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Radiators

radiatorI stopped to read this press release because I’ve never heard of a retail radiator franchise before…1-800 Radiators looks interesting for those who enjoy autos and cold-calling sales. But, is it too narrow of a niche?

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Attorney and advisor with an interest in franchising. Feel free to email me comments and questions on the "Contact Us" page.
396 comments
From The Outside
From The Outside

Hey guys, its now 01/04/2017 and 1-800-Radiator & A/C is still up and running. As of 2015 Driven Brands have purchased the franchise and have added it to their long list of automotive only franchises. This list includes Meineke, Maaco, Econo Lube and many many more that you may or may not of heard of.


As of the last 1-800-Radiator conference in Las Vegas, the owners have declined, a lot, but 1-800 has more locations than ever. The peak of selling franchises, there were over 230 owners, and approx 250 locations. From what I understand, there are less than 190 owners, but locations are close to 300. The company in 2016 grossed approximately 300 million dollars in Radiators, A/C Parts, Fuel Parts and the big announcement in Vegas was the new pilot program of Catalytic Converters. 20 locations have already launched, but 1800 Corp tested first with two corp owned locations.


All the upset, and unhappy Franchisee's are gone. It appears that almost all the single owner locations have been eaten up by the larger, more financially secure multi-store locations. Cummins Radiator has 3 or 4 locations now, The Radiator Store is now a Franchise with over 12 locations and approx 30 million in sales. Radiator Depot is part of the 1-800 network and has 5 or 6 new stores.


I don't know how much a typical Franchisee makes, but they all seemed to be doing well, exchanging stories, etc. It was nice going to the conference and talking to so many people. I definitely think that a few franchisee's are struggling, and or willing to sell, but the vast majority does seem profitable and growing.


A lot of the things posted on here seem to be really far off. From what I understand 1-800 was selling franchise's to pretty much any one who would buy one, and it looks like that was definitely a mistake from this forum. It seems like a lot of those mistakes are now no longer with the company. It also seems like Joe Rippey was a great owner in the fact that he grew this company so fast, but obviously made a lot of mistakes as well, but in the long run he sold the company for a lot of money and to the benefit of the Franchisee's they now have a very strong ownership and tons of Capital with Driven Brands.


A lot of the guys who were at 1-800 with the Rippey's are now in charge and running the company for Driven Brands. The morale seems to be "how to continue to strive, and continue to grow when you reached the top. What new products can be brought to our current customers? What can we do better? How do we corner the ecommerce market with so many other competitors?"


After reading thru some of the comments some ex owners said so much about other competitors taking you out, or Performance Radiator being so profitable, also read about SPI (spectra radiators). I think Performance is down to less than 30 warehouses. SPI sold their distributorships to Keystone/LKQ. The new competition seems to be the general parts stores.


And to touch on someone else's comments on vendors not getting paid. I don't know if that holds any water, if that was ever a case, but I'll tell you, the vendor show was a 5000 sq foot ball room with more than 100 tents/displays set up begging for business from these guys.




needoutnow
needoutnow

Any one interesting in buying 1/2 of a franchise?

Samir
Samir

No, this franchiser is still churning like there is no end in sight. It still amazes me how many troubled zees I hear about. It's a sad and pathetic reflection on how impotent and powerless the federal trade commission is to regulate crime of this nature.

Samir
Samir

I've worked hard on every venture that I've done. What will be important in my next moves is to stay away from dishonest and unethical people.

Hidebehindlawyers
Hidebehindlawyers

How many current or past 1-800 franchise owners (or competitors for that matter) have had legal action taken against them or received letters threatening action from 1-800 ? Any business that hides behind lawyers only does it for one reason, they know what they are doing is wrong. What really sucks, is that decent idea has been ruined by a franchisor [edited by Franchise Pundit - please, no name calling and limit your accusations to your personal experiences]

Samir
Samir

A franchisee owns all the inventory and equipment. The only one that legally has an interest in that would be the bank who has a UCC filing. The zor will pressure the zee into thinking they have an interest when they do not. A zee can work with the bank to liquidate these assets to anyone they want.

