Overstock.com Reviews

Updated September 2, 2015
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503 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Need New Talent

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

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    fresh, fun, creative, dedicated, loyal

    Cons

    endurance, follow through, lack of experienced leaders

    Advice to Management

    Hire the right person for leadership and management, pay well from the start. These guys will make or break you. There is a gap in upper management's technical skills. They are visionaries but need to keep up on technology and knowing the nuts and bolts of their business.


  2. Helpful (7)

    One of the better places for a Java developer

    • 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 Overstock.com full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Challenging opportunities to work on large-scale software development - Good place to learn from and work with smart people (at least in IT) - Company makes an effort to listen to employees and improve work environment - Talented people with a positive attitude can move up the ranks - Overall compensation is good - Reasonable work/life balance. Not a sweat shop. For me the positives outweigh the negatives. Overstock is good place to work and probably one of the best employers in the area for software developers. I've known a number of developers that have left Overstock but did not find greener pastures.

    Cons

    IT lacks empowerment. For a company who views themselves as a tech company, there is a surprising lack of tech-savvy people at the top of the company. IT tends to be told what to do and doesn't have much input into strategic decisions and steering projects. When IT gives feedback that the executives don't like, the executives tend to view IT with skepticism and distrust. It can be a struggle to maintain a positive attitude. Developers often feel pressured to do things quick and dirty. Projects can be frustrating due to arbitrary deadlines and constant changes in direction. There are some applications that have been around a long time and are a beast to work on. Most of the executives don't quite seem to get software development. They fall into common pitfalls like thinking projects can be done twice as fast just by adding a bunch of newly hired developers. The year-end bonus is kind of a joke. The last few years it's been in the 1-3% range (for software devs). It's better than nothing but it's always less than people expect due to management telling employees throughout the year how good the bonus pool is looking, only to have it rapidly shrink at the end.

    Advice to Management

    Try to get IT more involved in strategic planning. When IT feels like they are part of the decision-making process, they will be more engaged and view projects they are working on are theirs rather than yours.


  3. Helpful (30)

    Two people matter

    Current Employee - Finance
    Current Employee - Finance
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This review is geared towards prospective employees and discusses some elemental considerations that impact employment here. - Work with great peers. The front-line employees and their managers are really good people who are very innovative and forward thinking. You'll enjoy working with them and learn a lot in the process. - Can learn some deep skills within an industry in a short time frame and springboard to a better company. Aside from Amazon and Ebay, there are few pure e-tailers the size of Overstock.(Actually, Wayfair will soon surpass Overstock b/c our leadership has been asleep at the switch, chasing losing, pet projects.) It's big enough to actively copy the leading edge of e-commerce, and give you skills (or the ability to speak somewhat intelligently about those skills) to be very employable. And projects here are decided on whims and invented projections and measured against phony numbers (if at all) so that you can really have considerable access to and influence over some very expensive technical resources. - Company has potential to succeed, but that's never been meaningfully exploited and sustained. Overstock's disastrous dives are documented in other reviews, in the news, and recorded earnings calls. (Byrne, to his credit, has owned up to the worst of these, at least verbally). That the company still exists is a testament to financial reality eventually sinking in with the CEO. That it isn't 3x to 5x larger than currently is indicative of a very unsteady hand at the helm and an ineffective board and senior management team. Still, given Overstock's size, tenure, and ability to exist and occasionally thrive on such thin margins, its yet-to-be-realized potential is a definite pro.

