SNAP-ON FRANCHISE Pros & Cons of Being a Snap-on Dealer

( Snap-on Tools franchise insider “Just a number” left this comment on the SNAP-ON TOOLS Franchise Complaints post.  We thought it was worthy of an upgrade to a full Guest Post.

Are you familiar with the Snap-on dealer franchise opportunity? Please share a comment below.

Snap-On ToolsGoods:

The products are good and hold up well for the most part.

The brand name is strong.

The support is probably better then what you may get driving the other trucks.

You will make an average living if you are newer into this job.


You will work more then 60 hours a week.

You will have an endless amount of cardboard and packing paper.

You will be a bill collector.

You will be on and off credit hold.

You will have little time or the money to take any days off.

You will get pressure from managers to keep buying tools.

You will be charged a very high interest rate on your truck and inventory loan when you get started.

You will never really own your route like they say you do. Snap on has the first right of refusal on the sale of your franchise.

You will be forced to deal with non paying customers.

Your head count of customers will always be less then it should be.

You will be forced to sign up in programs as a new dealer you may not like.

You will never fully understand how to manage your statements.

You will have tools show up at your house you don’t remember ordering.

You will have to buy merchandise to raffle off just to get your customers to pay you on time.

You will always have an asset manager telling you that your retaining too much money.

You can never sell any tools to any person outside your list of calls. Even if that person happens to jump in your truck from the street.

You can never have more then 5 routes at once.

You can’t hire anyone to help you in your truck unless that person is approved through snap on management.

You never always get the best deal when a product goes on sale.

Your management sales team will always lie to you if they can get you to buy more tools.

You will have to spend many extra hours every week checking your tool bill making sure there something there that shouldn’t be.

You will wait months for a new tool return credit.

You will spend a lot of time fixing hand ratchets, replacing screw driver blades and replacing bits on sockets. You do that for no compensation from snap on.

You will hear every story in the book from customers when they have no money to pay for there tool bill.

You will be hounded from snap on credit when something needs to be repossessed.

You are not allowed to make a profit on anything you reposses if the customer still owed a balance.

You will eat shipping cost on repairs that are still under warranty.

You will have back order problems.

You will have your garage stuffed with many tool boxes you don’t need.

You will see many of the same items on sale all the time.

There is much more to write but you get the point. Just remember one thing. You as a Snap-on dealer are never an independent business person. You are Snap-on’s runner and they control you. They put you in business and can take you out at any time. So anyone reading this thinking of becoming a Snap-on dealer. I would look another direction.



23 thoughts on “SNAP-ON FRANCHISE Pros & Cons of Being a Snap-on Dealer

  • May 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I guess this web site liked my comment? It was all true and straight from my heart. If anyone has any further questions please respond here and I will try helping the best I can. Snap on is a dirty business and people needed to hear the truth.

  • May 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Just a number:
    You’ve provided a thorough, easy-to-read rundown of what Snap-on franchise dealers can expect once they sign up.

  • May 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I wanted to add some recent criticism from comments made towards my pro’s and con’s on being a snap on franchisee.

    Someone responded on the snap on dealers forum saying ” it sounds like a dealer that is failing”. For the record I am very successful and happen to have more liquid cash on hand then MOST snap on dealers right now. My success comes from being smart and learning to filter what the company may advise me to do. I am a very rare case but making mistakes along the way and being mentored by old school successful dealers played a huge role in that. I only voice my opinion because I been there listening to managers and getting myself buried in a huge hole. So I am only sharing facts that people need to be aware of.

    There was also another person that commented on every sentence I wrote. Most of the comments made by this other dealer was generally low ball comments that had no bearing on the truth. Nice try but I am not that nieve.

    Dealers know that things are a little off but just don’t say anything. Believe me every single franchisee in snap on will one day be disappointed when the day comes when the for sale sign goes up in there route. By then it will be too late which happens most of the time and you will walk away with a lot less then you expected or nothing at all. The time is to speak up now and let your voice be heard.

  • August 30, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I happen to appreciate your candor and insight to getting involved with Snap On. At present, I am CONSIDERING a franchise, and have several of my own reservations in regards to what really happens once you commit to them ?
    On the otherside of the ‘coin’, what ‘positives’ have you taken away form having a franchise? People I know now, either currently, or have ‘owned’ a franchise. The common denominator that seems to resonate with them…own at least 2 franchises to increease your odds of succeeding? What are your thoughts on this.
    My other questions, involve the additional, or ‘hidden’ costs associated with starting and running the franchise. I’m interested in knowing the things the ‘dealer’ is not openly diclosing or sharing.
    BTW…how long have you been involved with Snap On, where was or is your route?
    And last but not least: If you had to do it over, which or the tool companies would you recommend? Matco, MAC, Corn Well etc…?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Thank you,


  • August 30, 2012 at 8:20 am

    There are no Pro’s to owning your own franchise at this time. You will be invested in a company that is protected by our government and not held accountable for their FALSE opportunity. The International Franchise Association which is defined as being created to protect franchising “for all” is not true. Read your F.D.D. and if you don’t understand the 300 pages that make up your responsibilities call me and I will show you and explain it to you.

