Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of

30 Reactions
  1. The Robertson’s are a perfect example of franchising done right! Years of hard work and dedication, and the ability to follow the business model laid out by the franchise. I’ve spoken to many franchises personally, and the number one reason they often say why franchisees fail, is the inability to follow their model.

    • Yes I agree. The Robertson’s are the perfect example to follow, as they are ticking all the right boxes when it comes to running a franchise. Plus their hard work and dedication is absolutely admirable. Anyone considering starting a franchise should study how Brett works.

  2. I agree. Franchises work because you are doing a business after an existing successful business model. You no longer have to build the brand because it is already done for you.

  3. Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

    Hello Brett,

    I have been researching The UPS store for a whilst now due to the fact that I and my husband are interested in owning a UPS franchise and we have actually started initiating talks with them. Our article is quite encouraging and unlike a whole lot of negative feedback out there. I believe, that every business requires hard-work to be successful and it does appear you are indeed ticking the right boxes.
    As possible new-comers to the UPS terrain, we will probably be reaching out to seasoned owners like you for advice and better insight.

    Thanks and all the best.


  4. This is a real nice story. I love it. I am in the process of opening my UPS store. One question that UPS guy didn’t tell me is WHERE WE BUY THE SHIPPING SUPPLIES FOR MY UPS STORE? Can we buy from anywhere or from only the UPS authorized suppliers? Whether the price from the UPS authorized suppliers is reasonable? Thanks

  5. Hi, I really need someone to help me make my decision…
    I am thinking of opening a new UPS store and need to know if the business is going to be profitable if I dedicate myself to the store. If yes then how long usually it takes to break even? Would I be able to pay my employees, myself from the earnings?

    • Hi Sam
      I keep asking thes same question to a lot of UPS team with no answer. If you get the answer of your question, please let me know because I am thinking to open UPS store too.

      • Unfortunately the answer will vary depending on many factors. Some stores take off and some flounder. There are no guarantees that a given store will make it. Part of being an entrepreneur is accepting that risk. If that makes you terribly uncomfortable, you may want to think again before buying a franchise. A key factor in being successful is your own personality and skill set. If you don’t like or are unable to handle financials, owning your own business will be difficult to say the least. If you are an introvert, dealing with the public on a daily basis isn’t going to work out well. Sitting in the back office hoping people walk in because you have a UPS sign isn’t a good model for success.
        On the other hand, if you are outgoing and creative, and tend to get on well with people, chances are you can make a go of it.
        I hope you find this helpful.

    • I worked within the UPS system for the Franchisee, managing retail outlets. Firstly, very few store owners actually made any money. They worked very long hours, and it paid minimum wage at best. If by chance your store made money, you can expect the annual license fee to go up. Your franchise fee is really just buying yourself a job. Several store owners I knew just walked away from their investment. You are bound to suppliers (Xerox), you are on the hook for leases and rental agreements etc. If there is a decent franchise location available, you will pay a lot of money up front for it. I don’t believe it is just UPS, but franchises in general are in business to sell and resell the franchises. Good luck, but if you are expecting a decet living, you maybe very disappointed. Of course, you can print yourself an impressive business card.

    • Don’t know how it all turned out. However, the experience of my local UPS store owner is very poor. Himself and his wife work 7 days a week, long days, never a vacation. They don’t make enough money to pay staff, they are in danger of losing their home and they are desperate to dump the business. I think they would just close the door and walk away if they weren’t afraid of lawsuits. I have looked into Franchises, and UPS is one of the least profitable out there. You would do much better with a fast food outlet in the Mall. The only exception might be if you purchased a location in the heart of an urban center, possibly NYC, SanFrancisco or LA with lots of nearby offices, condos and walk by traffic. Trouble is this would cost you a fortune. Any other location is a waste of your time and money. A really awful franchise to become involved in.

  6. Thank you for the information. My husband and I are just starting the application process. This was very helpful to me. I am excited for the future and I think that The UPS store will be a great fit for our family.

    • Don’t do it! My experience was horrible and I completed the 10 year contract without going bankrupt OR taking home a paycheck. I could not even sell the business for assets only! No business broker would touch it. 3 stores which opened after mine all failed within 3-5 years. The corporate office is run by ‘yes’men’ who live to line the pockets of UPS. UPS has NO MONEY in this business. They make money even if you lose everything.

  7. hi, i am doing some reserch about the UPS store business. I saw there are negative reviews. I am thinking….how they failed. I need more information. I want to have my own business really

    • All,

      I wish you the best. I currently own 2 stores. Both are profitable. My best estimate is that a store with sales of $300k+ is good and should generate you a reasonable profit. My average profit is ~20% of revenue and that is without any loan payments.

