Report: #308123

Complaint Review: The Marvin Group

  • Submitted: Mon, February 11, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, February 21, 2008
  • Reported By: Naperville Illinois
  • The Marvin Group
    5490 McGinnis Village Place, #117
    Alpharetta, Georgia

THE MARVIN GROUP, "Art" (Chicago Area 'rep') SCAM, RIPOFF, FRAUD. "THE MARVIN GROUP". STAY AWAY!! Alpharetta Georgia

*Author of original report: .. THEN DO THE RIGHT THING MR. FARMER

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: The Truth About The Marvin Group

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

If you want to throw your money away, then by all means, give the folks at "THE MARVIN GROUP" a call. They are located in Alpharetta, Georgia.

These scam artists pretend to be "business brokers". They market their services through very slick mailings claiming to have ".. buyers in our database looking to buy your business now!." If you go to their website at, you'll see a very nice website. It even lists businesses for sale, along with "buyers" too.....

I fell for these guys, hook, line and sinker. I was looking to sell my pizzeria business about 4 years ago when I was going through a divorce, and found these guys via a business mailing. The mailing looked ligit... it was well worded, well printed, and said just about everything I was looking for!! These guys were "professionals" who specialized in top dollar, quick sales!! What was the catch??.. What went wrong??... well.. here goes...

The first step after talking with the corporate office in Alpharetta, Georgia, was for the local sales rep ("Art" (630)-443-6390) come to my business for a face to face meeting. We set up a meeting and out came Art in his beautifully polished Lexus RX30 SUV. He explained how the company worked.. they first needed to "valuate the business" in order to properly list it on their website. This "valuation" would cost me $3500, but was COMPLETELY REFUNDED upon sale of the business. The terms of the agreement was they would only make money on a percentage of the sale (just like a real estate agent!). No problem, I thought. So.. I gave them my financials.. and a check for $3500, and about a month later was presented with a 3 page valuation. My restaurant was going to be listed for $900,000. WOW! (I thought). I am going to make a killing. YEAH RIGHT.

These guys are frauds, scam artists, hucksters. THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY ONLY ON THE VALUATION. THEY DO NOT SELL BUSINESSES!! In the 24 months subsequent to my business having been "listed", I had EXACTLY ZERO calls from persons interested in buying my business.

What happened to all of the buyers that were "chomping at the bit", fighting to buy my business??... it was all b.s.

Then "Art" met me at a Krispy Kreme donut shop in town, and told me that I would have an easier time selling my business if I "amended my tax returns" to show an increase in sales... and thus show that the business was making more money than it was. Um.. that's fraud.. straight up... it was at this time that I demanded a full refund of my $3500. Art said that he thought I was a "straight up guy" and would "put in a good word for me at the corporate office in Alpharetta, Georgia" to get my refund... Yeah.. sure..

Phone call after phone call was NOT returned.... I finally received a very rude letter from one of the "owners" of the company saying that they had fulfilled their contractual obligation and were not going to refund my money and subsequently DELISTED MY BUSINESS (not that it made any difference, it wasn't like my phone was ringing off the hook with buyers!). HA HA.

Well.. after all of this, I contacted my friendly Chicago rep, Art, in his Lexus. He said that he would personally cut me a check for HALF of the $3500... as soon as he ".. got my IRS refund check, business is slow and he didn't have any extra money.."

I figured, ok.. half is better than nothing, right?.. .. that was over 2 years ago... I guess the mail is slower than I thought.

You know the old saying "A fool and his money are soon parted"... I can humbly say that I was scammed by these smooth talking people. The only consolation that I have is that hopefully by writing this, it will prevent a few people from falling victim to these criminals. DO NOT USE THE MARVIN GROUP (unless of course, you enjoy giving people your hard-earned money in receipt for no services at all).

I have sent a letter to the Georgia BBB and filed an official complaint. It will not result in a refund.. I know that... but at least other people will be informed prior to doing business with these scam artists.

Naperville, Illinois
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2008 07:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Rippedoffbymrvgrp - (U.S.A.)

Well.. now I know how to get ahold of the people at "The Marvin Group".. because apparently phone calls don't seem to work..

Mr. Farmer did exactly what anyone else would do if presented with a complaint about his company.. respond... and I commend him with that much, at least. What he fails to realize, however, is not the fact that my business did not sell.. but the fact that I was LIED TO, and MISLED the entire time... THAT'S ALL.

When Mr. Farmer's rep ("Art": (630) 779-5355, and (630)443-6390) came to my restaurant, he informed me that they deal with restaurant owners "all of the time" and buyers understand that tax returns may not be 100% indicative of sales. In fact, "Art" spent a full day with me at my restaurant, even going on deliveries to see the type of sales we did!
He was very impressed at our counter business, and our catering business.

At this point in time, "Art" said he could sell my business for $900,000... and many of the buyers that The Marving Group dealt witha finalize their deals with a "briefcase full of money." ... why I didn't see through this scan at this time is a testament to my being naive... and I have only myself to blaim. I asked Art this question: Why would someone pay $900,000 for a restaurant that only cost me $250,000 to build in the first place?... he responded, "..because of the tremendous revenue you are generating here.. it's not the building/equipment someone is buying, but the cash flow!" NEVER ONCE DID "ART" OR TOMMY FARMER TELL ME THAT MY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND TAX RETURNS WOULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO SELL THE BUSINESS. <-- PLEASE READ AGAIN.

