Books-A-Million Reviews

Updated March 23, 2015
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2.5
509 Reviews
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Terry Finley
159 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    1 person found this helpful

    This company, store and management are amazing

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    I'm only writing this review because I have seen recent reviews of my store in South Portland, ME that were written by two friends who were very high maintenance.
    The management staff at our store is amazing. Probably some of the best managers in the company. The are hard working and push us to do our best all the time. The proof of this is the number of staff that comes back during their school breaks and after trying different ventures. There are also at least 10 employees currently on staff who started when the store first opened.
    The management staff is invested in each staff member and I have seen many of them crawling around on the floor, sweating more than the staff on many occasions.
    We have a great time and are always laughing and having a great time.
    This store gets awesome authors and we get to meet a lot of amazing people. The management has book signings down to a science.

    Cons

    Apparently the management needs to be more selective on hiring people who actually want to work for a living.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up, your staff is happy and you're doing a great job!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Books-A-Million Response

    Feb 26, 2015VP of HR

    Thanks for the great feedback about working in our South Portland, ME store! We are so proud of that location (and all of our others too), and love to hear about a talented staff that the associates ... More

  2. Book seller

    • 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

    Co-workers and books are nice.

    Cons

    Pay is not very competitive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make salaries competitive

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

    I liked working here; but at the same time I'm made to feel like I'm awful at my job and that I have no future here.

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Great Co-Workers, 2 week book loans, fair employee discount, lots of experience gained in a short period of time, discounts on things outside of the company for full and part-timers, great benefits for full timers (if you can manage to make your way to full-time, somehow)

    Cons

    Understaffed, very inconsistent hours, high expectations for aggressive sales on discount cards to the point of hours being cut drastically if you don't make percent which makes employees feel as if they might actually have to resort to dishonest sales tactics to keep their jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think that if we were taught better how to sell the cards before we're thrown on the register/cafe, that we might be better of selling them. When on the first day they put you on a register and say alright let's see what you got it gives a very bad first impression on as to what the job really is. Better benefits something along the lines of healthcare for employees would be a great way to keep the turn around rate down. And instead of using other cashiers to "motivate" those who are doing badly maybe just try to motivate them yourselves without making them feel like they're about to lose their job if they don't meet your expectations during the next shift. Instead of bragging about one person's sales, why not actually notice when someone else has good skills in something else.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Wonderful IF and only IF you can sell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Beavercreek, OH
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Beavercreek, OH

    I worked at Books-A-Million part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful set of people to work with and most managers really care about you.

    Cons

    You can and will be written up and/or fired if you do not sell discount cards and promote magazines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be yearly pay raises as an incentive to stay with the company. Dont simply see employees as "college students who are just going to leave anyway."

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Books-A-Million Response

    Mar 19, 2015VP of HR

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your employment with Books-A-Million. As part of our pay practices, we do provide annual reviews and increases for our associates. We are constantly looking ... More

  6. Our team is fantastic at what they do. We really are a BamFam!

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

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

    Pros

    The book checkout program, employee discount, and the great co-workers!

    Cons

    Scheduling is both a blessing and a curse because the hours are so variable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work. You keep us going with your positive spirit and outlook.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Books-A-Million Response

    Mar 19, 2015VP of HR

    Great to see that you're happy working in our store in Pottstown! We hope to continue and make our stores a great place to work. Thanks for the feedback.

  7. BAM is a great place to work, energetic and fun environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier in Bristol, VA
    Current Employee - Cashier in Bristol, VA

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

    Pros

    The people I work with. The managers are fantastic! They make selling fun.

    Cons

    Selling magazines. My manager coaches me and helps.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Books a Million is a great company to work for and a chance to advance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller/Barista in Myrtle Beach, SC
    Current Employee - Bookseller/Barista in Myrtle Beach, SC

    I have been working at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    Friendly coworkers, great management, flexible work schedules.

