Pinch A Penny Franchise Review

Will You Spend A Penny or All Your Savings? (2022 Update)

When looking for a new business opportunity, you will find many options that include a wide variety of franchises, and when you’ve reached this point, one question will be at the top of your list: which one of them won’t make you waste money?

Pinch A Penny is probably one of the franchises you will cross paths with, and one thing you’ll try to figure out is if you will end up wasting your time and efforts (let’s not forget money) in it, or if diving into this business opportunity will be your best decision. 

However, how can you know this without trying? Or, at least, knowing what the business is about? The latter can give you a pretty good idea of it, which is why we decide to explore what you’ll get yourself into if deciding to give it a try, including investment, services, and everything you’ll need to do to make money. 

Pinch A Penny Franchise – Swimming Pool Retail

When people listen or read about Pinch A Penny, the truth is that not many of them think it is related to pools. Well, to your surprise, we’re not lying about this. 

This franchise focuses on offering swimming pool services, repairs and act as retail. But besides the pools you have at home or specific space, spas also enjoy the company’s care products and services. 

The first store opened in Clearwater, Florida, in 1975 by Fred Thomas, the founder. 

Fred Thomas was an independent sales representative who was traveling throughout Florida in 1974. 

He sold everything, from wooden shelves to barbecue grills and other types of products in the market. 

During this journey, he met a Florida producer of pool chemicals, and he agreed to be his Florida sales agent.

After accepting this new opportunity, he received an order from a local chain of drugstores. However, this order ended up being one of Fred’s most considerable debts so far since it was canceled after shipping it, which led him to accept the delivery and pay for the products. 

Since he didn’t have money, but it was his responsibility, Fred rented a small warehouse for the pool chemicals and supplies. 

He also ran classified ads to make it available to the public, and the warehouse was open on weekends. He gave the small warehouse the name “Pinch A Penny” to bring people based on discounts. 

To this point, we don’t even have to mention that the outlet was a huge success. 

The products sold quickly, and pool owners came from far away. By 1975, Fred realized that he should make the warehouse a full-time retail store, which is why he discontinued his pursuits as an independent sales representative, and Pinch A Penny became his full-time enterprise. 

He placed more orders for pool chemicals, and he took the time to learn how to care for pools and repair them properly.

Reached this point, he was ready to expand and open more stores in order to satisfy the pool owners living nearby. 

When he realized that to offer customer service in every location and be financially able to grow, he needed more people to handle more work and bring more profits

; this is when the franchising model came to mind and changed the landscape in the swimming pool industry. 

In 1976, nine families joined Fred in opening their own Pinch A Penny stores. He provided training, inventory, and assistance in finding locations. He also helped with advertising. From the first store, the franchisees managed their businesses with great success.

Over the next 15 years, the company grew exponentially to 90 locations in Florida using the same principles back in 1976. 

In 1990, Fred’s son, John, was back in college after he had finished high school. John grew up with his father and worked in the stores starting at age eight, and he realized that working for the family business was more than a good idea.

John was elected President in 1994, and his father appointed him Chief Executive Officer later in 1998. 

Since then, the company has continued growing, and after 45 years, more franchisees are joining it.

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Does It Cost A Penny to Start?

Businesses involve money, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Therefore, knowing how much you will spend on a new opportunity is always crucial. 

In this case, you want to know about Pinch A Penny and if it is genuinely worth the same as the name might suggest. 

We need to start by mentioning that the name has nothing to do with the investment you’ll have to make. Instead, we believe it is the opposite. 

First, you need to meet requirements established by the franchise, starting with the $350k net worth and an initial investment that ranges from $290k to $400k or more. 

No, it isn’t cheap, and many wouldn’t consider it affordable either, but remember that a business opportunity and your decision to take part in it will depend on how much you can afford it and if it is a good fit for your skills. 

For the latter, this is why Pinch A Penny is usually chosen by many: because you don’t need experience with pools, chemicals, or any other service and product offered by the franchise. 

When deciding to invest and become a franchisee, you will be adequately trained as the company has been doing since it started franchising, so the investment for the business is quite high. 

The initial investment covers expenses to build the store in your location, real estate overall, vehicles, products, supplies, equipment, and other needs like training, insurance, legal, and government costs. 

You will also provide additional funds depending on your location and specific goals with the franchise. 

Remember that since you’re dealing with a large company, you will have to deal with royalty fees and advertising fees, about 6% and 4%, respectively. 

The real question after all this is: is it worth it? 

As we mentioned just a few moments ago, it depends a lot on the money you can invest and your preferences and skills.

Although the franchise’s investment and franchising option offer training and everything you need, are you truly compromised to make it work? This is always crucial. 

Unless you’re willing to put a lot of effort, work hard, and are at least a bit interested in the type of business model as well as the needs it covers, you won’t be able to make it work despite having the money and net worth to meet the initial requirements. 

Now, to summarize what Pinch A Penny offers and what it covers for you in order to start this business opportunity, here’s a short recap:

  • Expenses involving build-out. 
  • Real estate (buy or start renting a place).
  • Products, supplies, and equipment required. 
  • Vehicles to offer services. 
  • Training in pool services, chemicals, spa products, and more. 
  • Insurance costs. 
  • Legal and government expenses. 

