Overstock.com

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  www.overstock.com

Overstock.com Reviews in Cottonwood Heights, UT

Updated October 30, 2014
Updated October 30, 2014
419 Reviews
3.5
419 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne
Patrick M. Byrne
353 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Just like some of the other reviews mention, there is a great work/life balance here (in 32 reviews)

  • They pay well and the work environment is very diverse and accepting (in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • Previous reviews on here are obviously from within the company and upper management (in 31 reviews)

  • Senior Management - CEO and current President - have no interest in building a profitable business (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights

11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Split work culture. One good. One not

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Tester in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Senior Software Tester in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The older employees and the corporate office has a culture of quality software over speed with good work life balance.

    Cons

    The new culture at the "split" location is more about speed over quality and long hours and deadlines. Eventually the groups will combine at a new location and it's unknown which culture will become dominant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on the core values of what made Overstock.com a good company and a good company to work for, good customer service and good quality software.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 24 people found this helpful  

    Which way is the wind blowing?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Not usually asked to work long hours. I often get in around 10, and have only worked till or past 7 a couple times in over two years. I have never been required to work a weekend (some are, and often for little reason, however).
    -Dev teams are integrated QA and dev, with the tech lead coming from either track. Team mates usually look after each other.
    -All but one person on the team I started with has since been promoted significantly (and that one person doesn't seem to want a promotion). If you're on a team in the sunny side of management, advancement is easy. Some people even get custom made-for-them positions doing whatever they want.
    -The CEO is a passionate ideologue who follows his personal moral code and tries to promote his idea of good in the world. I don't always agree with his priorities, but I respect people who try to make a difference even when I don't always agree with them. And since I do agree with some of his things, I get to feel like we're doing some good in the world and not solely promoting overconsumption in order to trade environmental health in for temporary material profit like most retailers.
    -Sometimes your ideas as a dev for improving business ideas are listened to. I proposed an idea to a VP in a rare meeting I had with him once, and later found out another team had implemented it. There are also hackathons which you may or may not enjoy, but the ideas in them are often productionized as well.
    -There's an entire team dedicated to "Enterpise 2.0"--building platforms for the employees to communicate their ideas to senior management. The biggest outcome of this that I've seen is our now-amazing 401k (100% match to a percentage of salary with no vesting period), but there are also smaller things, like the construction of a staircase on a hill where many people slip trying to enter the building from a parking garage which was apparently positioned to serve other offices.
    -Obviously YMMV, but my manager genuinely cares about me and works to promote the personal and career interests of all of his direct reports.
    -Laidback culture where you don't need to wear formal clothes or act professional all the time. Overstock once did a commercial with Snoop and employees were invited to dress up and lip sync like the artist for the chance to meet him after a private performance he did for the company. Dressing up was cheesy and a little questionable given that the majority of employees are white, but nice to break up the monotony and be creative in a completely non-work related way.
    -I've been able to stay on the same team my whole time here and work on improving our product and code base--I'm quite passionate about that stuff, but unfortunately progress is treacle-slow due to tech debt and constantly changing priorities.
    -If you're lucky enough to work at Old Mill and not get transferred to Castle, the location is beautiful, with a creek and nature trail wrapping around the building and a clear view of stunning mountains from your window.

