Half Price Books Reviews

Updated June 21, 2015
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Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
6 Ratings

Pros
  • the employee discount makes it easy to build an enviable collection (in 12 reviews)

  • ridiculously inexpensive health insurance, great employee discount, quarterly profit sharing (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • As always in retail the pay is low but it''s made up for in benefits (in 7 reviews)

  • The pay is low but above minimum wage (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

6 Employee Reviews

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  1. Fun, engaging work place

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

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Worked in an environment where employees are valued!

    Cons

    As you'd expect, retail comes with it's share of downsides: the occasional grouchy customer or difficulty in obtaining holiday time. These were minor inconveniences. My experience at Half Price was good!


  2. Helpful (1)

    Was once a great place to work for, now not so much.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - On Line Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - On Line Bookseller in Houston, TX

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits such as healthcare, vision and dental. 401 K plans, sick days and vacations. Really great employee discounts.

    Cons

    No overtime, ever. Employees that are lazy and refuse to work as a team, meaning you will be expected to take up the slack created by some of these manager's pet employees. Dirty work environment that may cause problems with employees with previous respiratory health problems. Older stores are not maintained because corporate is concerned with expanding into newer territories and refuses to hire professional cleaners to come in periodically and remove dust and allergens. Managers, assistant managers, shift leaders, and store inventory managers that are chosen not by their ability to do the work but based on favoritism which extends all the way from district regional managers up to the corporate level in Dallas. This means you can work there for years have excellent employee reviews and still get passed over for promotions unless you date, marry or kiss a manager's behind for quite awhile.

    Advice to Management

    District regional managers it might be time to reassess the people you have been allowing to manage your stores for years. These would be the Kirby and Montrose locations in Houston. Sure the store profits are high but it is because of the locations they are in not by the work of your store managers. They abuse their powers, neglect issues that occur within their stores and hide from the responsibilities that they were hired for in the first place. Also, District Regional Managers, and you know who you are, if you are married to one of your store managers within your operating region, then consider following the rules set by corporate, even though the CEO Sharon "Boots" Anderson Wright doesn't follow this rule herself. Remember she owns the company along with her sisters, and they can run the business into the ground if they chooses to do so, you cannot.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Was Once A Great Company to Work At

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

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discounts on books, DVD's and CD's. Good healthcare and 401 K program.

    Cons

    District managers that will not follow company rules regarding spouses working within the same region. Managers that are blind to problems within their employees and favoritism. Promotions based on friendship instead of past work performance and more on nepotism. If you look closer into this company you will see the problem starts with the CEO and trickles down which allows this type of behavior to prevail. I saw this first hand when I was sent to Dallas to train for a new position in the company. They were more interested in drinking and spending company funds on partying, than the job at hand. If the rest of the employees nationwide knew how much money is squandered on the daily drinking "meetings" by the upper management, I believe they would mutiny. But hey, what do you expect when the CEO didn't earn the position, by was given it, due to simple fact that her mother owned the company and then put her husband in the number two seat?

    Advice to Management

    Sorry I cannot offer any advice because most of the store managers got their jobs by brown nosing the district managers. I know this first hand after working solo in a position that required two employees to perform the daily tasks for over six months. Instead of being rewarded for a job being done very well, (according to my yearly review) I was passed over for a promotion that the district manager said didn't exist. It was given to his lackey, that didn't even work in my department. Five years later the company decides to move the entire department to Dallas, effectively laying off everyone in my department with the exception of the district manager's boot lick that was given my promotion.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    It's alright

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

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They don't cut your hours, everyone is full time. They also have decent medical and don't take this out of your paycheck. Everyone gets a chance to work register, stock, and buy. I have talked to former co-workers that told me they were able to be hired with a federal offense. You also have some freedom in how you arrange your sections.

    Cons

    There is a certain attitude that prevails of self righteous hipsters and if you "fit" you can get away with anything. I went to management with a complaint of sexual harrasment against another employee and was told that he had had multiple other female employees accuse him of sexual harrasment, but he was too fast of a worker to let go. I was then moved away from the section I loved. Only friends and girlfriends of shift leaders were promoted. Finally, when I transferred I was given no choice, but to work the late shift every day.

    Advice to Management

    To the district management I recommend they take a look at the power trips of store managers and shift leaders. Check on the work they actually do and listen to the opinions of lower employees.


  6. Great place to work. I wish I could afford to keep it as my only job.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Houston, TX

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly, fun. Good training and benefits.

    Cons

    Usual retail issues - but the hours aren't as early or late as a lot of places, and fewer really bad customers.


  7. good outweights bad better retail

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

    I have been working at Half Price Books full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    benefits like insurance, sick pay, vacation paid, holidays paid, bonuses, hour paid lunch, flexible hours, and 50 percent discount on already half off merchandise.

    Cons

    politics in store, slowly becoming more coporate like, fast expandsion making training good employees hard.

    Advice to Management

    Take it easy on changes. its never hurt us being the way we are. wait for one change to settle and then more on to another.



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