The UPS Store vs FedEx Kinko’s

Recently I’ve been hearing radio ads promoting photocopy and bindery discounts at The UPS Store. Photocopy? Huh? If this isn’t an example of how to dilute your brand I need to go back to school. *cough*

Why do I say that? Because the UPS brand is all about delivering my package. It’s not about copying in color for only 39 cents a sheet. It’s not about the fact that they can also bind my presentation for me. It certainly isn’t about color prints vs black and white.

Looking back a few years, remember how when FedEx purchased Kinko’s they purposefully kept the Kinko’s name? That was a smart move on their part because for one, Kinko’s had a name. The two brands stand on their own.

When UPS purchased Mailboxes Etc. last year they didn’t get as good a deal. Mailboxes Etc. didn’t have mass market appeal and was more about your neighborhood post office box — not photocopying and printing. Despite this fact UPS is trying to be all things to all people. A big mistake. It won’t hurt them in the long run however they will only dilute the UPS name and waste time and money. UPS means shipping. It can’t also mean “color copies.”

What should UPS have done? They should have made a gutsy move to purchase Alpha Graphics and rebranded the stores as Alpha Graphics UPS. That would have kept both ideas separate in my mind and would have presented a business advantage.

Lastly, if Alpha Graphics had said no I still think it makes sense to purchase Mailboxes Etc., however what was done next should have been different. UPS should have come up with a clever name (something cool like Kinko’s) and launched a new photocopy center overnight.

We all know what this is really about. It’s not about photocopies and it certainly isn’t about helping small businesses print their next set of generic business cards. This is about major shipping services having a location. A place in people’s minds that they can reference any time they need to ship something. In this case, FedEx Kinko’s is doing everything right and UPS should focus on what they do best — shipping.

1,505 responses to “The UPS Store vs FedEx Kinko’s”

  1. I decided to pass. I just can’t work for someone else, which in essence is what I’d be doing. After absorbing the info in the franchise agreement, I decided it wasn’t for me.
    I’m buying a liquor store next to the college. Great sales and profits, and I get to make my own decisions, good or bad.
    I won’t be back, so thanks again for helping me make what I believe is a good decision. Take care.

  2. The rest is yet to come. No longer the disgruntled minority, but everyone who converted is now a class member in a certified class action.

    Watch for the arm twisting campaign out of San Diego to incent franchisees to opt out. The latest trust us campaign is about to begin!

  3. I spent a rainy Saturday reading all this stuff.

    All this has been very enlightening and it supports my earlier decision to skip buying the expensive UPS package.

    Has anyone considered opening a Goin’ Postal store? I own one and volume is growing rapidly, even with a UPS store in town. Their week long training was helpful. We provide shipping by UPS, DHL, FedEx, and the USPS and have no quarrel with any of them. All treat us well.

    It only cost me a fraction of what UPS would have charged me to open and operate a store. The GP corporate office tends to be very helpful, although the owners are learning as they go, and so do make changes. They still operate their own small, initial store in Florida.

    It has been far easier to pay down my start-up costs and reach break even. I pay a flat $200 a month to the corporate office.

    People like the name. I have hired a pleasant, outgoing college student to hand out fliers in shopping centers, promoting my store. We are taking business away from the slow moving, sometimes gruff staff at the post office.

    I guess i would find it difficult to deal with the problems that the UPS store owners are complaining about. I’m glad to have decided on the smaller, personalized, supportive Goin’ Postal company franchise.

    The down-to-earth owners could change as the company expands. There are already hints they are feeling a little bit like big shots, now that they have a growing bank account. But down deep they still are good folks.

    Small is good.

  4. Sorry, but I wouldn’t give any franchise a sniff after my experience in this one. Everyone from UPS down to the vendors are entitled to make a buck except for the franchisees. The death of the franchise model is near. Franchisors and the IFA have killed it through their continual tweeking of the already Draconian “take it or leave it” contract.

  5. The rest is yet to come. No longer the disgruntled minority, but everyone who converted is now a class member in a certified class action.

    Watch for the arm twisting campaign out of San Diego to incent franchisees to opt out. The latest trust us campaign is about to begin!

    And yes, it is time for UPS to earn their buck, not consider themselves entitled.