    • Hi Teresa,
      Did u go ahead with The Store ???
      I owned one for three yesrs until 2014
      Let me know if need info

      • George,

        Did why did you close your store? were you not seeing a profit?

      • Mohammed Al-Taher

        Hi George,

        I am also intersted to hear your story, could you tell us why you closed the store.

        Thank A lot!

      • Hello I really need help with it becouse me and my dad we are looking to open ups store. How much does store have to have groce sale to get profit. Like the ups store I’m trying to buy it saying he make profit 50,000 is that right. Please help us.

  8. Research, research, research. Don’t swallow all that the Franchise bosses assure you. Article quotes a ” small franchise fee “, it’s actually 8 1/2 % of gross sales.

    if your net is 20 % of gross, say $20 K on $100 K, you have basically given them $8.5 K.

    You have to work the store yourself.. long hours, as franchise agreement obliges certain number of hours per week.

    Untill your turnover hits $350 K pa, u will have a hard time making money.

  9. I currently own multiple UPS store. I have been in business for over 10 years and my advice is to be careful buying one of this store. It is not profitable and UPS is impossible to deal with. In last few years I have just become their employee. They control everything and all you are doing is a drop off packages for Amazon. don’t be fooled by a number of packages you see in the store, they are mostly prepaid labels. I am stuck in this business and see no way out. My stores have decent revenue and yet I feel this way. All I will say is BE CAREFUL. Do your research and come with eyes open and low expectation.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Based on your experience 1 employee + $2500 in monthly rent about 40 packages per day shipment(assuming these are not pre-pay) how much net income I would see monthly? On avg how much revenue should I expect from other services besides shipments?

      Thanks in advance,,

    • Andrew,
      I am confused. Why would anyone claim a business is not profitable yet own multiple centers? Isn’t it optional to renew your franchise?
      You say you’ve been in over 10 years which means you renewed your franchise agreement for at least one store. Isn’t that correct? How is your printing business?


  10. I use to be a franchise consultant for The UPS Stores. The UPS Stores in general are a bad bet. UPS is the biggest competitor to these locations for shipping. UPS is offering a 25% discounts on shipping if you ship with them directly from the website or the hub. The average margin for shipping is about 35% for the stores. If they were to match it they would make only 10 points, and this doesn’t include the royalty payment.

    As for the packaging, everyone is just reusing there amazon boxes or other e commerce packaging to save on the cost. I cant see this franchise being able to keep up with e commerce in the future.

    Printing is a very good profit center, however to make money on it you need to have a large number of customers that print thousands of pages a month. This is extremely hard to come across. Most customers just want 50 copies here, 3 copies there.

    If you are serious about joining the network, make sure the over head is low, mailbox rentals are over 75% full, and be prepared to be an owner/operator.

  11. Do not buy a UPS Store franchise. I lost all of my personal money trying to keep the store going. Invest the money in an Index Fund. Everything negative other people have said is true.

    • I make more money doing ebay thrift resales that I would owning a UPS store, with almost NO investment! Until UPS reconfigures (good luck with that) the UPS store system to allow profitable franchises, mostly UPS will rake in the cash and the owners of these store will bleed money on barely minimum wage incomes.
      UPS is notorious in not fixing broken systems, as the higher ups don’t have a clue.

  12. Hello,

    I was seriously considering starting up a UPS Store in my small rural town because we have nothing close by other than the local USPS. There is only one UPS Store within 50 miles of us and they are REALLY busy. Amazon just opened up a huge warehouse just down the street from that UPS Store. I’ve read some pretty negative reviews as far a profitability is concerned, however, my question is: since there are a lot of the locals who have items shipped here (mostly from Amazon) and the whole town are small business owners, do you think we might stand a chance to actually make a profit? Supply and demand? I know for me personally, being a small business owner, I have to drive all the way to the “local” UPS Store since UPS can’t deliver/pick up at the USPS which is time consuming and annoying. I’ve had MANY local business owners state they wished we had a UPS Store here in town. Thanks!

    • I did it for 15 years with multiple centers. One I did not even bother to renew the franchise fee on and closed and managed to sell the other for about the amount I had invested. Very difficult to make any money, at least not comparable to the hours worked. One of my stores was in the top 1% globally for printing and at most I was making $60,000 a year. Considering I was working 80 hours a week for it, it’s barely minimum wage. Up all night working on printing projects, etc, just not worth it in my opinion. Had I not stumbled across that massive customer I would have gone under just like so many other stores. Hey don’t grow this business, they churn it. I’d guess 20% is the stores are actively for sale at any given time.