MAC Tools Screwed Us: A MAC Distributor Speaks Out (Video)

“MAC Tools screwed us” states a MAC Distributor in a video that warns would-be franchise owners from owning a MAC Tools mobile tool distribution franchise.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) In the video [which has now been taken offline], Cory & his wife Michelle tell how MAC Tools sold them a tool truck route (at an investment, thus far, of $130,000) without telling them that three prior distributors had failed with the same route.

MAC Tools TruckThe franchisees contend that many MAC distributors fail, in part because of a lack of corporate support, inadequate tool financing, and independent competitors who sell the same products at significantly lower prices.

They claim their MAC District Manager (DM) had no concern for their success, and was only interested in collecting a “huge sign up bonus.”

Are you a MAC distributor or former distributor?  Please share your opinions and experiences with a comment below.  If you are willing to take a short survey, see the link below.

“MAC Tools Screwed Us” Video Transcript

Cory:  My name is Cory and this is my wife Michelle. I am a Mac tools distributor and this is how MAC tools screwed us.

Michelle:  They started off by painting a beautiful picture of how life would be like as a distributor; being your own boss, running your own business, having more time to spend with your family and having a much a larger wallet. We invested over $130,000 and Cory is yet to draw a paycheck after 14 months. We are struggling. The DMs paint a great picture because they are thinking of the huge sign up bonus that they will get.

Cory- Mac did not tell me that there were 3 prior failed distributors on my route.

They claimed that there was tons of support; I received no support from MAC Tools, my RM or My DM when I needed them!

MAC took away the MAC card 8 months in, which means no financing for customers. Especially on tool boxes so I could not even compete with the competitors.

Michelle: They put me in a route knowing that there was an independent dealer selling the exact same products for much lesser prices and again I couldn’t compete.

There was even a light that Cory sold to all his customers that was advertised as a MAC exclusive product. A month later it was out in the Canadian Tire flyer. He sold it for $133.00 and CT for $20.99. We paid $95.19 as distributors for those. Customers were furious and his DM did nothing to help him. Cory lost a lot of money and people’s trust

MAC expects you to put each customer on a Time payment plan so the tool is paid off in 5 weeks. But MAC you wants you pay them within 30 days, if not you will be put on hold and that means no tool orders shipped. Most trade’s people cannot afford to pay a large tool off in 5 weeks. But we have to pay MAC. There were even orders placed on our behalf that we didn’t order. It is not humanly possible for a distributor to do this alone ….that is why they want the wives to be involved.

Cory: we were really taken advantage of and now we could lose everything. Don’t make the same mistake that I did and get screwed by MAC Tools.


MAC TOOLS Franchise posts on UnhappyFranchisee.Com

Mobile Tool Franchise Issues & Index

MAC Distributor’s Wives Share Stories of Deception, Hardship

MAC Franchise Owners Claim They Can’t Compete (Slideshow)




159 thoughts on “MAC Tools Screwed Us: A MAC Distributor Speaks Out (Video)

  • February 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    mackanic50 to answer your question about how much time I put in. about 70 to 80 hours a week and still losing money. They don’t tell you about the previous dealers that went under in your area or how this affects the customers trust in mac tools. I have been doing this for over a year and all I hear ever week is I don’t know if you will be here next week. They say you have to be consistent, I make the same stops ever week and are much more consistent then my competitors, but they seem to do so much better. Can you tell me why? Maybe lack of trust?

  • February 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    For all of you who are considering getting into Mac right now here is something to keep in mind. The Franchisee who is trying right now to recruit you will get a $10,000.00 trade account bonus for getting you to sign up. Stay away!!!

  • February 24, 2014 at 12:54 am

    I’m buying a franchise starting next month. I will let you know how it goes. I do think that a lot of the posts on here sound more like whining than genuine complaints.

  • February 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    That’s it David W, bury your head in the sand…the ten thousand or so ex franchisee’s have nothing on you because you are special, right? There is literally a mountain of verified information here on UF supporting the fraud these companies commit which you call whining yet you still signed a contract that you have no clue about the forthcoming implications nor understand what is actually in it…not to mention the hell that lies ahead for you…you have been duped

  • February 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Yep, you got it. It’s like you read my mind. Are you psychic? I’ve gone over the FDD with my attorney and my accountant. This is not my first business, and I don’t sign my name without knowing the worst case scenario. That’s why I stopped here. Claiming 10k failed franchises is a bit over the top though. Obvious exaggerations only hurt your credibility.

