Books-A-Million

  www.booksamillion.com
  www.booksamillion.com

Books-A-Million Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
432 Reviews
2.2
432 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Terry Finley
128 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The employee discount increases on pay day which is quite a temptation (in 79 reviews)

  • Book checkout program - any book in the store can be borrowed for two weeks (in 26 reviews)


Cons
  • I felt like a robot I had to sell so many discount cards or I was bashed by the managers (in 167 reviews)

  • Hours are cut if cards and magazines do not meet the requirements (in 58 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, lackluster company.

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Books a Million was a positive work experience in terms of... experience. It was my first "real-world" job, and I grew much while working for them. I learned a lot about providing quality customer service, how to tend to a cafe, make drinks, bake cookies and all the other responsibilities assigned to a Barista. The brightest point of my work experience was working with the customers. I loved the satisfaction of getting compliments from happy customers, or seeing their smiles while they enjoyed their drinks. Co-workers were also splendid, humble people who made me feel right at home.

    Cons

    The amount of work the Barista is required to do, for minimum pay, is absurd. You are required to tend to a pretty long list of tasks which must be completed each shift, while serving customers in a satisfactory manner and helping co-workers in the bookselling department. Some of those tasks that are required of baristas go from cleaning and maintaining the cafe area, to sweeping and mopping the lobby, cleaning the bathrooms, baking cookies, helping over at bookselling if things get crowded, organizing the backroom storage, keeping tabs on perishables and replacing them if needed, listing inventory at the end of the day, and more, all while still servicing the customers and making the drinks of course. You don't get any benefits of course, and sometimes, you have to do work from other departments as well. My worst memory was working like crazy before closing time, trying to burn through the list of tasks I had left in hand (because I'd been assisting customers constantly during the shift), and seeing the workers at bookselling texting and reading books without lifting a finger to help.

    Also, and not to be overlooked, associates in BAM are required to sell a certain number of membership cards per month. If the quota is not met, the associate in question might lose their job. This is also true about their magazine subscription. Every associate is required to sell the subscriptions and memberships based on how much money they make at the cash registers, or else you are at risk of losing your job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a maintenance crew to clean the store and maintain the restrooms. It's not a good idea to have the guy making your cookies and signature drinks scrubbing the freshly used toilets.

    Divide tasks more equally between the bookselling and barista departments. We can't do an excellent job if we have to act as the maintenance crew and help bookselling do their thing, because they surely don't help over at the cafe, despite the plethora of responsibilities placed on the guys over there. This is especially true at closing time.

    Do away with the membership card requirements for keeping our jobs. I understand the importance of selling the Millionaire's club card - it keeps customers coming back, because they'll want to make the most out of their $25 card. But it doesn't have to mean associates losing their jobs over it, it shouldn't. That is simply quite unfair and not very attractive for new employees.

    Bump the salary a little bit. If you're gonna have baristas working 3 departments at once, at least give them a stronger incentive to do so.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    If it wasn't for my coworkers, I'd be out of here.

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    My co-workers are my life
    Joe muggs
    I work at one of the top stores in the United States
    My bosses work hard to make us feel like a family

    Cons

    -The discount cards are too expensive and we shouldn't force costumers to buy them.
    -It's silly that I can be written up for not getting my goal on magazines when people clearly know it's a scam.
    -Donations, while good in theory, suck. People don't want to donate to a million organizations every time they come in.
    -We are a bookstore. I love books. This is why I chose this job. Discount cards and magazines are not books and that's all I do.
    -Books A Million claims to be a Christian cooperation, yet we work thanksgiving and Christmas eve? No. Barnes and Nobel are even closed then. That's just not right.
    -We have a man we work with that constantly crosses the line with costumers about religion. Yet our bosses have been ordered by upper management to not do anything about this because they're scared of him. How illegal is this?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to take your employees into more consideration. As a dying product, books are becoming extinct. We are already pushing going out of business for that simple fact. We need to do everything we can to stay in business which means, stop with the damn magazines at least. And make cards at least $20 or something cheaper.

  3.  

    90 Day Check In

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    Grounded in values, small town company thinking with large company results, traditional and eclectic all at the same time.

    Cons

    Fear based management style slowing changing, in some functions titles matter more than they should

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The effort and open mindedness is admirable. Continue to remain honest with a standard set as high as the company needs it to be. Give youth something to aspire to.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Didn't know I applied for YoMo...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Hanover, MD
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Hanover, MD

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    1) Flexible hours; 2) Talking to book lovers from all walks of life; 3) Discount, which is 30%; 4) Book Checkout Program; and, 5) Advanced Reader Copies/Editions. That about sums up the benefits.