According to the company, they cover over 80% of the total expense of starting the business. Based on the initial investment, ongoing fees, and what you will be obtaining, we’re confident that it does keep its word to this point.

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How Long Until You Get Started? 

Here’s another factor to keep in mind, you won’t start to be a franchisee right away. 

In this case, considering logistics is the best way to come up with this conclusion since it takes time to get trained, establish the store or local, and make sure you’re getting yourself out there with advertising. 

Most people dive into business opportunities without considering how long it will take them to have their investment back and start generating revenue or income. 

Let’s make it simple, you invest around $350.000 for the franchise, but how long will it take for you to handle the whole process until starting to sell products and offer services? 

Besides yourself, you also need other workers to help with the entire franchise. 

This is why starting your new Pinch A Penny franchise can take months until you’re finally on the road. 

The entire process from the company also makes it a bit more challenging to carry on. 

First, you have to contact them. Then, have a follow-up call with someone from the development personnel that will guide you through the basics. 

When you’re done with this, you finally get to meet face-to-face with a company member that will review the contract and idea with you. 

If you like the deal so far, you’ll have to dive into a discovery day to know about the products, services, and everything you will be offering in your franchise to develop a business plan with members of the company later on. 

Do we have more steps after this? Signing the contract and finally getting started with the entire project. 

Most people in the USA take around 3 to 6 months to start their own businesses, and despite some efforts to make it quicker, it is hard to know how long each step will take. 

Pros & Cons: Should You Invest or Not?

After all this walkthrough, what would be our verdict about Pinch A Penny? 

To know that, we have to focus on the pros and cons of the company before making a decision. 


  • You don’t have to build a reputation from zero. Being a franchisee brings it by itself. 
  • Starting and accessing a good business (pools are expensive but quite common in the USA and other countries). 
  • The company helps you with the whole process, from dealing with real estate to the point of being able to sell your products and offer services.
  • Online sales are possible during COVID-19 or any other emergencies. 


  • Investing between $200k and $400k+ is more than what most people can afford. In other words, it is pretty expensive.
  • Dealing with pool services, chemicals, and products takes a lot of work, which will continue as long as you remain in the business.
  • It takes over a year to finally get your investment returned + start making money. 
  • Spending your money, getting trained, and starting doesn’t mean you will be successful. 
  • Franchisee fees are higher than other franchise opportunities. 

Making Money Without Sweating

Let’s be clear, we all want to invest in a business that doesn’t make us go bankrupt (possibly) nor work too hard for the rest of our lives. 

Hard work and businesses are hands to hand, but this doesn’t mean you should have to work without rest as long as you are in this world. 

Pinch A Penny franchises are a great option for those that want to focus on this field and run a local business.

However, people need to consider carefully if it is worth their money, time, and efforts in the beginning and over time. 

If you conclude that it isn’t your thing or feel like it is way too much money for something that is uncertain till some point, just start thinking about a new possibility. 

We believe alternatives such as local lead generation can offer you more than becoming a franchisee.

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Does this mean Pinch A Penny is not a good option?

It isn’t a bad option, but if we go back to the cons, we are more inclined to quit the idea and give something else a try, which shouldn’t require so much money and work over the years if possible. 

This is the biggest difference between local lead generation and this franchise: you don’t have to spend thousands nor work hard all your life. 

With lead gen, you can work online from anywhere, at any time, and you can make money years later with the same projects you started without having to go back to them since it is all about making passive income. 

This is thanks to the fact that local lead generation is about creating websites for specific clients. These can be small businesses or people you choose to work with.

You focus on the local ones (those around you) and cover their needs of generating leads and clients. 

How Can You Make Money?

Essentially, it only takes a few steps:

  • You build sites for the companies or your clients. 
  • Start ranking them on Google to bring organic traffic (this means you don’t need to pay for ads to make people click on the websites).
  • You start generating leads thanks to the proper ranking, and those will make you money since they will turn into clients for businesses you’re working with.
  • A commission or percentage established with your client will be your payment. It should be PER lead/client. 
  • You can continue making money even after years or months by simply maintaining the sites live.

When choosing this option, you are avoiding the usual problems of companies and businesses that deal with saturation in the market, many competitors, and having to work hard continuously. 

With lead gen, you DO have to be friends with hard work, but this is while you’re starting, get used to the process, and finally start making passive income. 

Since this business requires knowledge, this top-of-the-line training in lead generation is highly recommended. 

It will get you on the road, even if you have no idea about leads, websites, and how to get the simplest things done. 

Also, it will be a great addition if you decide to invest in your Pinch A Penny franchise. How? By bringing clients your way without having to pay someone else using the same method. 

Don’t work for anyone else. Make your own money. Work with whom you want. Click here to learn more!

Here’s Our #1 Recommended Online Business Model:

1 - local lead gen vs other online business models - blog

Interested in starting an online business to build passive income? Check out the local lead gen business model. Click here to learn more.

Written by Dame Cash

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