Overstock.com Reviews

Updated July 21, 2015
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Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne
Patrick M. Byrne
47 Ratings

Pros
  • Just like some of the other reviews mention, there is a great work/life balance here (in 32 reviews)

  • They pay well and the work environment is very diverse and accepting (in 27 reviews)

Cons
  • Others get chewed out by middle- or upper-management even when they're doing an excellent job (in 31 reviews)

  • Senior Management - CEO and current President - have no interest in building a profitable business (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

67 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (17)

    Revolving door

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Leadership Member in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Leadership Member in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    *401k, *the people in the trenches are hard working and innovative. *Compensation is at market for most

    Cons

    *Constant turnover at the highest level of the company. In the last two years we have lost our SVPs in people care (HR), business development, technology, and legal. Look at our 5 year turnover rate of the leadership group. We have also lost several VPs, Sr. Directors, Directors and Managers. Although these are spun as people moving on for personal growth many of us see how people are forced out. *Work life balance: This should be called work balance because you have to balance work and hope for a life. While it is understandable to have to do some long days while part of management this is beyond. People, myself included, have cancelled vacations, missed recitals, games, graduations, weddings, funerals, and more. Meetings are a way of life in the company lasting into the early evening making it very difficult to plan anything outside work. *Nepotism: Amazing how family members of the highest ranking people in the company are all in fortuitous positions ( we call it the first family- that should be self explanatory). *Fear based leadership: I have seen numerous people reprimanded in a group setting, so much so they left the company. It is not uncommon for the President or SVPs to call a person into a meting and publicly humiliate them. I have also seen a manager, director or sr. director lose their job carrying out the vision set forth by the senior executive team and then vilified after they leave. People in all areas of the company are in constant fear the President will release her rage on them and they will be out of a job. This should not be a surprise since the motto is "if you are not going to kick a man while he is down, when will you kick him". *Talking out of both sides of our mouth: We celebrate our military service members (as well we should) by touting their leadership and other abilities. Where are they? All our military who were in leadership roles are gone. What happened? good one day gone the next. Does our culture not mesh with their traits? Great we support Wounded Warrior Foundation and Special Warrior Fund, but money donations are not everything. Give a man a fish... *Tail wagging the dog: If our Senior Executive team is not going to back and trust our "leadership team" (VPs, Sr. Director and Directors) why have it? *No direction: we rarely give an idea or new business unit a chance to take off. Each project is given minimal time to correct bugs before someone feels they need to swoop in and save it or scrub it and move on.

    Advice to Management

    Probably won't listen since they have not taken any of these postings seriously thus far. If you are serious about fixing things look at this post and the others on here. People are afraid for their jobs, stop leading by fear you have great people.


  2. Helpful (6)

    Very dissatisfied

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Technology in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    flexibility in schedule, company off-sites

    Cons

    apathy runs rampant and is contagious, people do not show up to meetings they accept, good ideas get support then no action, focus on operations/implementation at the expense of strategy and vision

    Advice to Management

    see the forest for the trees, embrace competitive intel, hire smarter/higher quality employees with a track record from notable companies


  3. Helpful (21)

    Roller coaster ride

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

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The employees, Lagoon day, 401 K plan, concert during care week.

    Cons

    Unorganized,no consistency, unstable. Poor environment, nepotism, uncommunicative vision. All the passion that made overstock great seems to have disappeared.

    Advice to Management

    Address high turnover. It's scary that HR and the company therapist are now jumping ship with all the rest.


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  5. fun experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Department in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - IT Department in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Fun work environment, CEO is fantastic

    Cons

    Long commute, President is a bit uptight and yells out loud at employees.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be so mean to your help, learn how to listen


  6. Helpful (3)

    Do it

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Overstock.com (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to cut your teeth

    Cons

    Well, it has been summed up.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Customer Care Rep

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Care Representative in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Customer Care Representative in Salt Lake City, UT

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great Co-Workers, Fun Activities, food trucks available during day shift, discounts

    Cons

    Low Pay for what a employee has to do, low pay in general, promise you things in interview then do not keep their promises, have their favorites

    Advice to Management

    team leads do not like to help nor do they want to take supervisors calls


  8. Helpful (29)

    Two people matter

    Current Employee - Finance
    Current Employee - Finance

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    This review is geared towards prospective employees and discusses some elemental considerations that impact employment here. - Work with great peers. The front-line employees and their managers are really good people who are very innovative and forward thinking. You'll enjoy working with them and learn a lot in the process. - Can learn some deep skills within an industry in a short time frame and springboard to a better company. Aside from Amazon and Ebay, there are few pure e-tailers the size of Overstock.(Actually, Wayfair will soon surpass Overstock b/c our leadership has been asleep at the switch, chasing losing, pet projects.) It's big enough to actively copy the leading edge of e-commerce, and give you skills (or the ability to speak somewhat intelligently about those skills) to be very employable. And projects here are decided on whims and invented projections and measured against phony numbers (if at all) so that you can really have considerable access to and influence over some very expensive technical resources. - Company has potential to succeed, but that's never been meaningfully exploited and sustained. Overstock's disastrous dives are documented in other reviews, in the news, and recorded earnings calls. (Byrne, to his credit, has owned up to the worst of these, at least verbally). That the company still exists is a testament to financial reality eventually sinking in with the CEO. That it isn't 3x to 5x larger than currently is indicative of a very unsteady hand at the helm and an ineffective board and senior management team. Still, given Overstock's size, tenure, and ability to exist and occasionally thrive on such thin margins, its yet-to-be-realized potential is a definite pro.