  • February 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    David…No exaggeration at all, between all 4 tool companies over a 10 year period easily tops 10k…I have been in the biz since the 80s, but what do I know

  • February 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    David W,

    Before you sign I highly recommend that you or your lawyer contact the office of Jerry Marks at Marks & Klein for their opinion. They have had cases with all four tool companies I believe. I hope for you that you take the advise and warnings given on this sight as well as others. Mac and Matco are the two worst of the four companies and have the highest failure rates. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mac and Matco together haven’t gone through 10k distributors/franchisees in the last 10 years. I have seen far more fail than succeed. In my six years Matco changed hands three times. When I started with Mac I believe I was the 22 distributor in our group. When I left I was 5 in seniority and there were many who came after me who failed it their first two years. We had one year where five new guys all failed within 18 months. I am not whining, just warning! I am writing this as I take a break from filling out papers for my bankruptcy that I never would have had if I had just stayed away from Mac. I had perfect credit, no debt, a good job, savings, and a comfortable life. Now I have nothing but at least this BK will allow me to start over. I used to have guys ask me about getting into the business. At that point they were giving away a mb1080 if we got a recruit. It wasn’t worth it to me to sign a guy up for BK. Now they are giving $10,000 for a recruit. You have been well warned. Be smart, cautious, whatever, just stay away from Mac and Matco! If a tool route is what you want sign up with Snap-on. They by far have the best success rate, best tools, best financing, best diagnostics, USA made, I could go on and on. Stay away from the tool business or at least make the right choice!

  • February 26, 2014 at 10:14 pm


    I believe that your intentions are solid. However, I have seen no sound business reasons not to proceed. I did research the attorney you mentioned, and was mildly surprised not to find an ambulance chaser trying to hustle up a class action. That’s what I usually see on franchise complaints boards. You were correct about Snapon being the most successful, but they are also the most involved in their franchisees business. That’s not what I’m after. I plan on doing it for 5-7 years and sell off whatever I can build. Then move up to the next step. I have 20 years experience as a mechanic in the Air Force, 4 years experience as a business owner and 3 years experience in direct sales. If I fail, it will from my own mistakes. You won’t find me playing the blame game.

  • February 27, 2014 at 6:11 am

    David W.:

    You did a lot of research and arrived at the conclusion that in times of high gas prices, rising Internet sales and falling disposable income, your best option is to sell expensive tools to cash-strapped mechanics using a 1950’s-like petroleum-intensive truck-based business model with a high failure rate and lots of previous owners screaming “Don’t do it!”

    Did you also look into becoming a milkman? Or a buggy whip salesman? Or owning an 8-track music store? I hear Mr. Haney from Green Acres might be selling his truck, pots and pans included. Blockbuster Video is another hot franchise, I hear.

    Your intention is to build the business and sell it after 5-7 years. In your research, what percentage of MAC dealers are successful in selling their routes? What’s the average sales price? Seems like that is pretty important number to know, since you’re investing 7 prime years of your life. What’s the return you expect when you cash out?

  • February 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    It’s obvious why someone failed.

  • February 27, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Ok, this data is from 2012. These are the default rates on sba loans which is a good indicator of failure rates. Cornwell-39.22% Matco-35.09% MAC-30.77% Snapon- 9.8%. All 4 are well above striking out on your own in any new business.

  • February 28, 2014 at 10:17 am


    I am not sure and I don’t know how to research this but I was told back around 2010 that there was a change in how the loans with Mac Tools default. The district manager told me that because of the high failure rate with new distributors, the only way for Mac to be able to strike a deal with the banks for loans is that if a distributor/franchisee fails within the first two years the bank has full recourse against Mac for the remaining balance of the loan. A fellow distributor of mine had a Wells Fargo loan with a remaining balance of over $70K. When his position was terminated Mac immediately bought the loan within the first 30 days. So in all practicality his loan never defaulted with the bank. He now owes Mac not Wells Fargo. Because of that, the DM also said they were having more of a push to make sure guys made it past the 2 year mark so Mac wasn’t on the hook. Simply said, I don’t believe that the sba loans defaults are even close to what the actually distributor/franchisee failure rates are. They only represent the ones that default to the bank. Of the 18 guys that started out the year in my district in 2012 five failed, three guys had less than 2 years with Mac. Is there anyone else with info out there that can back me up or set me straight?

  • February 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I’m pretty sure that buying the loan does not change the nature of the loan. It’s the same as my VA loan. When the bank bought it from the loan originator it remained a VA loan. So it shouldn’t affect the default rate. My point is that buying a franchise still gives you a better chance than starting from scratch.

