Blue Nile Reviews

Updated May 2, 2014
Updated May 2, 2014
38 Reviews
2.0
38 Reviews
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Blue Nile President & CEO Harvey Kanter
Harvey Kanter
9 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Still working like eCommerce in year 2000.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Blue Nile for more than a year

    Pros

    People were dedicated to BN and many of them have never worked anywhere else but BN. They were all nice and everyone knows your name. Events for employees to get together. CEO really shows appreciation to his people directly. Everyone leaves at 5pm or even earlier.

    Cons

    Lack of tech culture. It was more a family-run jewelry company than a tech company. The reason why people shop here was not because the site was awesome but actual CS consultants (by phone) were excellent. Old technologies and old process at tech and fulfillment. All managers micromanaged everyone and had to approve every little decision. They hire graphic designers, but they were hesitant to hire full-time UI programmers. Never worked at eComm companies with that many full-time graphic designers (who cannot program code) before BN.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They should replace Sr Managers/Directors by people who used to work at Amazon. There are so many eCommerce technology Sr level managers and VP in Seattle. They have to make changes soon, or otherwise, they will be doomed within 5 years. Ritani that is more tech-driven and started by ex-BN VP is taking over. BN is behind in eComm jeweler business now. There's no innovation at the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    No balance and no clear competitive strategy

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blue Nile

    Pros

    Great business built from 1999-2007 with a clear value proposition for customer who want to buy high quality diamonds.

    Was a work hard, play hard culture but now seems a little lost as there is (only) conversation about work/life balance

    Cons

    Does not know who they want to be when they grow up
    Always trying to do too many things and have lost their heritage and focus
    Turnover is higher than any other company I have ever seen
    Management does not have a clue about how employees feel

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start listening to employees and customers and stop pretending like you know it all

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't waste your time.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - DjC  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - DjC in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Blue Nile full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It's downtown Seattle and you get a discount on jewelry. There are some co-workers that are kind and available for questions.

    Cons

    They only care about the bottom line and not their employees. Floor supervisors and customer service agents are all new by a year or less. Upper management have no people skills and are rudely condescending.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about your employees and offer support.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    No true support from direct leadership. Avoid unless you enjoy no real cohesion as a team or company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blue Nile as a contractor

    Pros

    Cost plus 5% on all merchandise. Newly built out conference and lunch room. Endless supply of Starbucks coffee.

    Cons

    Bait and switch tactics at its best. Expect to work lousy hours. Complete blackout periods starting before Thanksgiving and ending after New Years, then additional blackout dates during Valentines and Mother's Day were you can forget about getting any time off or having a real life outside of this company. No life/work balance as during the blackout periods you will be scheduled for 6 day work weeks. Other than those times, good luck getting 40 hours in a week. Supervisors seem to be burdened and inconvenienced if you ask for help if you are not their direct report, even though they could be the only supervisor on the floor at the time. On top of that, low pay...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to give help instead of pushing things off to the AB. Figure out how to hire the right amount of people for the job instead of over staffing and then giving some the short end oft he stick. Stop focusing so much on the numbers and the reports. Focus on making the employees happy and actually wanting to be there. It seems like you are trying to be bigger than what Blue Nile really is and it harms the overall performance. Maybe give some type of incentive for the sales members as they are the ones who in the end, keep the lights on by taking and completing orders along with acting as counselors and advocates for customers when they experience a loss or need to make a return.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Creative Minds Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Site Dev  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Site Dev in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Blue Nile full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Niceish downtown location. Has a pretty small-company feel compared to its actual size. Seems to have a good plan for the future and good business model, if they can stick with it. Co-workers were great, and we formed a strong bond through adversity.

    Cons

    Saying upper management micromanages is the biggest understatement of the decade. You’d think they’d trust the people they hired to do the work they were hired for. Design by committee is rampant, which inevitably leads to a diminished product. Company is constantly freaking out and changing plans and direction--constant whiplash for the employees. This is especially apparent during the holiday season of Oct-Jan where changes occur almost daily and employees are worked hard and receive pretty much no reward for their work, even spoken appreciation. Don’t even think about ever taking a vacation any time in those months.

    Managers are deceitful, manipulative, and secretive to the point of excess. No emphasis on team, or sharing company information that might be relevant for your job. Departments are constantly quibbling, and compromises are achieved rarely, with great pains, and usually involving an executive. When they say they value hard-work and flexibility it’s true--they expect you to bend to their every whim, as logical or more often than not, illogical as it is, and work hard to do as they please. Curiosity, creativity, initiative and innovation are actively punished. They don’t want your input, and you will be quickly dispatched with if you provide any resistance to even illogical demands.