  6. So “Anony-mouse” is back, spewing the same load o’ crap as always. As far as the status of the lawsuits, the wheels of justice continue to slowly turn, and no one involved in any of them is gonna post anything about them here. Do your homework, dimbulb, and you can find out for yourself.

  7. Anonymous anyone reading this blog can tell that your comments exude both increasing worry and disinformation. It makes me laugh each time I listen to your assanign comments because I’m privy to what’s really going on behind the scenes.

    The light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter as time passes for each couragous Franchisee and its getting darker and darker for UPS and MBE.

    Fed Ex and USPS are not and never have been our true enemies. They also have their own lawsuits union trouble and misdealings to worry about. THey have The teamsters to deal with.

    It’s our own brand that is working hardest to destroy us. The courts eventually will rule in our favor and justice will be served. The money thats being spent on the numerous lawssuits directed at UPS is the best invested money franchisees have had the opportunity to spend since contracting with these ugly immoral unethical, theives.

    Hey annonymous, Im giving you the middle finger, ha ha ha.

  8. so i guess i will not persue the “dream” of owning one of these- too much to worry about besides the normal risk!

  9. “Anony-mouse,” ya never change, same birdbrained bootlicker, same shameless shilling for UPS.

  10. These competitors are kicking ass, rolling out new services, products, and creating customized mail & shipping tools, etc. They are effectively integrating all the pieces of the MPC & Document Services Business.

    Yea, right, the post office is really kicking butt in the document services business. Get real!

    Meanwhile, kinko’s is indeed feebly trying to get into the shipping business, they know that the document services business is dying on the vine.

    And UPS is using franchisee money to promote something the customer already expects, the carrier to reimburse for loss or damage caused by the carrier, what a novel idea cough cough cough… millions to establish the perception that they are so bad, they need to promise to pay for their mistakes. Big f’g deal – meanwhile the cost of goods to the franchise goes up 40 cents per package and he is specifically forbidden to increase the retail shipping rate! Good Plan? Maybe for UPS, certainly not for the franchisee.

  11. MBE and UPS don’t have any desire to build up this reatil network, only to rape it. They continually come out with one-sided programs using store royalty money to increase their take and promote UPS. They prey on new store owners who are not knowledgable enough to see the true motives. Your comments are short sighted and slanted – anyone who really owns one of these businesses knows who and what is draining owner profits and holding back progress.
    Your simply full of SXXT! Everyone knows it. See ya in court UPS. Anyone who invests in this network / franchise at this point knowing what is currently happening behind the scenes in the courts is a complete fool.

  12. Would someone tell “Anony-mouse” how “flipping” works, as he’s apparently too busy bootlicking to look it up?

  13. “Anony-mouse,” your ability to think is even worse than your spelling and grammar. Since you’re obviously too stupid to grasp the obvious, you’ll just have to babble on in compound ignorance, as warrents a career bootlicker and cube wonk.

  14. My gawd, “Anony-mouse,” you’re too dense to even keep to the subject. Or is it A.D.D., as well as stupidity? I’ll let someone else explain how franchisors “flip” a location.

  15. I was once looking at BiG corp Companies, I feel for you folks. If you have a little money left, spend a 15 grand franchise fee (minus POS system and some start up must haves) on an awesome, fast growing national postal center like goin postal. I did. Check the site, It rocks and is designed to make the franchise owner feel like an owner and not an employee, I have more oppertunities than UPS and owe only 200.00 monthly in royalty payments. I still support you folks though, a lot of you have paid dearly, I hate to see this kind of injustice. Best of luck.

  16. I purchased the liquor store, and exceeded first months projected profits by 6%. The owner of the UPS Store I was considering buying, called me up and offered to discount the asking price 40% if I would take it off his hands. He said he was “totally worn out by corporate.”
    I want to thank those who gave me the straight scoop, and saved me loads of trouble. I set my own hours, prices, store setup, etc., and don’t have to answer to anyone but myself. Thanks again, and good luck on your lawsuit. I’m pulling for you.

  17. No thanks needed. Just doing our job — saving lives. Time to ride off into the sunset.

    Time for you to get back to the counter before Anonymous shows up and starts calling you names. If he hasn’t been downsized by UPS by now.

  18. Yea too bad Fedex is such a pack of bastards. All the money they’ve screwed “contractors” out of in the ground/home delivery units has certainly come in handy to aquire Kinkos.