    Franchising is a scam.

    Read this article. “”

    I know it is a Matco franchise but there is hardly ANY difference in agreements from one franchisor to the next in the tool industry. In fact, Snap-On is the model other franchise companies emulate.

    Stay away from all franchises is what I have learned their agreements contain an “arbitration clause” which will render you helpless in a world full of attorneys. Their routes are riddled with competition where being successful and meeting the purchase average of the franchisor is practically impossible.

  • August 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    You know, I was self employed for 16 years, then purchased a franchise. I can tell you straight up that there are NO advantages to owning a franchise (save a McDonalds or something of that size which cost incredible amounts of money). Despite what the franchisor tells you, you are not “your own person”. They control pretty much everything. If you have a dispute and want to get out of the contract good luck. Those agreements are written to the franchisor’s advantage, not yours. Take the agreement to a lawyer and I can almost guarantee you he/she will advise you that it’s not to your advantage. I was lucky and negotiated myself out of the agreement with some hard nosed negotiations that took 6 months, going from a 6 figure proposed buyout (by the franchisor of course) to a VERY low 4 figure sum. The best advice I can give is to contact vendors in whatever field you’re looking at. Many have in house training as they want you to push their products. You won’t have to pay any royalties, you advertise for yourself and can control what you do. Franchisors are there to sell franchises…period. They will argue that if you’re not successful then they aren’t…well, if that’s the case then why do you have to continue to pay royalties when there is no business; why do you have to pay into an advertising fund supporting other franchises when you don’t realize any leads from it? Go it alone, you’ll be better for it. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • August 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Couldn’t be said any better. I actually read my snap on franchise agreement word for word. The first thing I though was ” why did I sign this?” everything in the agreement was all about them covering there ass and putting all the rsk on me. Do yourself a favor.. Don’t do it.. Or at least take the papers too a franchise lawyer and let them look at it.. I regret signing my snap on agreement..

  • September 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Tool scam, I took my signed agreement to my lawyer to see what achilies heel there was to go after them on. After going thru all of the non-sensical drivel, and I’m sure mine was no shorter than yours, we found one, distinct phrase/claim to focus on. That’s what I used. I did it alone initially as I had some experience with contracts, attorneys and so forth. Plus, I kept my attorney in the bull pen just in case. I directed my negotiations to one, specific person; was ALWAYS cordial and business like but firm and unyielding. In the end, I basically painted them into a corner. Had it not gone my way it was then that I would have involved my attorney having set the foundation. I got out with minimal expense and you know, that franchisor ahs continued to lose franchisees and, in the area where I was, lost over 80% of the franchises that were there. Take a look at your contract again; get another pair of eyes on it and see what you can do, Got nothing to lose and every thing to gain. Good luck to you.

  • September 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I was a dealer in Tulsa and could not explain any better than you have. Future dealer wannabes beware.

  • September 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I wanted to share some facts with anyone looking to become a Snap On Tool Franchisee or is a current one. I been a dealer for some time now. I have built a nice route with alot of hard work on my end during the course of time and looking to sell. Snap On Recruitors, Managers, Trainers, etc etc have all said to me since day 1, that if I build up my route and work hard later on I can sell it. I have decided about 5 months ago it is time for me to sell and do something different. I hired a Broker that sells business and been preparing myself at the same time making sure everything is in order. I have one thing to say…. Our routes are worth NOTHING…ZERO. What a crock of garbage Snap On is telling us because it isn’t true. I will list below facts why our businesses out there are worth nothing.

    1. Snap On has the first right of refusal for any potential buyer.

    2. Snap On will not finance nothing more then $52,500 in RA and $76,000 in merchandise but does not include, your computer system, discontinued tools, BA and Used tools such as trade ins.

    3. Snap On will not finance ANY Blue Sky at all.

    4. If Snap On has ANY open routes near your route they will try recruiting any buyers you have into taking one of there routes. Even if that means giving the new dealer some free product.

    5. Any buyer that does come along doesn’t like how Snap On controls the whole process such as RA and Interest rates on loans.

    6. Buyers dont understand why the Franchise Agreement puts all the risk on the dealer.

    7. Buyers go on web sites such as SBA and it warns that Snap On has a high turnover rate which also gives the franchisor more control of the business then the franchisee (big turn off for most buyers ).

    8. Buyers shy away too because they read that Snap On requires the Franchisee to work in the truck full time instead of later hiring someone to run the business for you. ( So you basically bought a job. Another big turn off for any buyer )

    9. Buyers dont like reading that you are forced into programs as a new dealer that would send you product every month you never ordered or may not need.

    10. This one is the most critical point… ALL of my potential buyers at this moment have all asked ” How do you grow a business that only allows you 200 potential customers? ” Once I give them the asnwer that according to the franchise agreement that is all Snap On is required to give you… That is a deal breaker.

    I have many many more reasons but this is what I could think of in a matter of 10 minutes typing this message. I am really upset and feel Snap On has mislead me into believing if I worked hard enough in my route it would be sellable at a later time. Time is now and now the real truth has come. I talked with a Franchise Attorney and plan on putting together a case against the company. So buiyer beware for anyone looking and beware for current dealers.