    Cons

    - CEO: This is a publi company, but not really; It's his way or the highway. That's fine, and that makes sense given his financial family inheritance, and his proxy vote for his family and other board members. It's reality. This is NOT an ad hominem smear, but a valid concern for anyone considering employment here. He's a poor judge of character, irrationally reliant on devout trust in and devotion towards him and his abusive, flighty, and paranoid ego. Those whom he has personally mentored into leadership positions would be and actually are hard pressed to find even remotely equivalent employment elsewhere (and have actually lead their personal lives to ruin under his tutelage). So the CEO is one of two people that ultimately matter. (The CEO is quite bright and would make an entertaining lecturer or dinner guest, but these traits don't translate into his presence being a pro of employment at Overstock.) - President: You shouldn't cross the President whose emotions, whims, hobbies, and ire are followed by her pawns -- and quite often by the CEO -- with Pavlovian aplomb. What makes this unique and a con is: 1) the fact that the President has a long and twisted relationship with the CEO where he appears to be directly controlled by the President (e.g., the CEO says he won't tolerate dishonesty, but the President regularly lies to him and plays him like a fiddle), and; 2) that the President is financially illiterate, both in fluency with data and P&L, and personal finances (having had to be bailed out by). As a result, the company will always trip over itself. Like the CEO, the President is paranoid and a narcissist, so be warned that if you cross her or someone in her network, and you'll soon find yourself shown the door as scores of others have, both high and low. - Deep Capture: This is the name of the CEO's quite interesting and compelling blog where this self-styled, typo-ridden CEO-journalist endeavors to reveal the flaws in our financial/governmental systems. The concept of deep capture is that legislators and regulators -- those who are to ensure order and fairness -- are captured pawns of powerful and greedy financial barons. Why should prospective employees care? Because the CEO has unwittingly created the same scenario at Overstock, where he is the captor, and senior and lower executives are bound by velvet handcuffs from behaving rationally, justly, or even honestly. This is less troublesome in a public company than a democracy, but it will impact your potential job here (i.e., no one really has your back), so I thought you should consider it. - This next point is relevant given the Utah location. There's increasing anti-Mormon sentiment among leadership and at the company broadly. Consequently, deep schisms are being opened in the company culture. Statements that would violate protected classes are more frequently uttered in certain circles, and after work hours among management and sr. management. Those who point to some Mormon execs as counter-proof avoid the fact that these few are marginalized "yes men" who are on their way out, or are captured.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest to your direct and indirect reports about your purpose at the company. You are in your positions at the whim of the CEO (and by extension, the President), and so you've chosen not to bite the hand that feeds you. You're collecting a serious paycheck and not questioning or challenging anything. Actually, providing sound direction and guidance would seriously endanger your job, the monetary conditions you could not likely replicate elsewhere. So you remain a compliant accomplice to poor management. This matters to the potential employee because you should not expect any executives (or their direct reports) to have your interests in mind. Advice to CEO: Retire and name your already-chosen successor, unless you don't trust her.


  9. Helpful (24)

    Sound Technologly, Chaotic Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    + Vast majority of coworkers are smart, capable, friendly. + Good data and dev technology. If you are not learning, it is by choice. + Work/life balance is pretty healthy outside of holiday season. + Gives back to the community via Worldstock, Pets, etc.

    Cons

    - Compared to most other public companies, financial gain is a smaller portion of the decision making process. Testing new business models and channels is an executive priority. As a result, company strategy can come across as political and arbitrary. - Hard work and competence is often overlooked if you are not part of the inner circle. - Unprofessional conflict management. The president has no problem publicly humiliating employees or making preposterous personal threats when she has lost her temper. - Open work environment. Rows of desks with nothing in between. It breeds a culture of constant interruption. - High turnover that is not exclusive to the worker bees. There has been a large exodus at the Director and VP level over the last several months.

    Advice to Management

    The current business strategy seems to oscillate between eCommerce social experiment and a race to Fortune 500. Outpacing the market would be easier if there was a single strategy. It would also go a long way in reducing employee frustration. It's hard get behind a company when you are never sure of the main objective. The majority of employee frustration stems from poor communication. There is a large disconnect between leadership's actions and leadership's words. If you can find a way to bridge that gap, you will see turnover decrease and moral increase.