    Cons

    -The very worst is an extremely inconsistent work environment. Part of why I don't move teams is I'm afraid to. Some people are called in to work weekends for a senior executive's ego (even when there are known reasons the project can't deploy earlier even if they make this sacrifice). Others get chewed out by middle- or upper-management even when they're doing an excellent job. Still others get sidelined without enough work to do, put on projects that don't use the skills they were told they were being hired for, or stuck on dead-end, nightmarishly poorly managed long-term failures of projects. Not to mention all the people who buy houses or sign long-term leases only to be told they have to transfer to the other site on the far side of the valley.
    -Even without getting on a nightmare team, it's quite possible that senior management will decide that their horribly-managed project really just needs more "resources," and you'll get pulled into that letting all your hopes and dreams for both your continued employment at Overstock and the stuff you're actually supposed to be working on languish.
    -Many of upper management's (especially the CEO's) pet projects are pushed through at an absurd rate, sometimes multiple at once that are all top priority and all blocking each other at the same organizational bottlenecks that management is only very slowly and reluctantly willing to allocate resources to fix. The CEO has done things like commit publicly to the world that international Bitcoin integration will be live on a certain impossible date, and also bragged to the press about supposedly locking 40 developers in a room and sliding pizza under the door to get the original Coinbase integration out. You can imagine that those of us in dev have all been very leery about that.
    -Monday's #1 priority for your team that absolutely has to be dev-complete by Friday may be canceled Tuesday, revived on Wednesday with new requirements, revised on Thursday with tentative new completely different requirements that will be finalized by EOB, and then put on hold once it's deployed and is ready to flip on because business isn't really sure they got the requirements right.
    -Nepotism, brownnosers, politics, and firing those who aren't yes-men. I think these problems are the main reason for all the really poor judgment calls management makes, both in running projects and deciding what to do. You're frequently asked to implement something that's obviously a bad idea or that's just copying someone else long after they've cornered the market for that product, etc. You can't push back against that with any consistent degree of effectiveness (though if someone above you catches wind of it the bad decision may suddenly be un-scheduled after all), and you can't push back against the endless string of decisions to build up tech debt in order to get something out sooner, either.
    -Speaking of tech debt, yeah. There's areas of code that reliably make your skin crawl, and a monolithic app that takes over an hour to build. Any project to upgrade the code or eliminate an old framework usually takes years to complete, and most projects to restructure it are just never finished, and hang around cluttering up the code even more. Don't expect to be using cutting-edge technology because it just takes many years to get to the point where we can use it.
    -Working on projects that are constantly changed or canceled and that are of dubious value in the first place is dispiriting.
    -Some tech-stack decisions are awful, either because business wants to integrate with another Microsoft project, someone's convinced they need to buy a third EBI warehouse, or the architect in charge of a project has personality/ego issues.
    -Talent is getting weaker as the company expands, experienced people leave, and Java devs become vanishingly rare in Salt Lake. The onboarding/mentoring process is close to non-existent, and many who don't know code standards check in code unsupervised. Many teams of short-term contractors leave behind weak work that someone else has to maintain, or are simply incompetent and flounder unable to complete their projects.
    -While senior management is LGBT supportive, the dominant local culture is Mormon, so it isn't necessarily safe or comfortable to be yourself at work.
    -Almost all developers are white or Asian men. There are many comments, including from senior management, that create a hostile environment based on gender, race, or religion. For instance, there was a party at the Old Mill headquarters today with vacation giveaways. The CEO was joking at some winner that he should see his wife as back-up and pursue other women. I find this very uncomfortable. At a recent standup, a 15-year employee was given a hug by one of the senior executives, and the President made loud (misleading) comments about how they were kissing and getting all over each other and stuff like that. Once she told a story about how the CEO was having a conversation with Snoop and kept exclaiming in surprise about how he knew various educated-person facts/ideas. People with dietary restrictions are frequently harassed by their team mates even though those restrictions are religion-based. There was a "beard contest" with gift card prizes last November, and the directors running it refused to answer inquiries from employees about how that wasn't discriminatory, or about expanding it to be more inclusive. Every female development team lead I've ever heard about has been spoken badly of by the male devs, and the female President (who is herself a gender essentialist and has promoted gender stereotypes in the local news) is often accused in gossip circles of having slept her way to the top, even though her strong friendship with the CEO is more than enough to explain any perceived favoritism. Luckily microaggressions aren't something I witness every single day, but they've been happening a lot this week so it's on my mind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a personal IT sandbox team again so you can get your pet projects (like pets and bitcoin) worked on consistently without throwing the rest of the development organization into chaos. I know you want to move quickly to keep up, but make sure you have a good idea first and actively solicit criticism of any idea you have to see whether the issue can be shored up, or we should scrap the idea or leave it for a time when it's more feasible before the damage is done. Get IT to really organize together and work out bottlenecks, techdebt, and consistent dysfunctions like the way the internationalization effort has been conducted. Make sure resources devoted to high-value core functions aren't deterred on pet projects. Realize that devs aren't really interchangeable "resources" and throwing more at a project isn't necessarily better. Stop making sexual comments at stand ups and company parties.

