Blue Nile
2.2 of 5 32 reviews
www.bluenile.com Seattle, WA 150 to 499 Employees

Blue Nile Reviews

Updated Feb 8, 2014

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2.2 32 reviews

                             

57% Approve of the CEO

Blue Nile President & CEO Harvey Kanter

Harvey Kanter

(7 ratings)

26% of employees recommend this company to a friend
32 Employee Reviews
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  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Senior Management
         
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  • Approves of CEO

3 people found this helpful  

Improving but not great just yet

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

I have been working at Blue Nile full-time

ProsFlexible hours
Understanding management
Respect of work-life balance (sometimes)
Relaxed environment

ConsNo great direction
Changing strategy
Quarter to quarter management and foresight

Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more in infrastructure and people

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

No balance and no clear competitive strategy

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Nile

ProsGreat 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

ConsDoes 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 Senior ManagementStart listening to employees and customers and stop pretending like you know it all

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1 person found this helpful  

Don't waste your time.

DjC (Current Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

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

ConsThey 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 Senior ManagementCare about your employees and offer support.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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6 people found this helpful  

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

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Nile as a contractor

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

ConsBait 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 Senior ManagementLearn 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Creative Minds Beware

Site Dev (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

ProsNiceish 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.

ConsSaying 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 Senior ManagementStop 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Perplexing management, high turnover ... blehh

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

ProsClose 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.

ConsMusical 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 Senior ManagementHave the various departments sign an armistice.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Poor Leadership

Marketing Coordinator (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

ProsCasual Work Environment
Nice People (for the most part)

ConsWell below average compensation
Poor overall leadership
Short sighted strategy
High Turnover

Advice to Senior ManagementChoose a strategy and stick with it. Invest in employee development and infrastructure, and yes that means you will have to spend money.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Merchandising/Buying Assistant

Merchandising Assistant (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

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

ConsMy 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 Senior ManagementTake 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Company needs trump employee needs

Diamond & Jewelry Consultant (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

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

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

ConsUnequal treatment of employees
Lack of training

Advice to Senior ManagementAs 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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6 people found this helpful  

Real change doesn't stick on the surface...

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Blue Nile

ProsDedicated, intelligent employees. Employees genuinely want to see the company succeed and put in many hours to do just that. You are surrounded by many smart people and will very likely walk away learning a lot.

ConsThe company is run so lean, that those same employees are stretched thin and burn out quickly. There is little to no reward for that effort. The issues have been identified by executives, but very little was done to truly fix it at the root of the problem. The increased turnover and falling trust in company leadership could have been avoided. There are many people in leadership positions who are good at what they do, but need to be given the tools to truly lead and manage people. Good leaders are not only smart, but know how to support and motivate people.

Advice to Senior ManagementAppreciate your employees. Reward their hard work and create a fun atmosphere. It’s okay to step away from spreadsheets for a break and even a smile. They deserve it. Focus on gaining their trust. Don’t make changes at the surface that won’t last. Build up the foundation and give people a reason to stick around.

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