) any franchisees out there wanting to elaborate…

November 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm
(5) deb says:

I am considering opening a ups store in a commercial building that I own, I need tenants and am wondering if there is anyone out there that would be selling their store/equipment?

April 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(6) MJ says:

The Profitability of the stores lies within the salesperson at the store. If you open a business to be an Order Taker, then open a McDonalds. You have to sell your product. Also, the UPS Stores offer many different services and products. Profits are good in all of the services except the UPS Shipping. It is tough to start a business from scratch. I chose this option and am still growing in sales and customer counts (and retention). I am into the 6th year of business. Honestly if I had to do it over, I would look into the existing stores on the market. The customer base is there. You don’t need as much overhead for the initial advertising. The sales are already there so you need not worry about people knowing where you are. There are always pros and cons. You just need to rehabilitate the cons and turn themn into pros.

April 25, 2011 at 11:25 am
(7) Neil says:

Thanks! Very informative. No wonder these companies never publish this information but always mislead people and give rosy picture. What would you do with technology if it just drains out your 401k or savings

Thanks! you saved my 401k

September 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm
(8) George says:

I have owned some The UPS Stores…they are money down the drain. MBE (the franchisor) doesn’t care whether you make money – they get their cut right off the top. If you have an area franchisor – he makes his money in a few ways. He makes money when you sign a franchise agreement, build out your new store, and when you sell your store after you have lost your shirt (then he makes money of of you and the buyer). Both MBE and the area franchisor make more money the more stores they put in an area. They have put stores just a mile apart. They still get their cut from both stores, but your sales are cut in half. I know of only two stores out of 140 stores making money.

You can make more money buying Enron stock!!!

November 30, 2011 at 3:53 am
(9) RO says:

George is right; I too am sorry to say I owned a franchise and was taken to the cleaner by an unscrupulous area franchisor who saturated the market. My store was in a growing area and was doing ok until the area franchisor put a new store a mile away that took a lot of my business.
You won’t make good money these days through shipping because of online sales that offer free shipping and returns (but you’re still required by your agreement to handle their packages). Most of your labor will revolve around shipping, but your margin lies in other business service areas.
As with all franchises you do business in a cookie=cutter fashion by their system and standards and lose your sense of individuality.
Do your due dilligence carefully and consider other opportunities as most UPS Stores are not very profitable.

December 2, 2011 at 11:37 am
(10) Ken says:

If you have a lot of money to waste, need to work long hours and have a franchisor that fringes on the unethical, then buy a The UPS Store franchise. I am a owner of 8 years and agree that this franchise is unprofitable to the average owner. Sure, some stores do well, MBE satuarates the market with stores reducing your reachable market, UPS hijacks your accounts with consultants telling you “UPS has a right to do business”and UPS PR people telling you it is a training error. Increased drop off package business from UPS customers reduce the franchisees profit and increases their costs. Future owners should ask one question, “let me see the Boston Consulting Group Analysis” on the health of the The UPS Store franchise. The predictions of the Boston Consulting Group are coming true from the study. MBE is forcing the franchisee to spend thousands of dollars on being printers which MBE has failed at for the past few years. So, if you want to be a UPS drop off facility that is is in the low margin, high labor cost printing business, then proceed. UPS and MBE know how to make money from the franchisee, but not for the franchisee. Name one other franchise that has it’s owner as a major competitior.

December 15, 2011 at 9:31 am
(11) Arif Ahmed says:

I thank you for this comment. It helps alot in making a decision of owning UPS franchise. Thank you again.

December 29, 2011 at 11:21 am
(12) Eman says:

I second Ken’s statement. I’m an owner as well and I would not recommend this as a business. Take your money elsewhere.

January 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(13) Shurig says:

Wow, I use a local UPS store all the time and seems busy. The staff is friendly and efficient and the owner works the store. I thought this would be a profitable business to get into, but after reading these reviews, I will be looking elsewhere. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to look?

January 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm
(14) rickb says:

interesting- I met an owner today in San Diego who couldn’t be happier and left a prestigious but demanding job feeling this offers greater income potential. they plan on opening another location and feel that a good store can recoup investment in about 2 years.