  19. I recently ran across the opportunity to purchase a store as well. After spending time reading all of this, no thanks. The negativity is more than I can handle. I am going to go kill myself now! BANG!

  20. Gonzo, if you can purchase an existing store at an huge discount–and many seem to be available at fire sale prices, their owners desparate to get out from under–it’s possible to make a living, though a modest one, at best. But please, do yourself a favor. Have all the numbers double-checked by a business accountant who knows his or her stuff. And understand that the UPS/MBE people who are involved are NOT looking out for your best interests, but their own. Call a lot of store owners (NOT only the ones they direct you to) and ask tough questions. Be very, very careful. And have a deep cash reserve. Please let us know your progress, and your decision. And good luck.

  21. Anonymous wrote:
    “Yea too bad Fedex is such a pack of bastards. All the money they’ve screwed “contractors” out of in the ground/home delivery units has certainly come in handy to aquire Kinkos”

    Please tell us how what FedEx did to the “contractors” in the ground/home delivery unit is different that what UPS did to the “franchisees”? It would appear that there could be more similarities than differences.

  22. Wow, it’s 2 AM already. I must have spent the last 2 hours reading this forum.

    Like a few posters here, I stumbled on this forum after googling “UPS Store for sale” to get a gage of what a typical UPS store sells for.

    I am a prospective buyer but after reading alot of the posts here, I’m not so sure this is the franchise to get into. My original intention after reading about franchises and how some of them were helping veterans returning from the Iraq War (I think Little Caesar Pizza won the award for veteran friendly franchises) was to get myself a franchise.

    I wanted to open a new UPS store but after talking to the UPS representative, I couldn’t pass the financial muster to build a new one. She suggested I might buy an existing one instead. So I looked up which were existing ones in my area and went to visit one. I talked to the manager and got the phone number of the owner…who happened to be looking to sell his. He wants to retire and move to a warmer state.

    So that’s a little bit about where I am. Being a soldier in the Army, I’m very used to taking orders from above and feel I would be a good fit for the franchise model. So the biggest concern for me is of course, the financial aspects of this transaction. The existing owner wants $225,000 for his store and it’s hard for me even to get 20% for a 80/20 LTV loan that most banks want for a down payment. So my strategy is to convince the bank that this store makes enough money to maybe even consider a 90/10 LTV. I’ve asked the existing owner for his financial papers so I can review them before talking to a bank’s loan officer.

    My questions for the existing owners of this board are:

    What is the average sale range for a business to be considered successful? There were sources that said 60% of UPS Stores are not profitable…that’s a scary figure.

    Is 225k reasonable for a store that has been in business for around 4 years?

    I’m sure I’ll have more questions as I am researching but I just wanted to start with those two.

    You may feel free to respond to me on this forum or individually at my email address “vindication at yahoo dot com”. I think you can figure out the symbols since I’ve been getting spammed alot when I write out my email address.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing your words of wisdom and experience.

  23. Iraq War Vet; First, than you for your service. Then, on to your questions/concerns: I cannot answer specific R.O.I. questions. That said, look into buying an existing store. There are many for sale, often in trouble, for cheap. Ask them “why,” then double-check. Leaving for a better climate is suspect. Check their financials with qualified help. Ask hard questions. Check with other existing store owners in the area, not just those recommended by the UPS/MEB “handlers.” Ask these owners if they’d do it again, given the choice to start over again. Understand that this venture will require more than money, it will take every waking moment of your life…and then, what will be your reward? Look carefully, then decide if it’s worth it.

  24. Iraq War Veteran,

    I have to disagree with Won’t Be Fooled Again, although he speaks from the heart. The UPS Store model is completely flawed. Even at a fire sale, you’ll be an indentured servant to UPS.

    2007 is the first year in MBE’s 27 year history that this once proud franchise will show negative store number growth. That is, more stores will close than will open.

    This was in the works long ago. UPS never considered a Pack and Ship owner’s customer as the owner’s customer. A person shipping UPS was always viewed by UPS as a UPS customer and they resented the fact that P & S owners were making a profit on their brand name, so UPS “bought it back.”

    UPS did not just change the model for the largest P & S franchise in the country, it forever changed the industry as a whole. Full service has morphed into cheapest price.

    Beware my Goin’Postal friend, and trust none of the carriers completely. Do not trust UPS at all.

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