    Cons

    Hm, where to start? First, the training is horrible. I've been at the job for two or more months now, and I still don't feel properly trained. The training, and designated trainers, are sporadic. I also found it completely ridiculous that my "register" training was really just them teaching me how to sell (*cough* force *cough*) the card. None of the important technical functions of the register were explained. Second, the SPIFs and benefits received from selling the cards and magazines weren't explained very well. I still don't really know how it works, and since it's not my main motivation for working at BAM, I'll just remain ignorant. Third, I didn't know that I was considered a YoMo employee as well. Why in the world should I, as a Bookseller, have to wash dishes, clean the YoMo area? It also doesn't help that the YoMo employees always leave the dishes in the sink so that the booksellers pretty much have to do them after we've clean our part of the store. Which brings me to another con: why is that place understaffed all the time? The company knows darn well it takes two individuals to close YoMo. The book part of the store is understaffed most of the time, too. Next, we have to clean, which is not the problem, but it's only bad because we rarely have adequate supplies to clean at all. Why don't we have gloves, and why do we have 10 vacuums that don't work? I also don't think we have holiday pay, but you want me to work on Thanksgiving...um, ok. The opportunities for advancement or for a promotion seem rather limited as well. It's going to be really interesting to see how the company handles the minimum wage increase that is coming for Maryland. BAM will probably just skimp and save by cutting hours and understaffing the store even more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a better training program; stop pushing the cards (and magazines) so hard, no one should be scared to be fired because they can't make their "goals" by forcing additional products/donations down customers throats; make sure stores have adequate supplies; make sure YoMo has two people in the stores at all time; and, reduce the merchandise on the register counters.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great retail experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Edwardsville, IL
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Edwardsville, IL

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The best part for me is the employee discount. I spend a lot of money on books, so the discount is great! I also love that I can borrow books for two weeks. It's better than a library because I can even borrow new titles. Working at Books-a-Million has also given me good experience working retail. My store managers are also wonderful. They make work fun, while also challenging us to do better.

    Cons

    As far as I know, everyone is initially hired part-time. I wish I could have been hired for a full-time position. It's also very disappointing when we don't get our payouts for selling the magazines because our coworkers didn't meet the goal for the week. That doesn't make for happy work relationships.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I really like my store managers. They trained me very thoroughly and are very flexible with scheduling. I'd say my only advice would be to offer more perks or motivation for selling cards and/or magazines. For example, if I sell 30 magazine subscriptions in one week and the store still doesn't meet its goal, it would be nice if I could maybe get a free drink from the cafe or be recognized somehow for selling the most magazines.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Love the products.

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to do what I love I every day.

    Cons

    Lack of communication from corporation to field.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open communication between corporate and field.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Fun first Internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - IT Internn in Franklin, TN
    Former Employee - IT Internn in Franklin, TN

    I worked at Books-A-Million as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere, engaging work, great people

    Cons

    Sometimes wasn't very sure of what management wanted.

    Recommends
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Sick and Tired of Feeling Like I'm Not Good Enough!!

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Love LOVE the people I work with. We are like family.
    The Employee discount is really good. Very glad that we now get a higher discount everyday and not just on Pay Day.

    Cons

    I don't even know where to begin. First and foremost, those stupid membership cards and magazines. I thought we were here to sell books, NOT membership cards. I have had people tell me personally that they go over to the cafe to check out because they don't wants us cashiers to talk about the card. The customers do not want these cards.
    Pertaining to the magazines, it's a rip off. I had a friend do the magazines as an experiment and she is still waiting for her magazines and she did it over 7 wks ago! I have had customers tell me it was a terrible experience to cancel the magazines and they would never do it again!

    We really should have been closed on Thanksgiving. Barnes and Noble were closed and we should have done the same thing. It seems like corporate cares more about a profit than their employees who gives this job everything they can give.

    WE have a guy at out store who severely crosses the line with customers and employees pertaining to religion. He argues with customers about religion and even tells them how bad they are when they buy something he doesn't like.

