Books-A-Million

  www.booksamillion.com
  www.booksamillion.com
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Books-A-Million Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
389 Reviews
2.1
389 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Terry Finley
107 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The employee discount increases on pay day which is quite a temptation (in 69 reviews)

  • My list of pros are just like everyone elses: I really enjoy the book checkout program (in 23 reviews)


Cons
  • First of all, when I first started at books a million the discount card was only (in 152 reviews)

  • Hours are cut if cards and magazines do not meet the requirements (in 54 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Easy Job

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

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

    Pros

    Easy work. I have several years retail experience and this is one of the easiest jobs I have had. The book check-out program is awesome and the discount is really good. So far, I have no complaints really. Because the bonuses we receive are based on store performance, those who don't care to meet their individual goal are given very few hours so they are not interfering with those who actually try too much.

    Cons

    The metrics for magazine subscriptions and club memberships can be tough sometimes. Most of the time I reach my goal or pretty close to it. There are some associates who don't even try so even when I don't reach it, I still look better than them on paper. However, they drag down the entire store average and if the store doesn't reach their goal, no one gets the bonus they worked hard for. Oh, and did I mention the pay is minimum wage? A little disappointing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of giving those who try very little to meet their goals few hours, GET RID OF THEM. there are plenty of people out there willing to work hard.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    A very difficult job.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Books-A-Million part-time

    Pros

    - Great employee discounts.
    - You can borrow books for up to 2 weeks
    - Management and fellow associates at the location I work for are amazing. Very kind, smart, and respectful people who are there to help you learn the ropes.

    Cons

    The pressure to sell the $25 dollar discount cards, as well as the magazines is borderline outrageous. 20% of your total sales HAS to be from the cards/magazines, or you WILL get your hours cut. You can be the most considerate associate, who works hard and always puts the customer first - but it won't matter if you cannot make your weekly percentage (5%). The managers at my store are all fantastic, and I feel so bad for them when they feel the pinch of Corporate coming down on them because of a lack of card/magazine sales. . . but I feel worse for the customers. At times it feels like harassment, especially when it comes to the pushing magazines (seriously, anyone who is smart knows that "free trial" is gonna turn into a huge, whopping bill if they forget to cancel . . .). I've seen customers up and walk out after being hounded to buy the cards. I want to build a relationship with my customers so that they continue to shop here!!! I will gladly offer them the card, but if they don't want it, then I shouldn't have to make them feel bad for choosing not to buy - or have my employment jeopardized in the process.

  3.  

    Working in an environment of book retailing, I had a wonderful experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate  in  Paramus, NJ
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Paramus, NJ

    I worked at Books-A-Million part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Since I excelled at sales, my hours for the following week was always consistent. BAM bases your hours scheduled on your sales quota

    Cons

    BAM bases your hours scheduled for the following week on your sales quota.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A consistent schedule and a more intense training program, particularly at the POS, would improve moral and production

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Loved the Books, but over worked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant General Manager  in  Melbourne, FL
    Former Employee - Assistant General Manager in Melbourne, FL

    I worked at Books-A-Million full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The love of books and the subjects they cover. Love the book loans for employees and discount of books, discount for purchases.

    Cons

    Always cutting labor and adding more projects on top of every day work....understaffed. Low pay, was told to be aggressive on the sale of the discount card.

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager  in  Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Nashville, TN

    I have been working at Books-A-Million full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    good pay and flexible work schedule

    Cons

    closing stores on a regular basis

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Alright work, needs to be run better.

    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Former Employee - Bookseller

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

    Pros

    Relatively good schedules
    Got to earn bonuses through sale of cards
    Relaxed environment, it is a book store
    A lot of independent work
    Never too much clean up

    Cons

    Managers didn't communicate between each other
    Favorites were chosen and given more flexibility
    Felt a bit lost because at times people didn't know what they should be doing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate better

  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Highs and lows over seven years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller/Barista  in  West Palm Beach, FL
    Former Employee - Bookseller/Barista in West Palm Beach, FL

    I worked at Books-A-Million full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I genuinely enjoyed working with the staff. Much of the staff was around my age (20's). If you love reading, BAM is a virtual library where you can check out any book for two weeks. The 20 % discount is a little low for employees (30 % on certain days), but I guess with the markup on books is less than clothing and other items in retail. A good first job or for someone who only has to work part-time.

    Cons

    As has been mentioned ad nauseum, the membership program is the only thing that matters at BAM. It's understandable from a corporate perspective, as if you add up proceeds from memberships they reach at least $20 million and don't offer that big a discount to customers. For every customer who spends thousands there is that customer who's convinced to buy a card on a $10 purchase and never comes back.