January 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm
(15) Frank says:

I love reading these articles. Reality check…those that complain on boards like this have nothing better to do. They feel that just because they are a business owner, they are entitled to a great income. What they are entitled to, is a greater portion of the profit…If you earn it! The business model works. It says we ship on the building, however you need to be engaged in your business. Cross-sell, up-sell and market. Notice I didn’t say advertise. I mean get out of the store and start building relationships with other business owners in the area. It’s not hard, but takes effort to walk out that door. I have been an owner for 11 years and the only franchisees that are failing are the ones that aren’t doing the drill. They misled the individuals that interviewed them in the first place. It’s easier to sit on the sidelines, bitch about the game.
Kudos to MBE for not remaining stagnant and developing other business services that are very profitable. It’s what any good business does…change. The problem here is that people resist change.

To those considering a The UPS Store. Don’t do it if your going to sit on your ass and expect consumers and businesses to use you just because you’re in their area. On the flip side, go for it if you want to make a difference, are willing to work, have a good work-ethic and will promise to shake the bushes by developing BTB customers. The margins, training, support, advertising etc is all there. The business is clean, carries a low number of employees and still gives me a life to raise my kids, all while earning a handsome living.

January 29, 2012 at 6:49 am
(16) Braden Alverson says:

I cannot thank you enough for the blog. Wonderful.

February 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm
(17) JP says:

Frank- interesting rebuttal to the negative comments. Out of curiosity, what is your take home pay compared to sales? You make it sound like the owner must become a pavement pounding/high pressure salesperson to be successful. If that’s the case, Indeed.com has 100′s of sales positions that have earning potential well into six figures if you work hard and sell (and those positions don’t require a $170,000 investment).

February 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm
(18) Frank says:

JP- You’re correct, there are many jobs out there that can give you a six figure potential income w/o spending $170k, however none of those jobs will provide you the flexibility of working for yourself nor an asset that increases in value if it’s ran right. I never said you must be a pavement pounding/high pressure salesperson, I’ll leave that to the time share sales people. If I left you that impression, my bad.
Tell me, what’s wrong with committing two hours per day 3-5 days per week meeting new people? I rarely knock on doors because I choose to be involved in 3 Leads Groups and am Chamber Member. It’s all about being engaged in the business. I see many of my colleagues unlock their doors and turn the lights on. If you did that working for someone else, you’d be fired. They are doing the bare minimum and expecting significant returns. Not going to happen! You still need to earn it.

March 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm
(19) Ken says:

I couldn’t disagree more with Frank, as a store owner od nine years, I did all things MBE requested and sales were stagnat. I did not purchase the franchise to be a printing company. I joined the MBE franchise to ship packages and rely on the UPS brand name they were selling. Yes, the market has changed and the cost of doing business is increasing faster than the revenue. Frank has a store for eleven years which means his loans are paid and he can make a few dollars more than a new franchisee. He will have to invest in printing equipment, computors, software and support equipment. Also, printing businesses are going out of business because businesses are swirching to the internet. Yes, there is some business and it is cut throat to make money. When the franchisee calcualtes his profit after all costs are totaled, his profit is minmal. Frank sounds like he is employed by MBE! If he had to purchase a new store, he couldn’y break even or make enough revenue to support his family. I calcualted that my hourly wage was @ $2.50 hour at the end of the year. Not much for the hours worked. Ask how much profit is derived from printing or how much revenue will be projected from their new print on line program. They can;t or won’t tell you because they know it will be unprofitable. On sales of $325k, I took a salary of $25k.
Good luck if you want to throw your money away to a failing MBE business plan.