  • February 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    David W. did you know that money is being pumped into banks all across the United States so that people like you can get a franchise loan? Did you know that normal Americans like you can’t get that money. But if your a franchisor those tax payer dollars are ready and waiting. I received a loan for my Matco franchise in Arkansas through Suntrust Bank in Atlanta, Ga. Guess who got Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Funds released from the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) to the tune of $395 million dollars from 2005 to 2009?

  • February 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Actually 2005 to 2012.

  • February 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm


    To back up my previous statement I was able to get ahold of 2 of the 3 distributors that were in less than 2 years. Both stopped paying as soon as there distributorship was terminated. Both loans were immediately bought by Mac Tools. Neither of them had anything negative reported on their credit reports from Wells Fargo. Also interesting is that neither of them had negative reporting from Mac months after their termination. So neither of them would be reported as a defaulted loan. It has been roughly a year since mine was terminated and there is no reporting on mine either. You seem like a smart guy. Look at the THOUSANDS of negative comments against all of the tool companies. It not just a couple pissed off guys. None of us have anything to gain. We are here to bring awareness and warn good people like yourself. You must be somewhat concerned or you wouldn’t keep coming back to this sight. Do the safe/smart thing. Walk away while you can! What ever you decide, good luck!

  • February 28, 2014 at 10:12 pm


    Also in you comment you said “When the bank bought it from the loan originator it remained a VA loan”. Mac Tools is not a bank and wouldn’t report as a bank. That is why they use Green Sky for end users and Wells Fargo for franchisee’s.

  • March 1, 2014 at 3:18 am


    I live in Arkansas and owned a franchise in Arkansas for 6 1/2 years. From 2009 to 2012 Matco has churned 15 franchisees in Arkansas alone. In 2012 there were 19 routes in Arkansas. You do the math! 19 routes 15 churned! In ONLY 4 years. ALL these franchises are the same. BALE OUT while you still can. Here are their names Michael Johnson, Joseph Duran, Timothy Hodge, Brent Freeman, Randy Reinking, Paul Chun, Kenneth Rathburn, Malcolm Wells, Jimmie Wise, Richard Richardson, James Bunch, Todd Peterson, Jamey Tate, Walton Johnson.

    One or maybe two of these 15 got out happy. The rest are not happy!

  • March 1, 2014 at 3:24 am


    Those SBA loan failure rates are phony. Matco wishes they only had a SBA loan failure rate in the 30’s. I just proved to you above what failure rates are really like.

  • March 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    How much responsibility should a franchisee bear for his success or failure? To try and lay the entire blame on the franchisor is almost as bad as Todd ‘ conspiracy theories.

  • March 2, 2014 at 7:29 am


    I am not sure if your comment was directed to me or not but I will respond. When a franchisor inaccurately represents success rates, customer counts, warranty numbers, support provided, training provided, has the absolute worst end user financing program in the industry but continuously claims it is improving, and claims that you are your own boss and you find out that all of that was just a lie. Well I guess I put a lot of that on the franchisor. I will tell you though that you have a huge advantage over most of us on here. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

    I talked with a current distributor last week and under the new improved Mac Card he ran over 15 apps with 1 approval and had 1 more pending. The last 18 I ran I had 2 approvals at 23.99%. Most all of them were approved by Snap-on and Matco.

    Look at the current flier. I can only pick 3 items (not including tool boxes) that are actually made by Mac. It is a flier filled with third party china junk. You pay the shipping to return all of that crap back and front the money while it is being processed for warranty. You also eat it when it is rejected. Only 2 times was my warranty return the amount I showed. I was always short $200-300. “Cost of doing business.”

    More and more tools being made over sea’s. Look at the tap and die sets which just recently are no long USA made. Plus the incentive is to sell over sea’s product. USA made hand tools have a lower profit margin than the imports. (Mac Edge)

    If Mac is a solid business model, why haven’t they grown in the last ten years? When I signed up I think they were number 2 with Snap-on being number 1. They are a distant third and rank just above Cornwell. It wouldn’t shock me if Cornwell passed them in the next 5 years. They had roughly 1200 distributors which I think is more like 1100 now. So where did all of those new recruits go? You would think they would have some growth, right? And if the sba #’s are the real failed business numbers, which I know they aren’t, you think a 1 in 3 chance of failure is good? Buy a book on Black Jack and hit the casino everyday for 5-7 years. You will have better odds!

    You think you are going to be your own boss? Wait until you go on hold or didn’t buy enough that week, or the BM need more sales that week so he orders you those “cant miss” deals. There is nothing more fun than being handled by Mac! My DM was special. He would actually go and drive by the franchisees homes to document their work hours. Nice guy! But your the boss!

    Wait until you owe $5k one week to Mac, you give them $7k a couple days early so an invoice post a day later that was part of the $5k so they want another $2K. I know it doesn’t sound like my statement makes sense but you will find out its true, and it still wont make sense!

