UPS Store owners reveal why they dislike FBA sellers.
I swear no matter how friendly I am to people at the UPS store, when I bring in more than a half-dozen boxes of FBA books to ship to Amazon, they get a little short.
Doing a lot of traveling, I’ve had this issue at stores everywhere in the country. (And I’m not the only FBA seller who experiences this at UPS).
I assumed that this was like any other business, the more I come in their store, the more money they make. Even though Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) parcels are pre-paid, my assumption was that the store got a cut of the shipping amount. And as such should be happy for the business.
This isn’t exactly true.
What I learned was that UPS stores HATE pre-paid FBA shipments, because they only receive 90 cents per box.
Two quotes from UPS owners
This week, I asked two UPS store owners about pre-paid FBA shipments. Here are their quotes:
The first told me: “Ninety cents per box is not worth our time and back pain.”
The second was even more interesting. When I asked why his store had a “going out of business” sign out front, I asked why he was shutting down. He pointed to my box and said:
“Because of those. 90% of my business is pre-paid shipments, and it killed my business.”
All I could say was: “Sorry.”
So the next time you bring in Fulfillment By Amazon shipments to UPS and get nothing but a scowl in response, at least you know why.
I’ve had good luck dropping my FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) packages at a local non-UPS shipping store. They have an area where I can drop off pre-paid UPS packages (so they don’t actually have to lift or move them) and they seem more than happy to have them because they get the small commission for just letting my boxes occupy floor space in the corner. It’s definitely less secure (I don’t get a UPS receipt for instance) but I pack my packages close to the 50lb maximum so I don’t think anyone is going to grab one and run out the door 🙂
Like Nathan, I use a non-UPS store for drop off and they love it! I even asked them if it was worth it for me to drop off there or if they prefer that I go to Staples across the street. The insisted they make money with my drop offs. Maybe since they are not a UPS business they make more than the 90 cents per box.
That may be possible. I’m gravitating towards dropping off at Staples, both for the less hostile attitude, and that the shopping carts make moving boxes simpler.
Hi Guys, today I followed up with my independent shipping store when I dropped some boxes of books off to them. They said that they get paid per package and not by weigh but they said they really appreciate me dropping of my UPS boxes there. Maybe dropping of at independents is a good deed after all (and convenient for me). My store also scans each package so there is a record of it being dropped off (I don’t know if this would do anything in the case of theft though).
Good point. It probably depends on the store owner. One of the people I spoke to (as I mentioned in the post) literally credited the demise of his business to people who use pre-paid shipping. I’m sure that was an exaggeration. I know that even at 90 cents a box, I am worth many hundreds of dollars a year to my local UPS store.
Dropping at an official UPS “Customer Center” saves me about 3-4 days for arrival time. I only discovered one in my location recently and boxes that were 3 days behind a UPS Store dropp got to the same location first!
wow… ive been wondering why my local UPS store was not thrilled to see me show up with my 50lb boxes. I figured that it was due to the weight, and brought it down to 42-45lbs, but that didnt matter much. Now I learn this. I stopped going to my local UPS store, and started going to another one, with pretty much the same result. But when I showed up at my local store again with my boxes, after avoiding them for a month and a half, the store owner gave me a look as if she was mad at me. Not because I showed up, no. Her eyes didnt say “oh no, here he is again”, but instead they said that she is upset with me. She was upset that I left them for another store, but what she was upset about more than anything else is that I was too thick headed to understand what they wanted from me all this time. They don’t want you to stop coming, guys, they just want you to throw them a little bone too sometimes. Buy something from them. Buy some loose fill, or maybe some tape, or a tape gun, and the problem will be solved. We love making money but its easy to get carried away sometimes.
Thank you for publishing this article because I ask myself the same question. Every time I go to the UPS Store, they seem pissed off. Most of the time, it’s for Amazon.com returns. I have a hunch they’re not making much from those. Still, one time – around the time that this particular store was advertising “luggage shipping,” I asked if they would ship to Martha’s Vineyard. The guy was a total pr*ck and answered, “I don’t know.” So I ended up not using the luggage service that they were actually advertising. The guy running the UPS Store closest to me just doesn’t seem happy. In fact, it seems like he resents me for walking into the store.
Peter Valley says
Ultimately if you’re *really* nice to people, almost anyone will be nice to you. But sometimes its really hard with these UPS store owners.
Deborah Armbruster says
I have, what I’ve been told is an “arrogant” look about me. Which is completely unintentional and I do try to be more than polite to compensate for this. However, the local UPS store where I am temporarily staying has given me the same cold shoulder every time I bring my prepaid (never over 30 lbs.) boxes in. Today, was the cake topper. I am a 58 year old rather small women and carry my boxes in without help from anyone. I had 6 boxes, and as I am carrying them in one by one, the women behind the counter was complaining to another customer about, not only my prepaid boxes but the wool coat I had worn a few weeks ago during the first cold snap!
I just stumbled upon this page tonight and I wok at a UPS Store. I have some thoughts on this.
At our store we handle about a hundred drop offs per day. I think a few,(actually a lot) of bad apples really kind of spoil it for everyone.
All UPS Stores are independently owned franchises. We are not UPS employees. While UPS does supply us at no charge for a few shipping boxes and envelopes they are intended for overnight and second day shipments only. We have to purchase all other shipping supplies, cushioning materials, fillers, tape and fragile stickers.
About half the people that walk in with prepaid labels don’t have their packages taped. Many don’t have any of their return paperwork filled out organized etc. I would guestimate about 1 in every 1,000 of these people or less will buy a roll of tape.
At our store we will tape your box with a smile offer you a receipt and thank you. The revenue per box may be small but it does add up. I get it that you are in this to make some money and more power to you. I am a do it your selfer and I know you are probably too. But while you are here maybe at least check out some of our other services that may truly be helpful to you. Most all stores offer Copying, Faxing, Shredding, Greeting Cards, Notary Services, Boxes and Tape at competitive prices.
Yes, been having this issue for eons and always wondered why. I got into the habit of dropping of at Staples…no hostility.