On the contrary, anyone looking for a pizzeria business knows how the system works, and it wouldn't be a problem to sell my place. I was sold!

What was the result?. other then me paying the $3500 "evaulation"?.. nothing.. exactly nothing... When seeing the preliminary numbers on the business, Mr. Farmer, why did you or Art not voice any concerns? Why in fact did you tell me that my OWN concerns were not to be worried about?.. Why?.. because YOU BOTH TOLD ME ANYONE WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN BUYING THE BUSINESS WOULD COME TO MY RESTAURANT AND SPEND AT LEAST A MONTH THERE TO SEE HOW THE PLACE WORKS, AND THE REVENUE IT GENERATED. My financials were NOT the problem, I was told.. because the Marvin Group had SO many buyers just beating their doors down looking for a place like mine!!

You see, Mr. Farmer, it's not that I lost $3500 to you and your fellow scam ARTists.. THAT'S NOT WHAT BOTHERS ME. In fact, I lost $20,000 in Lucent Technologies stock a few years back.. but that's the way it goes, you know?.. What bothers me, sir.. is that you DECEIVED me.. you LIED to me.. and you and your cohorts cannot be allowed to continue to rip small business owners off.

Also, don't instruct your reps to direct your clients to file fraudulent amended IRS reports to make it look like their businesses are generating more income than they actually are... THAT IS FRAUD, SIR.

I also noticed you did not respond to the part of my letter which stated your rep was going to refund "half" of my investment.. THANKS.

If you are such an outstanding company, as you say.. and have so many accolades to back up your claim, then continue taking the moral high road, Mr. Farmer.. and DO THE RIGHT THING. REFUND MY MONEY.. After all, you don't need $3500, do you??.. You are SO successful at what you do that you have trouble counting your money at night there's so much of it... GIVE ME A BREAK.

The bottom line is that I have NO MOTIVATION TO LIE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. PERIOD. It's not like I was presented with 20 offers that I rejected.. then Mr. Farmer could say I was being unreasonable. Jesus, I WASN'T EVEN PRESENTED WITH ONE PHONE CALL OR VISIT FROM ANY OF THE "100s" OF BUYERS IN THE MARVIN GROUP DATABASE.

The kicker is being told that I would receive a refund of HALF my investment.. not exactly what I was looking for, but like I said before, half is better than nothing, right?.. Because right now, I gave some complete stranger and the company he works for $3500, and received NOTHING in return of any value... just a bogus "valuation" that wasn't worth the paper it was written on.


My parents taught me when growing up, that whenever you have a dispute with a friend or associate, try to look at the other person's position (it's called "empathy") and see if what they are saying makes any sense.. if so, then maybe a resolution can be reached. The problem here gentlemen, is that when I try to put myself in your shoes, I have a very difficult time justifying your actions. (hmm.. receive money, tell client you can sell his business, tell client you have "buyers ready now" to buy his business, AND THEN NOT PRODUCE A SINGLE RESULT)... It's kind of hard to say, "you know, Tommy.. you're right, I'm wrong.. it's perfectly acceptable to hand over thousands of dollars and not expect ANY RESULTS".. wow.. am I crazy for thinking this????...

Mr. Farmer and Art... take a business ethics course in your spare time.. it might come in handy some day... or better yet, I'll send my parents over to your corporate office in Alpharetta, or over to Art's house in Wasco, IL.. they'll give you a 1 day course in honest business dealings.


"Caveat Emptor" everybody, on these guys..

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

The Truth About The Marvin Group

AUTHOR: Themarvingroupllc - (U.S.A.)

As president and founder of The Marvin Group, I was dismayed to discover this post from a former customer outlining our alleged business practices. His accusations are false and without merit. I'd like to take a few moments to personally set the record straight.

The Marvin Group is a reputable and ethical business brokerage dedicated to helping all of our clients sell their businesses. We collect up-front service fees to list our client businesses, prepare professional marketing documentation and confidentially negotiate buyer inquiries. We also help clients locate buyers and help them navigate the complex process of closing a business transaction. We've been in business for six years and have satisfied clients across the East Coast and Midwest.

Here are a few points to consider when evaluating the claims made in this post:

The post asserts that we make [our] money only on the valuation. [We] do not sell businesses. This could not be any further from the truth. While it is true that we collect up-front retainers to cover marketing costs (a common practice in the business brokerage industry), we earn a sizeable percentage of our income from commissions collected when a client's business sells. In fact, we have sold many businesses including a $9,000,000 transaction last December. We pride ourselves on our ability to find buyers for our clients.

It is true that we were unable to find a buyer for this client's business. The reasons were very simple. First, he grossly overestimated the value of his equipment and build-out. Second, he would not give us proper documentation regarding the income of the business since a large portion of this income was unreported cash and two sets of books were kept. No prudent buyer would invest in a business that could not document its income

The fee we charged this client was $3,000 (not $3,500 as he stated) and was clearly indicated as non-refundable in the service agreement he understood and signed.

Every business has disgruntled customers; it's part of doing business. However, we're proud to say that before this incident we've only had one client (out of over 1,200) who registered a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. This complaint was immediately resolved. For more information, feel free to check out our company profile at

If you're considering doing business with The Marvin Group, please don't let this misguided attempt at consumer education be your only source of information. We have documented evidence supporting every claim we have made in this rebuttal and would be happy to share it with you. Feel free to contact me personally via email ( or via telephone at 770-886-5100. Thank you for taking the time to hear both sides of the story.

Tommy Farmer
President, The Marvin Group LLC
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