    Have a blast with the ratchets. Worst in the industry! Mac simply cant find a 3rd party company to make a quality fine tooth ratchet for them.

    I could go on and on but I won’t. You seem to have already drank the kool aid. Again, the difference between me and you. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  • March 2, 2014 at 10:40 am


    Which do you want, Mac to hold your hand, or to be your own boss? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If in fact any information was misrepresented to you, get a good lawyer. Third party credit? Since you’re responsible if the customer skips, isn’t it better to err on the safe side?

    Where was your computer/phone/TV made?

    Most businesses have struggled over the last 10 years.

    I don’t expect it to be easy. I do expect it to be possible.

  • March 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    “If in fact any information was misrepresented to you, get a good lawyer. ”

    The time to get a good lawyer is before you sign the 528 pages of franchise agreements, disclaimers, and one-sided clauses that appear to put all the odds in MACs favor. I would bet that there’s a clause in those 528 pages wherein the franchisee gives up his right to ever claim that he was made any representations that don’t appear in the 528 pages… even if blatant representations were made.

    I just read about these clauses here:

    David W.: Does the current MAC agreement have a merger or non-reliance clause?

    I suspect David W. is being disingenuous by implying that if representations were made, franchisees have the ability to file an objection. My guess is that David W. is a representative of MAC and he knows full well that franchisees sign away their right to later bring up the issue of fraudulent representations.

  • March 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Yet another conspiracy theorist heard from.

  • March 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm


    I wanted to be my own boss so I bought into Mac Tools. I had never owned a business before. They said no problem we have a 2 week training program for that. They showed you how to use mba and sell, that’s it. No training on how to run a business. I did though follow all advise given to me until I no longer could afford to. They say they give you a min. of 325 customers but many guys find that to be a lie that they struggle to over come. They claimed to have a competitive financing. They don’t! They have the highest decline rate among the mobile tool companies. Also when customers are approved they generally have a higher interest rate. With the new program your with holding fee is @ 9% with no recourse to you unless you override them in which case you are on the hook for half the bill after late fees and interest. Snap-on has in house financing and has the best approval ratings and generally the best rates. Think about your “err on the safe side” when Snappy is dropping a box and a couple of scan tools every week and your getting your declines. The manager in the area for Snap-on showed me some of the numbers there guys are doing. The TOP Mac guy in our area, one of Mac’s little golden boys, got his tail handed to him. A big part of that is because they have a credit program that allows them to sell shop equipment, tool boxes, scan tools, ext. It was like the Snap-on guy had 3 routes vs. 1. When I started Mac was mostly made in the US. Now it is mostly across sea’s stamped with a Mac logo. Most anything metal of Snap-on is made by Snap-on in the US. If not, it says blue point. They have the lowest turn over rate for franchisee’s. That is why I said if you must get into this business go with them. If I had any $ left over I would hire a lawyer and fight Mac. I have tried to be a friend and warn you. There is no benefit in it for me. Only potential hurt for you.

    – If Mac is so open with you.

    Demand to have full access to their private distributor forum before signing. You will see thousands of behind the door conversations of present and former distributor/franchisees with Mac. Outside of what has been censored, it is a insiders look at what you are getting into. Some good and bad. Of course, you will just say they are whining.

    Get the last six years of annual distributor counts. How many they had, how many new, how many left. Not the bank default number, the actual #. – good luck with that… I couldn’t get that when I was a distributor.

    Talk to every Mac guy in your entire district. The good and the bad. Ask them the pros vs. cons and their recommendation. Ask them about the financing, how many boxes and scan tools they sell a month using the Mac Card.

    Ask for the list of franchisees who got out and ask them how it worked for them when they “sold” their franchise to the next guy. I bet its not how it has been described to you by Mac.

  • March 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    “Yet another conspiracy theorist heard from.”

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. ;)

    Way to sidestep the main point, D.W. A real prospective franchisee would find that point and link significant. Somebody about to sign the 528 pages wouldn’t simply dismiss the issue with a snarky comment.

  • March 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I don’t see what the big gripe is. You can’t blame your failures on Mac or the “route”. I’ve been owning my truck and route for 8 months now. Business is great. I’m blowing snap on and Matco out the water because I’m providing the best customer service. It’s me that makes the difference not “china made” tools or financing issues. They just prefer to buy from me. I’m responsible for my own success and my failures, no one else.

  • March 3, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Guest, if you had a point to make that I haven’t already addressed, I missed it. Calling my comment snarky after your comments above, makes you a hypocrite.


