Half Price Books
3.7 of 5 58 reviews
www.halfpricebooks.com Dallas, TX 1000 to 5000 Employees

Half Price Books Reviews

Updated Feb 23, 2014

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3.7 58 reviews

                             

88% Approve of the CEO

Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright

Sharon Anderson Wright

(40 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend
58 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great health benefits and 401k, profit sharing"
    in 10 reviews
  • "You get to check out books (like a library) and get an impressive employee discount"
    in 9 reviews
Cons:
  • "Working on your feet all day for low pay can be taxing, but people who work at bookstores aren't there for the big bucks"
    in 3 reviews
  • "The starting wage is low, but if you stick with it you can make it into a career"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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Great environment

Bookseller (Former Employee)
Milwaukee, WI

I worked at Half Price Books as a contractor for less than a year

ProsGood work environment and a great employee discount. I was working amongst products in which I believe.

ConsAs a temp, I wasn't eligible for many benefits. It would be nice to treat everyone well in that regard. Working on your feet all day for low pay can be taxing, but people who work at bookstores aren't there for the big bucks.

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Fun for awhile

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Half Price Books full-time for more than 8 years

ProsGreat discount, good insurance, interesting co-workers, fascinating customers, every day is different

ConsStores are chronically unstaffed to save money, dying industry but still expanding, rampant favoritism, lack of a cohesive strategy

Advice to Senior ManagementConsistency, consistency, consistency. Communication is vital going forward.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great company, great benefits, expects a lot out it's employees.

Assistant Manager (Current Employee)
Mesa, AZ

I have been working at Half Price Books full-time for more than 3 years

ProsAmazing benefits (medical, dental, vision, 401k matching, generous employee discount, quarterly profit sharing bonuses that are the same from the president to the bookseller, 12 holidays a year, and two weeks vacation starting out that grows every year you work for the company). Great people, all the employees have a shared love of books that brings them together. Forward looking company, even though books seem to be a dying media the company continues to find new ways to sell them to keep us strong, so even when major books stores are closing down HPB continues to grow and add new stores every year. Competitive retail pay in AZ the starting pay is over $2.00 and hour more than minimum wage.

ConsThe work is hard, constantly moving boxes books for customers and within the store. You are expected to get a lot done in a short time period. To afford to stay financially viable in these times and to pay a starting wage so far above minimum wage means there are fewer people to do more things then there were in the past.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep a steady stream of information to the booksellers. The bookseller need to know why things change not just that they are changing.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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book seller

Book Seller I (Former Employee)
Lawrence, KS

I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than a year

Prosridiculously inexpensive health insurance, great employee discount, quarterly profit sharing.
library style "check out" of items, staff members have hold shelves for items they want to purchase or check out at a later time.

Conslow wage, starting wage was .75¢ above minimum wage. have to deal with dirty old books that might be moldy or have mouse feces or cat pee or other unidentified substances on them. people who sell their things can get angry about the offers made to them, and sometimes are a suspicious. (trying to sell stolen books)

Advice to Senior Managementmore employee appreciation and incentives

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fun, engaging work place

Assistant Manager (Former Employee)
Houston, TX

I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 8 years

ProsWorked in an environment where employees are valued!

ConsAs 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!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fun atmosphere and cool co-workers, but...

Bookseller (Current Employee)
Dallas, TX

I have been working at Half Price Books as a contractor for less than a year

ProsThe atmosphere is fun with cool laid-back co-workers who are easy to work with. They have great benefits. The co-workers all share a common denominator which was having an education but being out-placed in today's market or just being a free-spirit that wouldn't be able to survive in a corporate environment.