Ken

March 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm
(20) Frank says:

Sorry to hear Ken that after nine years, all you can muster up is $325k is sales. You’re right, this business may not be right for you.
I understand that you signed up to be a pack and ship store, we all did. However you said it yourself, the landscape has changed. They economy has shifted and we need to look at ourselves and change too. Tom Hopkins said it best, The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. Ken, all businesses including big businesses need to consistently re-evaluate themselves and their product offering and adjust to the market. Look at McDonalds, they now offer a healthy side to their menu. What would happen to those franchisees if they said, “I signed up to serve Big Macks only”. I’ll tell you what, they’d be out of business. As far as additional investment. Sorry pal, you already have the equipment, the only thing needed is the software. $1k, big deal. The rest is your time in protecting your investment. Allow yourself to learn and grow and stop limiting yourself to just packing and shipping. BTW- printing runs at a 60-80% profit margin, why wouldn’t you jump in?
Lastly, it’s strange to me that whenever someone posts something positive or is pleased with their business (do not confuse that with content) that your answer is they must be employed by MBE? Are you delusional to think that everyone is pissed? I can assure you that I am not. What gets me fires up is that I feel UPS could do a lot more to making me feel like the partner I was supposed to be. Raise the other ASO shipping rates and keep mine where they are so I can have a greater competitive edge. Oh ya, advertise this, “For the best UPS rates, go to The UPS Store”. Seems simple right?

March 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm
(21) Independent says:

“Questionable profitability” is a pretty big con. No need to say any more.

April 25, 2012 at 6:51 am
(22) Chris says:

Frank, I think you’d make a perfect politician. You talked a lot, but managed to completely avoid answering a simple question of “what is your take home pay compared to sales?”…thanks anyway.

April 26, 2012 at 9:46 am
(23) Mike says:

Frank, Kudos my man, taking bullets from all over the place for being successful. Unreal how some people are order takers and blame their loss on something or someone and some people you take responsibility for their actions and make the best they can out of whatever situation faces them. Politician? We need more of you Frank, those who work their business and can articulate a response to the ever changing business world we live in. Keep up the good work! To those that agree with some of the negative stuff DON’T BUY OUR BUSINESS….WE DON’
T WANT YOU INFECTING US ANYMORE THAN YOU ALREADY HAVE! Go by a 7-11 or nail salon…more along your style AND you should really listen to those who give you profit projections and NOT LISTEN to those who don’t!

Peace OUT!

May 10, 2012 at 9:37 am
(24) Shaun says:

Has anyone heard of a company called PakMail? It’s like the UPS store but specifically targets handling awkward items and those difficult to just shove in a square box and fill with packing peanuts (or popcorn).

Any thoughts for a Canadian?

May 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(25) M louis says:

Buying a Ups Store you automatically become ups/mbe a puppet. They control every aspect of your business , you can’t try to bring any businessgoals into the store without them being your pocket looking for nickels and dimes.Buying a ups store is like a buying a job with no guaranteed.

May 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm
(26) Scott Hill says:

I just received an invitation from UPS and was considering their offer until I read this blog. My main concern here is the distance between stores, which could be a close as a mile apart. This appears to be the main concern of most franchisees here, competition from other MBE stores. No matter how much you cut your prices chances are the others would cut theirs deeper to get the business of the same customers. This model would work for Starbucks, Walgreens, Walmart, Panda Express and other company owned stores. This model would be a guaranteed disaster for franchise store. If it is that profitable to have stores that close then USPS should implement the same strategy. But we all know that USPS is in the brink of bankruptcy. Printing revenue isn’t that promising either with the price of printers taking a big hit.

I am sure that Frank’s store is profitable. It is probably located in an area where lease is now in the $100.00 per square foot. Eleven years ago it was probably just $5.00 or less. If the area boomed in the last 11 years and Frank’s lease is locked in at a very low price for 20 or more years, then it would definitely be profitable because no prospective franchasee would be able to afford lease close to Frank’s store. Frank practically does not have any competition in the area.

Well, Frank you probably would make more if you sub lease your store!

June 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm
(27) Frank says:

To Scott, I have a store three miles to the north and another directly east 2 miles. I pay $3,488 per month in rent and my CAMS average another $425. Why am I doing better than the stores around me? I care, I believe my customer service is far superior and I hustle. I don’t discount for regular every day customers either, no need. But will provide a 5-10% discount to a house account that provides me over 30 packages per month. That discount is assessed to the total bill at the end of the month IF they hit their 30 package requirement. Oh ya, printing is promising as well as any other product or service MBE provides that helps me make a buck. I’m not above doing whatever it takes to EARN money folks, you shouldn’t be either.