    Did you really expect to know how to run a business after 2 weeks? What training did you seek beyond what Mac provided? Following the instructions does no good if you’re not focused on the end result. You have to work smarter, not harder. If anything, you have all convinced me that I am on the right track. If this is what fills the “didn’t make it” category, there’s a lot of room for success.

  • March 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    David W writes “Did you really expect to know how to run a business after 2 weeks? What training did you seek beyond what Mac provided? Following the instructions does no good if you’re not focused on the end result. You have to work smarter, not harder.”

    These are the words of a franchise salesperson or MAC apologist, not someone researching franchise opportunities. Kind of a lame sock puppet strategy anyway, to pose as someone with no MAC experience lecturing those who have been there and done it.

    In addition to dodging my questions, much of what you post is factually incorrect. According to the SBA, the failure rate for franchises is HIGHER than non-franchises, and franchise failures carry with them higher default amounts than non-franchises.

    When I read your comments, I think: This is what franchise salespeople must tell themselves so they can justify their commission checks and sleep well at night.

  • March 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    David W,

    I have been kind to you and now you insult me and the others who post on here? If anything by your comment you should be very concerned that Mac wants you. I mean think about it. Look at all of the idiots that Mac has brought into the business. Way more than that are successful. Chances are you are the perfect fit though. Let me guess…you have good credit and cash and are dumb enough to buy into the BS from Mac! Then your perfect!!!!! Sign here!!!!! and welcome to the POS club. You are now one of us! Just think about it! In the next 2-3 years you can return and post your own comments, broke and bad credit this time, warning others not to get into the business that will most likely hurt them. It will be a blast! exchange comments back and forth…They will insult you…it will be great!

    Well smart boy, think on this. How much is your break even going to be? Right now the current weekly purchase average for all franchisee/distributors is less than $3000 per week. That is everyone, the $1.7mil guy to the one who barely has a pulse. Mac wants you to run your business at a 35% margin. So that Is roughly $4500 per week in sales and collections. You have to buy back your inventory so -$3000 per week and you have $1500 left. So you have $6500 per month to pay your bills. Wow that a lot right! How much is your inventory and truck payments? I am guessing over $2k easily. How much is your fuel? My last year I averaged $1170 per month. How much is your business truck and inventory insurance? How about health and life insurance? Truck maintenance? Cell, internet, office supplies, shipping to and from Mac??? Mac card with holding fees? Crap, that doesn’t include any personal bills. How much do you want to pay yourself? Seems like a lot of money to buy yourself a 50-60 an hour a week job. Maybe you’ll do good and get yourself a new recruit once a month so you can get that $10k bonus and watch them fail while you succeed because your the smart 1!

    “you just cant fix stupid”
    -Ron White

  • March 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm


    If you feel insulted by my previous post, then you will probably like this one even less. If you make a list of all of the reasons your life is not what you want, and you’re not at the top, you are in denial. If you are not even on the list, you are delusional. This applies to anyone, not just the folks who read these forums.

  • March 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    David W,

    Actually for the first time in around 7 years I love my life. Its the years with Mac that I regret. Also, I choose to leave Mac. After 6 years of going nowhere and maintaining I knew I was stuck. I was a gold level distributor, top tool box performer, every year top 10% Mac Card, was asked to mentor other distributors and ran my business the best way possible. Which is why I was able last as long as I did and was smart enough to determine when it was time to be done. I struggled for years trying to be more profitable investing tons of money into my business but its a ridiculously hard thing to do in this field. My point all along has been yes you are your own boss, kind of, but the picture of support and success that the mobile tool companies paint is far from the truth. The truth is most, over half fail. That’s the truth! The $3k a week purchase is over the actual average a Mac guy buys a week. Also consider that if you don’t buy 80% of that, Mac will send you packing. So the low average is $2400 which would make the high average $3600. So based on the profit margin, with all of the expenses, if you are high average you will be selling and collecting roughly $5400 a week. Do the math, its not a huge check. Especially for the hours and risk you commit to. I don’t like your comment. Honestly, I don’t like you, I think your an ass. But I swore I wouldn’t wish the Mac Tools hell on anyone. Good luck!

    – when figuring your budget don’t for get!

    I averaged over $700 a month in credit/debit card withholding fees.
    My lowest years for skipped customers was over $2400. Based on profit margin you will have to sell and collect an addition $7200 to cover my lowest year loss.

    The math is all there. If you half as smart as you think you are you will see it!

  • March 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Bob You are wasting your time with this shill…he definitely is not a Mac prospect

  • March 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Leaving for Tool School tomorrow. I just found out that the matco and cornwell guys quit on my route, so it will be just SO and me for a bit.

