Books-A-Million Reviews

Updated October 28, 2014
Updated October 28, 2014
411 Reviews
2.2
411 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Terry Finley
118 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The employee discount increases on pay day which is quite a temptation (in 78 reviews)

  • You can also do a book checkout program, and we also get advance copies of books that we are free to have (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 166 reviews)

  • Hours are cut if cards and magazines do not meet the requirements (in 57 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to work!

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Love the book checkout system, and the employee discount was just increased to 30% everyday. Enjoy working with my team, including the DM, RVP, my staff and other store managers. Goals are challenging, but achievable, with the right team and focus.

    Cons

    All expenditures, including salaries, new store openings, even office supplies, are tightly budgeted. There is absolutely no waste, which can also be considered a pro, but approval for everything gets tedious. I think the CEO must have been raised by a mother who fed five kids on a sack of flour, a sack of beans, 3 lbs of government cheese, and four gallons of milk every month, because he certainly knows how to stretch a dollar. It's a great lesson for other companies, but if you like expensive, touristy locales for meetings, conferences, etc. look elsewhere. Salaries are low, but if you love the job, it's worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recent responses to Glassdoor surveys are a start to repairing your reputation, it's great that you take the reviews seriously. Keep it up, and follow thru on annual raises for staff and management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    I love working 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

    The books and non-books items are excellent.

    Cons

    Everything is overpriced and prices of items sometimes bothers customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Price-match!

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great work place

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Books-A-Million

    Pros

    Great people, great management

    Cons

    Selling card or bourse cut

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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Decent selection and customer experience, with poor organizational and management practices.

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

    I worked at Books-A-Million full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The usual retail bookstore perks of discounted merchandise and loaning privileges. Superlative periodical selection for customers and decent book selection overall. Great in store cafe!

    Cons

    Poor corporate communication and upper-level management. This company struck me as being highly inefficient and imbued with a culture of poor communication at the management and product distribution levels. Too great a focus on selling discount cards, given longstanding dominance of online retail book sales, particularly competition from Amazon. Customer retention is a worthy goal and discount card sales are sensible, but shouldn't be pushed to such a draconian degree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    After all these years in the retail book industry, it would behoove this company to take a good many cues from Barnes and Noble's playbook.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not for one with responsibilities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - YoMo Shift Lead/Cafe Barista/Bookseller/Cafe Lead
    Current Employee - YoMo Shift Lead/Cafe Barista/Bookseller/Cafe Lead

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

    Pros

    30% discount everyday (which just recently changed about a month ago), book checkout. My location was really flexible with my schedule. "Employee appreciation" months where you can get a free coffee or tea daily. Tips in the cafe, SPIFF pay.

    Cons

    At my location only 2 managers are full-time which makes majority of the stuff ineligible for benefits. They don't give raises. No holiday pay. Hardly any way to be promoted and if you do the pay is pretty terrible. We've always been understaffed. The only reason I have stayed is because they are so flexible with my schedule, otherwise it would be pointless. Never getting a raise or promotion makes it virtually impossible to grow as a person (i.e. get married and start a family) .. This job is more for the high school student who wants a good start then leaves once they get the experience and find something better or for a second job . You are required to be 18 years or older to work here .. but at the same time they start out at minimum wage. Which has been my locations problem as well, we can't get any one to apply to work there. We are constantly promoting on web pages, etc. Also, if you aren't a good sales person, this isnt the job for you. Their expectations are high and if you don't make percentage they'll take you off of the register. Because they are usually understaffed, you are expected to be in like 3 places at once.
    Company wise, they sentd us way too many copies of the wrong books which made presentation difficult. A lot of books end up overstocked, in stacks on floors, and we'd end up shipping them back against their wishes. Our bargain section is supposed to be front-facing however we have such a surplus of these books that they are all spine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think it's pretty pathetic when a company can't even afford to give their employees raises. I've made the same pay for 4 years after I was grandfathered in from Yogurt Mountain. In which case, I made more than the co-managers of Booksamillion and still do (which doesnt say much for what the co-managers makes because my pay isnt great). Company morale is pretty hard to come by when we have such high demands for M4M, MCC, coffee for the troops, and surveys.. among other monthly ventures but yet we can't seem to get benefits, holiday pay, or even any type of raises when the cost of living is constantly rising.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not the greatest place to work

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

    I worked at Books-A-Million part-time

    Pros

    Book loans for 2 weeks are nice and you get a good discount.

    Cons

    People had been working there for years without a raise, you get your hours cut when you don't sell many discount cards or magazines, they get you to trick people into buying them, not a very fun staff, it was full of drama.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer more opportunity for growth and higher pay for their time working for you and their hard work, employees talk about pay with each other. Try and offer a way of encouragement for selling cards nd when the goal is not met, just show more encouragment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Fine Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    Changes are being made to make the company a better place to work. Many employees are passionate about what they do.

    Cons

    Balance of workloads. Little work/life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on balancing workloads better.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    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.

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awful. Just, awful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Floor Employee in Joplin, MO
    Former Employee - Floor Employee in Joplin, MO

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

    Pros

    Loved the work atmosphere since I'm a big reader.

    Cons

    There are never raises, never opportunities to advance. The management is terrible, it's ran by a bunch of "stoners". They press you way too hard on selling cards, and something is always broken and never gets replaced. I worked at the store in Joplin, MO. Not all the bathroom stalls have locks, and the cafe to me, is not in health code. The store only "deep cleans" when they know upper management is coming.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat ALL employees equally, and cut the favoritism out. Help people advance in the company, and maybe do drug testing every so often. One man has been there nearly 5 years and hasn't gotten a raise yet, and he trained me and was awesome. As for management at this store, stop sitting in the back office and watching netflix, and actually help your fellow employees, please!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Worst place to work ever

    Former Employee - Cafe Manager in Myrtle Beach, SC
    Former Employee - Cafe Manager in Myrtle Beach, SC

    I worked at Books-A-Million full-time

    Pros

    The coffee is better than Starbucks and the employee library check out program is nice

    Cons

    You never feel safe. If you don't sell a butt load of club cards and magazine subscriptions they don't want you there even if you are an excellent employee in all other aspects and the customers love you. Employees who have been there for a long time are cheated out raises. After five years people are still working for minimum wage. They say that excellent customer service is their goal but never schedule enough employees in order to provide said service. They spew a lot of bull that they want employees to put the book in the customers hand when asked for a book but you are also not to leave the registers unattended and you have no help. I have seen managers throw stuff at employees. I have been told a line of BS that you can't call out during December without a doctors note, so unless you have the money you are force to come in with a fever and serve customers food. I wish DHEC came in that day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to those employees who you seem to always gush over because they sell so many cards and mags, they always seem to be the employees that get fired because of theft or card sale fraud. treat your employees with a little human dignity they are not dirt under our feet they are what makes your company run, listen to them. Schedule more people to work that way things can be kept clean and you can give good customer service. Ditch the MFM program it sucks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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