Half Price Books

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Half Price Books Reviews

Updated February 20, 2015
Updated February 20, 2015
93 Reviews
3.4
93 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
63 Ratings

Review Highlights

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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great company to work for with fun co-workers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Cashier in Appleton, WI
    Former Employee - Cashier in Appleton, WI

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

    Pros

    flexibility of schedule, patient and understanding management, co-workers and managers that love their jobs, ability to borrow books and music.

    Cons

    Slightly inadequate heating in our location made for some cold days at work during the winter.

    Recommends
  2.  

    For a retail job, it's great, with excellent benefits.

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits are excellent, both fringe and actual. Insurance is very good, too. While things do get busy, the atmosphere is relaxed: very loose dress code, and coworkers are allowed to laugh and enjoy themselves. Upper management cares about its employees and the values the company stands for. There is room for upward mobility, with opportunities to become a shift leader, store manager, and upwards.

    Cons

    No set schedules for booksellers; it can be hard to plan things. As with any retail job, one will deal with the public - who often get angry. The pay is lower than one would hope for, but this is counterbalanced by the excellent benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Not For Adults

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Orland Park, IL
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Orland Park, IL

    I worked at Half Price Books

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere for book lovers/nerds of all kinds (I mean that autobiographically and with love). Birthdays off as a paid holiday. Pleasant work. They move you around throughout shift so you don't burn out on any one activity.

    Cons

    Low pay and constantly changing schedule. Despite guarantee at interview from manager that I could have a steady schedule (I am a parent and need to arrange childcare), it was all over the place and coming out last minute. Hence, I say this isn't a place for people with families.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great people, awful pay

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

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

    Pros

    Great work environment with great people. Most of the employees are highly intelligent people that you can actually have conversations with. In my location I think there was only one person that didnot have a college degree. you get plenty of perks like an hour paid lunch break, paid holidays, sick time, and vacation. Excellent health insurance.

    Cons

    Very low pay for what you have to deal with. Customers are generally disgusting. Regularly blow up the bathrooms which we had to clean up. The majority of the buys we dealt with were absolute garbage and went straight to the garbage or recycling. This is stuff straight from grandmas basement or attic covered in mold and cat pee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees what they are worth!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good Benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Half Price Books

    Pros

    Most of the customers are friendly and easy to interact with because for the most part they are well read. Management focuses on promoting from within, especially when the right people are available.

    Cons

    As is general with retail, most of the staff are unmotivated and tend towards lax behavior. Management could possibly offer more positive incentives to improve on work habits and skills.

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Shift Leader

    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Half Price Books

    Pros

    great co-workers, access to amazing merchandise, relaxed atmosphere, good discount, good health insurance

    Cons

    dismal wages, poor leadership, irregular schedule, physically stressful, unhappy customers

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was Once A Great Company to Work At

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good co workers, ok management, poor pay rate

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

    I worked at Half Price Books

    Pros

    co workers- great people
    discount
    profit sharing
    great training
    flexible scheduling

    Cons

    Low start pay rate
    little accountability for shift leads

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Rapidly changing market, not so rapidly changing company.

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, even though they have been curtailed. Still some of the best healthcare insurance and employee discounts one can get, especially in the Red State markets HPB tends to operate in. If you like books, music, and movies, this is the place for you. HPB is also a very diverse workplace.

    Cons

    Every store is understaffed, but that's American retail today. The buying process is stressful and will burn most folks out. Managers are constantly under tremendous pressure from corporate and the day to day operations of the store.
    Policies change or are reversed without any coherent planning. It's impossible to have a predictable work schedule, apparently. Working on the weekends or at night is inevitable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan ERP/POP/OFS rollouts more efficiently. Please, please go to a credit system for buys. Don't micro-manage the store environments. Stop trying to train every bookseller to do everything, go to a specialist model.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Long time employee

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

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

    Pros

    Books! Interesting work, co-workers, benefits.

    Cons

    I worked for Half Price Books for more than 15 years, and the pros out weighed the cons for many years. When I left, I left feeling burnt out and disappointed in a company I worked my butt off for so many years. The expectations senior management and corporate put on the stores was ridiculous. Stores are seriously understaffed for the amount of work that needed to be done. The amount of vacation time you could accrue was great, but it was difficult to use up, because staffing was so tight.

    Holidays felt like a piece of cake, if you can manage to get through a summer with Half Price Books. Customers might bring in 30 boxes of books that they couldn't sell at a garage sale, you sort through everything and come up with a few titles that you might be able to sell, then you get to give the customer an offer of a couple of dollars, as you stand there smiling, they roll their eyes at you and tell you that you are ripping them off. You then get to spend the next half hour cleaning up the mess and taking all 30 boxes out to recycling. Then you start all over again. Forgot to mention, that you are also answering customer questions, answering the phone and fulfilling orders at the same time. Meanwhile, five other customers have come in and are standing with more bags of books to sell, getting impatient because you can't get to them soon enough. Somehow, you also need to get the books processed and on the shelf, and deal with the hundred of DVDs and CDs that come in everyday and that are virtually worthless.

    Many of the half thought out changes that corporate implemented, seemed reactionary and fear based and hardly fostered a positive work environment. When I started, I felt the thrill of something new everyday and what treasure was I going to find? At the end, it wasn't about the books anymore. I was shoveling them through as fast as I could and could have been working in any retail environment. I think Boots needs to let go of the claim that "we're all one big happy family". The company has grown to the point that employees don't feel seen or heard anymore. I don't think I can walk in the door of any of the stores for a very long time, and that makes me very sad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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