    Cons

    Long hours, we are open an hour later than all the other stores near us and the mall.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. decent job but pay is too low.

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

    I worked at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    Good hours good insurance people are nice.Management is very unorganized.

    Cons

    pay is too low. there is not many opportunities for advancement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    Love Working Here

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

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I absolutely love my co-workers and the management team. Pay is competitive with other retail companies, with additional incentives that other places do not provide. Promotions for specialist positions have been exclusively internal under the current management, and several booksellers have been promoted to management positions as well. It certainly appears to be a priority to promote from within.

    Management is completely understanding and willing to work with each associate so that their needs are met. However, you are expected to show up regularly and actually work your shifts. There is not a task I perform in the store that management hasn't been willing to help me with. The managers run registers, answer phones, shelve books, do customer service. Most of my co-workers hold themselves to high standards and are willing to help locate a book or help offer suggestions in genres that they are more familiar with than I am.

    Unlike other stores of this size, employees are expected to have detailed product knowledge and provide personalized customer service. You really need to read and know about books. If you can't recommend a book to a customer who just read a certain author, or a particular book, you might find it hard working here. In fact, you might feel stupid and belittled. If you arrive with a superior know-it-all attitude because you've worked part-time for 6 months at Target/Walmart/Best Buy on evenings and weekends while you go to college and live with your mom, you probably won't do so well here. However, if you are willing to learn and ask for help and make an effort to become familiar with the product, you will do fine. BAM requires a bit more intelligence than your run-of-the-mill retail job. You should know who wrote Slaughterhouse Five and Jane Eyre. You should know which book won the National Book Award and the Newbery Medal this year. You should be able to recommend at least a few books in several genres, or be willing to ask a co-worker for recommendations (for example, teen fiction is not my thing, but I have a few go-to coworkers who I can ask for help). Take the time and you'll like it here.

    Cons

    Hey, look. All retail establishments offer discount programs or store credit cards. It's the nature of the game. No bookstore operating a retail space can stay in business simply by selling books at list price. We are competing with online retailers offering steep discounts out of massive cheaper-to-run warehouses. We need to develop a relationship with our customers to get them coming back to us, and only us. One way to do this is to offer membership card benefits. Selling the card is part of the job, and this is openly disclosed during the interview process. Just as it is the associate's job to sell the card, it is the manager's job to help encourage the associates to sell the card. I have a sneaking suspicion that the current management team actually shields the employees from a lot of the pressure they themselves are getting about sales and discount cards. I have never heard an employee be mistreated because of card sales. Employees who are struggling are offered guidance sessions with successful associates and managers are always willing to give tips.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Who wrote Moby Dick?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    Good first job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Laurel, MD

    I worked at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    There are two that come to mind. An employee is able to "check out" a book for up to two weeks. As long as there is no damage, it's a free way to read. Also, the employee discount is actually an excellent benefit. 20% off every day except on payday, then it's 30% off. Not bad. They also have nice charity work they do. They work with the Salvation Army in emergencies and holiday time. They also have book drives for children's hospitals and schools.

    Cons

    The constant pressure to make your discount card quota. It's a never ending push that really makes it not worth coming in to work sometimes. It's pure profit for the company, and while I believe in this card, no amount of charm is going to work on folks who can't afford a $25 yearly fee when they need it for other essentials. The company doesn't care, and will cut your hours if they don't feel your doing enough to line their pockets sufficiently. Also, pay is a joke. In the last seven years working there I got exactly one raise. Not even a penny since then. Why stay? they don't seem to respect the truly wonderful employees they have even now. Like I said, a good first job, but don't stay too long, it's just not worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees.Even though I know you won't listen, try treating your employees with respect. Stop posting those ridiculous high fives on the company site. It's truly an annoying way of saying that "these employees are special, what's YOUR problem?" Try to extend real incentives to your workers. LOWER the discount card price or stop blaming the workers for low percentages.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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