    We are now getting customers to donate books for a local charity. It's a wonderful thing but our GM has made it a terrilbe experience. We were told that we were forbidden to let any customer donate a book that was less than $5. I thought this charity was for kids, not about corporate numbers. It's digusting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees. When we say there is a problem, look into it. Don't tell us "our hands are tied". Take control of the employees. Don't let some run the store for you. You are in charge, not certain employees. Stop with the threats of our jobs if we dont make goal for a week. We are trying our best.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    I wouldn't accept again

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    As everyone before me has stated : The coworkers are, typically, amazing. I have met some of the best people in my six or so months working as a Bookseller, both customer and employee.

    There supposedly is some sort of book checkout program, but, from what I have seen only the favorites actually do this. Also, it feels shady to me to sell used books at new prices; same goes for the losers who hang out in the store, reading, but never buy ANYTHING other than a pain coffee or free water.

    For me, normally my work-life balance is excellent, if requests for normal days off or absolutely neccessary events call for time off, I can normally get it. My managers always ensure we get our school scheduled days off. That's nice.

    All in all, my managers are great; I know it's not their fault for the crap that goes on. I feel as bad for them as I do my friends and myself.

    Cons

    Holidays, however, are different. Time off is a pain; we only hired in two seasonal people due to tight budgets, so almost everyone works holidays (since we are open all day Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve - not even to mention holidays for those of other faiths aren't even worried about). I requested off for a day for finals reviews, and still didn't get it. Guess I'll study at the register.

    There is no such thing as promotion, raise, or benefits unless you gain favor by hawking the card, magazines, or whatever donation there is. Or can just kiss butt really well; I can't do any of those things, unfortunately.

    Benefits? What benefits? We got $70 for Thanksgiving food... which little to no one worked that day to eat it... that's it.

    Oh, cards. Discount cards are the bane of my existence. I don't even bother trying with magazines (Everyone knows those are pure profit and scam for anyone dumb enough to sign up for them; canceling them is even worse since we feel so bad for those who sign up for it that we offer to cancel them for them if needed - anything to get that number.) I came into this job with a great work ethic and drive to work at my "dream" retail job. I am constantly told about my great customer service skills by the customers and coworkers. HOWEVER, my hours keep getting cut because I cannot sell enough of whatever trill the corporate office comes up with. I have to be comforted by my husband nightly because I cry from stressing out about not being able to do my job well enough despite my tries. That is unacceptable for an employee to have to worry that much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lower the discount card price; you still make profit from it, and your lower price would make Barnes and Noble weep. Undercut their card price, and you could easily get more through your standard of cheaper books and cards.

    Respect your employees. If you don't like our performance, don't cut out hours without word. TALK TO US. Asa student, I barely make rent off of my 7.50/hr for 20 hours a week - and I have a cheap apartment. If we are scared we can't afford to live, we can't focus on doing a good job. Hold intensive training for struggling employees, and as managers should be the best former booksellers, show us how it's done. We'd do a lot better like that.

    Respect your customers. Don't see them as cash cows waiting to buy a card. Work on building a relationship and trust; as you see them shop often in your system, and refusing a card, wait a few tries or put a hold on their names. Then when they feel safe in shopping, we can casually recommend the card.

    Kick magazines to the farthest curb possible. So many stores are doing these now, and no one wants them. Literally, no one.

    Close the store earlier to conserve expenditure. Bookstore literally have no need or call to be open past 9 P.M. The only people who come in are usually teens or people who Loss Prevention has to closely watch. That hurts you and us. We get less time between shifts, and you get more stolen from tired employees. These new holiday hours are even worse: 2 P.M. - midnight on Thanksgiving? You have to be kidding me.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    The Owners Care....about themselves.

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

    I worked at Books-A-Million (more than an year)

    Pros

    Timely arrival of books. Relatively clean environment. Co-workers are a good hard-working bunch: long suffering, yet cheerful. The selfishness of the Anderson empire as run by Finley always gives a feeling of cohesiveness to the troops - as in "have you heard the latest idiocy?"

    Cons

    Terrible pay, iffy benefits.Virtually no training. Incredible bias and hypocrisy in regards to religion and alternative lifestyles, family values, privacy. Like most poorly managed stores, BAM rewards outrageous examples of bad behavior and ineptitude with promotion.However, promotions are generally in name only and do not come with additional leap in pay. If you do get benefits, you can be sure mgt. will fight you if you try to use your insurance when injured on the job. And injuries happen, frequently because of poor working conditions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get with the 21st century. Show respect for your employees. Perhaps pay a living wage...not only to your p/t people, but for your supervisors and store managers (really....29,000 for mgt position?).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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