    Fire that one guy in senior management who's been yelling at people and refusing to accept realistic project estimates. Build more trust--you are mostly very charismatic people but many employees fear that you're not honest with us. Moving people between locations against their will is a good way to lose trust. Not respecting us as professionals who will go as fast as we reasonably can without intimidation, and not respecting our weekends and evenings because you want to meet some date you committed to publicly without our buy-in are other good trust-losing strategies.

    Get IT to create a strong mentorship and onboarding process, tailored to the existing strengths of new hires and contractors.

    Keep innovating, borrowing the best innovations of others, and trying hard to run a company ethically and with input from the employees.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company to work for.

    Current Employee - Software Developer II in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Software Developer II in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great people. Collaborative work environment. Flexible hours. Low stress. Learning a lot.

    Cons

    There are no cons at overstock. It's a great place to be a developer.

    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 8 people found this helpful  

    Don't Believe The Internal Surveys

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

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The offices are at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon which means you're about 30 minutes from slapping your skis on when you get off work.

    Your performance doesn't seem to matter as long as you understand the politics of the company.

    Cons

    I felt like when taking a survey I was one of the few people answering honestly. This company is staffed by passive aggressive types that are worried their criticism of the company in surveys could be tracked back to them.

    Upper Management is extremely reactive to market trends. There's a whole division of the company dedicated to trend analysis and forecasting... Of course these people are ignored and/or fired because their advice, based on facts, counters the hunches and gut feelings of upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a longterm strategy and follow it. I understand the benefits of being nimble but attempting to correct course week by week is not a good strategy. Identify your core business and grow it. Work in your strengths rather than trying to pursue new businesses that someone else is already doing better. Once you have a solid profit generating machine from your core that you can no longer improve then start looking at how to expand.

    Also, surround yourself with people that are smart and willing to present counter arguments to your ideas... Then, and this is the hard part, actually listen to them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    Real Review ...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Tester in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Former Employee - Software Tester in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pay - it was quite good for me.
    Location - it is surrounded by beauty and located next to Big Cottonwood canyon.
    Flexibility - They are very understanding if you need time for appointments, family, errands, etc.

    Cons

    Healthcare - One of the worst I have had.
    Disorganization - it was the most unstructured and disorganized place I have ever worked.
    Hostility - I have never worked some place with so much internal anger, bullying, and competitiveness. This is the reason I left.
    Apathy - No one cared about the success of projects in a genuine and supportive way - but sometimes in a threatening way. No one cares about your happiness there. No one cares to lead.
    Hands tied - I have never worked somewhere with so many barriers and lack of assistance. They expected you to succeed and then don't empower you to do so. You are expected to take initiative and get through those barriers, which is fine and dandy, but then the same barriers exist for everyone on every project and they don't fix them. Other experts that can help you intentionally do not for whatever reason (for me I was told it was because of time constraints and in one case it was just because the person didn't want to because he said he didn't care).
    Negativity - The attitude of the people I worked with was sarcasm, criticism, condescension, elitism, disgust, and apathy.
    Escape Artists - there were quite a few people that dodged work in any way they could and they were not reprimanded. They flew under the radar and honestly did less work in a year than others did in weeks.
    No Leadership - I had four different managers/supervisors/directors in my short time there and they all quit. There was a period of time I had no manager 1 or even 2 levels above me where there were positions open. I had very little direction, guidance, or support. Actually I was never even really sure who I reported to. Where there are leaders higher up (executives), they seemed completely oblivious to how we were using their time and money.
    Fear - Another reason I left was that I felt someone who was a tyrant got into a position of power and people feared even being in the same room as that person because they might get fired if they did anything to displease them. Personally, I had to deal with the fear of getting into yelling, hollering, and threatening situations. Some these were very close to physical. There was lots of cussing, swearing, and physical intimidation (fist pounding, people getting right in your face, throwing things etc.).
    Lack of Structure - I was never really officially on any team. Software development there is very agile, self managed, and fluid. I think being this way is good to a certain extent, but there needs to be good direction, decisions, and some framework of ideas in place in order to achieve some business goal. It is really chaos when large egos with different ideas are constantly battling each other and no leader creates resolution. There really needs to be better structure and flow there when and where self management is failing - but no one ever seems to notice or care.