  10. Helpful (27)

    Once great.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    + Best dev organization I've ever worked with. + Great place to learn and grow. I had some great mentors there. + Good technology. Java shop. Open source. If your skills stagnate during your time at Overstock, it's your own fault. + Amazing how much dev, and dev ops, gets done given how small they are! I've worked with far larger, far wealthier companies who couldn't get a fraction of the work done. + Dev has a can-do attitude. Whereas at other employers, they’ll say “This is hard so we can’t do it” at Overstock they’ll say “This is hard. But we are going to do it.” + Two dev locations in the valley, northwest and southeast, may give commuters and homeowners some choice. + In the dev organization, mostly good managers. With one exception, the managers I reported to in my years there were good to great. + Flexible environment in an intelligent way: flexible hours when the work is getting done, bluebird ski mornings, focus on better software not more expensive suits. + Benefits are better than market average. + Overstock has not offshored their internal support, as so many others have foolishly done. The support is right there onsite, and they are good at their jobs. So when a monitor dies or a cooling fan stops spinning or whatever, they can get you back to work quickly. + Good corporate citizen: support for mass transit and ridesharing, involvement in food drives and the like, blood donations, local artisan sourcing, Mainstreet program....

    Cons

    - At some points a surprisingly juvenile corporate culture. In a morning meeting I observed some behavior that, frankly speaking, grown men should not be doing at work. - Inexcusably disrespectful to some employees. New hires don’t have a desk or a working computer for days. I had no workspace for weeks and walked around in search of an empty sofa in a corner or a desk of someone out sick. Ridiculous! This is just incredibly rude. I would never treat my employees like this. Inexcusable. - Years ago someone posted something like "They promote people they like whether they're good for the job or not." I wish I could say I knew this was false. - Recently a number of people have posted stories about the company's nepotism problem. I wish I could say I knew this was false. - During my last two years there I witnessed a steady departure from Agile, so if Agile is important to you, keep looking. - The company is in some ways very disorganized and still immature, so if a more organized and more professional work environment is important to you, keep looking. - Overstock was no longer a meritocracy by the time I left, so if you want to work in a meritocracy, keep looking. - The bonus program is an annual exercise in excuse-making, so make sure you are completely content with the base salary offered. What bothers me more than the money is the pattern of excuse-making. I never considered a bonus to be a right. But I expected the leadership above me to have integrity. - Inconsistent and arbitrary application of its own published policies. - Overstock hires the best and brightest technology workers anywhere, then forces them onto some ridiculous, harmful projects, then ignores repeated warnings, then blames the wrong people for the outcome. - Overstock has suffered from self-inflicted wounds. In my years there, I witnessed Overstock bow down to unimportant partners, and say "Gee thank you for telling us how we should run our business." Overstock has no problem firing its own employees at the drop of a hat. But they bow down to these partners, some of them a fraction of Overstock's size, and even when it puts Overstock at risk! Sometimes it seems like they just can't say no to these guys. And sometimes it seems like they don't understand or don't care that some of these relationships are actually contrary to Overstock's interests. - Warning: Have your own lawyer review the non-compete and advise you before you sign it. Overstock will tell you it's normal. It's way outside industry norms. That Overstock leadership keeps claiming it's normal isn't helping their cause. - Speaking of the non-compete, Overstock is supposedly, and publicly, committed to the free market, as they should be. Why then does Overstock resort to coercion in the labor market? And it is concerning that a company that supposedly respects its employees must resort to threats and bullying. That's not how respect is shown. - New hire orientation begins with a moving speech by the CEO in which he tells newbies they'll be fired for lying. Great start. Too bad truth-telling in this company can get you into trouble. - The physical plant, the workspaces and such, was in desperate need of reinvestment when I left. Broken furniture etc. Slumish. Unprofessional. This was very noticed when I arrived at my new employer, just how much of a dump I had come from. My new employer did ten times more to create an efficient, clean, safe, condusive work environment. - Despite many statements to the contrary over many years, Overstock remained an English-language, American-centered company. OK. Everybody has to start somewhere. But that’s not a long term winning strategy. And they should just stop talking about international markets if they’re not serious about it. - Managers are not always empowered to reward their high performers. Worse, managers are in some cases actively blocked when trying to do right by their high performers.

    Advice to Management

    There are people who have knowingly passed up to you falsified data in order to advance their own interests and/or push others down. You need to do to them exactly what you said you would do in the new hire orientation. This kind of behavior deserves one response from you: punishment. Some of these partners are ripping you off, or putting you at risk, and deserve nothing but to be drop-kicked. And don't forget, you already have great teams in house who could do the work better without risk.


  11. Helpful (22)

    Amazing Employees - Terrible Senior Leadership

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

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The people are some of the best i've ever worked with - smart, hardworking, collaborative and just generally fun.

    Cons

    The office politics are out of this world. It feels like high school. So much drama, with a total "in crowd" feeling among the executive team. If you're not adored by one of the execs, you're probably not going to move up in the company. If you say the wrong thing to one of them, you're out. HUGE impactful company decisions are made on a whim, and the employees are left to scramble and pick up the pieces. The majority of employees work REALLY hard and aren't recognized for that effort, or paid competitively, for that matter.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the amazing work ALL of your employees are doing, not just the two or three that you have on a pedestal. Stop using fear-based management techniques. You're never going to get a truly collaborative and innovative work environment if your employees are afraid to bring forth their ideas or disagree with your outrageously outlandish ones.



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