June 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm
(28) Tim says:

Frank

I’m afraid you still haven’t answered the question several others have posed you

What is your sales and take home pay?

Take a year – I really don’t care which so you can pick your most profitable one! I think we are all interested in solid facts.

June 16, 2012 at 12:08 am
(29) Dan says:

This is an awesome
blog! Alot of info here. I would like to hear Frank’s answer also which is why I commented.

June 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm
(30) Tim says:

Frank, I agree with others…….tell us the money. If you are one of the most successful, and it sounds like you may be, and you are not netting $150k /yr., there is little reason to hope a semi-successful owner can net $75k. (and that should be rock bottom for a business owner under a National name brand) It sounds like you do what you have to with the right mentality to run a business, but it has nothing to do with UPS.

This blog, and certainly your comments, reinforces my belief that what you pay for a franchise from many franchisors is exhorbitant and only serves to drag someone down. The comments you make offer no argument that the UPS/MBE program are worth the price. What can a principal accomplish with the same format on their own, without paying for the brand name?

June 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm
(31) Tim 2 (should have labelled as 2) says:

Forgot to mention….this is not the same Tim as the first one….(will use Tim 2 from now on)

I am curious if Frank will respond to any of the $$ requests. Frank, are you a single store owner?

June 29, 2012 at 10:57 am
(32) Jeff W says:

I want to thank everyone for their feedback on their experiences with UPS. I’m a veteran looking into UPS franchising due to a local news announcement of a special effort the brand is making to get veterans involved. I’m not sure, now, that this is the right direction. I’d like to jump aboard the bandwagon asking Frank to be, uh, frank, regarding his financials. That would be very helpful.

July 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(33) frank says:

kick rocks !!! ups all day baby !!! owwwwwwwwwww

July 2, 2012 at 10:34 pm
(34) Tom says:

Hi, I am a college student working at a local UPS Store in a college town with about 60,000 population.

Our owner owns 3 other stores, 2 are about 30 minutes away, 1 is just 15 minutes down the road.

I’m actually quite surprised to read most of the comments. I would agree with Frank that our centers are mostly profitable. Like Frank was saying, customer service is really the driving force behind our store. At the center I work at, only the A team work there, the A- teams are stationed at the other 3 locations.

Out of our 4 locations, my center makes 4 times more profit than the other 2, and 2 times more than the other 1.

Note, there are only 4 UPS Stores in our area, we own all of them, there is a FedEx Kinkos 8 minutes down the road.

I would say our owner does pretty well. He drives a sportscar and employs all of his children there working for him as well. Though, he does own the land and I think he runs a few other businesses as well. But I think he will still do well if he didn’t have his land and his other business.

It’s all about how you gain your customer, greet them by their names, and keep them happy and loyal. We do some AARP and AAA discounts, but our customers are so happy with our customer service that they rarely even think about a discount.

Our center also do AT&T Uverse returns and Apple iPhone returns.
Our center does a lot of mailboxes too.

I’d say working at UPS Store has been a joy. It’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life, but out of all the jobs I had, this one by far is the happiest one I’ve had. I guess you just gotta love working with people to excel in UPS Stores. Good luck!

July 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm
(35) formerguy says:

Stay, stay, stay away from The UPS Store franchise. First off, your “The UPS Store” and UPS will compete for your same customer, they tell you they don’t buy they do. UPS will do whatever they can to turn your customer into a drop off customer.

Most stores do not break even, and there are way too many stores that are less than a mile apart from each other.

You will need to make a $300,000 gross sales minimum to see a small profit.