    They created one of the worst experiences in my life for me, and the worst part about it is, even though I brought it up with my coworkers and various superiors, no one ever tried to fix it and they didn't seem to care. I think it is because no one wants to make waves and they don't care - they would rather just quit as all my superiors did. The place needs a major overhaul or to be demolished.
    One other note - I think the company is going to do well financially for a while, but eventually it will explode from the middle out unless they fix the major issues I have listed. I think there is lots of wiggle room for mistakes and they will still make profits, but eventually they will exhaust all the talent in the area no matter how much they pay and then things will dwindle. There is still time to recover I think, but I will never work there again - I would rather be dead than sacrifice my integrity that way. They don't deserve my time after how I was treated and how they treat each other and themselves. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think about the waste of potential and money there. Some people might say, why not help to try and fix it, then I consider the fact that I am not immortal and there are other companies that already have much, much better culture, work environment, and employees.

    I can't think of a reason why I would recommend this company to anyone for employment, but if you talk with someone else from the company, you might get a completely different response because of the internal disparity. Again - why risk it, go somewhere else in my opinion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Are you kidding? Pay attention. Control the apathy and people taking advantage of the company. Kill the aggression and hostility if you want to keep employees - but I never got the impression that you cared any way, so I doubt you will listen. Foster a community of cooperation rather than internal competitiveness. Stop being so oblivious to the well being of the teams. You keep losing people, but don't care why and then just dish out more money as if that will make up for things and get more talent. Money doesn't matter at a certain point. If you want to attract and keep people, think about the internal environment and make it a place where people will want to be and feel empowered to succeed. What a mess.

    Because Glassdoor doesn't have a box for general comments, I guess I will put them here:
    The company is large enough that if you talk with someone on Team A they love it and someone on Team H they hate it. There are lots of good and bad reviews on Glassdoor and I think that is the reason why. The company is very chaotic and inconsistent. Unless they do something to get involved and understand themselves better, they will wax and wane in the market.
    Personally I looked at the reviews before I stared there and thought well - they are mostly favorable with some nightmarish ones peppered in. Whatever Overstock can dish out, I will handle it and it will make me stronger. I am glad I experienced it so now I have another point of reference data, but I can save you some time and anguish and let you know that if you do happen to land in one of the bad pockets, you will be miserable. But who knows you might get lucky and end up in a good team/department. I suppose you could take a shot and then look for another job if didn't work out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work in terms of life an technology.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good place to work in terms of life an technology.

    Cons

    Management needs to focus more on futuristic decisions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on planing more

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Buyer in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Associate Buyer in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    I love working for overstock great place

    Cons

    I have no complaints at this time.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Wonderful, friendly work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    I have been working at Overstock.com for a little over two months, and I have been very impressed with the work environment. In other workplaces, I've struggled with employees who had power struggles and felt they needed to boss me around and belittle me because I wasn't in a position of authority like they were.