    Please check out for more information.


  • April 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    This is very interesting.I was a dealer for 33 years (1963-1996).At that time we had a dealer agreement that covered a geographical territory.I was able to fund a very healthy IRA,Lived in a beautiful waterfront home on the Chesapeake,had a lovely sailing yacht,and took 2 two week vacations a year.Back in the day I was #16 in sales in the nation. Now living the dream in tropical Florida .
    Success is up to you.
    Dick Painter,former dealer in Newark,De.

  • June 19, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Its interesting to see Dick Painter comparing the Snap On franchise formula of 20 years ago with that of today.
    May I suggest that the world has quite possibly changed since Bill Clinton was in office Dick.

  • October 18, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I am interested in a route and have gone as far as the sit done with the right person. So far I have heard nothing postive about owning a Snapon run…but…without writing a book, I believe I am the write person for the job. I am interested in this remark with regards to barganing:

    ” I was lucky and negotiated myself out of the agreement with some hard nosed negotiations that took 6 months, going from a 6 figure proposed buyout (by the franchisor of course) to a VERY low 4 figure sum.”

    I would think with the low sales, increased compition, and repeated bankrupties (at least in my area) that there would be a lot of room to bargain. But it hasn’t been welcomed in the discussions I had.

    This is a older thred but I would like to hear peoples opinion

  • January 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Wow. This amazing. I looked into a snap franchise over 25 years ago and came away with conclusion that the business is setup for snap on. They always get there money, you will have to chase your payments And expanding your business won’t happen. Can’t sell to family because they are out of your route, can’t sell top quality tools at the local event or flea market. I know how mechanics move from shop to shop. Can only imagine it’s worse now the way people won’t stay with a company not to mention the morals of people who could care less about paying there bill. his or her bill

  • May 10, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Love this post! Snap-on has completely changed in the past 23 years. It went from a family company, where you could accomplish what “they” said could not be done, to a greedy cooperation that forces out one of it’s TOP dealers with completely unfounded lies. It’s all about who you know and whether or not you are willing to sell out your friends for a buck.

  • September 24, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Man after reading all these posts I was really thinking about doing this business! I might consider looking elsewhere now! Thanks for all the advice.

  • October 24, 2016 at 9:04 am

    “You will hear every story in the book from customers when they have no money to pay for there tool bill.” Thats bullshit

  • November 2, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    TJ, you’re a complete dumbass. You’ve obviously never had to deal with payments of any sort. Do you live under a rock?

  • December 28, 2016 at 10:21 am

    A friend of mine was a Snap On franchisee for a few years. It really does sound like you’re buying a job, not a business. I wouldn’t do it even if they waived all the upfront costs. The whole lifestyle sounds terrible.

    When choosing a business opportunity, I want it to meet three criteria:

    1. Freedom/independence
    2. Something I love doing
    3. The ability to create a big continuous income stream that doesn’t depend on me being there.

    Snap On fails on 1 and 3 for everybody. Number 2 fails for me, but might work for somebody if they love driving around trying to sell tools and collect payments 60 hours a week.

  • January 20, 2017 at 10:10 am

    WellI am in the Bahamas today,credit cards all ran for the day,.
    Been in this biz for 13 years,usually home by 2 p.m,my route is huge and the revolving door of snap on dealers only helps me.I fly a different flag,and sure all tool companies are full of crap but snap on dealers are in such a hole before they even start that it is almost impossible to dig out.

  • April 11, 2017 at 1:02 am

    I just met a snap on truck,dealermwhomismdoing really well in this business and invited me in. I like the idea. Every company out there and S after a profit including the governement. I think a positive attitude goes a long way in making happen in any industry therefore I would like to give it a try! I appreciate all the comment for and against.

  • September 5, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Snap On is a deceptive fraud, that is legally allowed to operate. A very successful and legitimate posi-scheme to make you believe that the earning potential is limitless.

    Snap On has, and will always, make MILLIONS in PROFITS, EVERY YEAR!

    That is because snap on is very good a convincing resale people there is still enough meat on the bone.

    The most any one single person has ever made selling snap on tools, in a one year period of time…is under 210k….and I am sure this person died a short time latter from over exhaustion. Mine you, thats sales…NOT PROFIT!

    The average take home salary , after taxes, is about $1000 a month. And you will work over 240hrs in that month for that $1000, and you will probably spend $200-300 just in gas to collect the money.

    Oh, and then there are the dead beat truck accounts that you were advised to not do, but must in order to sell tools because nobody can afford the over priced bullshit that is snap on. When they walk off with your tools, they also took whatever profit you would have made.

    Nobody has ever made real tangible wealth that was substantial enough to justify the time you put in. The only people making a living, are the millionaires who own snap on.

    Snap On is NO DIFFERENT THAN AVON….Its just mostly for men.

    Your Welcome.

  • September 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm


    I am not sure if you were sober when you wrote you comment but I know several Snap-on guys personally that sell over a million every year. One did just under $1.8 last year. The $1000 per month ($12k per year?) just make you sound dumb! If you want to be critical at least have a clue!

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