Samir
Samir

Corporate does not own the inventory or business equipment. It was fully paid for as part of the initial business setup and belongs to the franchisee. They will make it seem like they have some sort of interest in it to intimidate the franchisee to allow them to buy it back for 50% or less and then re-sell this to another franchisee. The only entity that might have a legal claim to the inventory and equipment would be a bank with a valid UCC filing. Even then, a liquidation of business assets would still be possible if the proceeds would pay off the bank loan.

EX-OWNER2
EX-OWNER2

"The vendors don’t want to sell direct to the franchisees because too many dead beats (like Samir and “Ex-Owner2? above) spoiled it for the rest of us" REALLY??? we were never sold parts directly. so how COULD we have spoiled it for the rest of you?!! HARDWORKING FRANCHISEE my ass! you are from Corp..and we all know it! $80-100K salary??!! NEVER happened.We were lucky to stay above water as long as we did!

A Texas Franchisee
A Texas Franchisee

There are lots of franchisees that are doing VERY WELL. Do your due diligence and actually visit a few to get the straight scoop. There is so many half truths on this site it's rediculous. When you visit any existing franchise, you will get the truth....the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

EX-OWNER2
EX-OWNER2

They would sue the Franchise for not returning the Customer List...Trademark infringement. whatever they could sue you for..

EX-OWNER2
EX-OWNER2

If they sell it thru corps website... Corp takes a %..!!!!

Vito @ 1800 Radiator #278
Vito @ 1800 Radiator #278

I am astonished by the things I have just read on this website. Honestly it should all be taken down because most of it is just utter nonsense and bullshit. Being a current, successful 1-800-Radiator franchise, I know that all these clowns pretending to be 'ex 1800' and so on, is all bullshit. You obviously don't know what you are talking about. I worry about my bottom line, as any small business in America does. And my Corporate Headquarters does the same. I don't know how much money they have in the bank, i don't know if they pay bills late, or early! Not once have I been denied a part, a pallett, or anything from any of our listed suppliers and vendors. Our last Conference in Vegas in April of 2011 was full of Franchisees. Most who are happy, but definitely many that are not. We had our annual Vendor Show, which was in the biggest room so far, and was absolutely packed with Manufacturers'. Some very happy with 1-800-Radiators business, and some who have been trying to GAIN our business. They spent thousands of dollars to fly out to Vegas, set up a booth, give out free prizes to Franchisees, some even stayed the whole weekend interacted with Franchisee's asking "what can we do better". So 'anonymous' who wants to say differently - you are a joke. And unfortantely anyone can say whatever they want to say on this website, and make up silly names. I AM A CURRENT OWNER and I have been since October 27th 2007. I DID NOT MAKE ANY MONEY FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS!!! That's right. I was broke, busting my ass for TWO DAMN YEARS, and didn't make ANY MONEY! Why am I telling all you clowns? Because if I started any start up business I would expect not too. And when i started to make a little extra money along the way, I invested most back into my business to help grow to where I am today! 2010 I grossed 1.2 million dollars. And as of today, July 29th 2011 I am up more than 35% of last year. So why believe me? My name is Vito Cirioni. My franchise number is #278. 1-800-Radiator & A/C of Westchester NY. I service Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester County NY and Fairfield County CT. My location address is 516 S. Fifth Ave, Mt. Vernon NY 10550. You can email me directly at vito@1800radiator.com or you are more than welcome to stop by my store and meet one of my many employees or see my 8,000 sq ft warehouse and my every day operation. If you are actually interested in a Franchise and not just defamation, slander, or libel -- please email or simply stop by a local franchise in or around your neighborhood.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This place makes money...I move parts. Mass quantity's of radiators, condensers, fan assembly's, radiator caps, compressors, even gloves. If the franchise owners wernt so stingy and paid what their employees were worth then it would be more profitable for them. On a weekly basis I move anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000. And in return I have my job threatened, belittle'd, discouraged, and screamed at. Im asked to do too many tasks. Back office work, rack parts, sell parts, make outgoing calls, go on delivery's at times using my own car. Im discouraged to take lunches or breaks or even go on vacations. Im forced to work weekends though its overtime I dont get paid for it at all! I guess it all depends on the operator. 1800-Radiator "FRANCHISE" is a great operation and can be good for employee's if there were more staff and better pay for people that do deserve it.