Now, as for MBE, they make some serious money off the franchisee…

STAY AWAY>

August 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm
(36) bob w says:

Frank must be one of the “happy” stores doing well;God bless him.
Wish they were all like that. The stats should be reversed: 40% doing ‘marginal’ business,and 60 % doing well; it’s the other way around for the “Industry leader”. Those guys complaining are not just simple lazy,losers; for the most part they are hard working people who invested their life savings in a losing proposition;pay the expenses(UPS doesn’t pay for anything,nor MBE) follow the rules(it’s almost militaristic in nature) and keep smiling while UPS pulls the rug from under any potential you thought you had. Anyone considering buying this franchise should consider VERY carefully;
what they will invest in both time and money,and what they get as a return for their efforts; it’s not a rosey picture unfortunately. I wish it were otherwise.

August 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm
(37) DLR says:

I frequently make purchases online and use UPS pre-paid labels to make returns. I have 2 UPS stores just 5 mins drive from my house, either direction. While one UPS store owner is always friendly when I drop off the packages, the other has the attitude that he is doing be a big favor for nothing. He is probably right, as I am aware that UPS profits from pre-paid labels while the store owners do all the work. It’s more convenient to use pre-paid labels. I’d be happy to drop off the packages in the UPS box, but there are size restrictions.

Increasingly, online companies (Zappos) offer free shipping and returns (though nothing is really free, but that’s another story), customers come to expect it. This business model is great for UPS but it takes away from the UPS store’s profitability.

September 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm
(38) jim says:

I looked at buying a UPS real hard my last year of retirement from the military. I was traveling all around the country at the time and spoke with about 10 owners in five states. Two owners had positive things to say and that spoke volumes. I’ll never forget what one owner told me. If you were my son and you wanted to buy a UPS franchise I would slap you on the back of the head. He said my biggest competition was UPS. I did the numbers and did not see much profit. It was like I was buying a management position in a company rather than becoming a business owner. I realize that sometime boards are filled with people that are not happy but when there is sooooo much negativity it does raise a flag.

September 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm
(39) Terry says:

At Jim,

Good thing you didn’t buy a franchise, in every system there will be the top franchises, however, there are a lot of poorly running UPS Stores. UPS corporation will compete with the same customer of the UPS Store.

It is terrible.

September 8, 2012 at 9:21 am
(40) Bob says:

I have been working in a store for 10+ years and managing for around 5 years. Printing is the future of this business model. My store produces STR sales near $600,000 and as a Manager I take home around 35k annually myself. Our store owner is very active in the community and it shows. Other store owners in the area have no clue how to run this business and only produce around 250k in sales. As others have said, go somewhere else if you want to sit around all day. The money is out there and MBE has given us great tools to market to other small businesses on the printing side of things. It seems that a lot of franchisees just simply do not take the initiative to learn and expand their capabilities. Just my .02…

September 9, 2012 at 8:17 am
(41) A wade says:

Frank never answered the big question…what’s up with that…seems to enjoy spewing…with no back up

September 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm
(42) Namingway says:

It’s funny to read some of these comments. Frank is 100% right. I’ve taken a 230k store and turned it into 600k+ store within 5 years and I have two stores not even 3 1/2 miles both east/west of me that are not mine.

I’ve been an MCO (multiple store owner) for 2 years up till I sold my other one recently. It was a 460k store that netted me 80k+ a year in profit. I’m currently at 100k+ profit in my one remaining 600k store.

Expect your profits to be around 18-23% of your total gross *IF* you manage your expenses.

However, You CAN’T sit your ass on a stool and expect the business to come in. Go out and meet folks and network. Get to know ppl. Build trust and build your damn business!

For the record print is bordering 50% of my store revenue. It is the future of the industry for pack and ship companies. And to the gentleman pointing out that printers are closing left and right needs to look at that ad an advantage. Consumers as a whole WANT to shop locally. And will if you build their trust.

There is a reason The UPS Store is #1 in its category, because it has the best system put in place for success. Go buy a subway or 5 and only make about 10-15% profit and work twice as hard/long.

Hope that helps to answer your money questions guys/gals. For the record an owner pushing 350k and stuck on 24k profit you need to learn PACE and examine a cost analysis scale and look for ways to cut your cost of goods AND expenses. That is all.

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