    The opposite is true at Overstock.com. I feel comfortable talking to executives like they were my best friends, and I have never felt that they didn't respect me because I was brand-new. The CEO and all of the vice presidents and other executives of the company are humble, friendly and completely open with their praise and occasional criticism. Their positive attitudes have in turn helped me to become a more productive employee, and I look forward to coming to work each day in an environment where no one is made to feel inferior to anyone else.

    I also value the teamwork that I feel at Overstock.com. Each one of the departments in the company works with others to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and each department is valued equally. I am impressed that everyone gets along and is simply trying to improve the company's performance. Even with good-natured competitions such as food drives and raffles between buildings and departments, the employees at Overstock.com work together and never put each other down, and that is something I value highly.

    Cons

    The only cons I can think of while working at Overstock.com are that I sometimes feel like I don't have much to do in my position. However, this is not a fault of the company's but is a fault of the changing online industry that requires different techniques and tactics all the time. Once I have settled into a routine here at the company, I'm sure I will feel more fulfilled as an employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I am very impressed with how you and your executives have run this company and how dedicated you are to honest business practices. I am always proud to tell friends and acquaintances that I work at Overstock.com, because I feel that it is rewarding to work for a company that is dedicated to making life easier for millions of people across the world. There are no hidden fees, no ploys to get people to buy poorly-made merchandise to get it off our hands. You are a bunch of hard-working, ethical people who want to save everyone money -- and you're doing a great job. I'm excited to be a part of the team!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work, overall

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    You can expect an honest working environment at Overstock.com. The first thing that they tell you when you're hired is "If you're caught in a lie, there goes your job." I've had a few difference managers, all of which have good support for family values, work ethic, and schedule flexibility. The pay is great, and the hiring process is rigorous enough that few (if any) slackers get hired.

    Cons

    Although there are opportunities for advancement within the company, most of them are management positions. There are few opportunities to advance purely on a technology level, even though the IT department (software dev, operations, etc) is quite large. Unless you are in management, don't expect anyone in management to really listen to your ideas. Even if you've been with the company for years, the lack of advance in job title says a lot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To the VPs and Directors, have more one-on-ones with those on the bottom of your food chain. There are things your direct reports would never tell you.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - With This Level of Honesty, I Don't Think So in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Current Employee - With This Level of Honesty, I Don't Think So in Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    There are some crazy smart people and just being around them rubs off. I am able to go to school and still pull my weight. There are cutting edge technologies and a high level of sophistication in the tools I use to do my job.

    I appreciate that we are being given an opportunity to comment. It shows a willingness to consider alternate points of view.

    Stand-up meetings are awesome. Interacting with management and getting a sense of the "vision" that they have for the company, makes us stand apart.

    I often hear complaints about being required to move from one desk to another and change floors. I actually think that this is a good thing and have met and got to know all kinds of people in various departments thanks to this simple strategy.

    Cons

    Maybe it is the stress of the job, but occasionally angry, and unhelpful email messages make it down from the upper levels. My boss and my bosses boss often find themselves trying to comprehend a email message sent down from "on high" by someone that is completely out of touch with reality. I am in a position to have seen this from multiple departments and don't believe it is isolated to my department.

    There is a tendency to play the blame game. Occasional witch hunts result in a environment of fear. Often the first responder attempting to solve a critical issue gets summarily executed when the solution does not work.

    I am highly awarded from previous companies and receive regular positive feedback from my peers and those internal customers that I work for, but have a tinfoil hat feeling that I am being stopped in my progression due to misconceptions that persons above me have harbored for years.

    I suspect that promotion will happen after I leave school and leave the company. Several long conversations with my colleagues, suggests that I am not alone in that feeling.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A position of leadership is a service position. Often a leadership position is not because you are smarter, but because we need someone to make a final decision.

    If a person sticks their neck out to help and gets whacked when the result is not positive, you are teaching that person to avoid sticking their neck out.

    The blame game results in a toxic environment within a team.

    Approves of CEO

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