  • March 23, 2014 at 7:23 am

    David W,

    So 2 of 3 are out. The 1 remaining is the only company I recommend you go with if your getting into this business. And you still think this is a good investment? Wow, you my friend are the PERFECT Mac Tools candidate! Drink up!

  • March 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Hello, All..

    And to Bob, sorry to hear of your troubles with MAC. You paint a detailed & graphic picture of the pitfalls of buying into an unsteady franchise model.

    My firm, Bridge Management Consulting, helps small business owners (many of them franchisors) who are struggling with overwhelming debt resulting from a failing or closed business.

    We’ve handled several franchisees who need to get out of their particular franchise hell, and we’ve successfully fought back on behalf of our clients. Don’t give into them!

    You can learn more about working out a franchise business at

    Also, feel free to call me @ 401-390-3801, with any questions or concerns about dealing with unreasonable & unfair franchisors.

  • June 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    This is the truth, and nothing but the truth.., many years ago i was one of the UK,s first MAC tool– Franchisees or should I say Distributor for legal reasons,,,I was sold the deal as a young and sure, cocky young man. the deal was a load off crap which destroyed me at a young age 22. I went on to rebuiled my life and am now fairly succesful, beleive me now what I say do not…do not get involved you will lose, it is a business built on lies and ego, the area managers are jokes and should hang there head in shame in the UK a guy called Kevin Mcpartland, sold me the franchise all them years ago, he was bit of a joke really I suppose he was young as well maybe 10 years on me but as a gurru absolutely crap..

  • June 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    This is the truth, and nothing but the truth.., many years ago i was one of the UK,s first MAC tool– Franchisees or should I say Distributor for legal reasons,,,I was sold the deal as a young and sure, cocky young man. the deal was a load off crap which destroyed me at a young age 22. I went on to rebuiled my life and am now fairly succesful, beleive me now what I say do not…do not get involved you will lose, it is a business built on lies and ego, the area managers are jokes and should hang there head in shame in the UK a guy called Kevin Mcpartland, sold me the franchise all them years ago, he was bit of a joke really I suppose he was young as well maybe 10 years on me but as a gurru absolutely crap..

  • June 30, 2014 at 1:28 am

    I talked to the Mac guys at some open house in town. Basically, they said my ideas on how to move a ton of tools, including eBay, Amazon, export, selling to anyone by internet/mail order, regardless of area, buy deep and sell cheap in big volumes are all counter to their “rules.” I don’t get it…if selling as much as possible is the goal, why have stupid rules and restrictions? Plus, they think financing the mechanics is where the money is. WRONG, I say. Getting paid 100% at the time of purchase and re-using the money us “the way.” Let the mechanics pay with Visa or AmEx and owe their cards a balance and go broke paying interest. Also, making $200k/yr net is almost impossible, they said. Why even bother with this, then? Seems like a great way to invest/risk a ton of cash, work your ass off, and make squat in the end.

  • July 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Mac Tool dist twelve years , very successful I started in 1995 traditional. Made 32 in nation , presidents club many times. Until Mac dropped Mac advantage credit, I sold three tool boxes a week on credit then I went to getting one person approved on Mac card in a two yr period, I had no choice but to run truck accounts with high turns. Finally I get a dist manager that I had never met come and start a new dist. In the middle of my route, when I confronted him about it he acted like it was a mistake. I left then he continued to sell and deliver a roll cab in my shop that I called on . After asking for help from my D M they called me for a meeting, I took my contract and should them the seven violation and asked them to correct it, they refused and threatened me with termination. They succeeded they terminated me but I promise you that was there loss you’ve never met a more dedicated dist than myself . I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them ever. I almost lost everything thanks to there inability to run , manage , warranty , finance and support the people who are out there every day taking care of there customers and defending there name . I have a raspberry for Mac tools .

  • October 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Tee hee hee,
    Good old Mac ,I asked the head chap in the uk how many guys went bust in a 5 year period as I was interested in a franchise( I was taking the piss) as I had already found out, phone was hung up, shite product and stupid van sales ,apparently earn average off £60K ,HaHaHa,for selling what, shite spanners and chinese gear for massive mark up , hope you have loads of equity in your house you will need it to pay your legal costs and bill to them when you go bust, OHHHH they will ask that question how much EQUITY in your family home, thats fucking confidence in there no loose business opp aint it

  • November 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

    As another former Mac distributor I also say DON’T DO IT!!!!! But hey, what do those of us that have already done it know about it?