ConsWhat is concerning is the favoritism and nepotism going on. It doesn't matter how hard you work, If you are not apart of a "clique" or you don't "fit" in, you may be let go or terminated for something minor eventually, that's if they even hire you. They put you on a 3 month review or as a temp doing the things that the manager's and permanent employee's don't want to do. The long time and favored employee's were allowed to get away with being lazy, not answering phones, being rude to customer's, leaving before their shift was over and sometimes being late. Where as those who weren't apart of the clique were micro-managed and wrote up for little things. If you are not apart of the clique and you want to be hired full time, you have to go above and beyond the call of duty and do certain job duties that even the long-time permanent employees won't and don't do in order to impress management and be considered. I thought this was unfair. Alot of the employee's there were related or married to someone in the corporate office so you have to be careful what you do or say because it can get back pretty quickly and get messy. Overall, working here, I felt this store was not the most equal opportunity friendly unless you fit in with a certain group, class, or clique in which management is involved in. The store manager is definitely guilty of practicing this.

Advice to Senior ManagementStart hiring people that actually do their job and are hard workers and stop showing favoritism for employees that do little to nothing just because they are in your clique, group, status, share same sexual orientation, race or kiss up to you. It would make the store richer.

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It's alright

Bookseller (Former Employee)
Houston, TX

I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than a year

ProsThey 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.

ConsThere 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 Senior ManagementTo 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Okay, But I Wouldn't Go Back

Bookseller (Former Employee)

I worked at Half Price Books full-time for less than a year

ProsMajority of the coworkers are young and college-educated. A progressive and accepting attitude is typical amongst the employees. Liberal dress code, and there are no regulations regarding piercing and tattoo visibility (at least not for booksellers). The majority of customers are patient and sane. Generous employee discount, and a nice holiday check towards the end of the year. There is something very authentic and non-pretentious about this place, which I appreciate.

ConsBeing even 2 seconds late can and will cost you your job. I saw it happen more than once in the short time that I was there. Some of the booksellers and Store Inventory Managers regularly like to make-believe that they are full-blown managers and/or that they own the entire store. You have to stand your ground with these personalities, otherwise it will only escalate. If you are even slightly attractive (heck, even if you are not attractive at all), you can and will be the recipient of lustful advances from fellow employees and customers. A few of the employees are insanely gossipy, so steer clear of sharing information that you are not okay with the entire store hearing about. Some of the employees will get their flirt on with each other like they are hormonal 15 year olds; it gets really gross to be around after a while.

Advice to Senior ManagementTake sexual harassment seriously. Your unorthodox acceptance of dating relationships between employees has resulted in a workplace environment that quickly escalates from being friendly to being flirtatious to being harassing. I will not tell you to change your dating policy, but I do think that you are responsible for the unintended consequences that have resulted from it.

– I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Incredible! Being a bookseller was my favourite job, and I hope I'll one day get the opportunity to go back again.

Book Seller I (Former Employee)
Rockwall, TX

I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe energy was great, the managers were wonderful, my coworkers were amazing, you got the LATEST details on what's hot in book series, and the benefits were a grade A added bonus.

ConsI didn't get to spend as much time with my family and I missed a lot of important events because I had to work all the time.

Advice to Senior ManagementAll I would say is go easy on some of the smaller stores for Sundays. Sundays aren't always as busy as Saturday. Even though everyone comes to shop after church around noon, the traffic dies down after three or so, ESPECIALLY during football season. I've actually heard several complaints about the extra hours from customers for being open so late when everyone else in the shopping centers are closed early around 7 or 8. I've also got many complaints from customers about Military Discounts for all Military and their families.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great for many years until business got extremely coorporate.

Sales Associate (Former Employee)
San Antonio, TX

I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGreat health benefits and 401k, profit sharing. Salaries not very high, but there was much opportunity for upward mobility. Great vacation, sick leave, and maternity/ paternity leave.

ConsThe company mentality changed. They stopped hiring books sellers that new about books. They stopped being family oriented, and wanted to hire employees who would focus on the store first before anything else. I was told that people pursuing degrees or with outside interest would not be hired.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf headquarters wants to run a happy, healthy and smart work place they need to focus on having happy and smart employees. They need to do more secret shopping and investigate how all districts are maintained.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Half Price Books reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Half Price Books CEO Sharon Anderson Wright. All 58 reviews posted anonymously by Half Price Books employees.