Half Price Books Reviews

Updated August 28, 2015
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Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
67 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

110 Employee Reviews

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  1. One of the Best Retail Jobs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Very generous benefits unheard of in the retail sector. - 401 K matching - paid vacation / sick leave that carries over each year, earned every paycheck. - 1 hour lunches - Insurance either free or inexpensive (Health / Life / Dental / Vision). Lots of employees hold down the job so that they can get insurance for their spouse / kids. - 50% off most used merchandise (including dvds) - Ability to move up fairly fast depending on availability and competition in the area. A majority of employees are content with book seller position (entry level) due to small financial incentive for increased responsibility. Promotions most likely capped at store manager unless a life-time employee (10 years +) - Fast paced environment - entry level salary is competitive in most districts.

    Cons

    - Raises are very slow and minimal unless you get a raise due to a promotion. The raises are given as a small percentages of current wage. - As with other retail jobs you will have to work nights and weekends. Unless you are Assistant Store Manager and up there really isn't a fixed schedule for most districts.


  2. Assistant Manager

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

    Pros

    Employee discount was amazing. My library is enormous, and I have dozens of rare and first-edition books. Co-workers were eclectic, intelligent and a lot of fun to work with.

    Cons

    Some customers would really lose it at the buy counter if they didn't like your offer, although these situations could be quite amusing, at times. Way too many remainders in the past 15 years or so.

    Advice to Management

    I saw some favoritism, especially at the corporate level, but that sort of thing seems to happen with most companies.


  3. It's all about who you're with

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shift Leader
    Former Employee - Shift Leader
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, great people, a great place to work. The customer does not come first, the employees do.

    Cons

    low pay, but it's a bookstore so...

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up Boots!


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  5. Race to evolve in rapidly changing marketplace

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

    Pros

    Attracts a very eclectic group of people and offers a very generous benefits package. Supports literacy and other local causes at every opportunity. Pretty decent gig as far as retail goes.

    Cons

    The work load can be surprisingly stressful with some extremely demanding customers at times. Technical glitches can abound in the rush to compete with online marketplace.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to balance individual store autonomy with the demands of a growing company that a balanced solution. Increased recognition of on the ground challenges and ever increasing work loads. More focus on detailed training of new employees.


  6. Excellent Retail Job

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

    I have been working at Half Price Books full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very generous benefits package: full medical, dental & vision, 401k, paid vacation & holidays. Generally laid-back working environment. If you have a passion for literature, film or music, this is the kind of place you want to be. Employees are thoroughly cross-trained and are assigned a variety of tasks throughout each workday, which prevents monotony.

    Cons

    It's retail, so the pay is fairly risible. Benefits have slowly but surely been scaled back over the past decade. The laid-back environment can cut both ways; inefficient employees can coast by for years as long as they show up to work on time. The company isn't immune to cliques at the district and store level, which can be alienating for those outside the inner circle.

    Advice to Management

    I think you're still on the right track...the last several years have been challenging in many ways, but morale (at my store, at least) remains high.


  7. Disorganized, unethical, and in trouble. The words of this review are insufficient to describe the indignities suffered.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Many Positions Held During Tenure in DFW, TX
    Former Employee - Many Positions Held During Tenure in DFW, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Access to information, interesting people, ability to learn if capable of extrapolating from a multitude of vagaries. Decent benefits package. Relatively flexible interior mobility.

    Cons

    Nepotistic command structure. Abysmal communication. Poor resource management. Nonexistent oversight of abusive and incompetent managers. Clueless navigation of changing retail landscape. Inadequate training of employees resulting in misplaced accountability. Rigged advancement system. Unrealistic expectations of employees. Poverty wages. Blatant lies told to customers and employees. Knowledge of inherent issues with no efforts made to correct them. Top tier completely out of touch with its base level. Continuing to expand in the face of dwindling sales resulting in a bleak future for the company. Poor information security resulting in low level employees having broad knowledge of the aforementioned problems.

    Advice to Management

    The web is likely too tangled to fix it at this point. You would need to completely restructure the corporation in logistics, philosophy, focus, and operations. You're not only too ignorant to know what to do, but you're probably too apathetic, daunted, arrogant, narcissistic, or a combination of the above to do so. Those of you at the top rung are also set for life from the dividends of your investment holdings to actually care about the future of the company you inherited. Your failure is inevitable, so my advice is to go ahead and liquidate to provide your employees the best severance package possible. It's the least you can do for continually violating their trust and dedication, and it will provide them with a better chance at survival than the fire sale conflagration to which you are presently charging headlong at full speed.


  8. Best job I ever had

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller II/Shift Lead in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Bookseller II/Shift Lead in Madison, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Half Price Books part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Awesome benefits, great company, off-beat atmosphere. Feels like a community, not just a job, Profit sharing. Environmently conscience. Great donation programs for teachers, hospitals, schools, etc. They really care about their employees, not just lip-service.

    Cons

    A bit on the out-dated side technology wise. And sometimes facility mantainece type issue could be addressed a bit more.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the awesome benefits, and the laid back atmosphere. Keep on growing, but don't turn into a mindless corporate robot.


  9. laid back

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company with great benefits

    Cons

    More and more work on day to day with shrinking staff


  10. Good and bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Corpus Christi, TX
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Corpus Christi, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice discount, insurance is great, pay is not bad for retail. Flexible hours and day off requests.

    Cons

    They keep shrinking the amount of sick time and vacation leave available. They sent us a lot of 'new' stuff which is just stuff they bought cheaply from random distributors. And they MADE us put it out before anything else even if there was no room. I'm talking like fifty puzzles a week, when no one bought them.


  11. Great for a retail job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Highland Park, IL
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Highland Park, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time

    Pros

    Casual work environment, frequent task rotation, good if you love books, nice discount, insurance package, overall great compared to other retail jobs

    Cons

    Pay is low, shifts are always changing (this can be a plus i guess)



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