  • January 25, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    David w is correct, I made it twelve years , very profitable and good business. When Mac changes there financing, raises there cost and doesn’t want to warranty tools any more you don’t have a choice. They had 7 violations on my contract , when I brought it to there attention they totally cut off contact to me and very soon after terminated me . I tried to pay my trade acct and they wouldn’t accept it , used it for ground of termination . I can’t tell u how many top performance awards I have thrown away , top100 four times 32 in the nation once . Great company , good luck .

  • July 15, 2015 at 8:16 am

    You guys are hilarious! All franchises have risks and competition. I have been a Mac dealer for 14 years and run 4 trucks. They are a good franchise and a good company.

  • July 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Reading this is giving me the flashbacks of the route I used to own. Another company similar to this only selling meats/cheeses is “Thumanns the deli best” or WORST as I will refer to it.

    They trade themselves off as being a strong competitor to Boars head, selling basically the same or similar product. I guess the name of the game here in routes is to be tremendously big. If you operate multiple trucks, have consistent paying customers you can make some nice money. My father bought he route in the mid 1990’s and was a good salesman with a positive attitude but due to delinquent paying customers(which the company had for over 30+yrs) and extremely poor distributor service they company took to treating him like the enemy.

    The company had a policy of giving two weeks of extended credit to all distributors and THAT’S IT! Every Monday they had what they called a shit list, the list named every route that was passed the 15 day pay schedule, every week the list named no less than 50 routes. They had a franchise agreement that said when new customers come on board they distribute them equally, supermarkets etc. In reality… The same 6 or 7 guys were the only ones that got a piece and nobody else, it was so obvious. They offered to everyone company protected stops which they barely honored. If I opened a new store and spent $700 on menu boards and advertising junk another guy would walk in and cut my price you were basically out. More than a dozen times I had to personally threaten fellow distributors who became known for that activity.

    The company offered returns maybe for a week if they had a quality control issue but usually those complaints would go unheard. Some weeks I could easily lose upwards of a grand if the problem wasn’t corrected. No paying or erratic paying customers were constantly an issue especially in today’s economy. The company didn’t care about that, if you couldn’t pay they would start a series of intimidation tactics that would eventually force you to take a bank loan, remortgage your house, visit a loan shark, whatever you had to do to pay even if they knew you got screwed over or a deli went bankrupt and owed you thousands in the process. I’ve seen guys come and go in extremely short timing. Guy would spend 300k on a route, end up on the list in mere months, and next you’d hear the guys losing his home or his wife left him cause of the debt and then see his truck sitting in he lot with a for sale sign after the company terminated him… Sad for people who figured a company franchisee was the way to go. It was not uncommon at all to hear about distributors taking there own lives(suicides) every couple of years.

    IMHO it was a very shady company from start to finish. Deceit, mistrust, lies, greed happened every day. I used to hear about guys looking to sell their routes only to end up paying off the route managers who wouldn’t approve prospective buyers unless a cash kickback went into their pockets guaranteeing they’d approve whoever walked in the door.

    Margin/markup. It used to be said that 20% was the normal markup. In reality it was 15-17% sometimes 10% on certain products. Stiff competition from other companies ie:boars head, restaurant depot kinda set the margin if you wanna sell. I learned that the further away from other companies your route was, the more you can earn. In 2010 the company started drastically hiking prices and in many ways everyone took a margin cut, the attitude on it was simple: SELL MORE PRODUCTS. In this economy is was somewhat difficult to do and coupled with margins decreasing it was rather demeaning to constantly hear your gonna have to make less cause of this and that in light of operating costs going up every year. Many guys just started leaving, it was no way to make a living and the future outlook was bleak at best. One day a customer showed me a price list from Boars head that was cheaper than me and I made my decision to sell. If boars head is CHEAPER than a much smaller company like Thumanns was the writing is on the wall.

    I sold in mid 2013 and luckily got a good sale price. I think I lost personally over the years about $700,000 but recouped much from the sale. I looked into Wise and that’s a similar deal, FedEx… Not much money to be made there either. I have a few friends in tropicana and they are looking to sell also for the same reasons. Maybe the days of owning a route or any franchisee that’s affordable are over…

    Sorry to hear your story though but your not the only one.

  • October 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    You guys are crazy. I am a Mac dealer for over 12 years now. The company is very reasonable and good to the dealers. Any business can fail or make it for that matter. Who the previous dealer was or how many there were before you makes no real difference. You have to go out there and get it for yourself!