    However, the 5 % goal takes a toll on the store morale. When each manager comes in for the day the first question is "what is our %"? I ask an employee how he's doing (just to make casual conversation) and he replies with a comment about his percentage. There just aren't that many people willing to work for minimum wage that will excel at selling cards. I started out well at cards, but when the cost eventually rose to $25 it became harder and harder, especially when they expected you to sell the same amount as when it cost $20. I was able to stay on because I was versatile and had a good relationship with management, and was able to financially withstand the weeks when I would be cut to 1-2 days. If you want a full-time job, essentially you have to sell the cards. That being said, you won't get overtime and still may have hours cut if the budget is thin. Tension would be created because the store had to make the goal in order for everyone to get paid. Often times associates and managers would buy cards to make the goal, or to avoid having someone loses money in what the company termed SPIFF's.

    The company initially had a lot of positions outside of sales, such as kids and inventory, but eventually positions (including cafe manager) were taken away and taken over by "specialists" or simply the managers. If you become a manager, expect a lot of stress for maybe $25,000 a year (a little more for GM & AGM). They are left to do whatever cannot be done because of the lack of associate hours. The managers are pretty much given 45 hours a week, but have to do much more than just the daily managerial tasks. They would have a mid-manager on occasion, but they would be replacing an associate and filling in for other roles (often times the Joe Muggs cafe).

    Magazines for Millionaires, unlike the cards, are truly a scam that operate just on the borderline of legality. Some of the best card sellers were reluctant to express enthusiasm for the magazines, as we were taught to tell the customer just enough so they would say "YES".

    In the coup d' grace of my tenure, for about a year the plaza was undergoing renovations and we were excited about the stores we were getting. A few months before Christmas, I kept on hearing customers say they saw a zoning plan with a "PetSmart" instead of us. Rumors of our demise had been exaggerated for years so I didn't really follow up. The day after Christmas, we were informed the store would be closed shortly after the 1st of the year. It was devastating to me and much of the staff who had worked there for years. It was clear even the store management were left oblivious to the corporate decision to allow the lease to lapse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try focusing on books. When I started, we had only a small non-book section. By the time we closed, much of the front-half of the store consisted on trinkets, accessories, and Duck Dynasty paraphernalia. I understand the profit margin is astronomical, and I guess it's the only way to compete in the digital era, but it turned BAM into just another retail outlet.

    Understand that most workers cannot have their hours fluctuate on such short notice. Understand that when the turnover is great because staff is demoralized by expectations they cannot meet. Stop the DM's from micro-managing. If the store didn't make cards for two hours, managers were told to call the DM, as if he/she could possibly provide any advice we didn't already know. Don't pull cashiers from the register when they don't make cards for $600. Even the best salesperson can run into back luck and have a tough few hours on cards.

    Finally, the % quota is so bad I hear managers and associates groan when somebody comes in and spends a large amount of money. Either they already have a card, or if they say no the transaction is seen as an utter catastrophe. The emphasis on % leads honest and sometimes ultra-competitive employees to engage in nefarious tactics in order to make goal

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    I enjoy working at Books-A-Million and appreciate the opportunities I have to advance in the organization.

    • 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 full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    BAM does often promote from within and there is a real opportunity for advancement. The book checkout program and employee discount are great benefits. The home office is an exciting collaborative environment.

    Cons

    Retail can be hectic especially during the holiday season and there are challenges with operating the growing number of stores across the country but it is an exciting time to be at Books-A-Million as the company expands its retail footprint with different types of stores from BAM! to 2nd & Charles.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great staff; Crippling metrics

    • 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

    Great experience in customer service and retail, wonderful co-workers, management was good for the most part, awesome discount on books and other products.

    Cons

    Too much focus on front-end metrics (discount card, magazines, auto-renewals) and not enough focus on customer services. Unstable work environment; if you aren't making your metrics--you aren't getting hours!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Honor and respect the employees who are loyal and work hard for the company! Make sure that the discount card and magazines are being sold honestly. Great customer service is what will keep the customers loyal to the company, not 10% off of books.

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

    Great Company!

    • 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 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I have a great boss and great co-workers. The work environment is healthy and supportive. The work is challenging and I enjoy coming to work each day.

    Cons

    The retail industry is challenging, and yet it is fascinating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please continue to offer the quarterly webcasts by the President of the Company. I leave each webcast, informed, motivated, and proud to work for this great company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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