Doug of old
Doug of old

I have been out of the business since 1998, when I made a lot of money doing the right thing.....I delivered! It isn't about 5% or 15%. it is about reputation and being FIRST to the front of the car! If you buy into a market too small to support the volume required to provide this kind of service, you are done before you start. If your "business plan" is to price compete, you won't make money and vendors will recognize that you have no potential growth, and growth is necessary.

Long Ago Ex-Owner
Long Ago Ex-Owner

I've been a former owner for quite some time and I find this site interesting. Perhaps someone can answer a few questions: 1. What ever became of the attempt to form a franchise owners' association? Did it even get off the ground? I can't imagine corporate allowing that to happen without a big fight. 2. A number of early 2010 posts suggest (hope?) that the corporation was nearly out of business. Is there any evidence of this? Does anyone have any idea how many warehouses opened or closed in 2010? 3. What is the status of the lawsuit filed in Missouri, mentioned in an August post? Have any lawsuits been successful? Corporate appears to be pretty successful in the courts. Best of luck to all who remain! For all my fellow ex-owners, I feel your pain and understand your anger. Keep your heads up! Thanks.

Tough business
Tough business

No way no how. Their pricing from vendors is no better than anyone else. And, of course, they don't charge their customer more than the competition - but that's not the point. The point is that franchisees have to pay 10-18% more than the competition. Get it?

fed up
fed up

May be a good business for some. However, I got taken for a ride. Anyone interetsed in a class action. fishinguy@optonline.net

Prior Franchisee
Prior Franchisee

This string reminds me of the prior emailing back and forth at 1-800-Rad. How all you guys doin?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I am a 1800Radiator Franchise owner. I would not recomend buying this franchise to anyone. The franchisor, Joe Rippey spends all his money on lawsuits against franchise owners, competitors, and vendors. As my employee stated the 1800Radiator Franchisor is like a pimp and you are his prostitute. He pushes you around, beats you up, takes your earnings until there is nothing left. That is the kind of relationship you will have with the Rippeys. They will take more in royalties a year then you will make! 10% royalties on your gross sales!

Anonymous
Anonymous

And this was a Corprate location. I bought a radiator from 1800RADIATOR for my 93 Chevy K3500 pickup 2 weeks ago but couldn't get any time to install it untill tuesday night. When I pulled the old one out of the truck, and compared, the "new one" it had a 3" filler neck, so there was no way it would fit in my truck unless I cut a hole in the hood! No problem, I'll just exchange it for the correct one. Right? Wrong. Before I took the old one back to 1800RADIATOR, I called ahead to make sure that the ratty box would not cause any problems with the return. "No problem", I was assured by the operator. When I took the part in to the shop, though, the story was different. First, the guy from 1800RADIATOR tried to assure me that it was, indeed, the correct part number. I told him the bit about it working if I chopped a hole in my hood, so he went back into the warehouse and came back with a 2-core radiator with the correct filler neck. I told him that I paid a lot for a 3-core, I was not going to downgrade to a 2-core. He told me that "This radiator cools as well, or better than the 3-core because it had plastic tanks instead of metal ones". I told him that I was not convinced, so he went about "inspecting" the one I was trying to return, and after a couple of minutes told me that he would not be able to accept it for a return since it had been installed. I told him in no uncertain terms that it had not been installed ever! He told me I would have to wait for his supervisor. After sitting for 15 more minutes, his supervisor came out and echoed what the first guy said: "We cannot accept a used radiator for an exchange". I told them that the had better accept the radiator because it was their fault, but the guy got more and more beligerent and accused me of having filled it with coolant, as his evidence that the part had been installed. I told them that the only way coolant had touched the radiator was if it had dribbled off of my old one while I was comparing them. He told me with an air of finallity that that constituted "being installed". I will be filing a report with the Better Business Bureau. __________________

Lanny Pospisil
Lanny Pospisil

Great concepts! I was having some porblems about what you already mentioned, Now I might be better!