    While I know some departments in the company have good morale, mine did not. And will not, until it is rebuilt and restructured, preferably with managers with more than their own agenda in mind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop micro-managing. Trust your employees to do their job. Work on communication, and boosting morale. Fire any managers that are not effectively working as part of a team with their own team; find managers that actually care about their team. Reward people for work well-done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Perplexing management, high turnover ... blehh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Nile full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Close to the waterfront. At 4:59pm workers practically sprint out the door, so staying beyond 5 is rarely an issue (but be prepared to bring your work home).
 If you're really, really into fine jewelry and all its detailed specificity, this is your place.

    Cons

    Musical chairs-style management. Simmering resentment between departments. Perplexing and often counterproductive layers of feedback chiming in from seemingly every corner. Upper management appear miserable and defeated, Willy Loman style, as if they're ticking off the days until their pension kicks in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have the various departments sign an armistice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Merchandising/Buying Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Merchandising Assistant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Merchandising Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Blue Nile full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good experience for a young professional looking to work in either e-commerce or for a corporate company.

    Cons

    My department was spread very thin to say the least. Essentially, when I was hired on I was in charge of the entire special orders side of engagement and wedding rings. I had minimal training at best and my boss was very unhelpful and often rude or in a terrible mood, making asking questions seem like a minefield. It's possible that she was miserable in her own role but it was terrible working under her.

    The amount of special orders/emails/tasks was impossible for one person to manage. I was often overwhelmed and stressed. I wasn't given a lot of guidance but punished when mistakes happened. It's apparent that Blue Nile doesn't really value their employees and only really cares about the bottom line. I think the work/life balance was not communicated clearly either...which there basically isn't any. You work all the time for less money than other companies and aren't valued as an employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the time to really train your new employees and make sure they have a firm grasp on their job and role within the company. Don't treat people as disposable. If you invest in your employees I think you'll be a more successful company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company needs trump employee needs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Diamond & Jewelry Consultant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Diamond & Jewelry Consultant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Blue Nile full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere
    Majority of callers are actually nice
    Internet usage not strictly monitored/limited
    No micromanagement

    Cons

    Unequal treatment of employees
    Lack of training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As a company that is expanding globally, equal representation of all races and cultures in your employment pool would be a benefit to the consumer calling in. The fact that the majority of your consultants and order processing personnel are of one specific race and you have a distinct lack of representation of another race is something I always found disturbing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Short term focused in business and in people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Blue Nile

    Pros

    In exchange for lower pay, Blue Nile is willing to give employees positions or titles that they would ordinarily not have. If you're looking to take on a more senior role but just can't get that in your current company, Blue Nile may be what you're looking for. Be careful not to stay here too long though. Build the resume and credentials and leverage that into an equivalent position at a better company.

    Cons

    Blue Nile prides itself on keeping costs down and being lean. However, this often results in penny wise, pound foolish behavior. Employees are routinely paid 15% - 20% below market rate and are given stock option packages that haven't proven to be of any value. In addition, every department is severely understaffed which means that you'll work 50-60 hours every week doing pretty mindless and repetitive work because there just aren't the people around to spread the work around or automate things. As a result, there's very little time to reflect and think a little more strategically.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior Management comes off as disingenuous and clueless. Stop being disingenuous to employees. If you say you're going to invest in people - you need to follow that up with action otherwise you look really dishonest. Also, radical changes in strategic direction are pretty toxic and make it look like you don't know what you're doing. When you say that the company needs to do less of X and more of Y, you can't come back 2 months later and totally contradict that. You end up looking crazy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    A Camel is a Horse Designed by Committee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Blue Nile as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Location, good entry level pay, friendly co-workers, medium sized company, looks good on résumé.

    Cons

    Groupthink/design by committee mentality, micromanaging of staff, unrealistic standards and overly optimistic outlook, poor leadership skills exhibited by company leaders and general incompetence among a select handful of those in upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Success is measured in dollars at Blue Nile. The health of employee's seems to be a secondary concern. There is a general lack of compassion held by those in management, changing this could only be an improvement. It would also be nice if leadership would politely remove their rose-colored glasses — If your employees are telling you there are problems then there probably are and you should take them into consideration.

    Also, want to reduce your one designer per month turnover? Try letting people do their jobs and being there to support them. Instead of micromanaging and then blaming employees for delays, missed deadlines, and other shortcomings just let them do what you hired them to do. You have talented, competent designers, if you drop the design by committee mentally, and let them do their jobs your entire business would benefit and you wouldn't lose designers nearly as often.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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