  • October 10, 2015 at 10:58 am


    Happy for you that you have had success. The truth is though that in the 12 years you have been a Mac dealer at least half of the guys have failed and failed in the first 5 years of business. Most of the guys from our group were bankrupt within 2 yrs. I stayed in 8 and made the move to get out because I don’t define success as treading water. I could never get ahead, never take a break, worked 55-60 hours a week on average, no 401k, no pension, no insurance, chasing money,,,,,on an on…. I would have worked until I died. The fact is staying in would have been “crazy” as you have suggested we are. The best thing I ever did with Mac Tools is take the plunge to get out. It was costly as hell and nearly broke me but since I made that sacrifice I am now able to provide a future for my family and someday will retire. I talked to a old Mac buddy a couple weeks ago who has been a distributor for over 30 years now. He is BROKE! Only stays is because he is scared to death of what else he can get into at his age. He thought he would have been retired 5-10 years ago and wealthy. Lost the little retirement he had keeping his business going during the 2008 financial crisis. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to get into Mac Tools. The recruiters are sharks and some of the managers are absolute liars! If you are a current Mac Tools franchisee/distributor and you are reading this ask yourself this question. In 5 years from right now going, the way I am going, will my family be better off. That includes finances, stress, freedom, every aspect of life. If it yes, go get ’em! If its no, today is an awesome day to start to rebuild your life! Your not getting younger! It will be hard! But leaving on your terms instead of the day Mac comes knocking is by far the best way to go. Take the power back from the machine! Its the best this I did as a Mac distributor! I just celebrated another year Mac FREE! I still have the nightmares occasionally but when I wake up its a beautiful day!

  • January 1, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Reading all this confirms “it’s all what YOU believe in and how YOU manage it”. If YOU fail, YOU failed. If YOU are successful, then YOU did something right. Blaming someone else gets you nowhere. If that makes you feel better, then go with it.

    Me on the other hand as been wit MAC for 5yrs now. Yea very long hours and stress, of coarse. Wondering every day what’s in store for me today. Like all, have good days and bad days. Some days just really suck, but, there are them GREAT days too.

    Nobody promised you a rose garden. My business has grown every year. Top distributor in Missouri 2yrs running. I contribute that to long hours, consistent service, believing “I” can do it. Never in a million years I thought Id be doing this, let alone be successful.

    Ok, I don’t agree with things that Mac does or tells you that will happen. But, for the most part, they stand behind the products they offer. Also, yes, it too sucks that a lot of things made outside of usa, but, what isn’t. Parts for your US made vehicle are made elsewhere. That’s our fine government that lets that happen.

    For all of you complaining that MAC TOOLS didn’t tell you the failures in your area, they don’t live in your area. Don’t you know your area? There are good people and bad people everywhere. There are the ones that appreciate you and ones who just down right thieves. Hell, even in a lot family’s that is. Unfortunately that’s life. But we go on.

    So, for all that has failed at this I’m sorry, and for those who succeeded congratulations!!!!! And give yourself a pat on the back. And believe that you have been blessed. Because failure is a wicked feeling, just remember, nobody lives your life for you, but, you.

    Smile if you agree, and bitch if you don’t. I’ll be watching for the replys.

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    No Mike! It is not all about the individual franchisee! It is all about the Franchisor Association called the IFA (International Franchise Association) and the money that is dumped into this organization to promote it and protect the fraud that it’s franchisor’s sell.

    Why are Matco, Mac and Cornwell all based out of Ohio with “arbitration clauses” for their franchisees to resolve their differences in Ohio? Is this done to protect franchisees? If a franchisor does do something to their franchisee which is totally illegal and is a felony in that franchisee’s state (not Ohio) do you think that that franchisee will ever see a court room and have the arm of justice slammed down on that franchisor by the American people? NO!!! A judge will decide if justice can prevail not the ‘American People”. Is this the system our forefathers put into place or an idea the IFA formed to protect the fraud of it’s franchisor investors?

    When the people are removed from deciding what is “right and wrong” we turn into a nation which is no longer “free”. The people are supposed to decide what is right and what is wrong not an arbitrator who is in bed with the IFA. Your franchise opportunity can be dismissed and your franchisor can end your franchise at the snap of his fingers and their is not a damn thing you can do about it.

    Your franchisor can commit a felony against your franchise and their is not a damn thing you can do about it. You can go to your Prosecuting Attorney, your Attorney General, your Senators, your Representatives, your Police Dept., your County Sheriff, your State Police Dept., your Federal Trade Commission, your Federal Bureau of Investigation, your Governor and you can even hire your own attorney’s but to your surprise no one will investigate and everyone will point the finger at someone else.

    Our system is broke and until you franchisee’s start pulling your damn head out of your ass and look at the evidence nothing will change!!!

  • November 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    David W

    not sure if you will see this, but i am curious to see how things went for you. I am currently looking into the mac franchise in Canada. Or is there anyone who has recent experience with the mac franchise in Canada.

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