Pickles
Pickles

The ones I know of hire all their people through a temp agency, not direct hire. I costs the company $30/hr to send out salesman who don't have product background and the training is minimal.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It doesn't matter. 1-800-radiator will get it into arbitration and the whole thing will be swept under the rug.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is based on 1-800-radiator's misrepresentations about the number of PIDS in a given territory. They do this all the time. I know 1 guy that was told his territory had 1500 active pids. After buying the franchise, he and his regional went through the territory and could not find 200 pids. Needless to say he soon went out of business. This is a common ploy and any of you who have a similar story to tell should contact the plaintiff's attorney in this case and let them know: Steve Garner Strong-Garner-Bauser 415 E. Chestnut Expressway Springfield, MO 65802 417-887-4300

peavine
peavine

Franchisor's cash in bank per CA 6-24-10 filing: 12-31-06 2,314,773 12.31-07 1,101,592 12-31-08 154,970 12-31-09 853 06-05-10 71- No details for parent company (Radiator Express) so actual cash is not disclosed.

Ripp ed off franchisee
Ripp ed off franchisee

EVERY COMPETITOR buys as cheap or cheaper than rad express. The additional 10% and depressed cash flow because of ACH payments is a huge nut to crack. I hope you are making money at your warehouse.

Ripp ed off franchisee
Ripp ed off franchisee

It has almost been a year since we gave up on our 1-800 dream. Just prior to calling it quits, there were 2 vendors that had put us on credit hold. I will not mention the companies, but we had to call corp before placing orders. There was a local large vendor who also was crying that they were not getting paid. Rad express was getting 90 day terms and using the float to finance things. Great idea considering the credit crunch. I was forced to sign a waiver of any law suits. I wish that I could persue litigation now that I can afford to. We lossed about $250K including our retirement monies. There was a rush to set up the franchises and never any concern regarding profitibility of any one location. I was also placed in a territory with a very large regional competitor who flipped a switch and drove me out. Any decent law suits or all hot air here ?

ANONYMOUS
ANONYMOUS

I HEARD THEY R BUYING OUT SPI ANY TRUTH TO THAT

Yes the same Ruby Rippey
Yes the same Ruby Rippey

[vulgar comment deleted by Franchise Pundit --- please keep the conversations respectful and intelligent]

Who is Ruby Rippey
Who is Ruby Rippey

[vulgar comment deleted by Franchise Pundit --- please keep the conversations respectful and intelligent]

CHAPTER 11 BY YEAR END
CHAPTER 11 BY YEAR END

I WOULD THINK THEIR IS A REAL CHANCE THE FILING WILL HAPPEN BY YEAR END. TOO BAD IF IT HAPPENS FOR ALL US SMALL GUYS. ALSO AFTERTHE FILING WILL THEIR BE ANYTHING REALLY LEFT FOR US? HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITH ANGR SUPPLIERS? BEEN TRING TO SELL MY LOCATION FOR 2 YEARS AND NO ONE IS EVEN INTERESTED. THIS SUCKS

Anonymous
Anonymous

You don't know what you are talking about. Any vendor who has extended credit to these guys, not been paid and had to turn the matter over to collection would show on a D&B report. The SPI case would show on D&B, the personal credit histories of the main players would be there. All other ligitation would be there. And if someone ran a BIR all would be exposed as this type of enterprise cannot hide too much if it is filing tax returns, reporting to city, state and federal agencies and issuing financial instruments of any kind.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Yea paste some of the report you lier. Just a little. You are so full of it you smell like that rippey whore girls dirty snatch. Maby you are her crack head brother Joe or your the famous Give it to me Hard Daddy Rippey. Either way I smell a dirty Rippey around here. Just put up your info and prove your point. Cant do becuse you are a Lier ** EDIT BY FRANCHISEPUNDIT Aug-16-2011: Folks, please stop the name calling and insulting.

Anonymous
Anonymous

No I dont sell them and never will. Im not wasting my time and money to try to collect it, dont need it that bad. I pefer to sell their competitors and soon all the 1800 locations that alone will get me all my money and more back.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It's funny how little is really known about this franchise. Nobody knows for sure how many franchise location are still open. Nobody knows how many have closed or been taken back by corporate. Nobody has a current franchise owner list. The corporate guys used to publish this information but then discovered it encouraged franchise owners to unite and resist the zor, so they stopped. Then they got rid of the franchise owner's forum because too many were complaining about corporate abuse practices. They always monitored everyone's email. Owning this franchise was like having big brother there with you.

WORD ON THE STREET
WORD ON THE STREET

look you jerk the 1800 locations know very well whos product they are not getting any more. I have nothing to prove to you you creep. I know several suppliers that have them on prepay. the point is that this is a scam company so you go buy one or even a few. I for one never intend to get paid the money owed to me. So get lost you stupid scumbag.

Peavine
Peavine

If the franchisor is involved in negotiations for a resale they probably need to be registered in states that require registration. Not a lawyer here-- just seems to be common sense. A new owner would probably be required to execute whatever documents the prior owner was required to provide to the franchisor.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I hear Performance is closing 15-20 locations

Anonymous
Anonymous

I heard that Performance Radiator will be closing 15-20 locations.

WORD ON THE STREET
WORD ON THE STREET

YES THEIR MUST BE SOME TRUTH TO THIS CREDIT STRAPPED COMPANY. TWO SALESMEN EACH FROM DIFFRENT SUPPLIERS OF 1800 ALSO CONFORMED THAT THEY ARE OWED BIG BUCKS AND ONLY SUPPLY THEM PRODUCT S THEY PAY FOR IT. I WOULD SUPPOSE THE SUPPLIERS ARE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT GETTING THEIR RECEIVABLE BACK. I REALLY FEEL FOR THE SUPPLIERS.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Not to mention the vendors that cut them off what about the ones that make them pay their past dues or you get what you pay for equell amount. Word out on the street is 1800 is tapped out with furthering any credit limits with just about every supplier they have becuse 1800 ows so much they tried to get everyone over the barrel but most suppliers will just cut their losses and deal with them as a cash basis only. The factories in China wont even deal with them

Anonymous
Anonymous

Wrong! This franchisor has had franchise locations for sale all over the US for quite some time now. Just look at the listed resell opportunities on their website. And that doesn't include many locations not listed because the franchisor does not want to give the impression that lots of them are for sale. The list hasn't changed in quite a while - no one is apparently interested in buying these.

Anonymous
Anonymous

You don't know what you are talking about. You should buy a franchise and post 1-2 years after.

attack me
attack me

What I have NOT seen in all successful owners I have operated for, was doubt in our system. We have all shared the belief that the better we do, the better corp does, and the better we all do. I have always utilized all aspects of our system and instilld that into any franchise I have stepped foot in. Doubt in our operation is a cancer and usually leads to the loss of precious time. Time that could be spent constructively doing outbounds, bagging candy, sweet talking that busy Firestone, or delivering a lunch to that Carstar. Fuck you could even be spending time collecting RGA's. I may not be a franchise owner but I did generate the team effort and sales to send thier ass the the convention and NOT have to stay in a Holiday Inn express. I appreciate your input and support very much. This business is my life and I can't stand to see non team players spread their cancer within a system that I will soon be fully immersed in.