    Cons

    - CEO: This is a publi company, but not really; It's his way or the highway. That's fine, and that makes sense given his financial family inheritance, and his proxy vote for his family and other board members. It's reality. This is NOT an ad hominem smear, but a valid concern for anyone considering employment here. He's a poor judge of character, irrationally reliant on devout trust in and devotion towards him and his abusive, flighty, and paranoid ego. Those whom he has personally mentored into leadership positions would be and actually are hard pressed to find even remotely equivalent employment elsewhere (and have actually lead their personal lives to ruin under his tutelage). So the CEO is one of two people that ultimately matter. (The CEO is quite bright and would make an entertaining lecturer or dinner guest, but these traits don't translate into his presence being a pro of employment at Overstock.) - President: You shouldn't cross the President whose emotions, whims, hobbies, and ire are followed by her pawns -- and quite often by the CEO -- with Pavlovian aplomb. What makes this unique and a con is: 1) the fact that the President has a long and twisted relationship with the CEO where he appears to be directly controlled by the President (e.g., the CEO says he won't tolerate dishonesty, but the President regularly lies to him and plays him like a fiddle), and; 2) that the President is financially illiterate, both in fluency with data and P&L, and personal finances (having had to be bailed out by). As a result, the company will always trip over itself. Like the CEO, the President is paranoid and a narcissist, so be warned that if you cross her or someone in her network, and you'll soon find yourself shown the door as scores of others have, both high and low. - Deep Capture: This is the name of the CEO's quite interesting and compelling blog where this self-styled, typo-ridden CEO-journalist endeavors to reveal the flaws in our financial/governmental systems. The concept of deep capture is that legislators and regulators -- those who are to ensure order and fairness -- are captured pawns of powerful and greedy financial barons. Why should prospective employees care? Because the CEO has unwittingly created the same scenario at Overstock, where he is the captor, and senior and lower executives are bound by velvet handcuffs from behaving rationally, justly, or even honestly. This is less troublesome in a public company than a democracy, but it will impact your potential job here (i.e., no one really has your back), so I thought you should consider it. - This next point is relevant given the Utah location. There's increasing anti-Mormon sentiment among leadership and at the company broadly. Consequently, deep schisms are being opened in the company culture. Statements that would violate protected classes are more frequently uttered in certain circles, and after work hours among management and sr. management. Those who point to some Mormon execs as counter-proof avoid the fact that these few are marginalized "yes men" who are on their way out, or are captured.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest to your direct and indirect reports about your purpose at the company. You are in your positions at the whim of the CEO (and by extension, the President), and so you've chosen not to bite the hand that feeds you. You're collecting a serious paycheck and not questioning or challenging anything. Actually, providing sound direction and guidance would seriously endanger your job, the monetary conditions you could not likely replicate elsewhere. So you remain a compliant accomplice to poor management. This matters to the potential employee because you should not expect any executives (or their direct reports) to have your interests in mind. Advice to CEO: Retire and name your already-chosen successor, unless you don't trust her.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Really average for the "tech company"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Work life balance is awesome. Especially if your work can be done from home. - Awesome people and personalities. - 401k match is really nice. - New HQ they are building looks promising. Very modern and built for the employees in mind. - Super relaxed work environment (not in Q4, however). - Recent changes in my dept. have me excited, but I am not holding my breath.

    Cons

    - Changes are almost always on the horizon. You never know what the exec's will do or say. - Management doesn't seem to know what certain people even do and they won't take time to sit down and learn. - Benefits are OK. Really nothing special. Especially for a "tech" company, as Patrick refers to it. (Lagoon day seems to be a big seller, whoopty doo!) - PTO is kind of embarrassing for a "tech" company. Can't take more than 2 weeks off and you are limited to only about 2 weeks in the first couple yrs. If your manager is someone who follows rules, this is really annoying. Compare this to unlimited PTO and generous PTO at other technology companies in the area.

    Advice to Management

    Communication. Feedback. - Take time to learn what your individual teams do. - Communicate with the entire time, not just their Manager. - Appreciate and be humble.


  6. Helpful (1)

    A company with a conscience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    People, work/life balance, interesting work, stable company with steady growth, bonuses, perks. Overstock also tries to "do the right thing".

    Cons

    Fast over right, lots of tech-debt, not enough data scientists, too many "ooh shiny" projects lacking cost/benefit analysis or accountability.

    Advice to Management

    A clearer corporate strategy/vision shared with all the staff could allow us to grow the business much faster.


  7. Helpful (12)

    Not worth the money

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Database Administrator in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    High salary On Call Compensation Work from Home

    Cons

    Bonuses (Expectations were set and unmet) Long hours 24x7 on call (frequent wake up calls)

    Advice to Management

    ...


  8. Helpful (17)

    I Like It Here But Live in Constant Fear

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you get into a good department with nice people, it can be a great job. The 401(k) is really good, and they recently made an effort to start paying everyone above industry average, so pay isn't as sad as it was 5 years ago.

    Cons

    I worry a lot that I'm going to get transferred to a department where I wouldn't want to be. There's a microscope on certain departments, and it gets a little intense, and sometimes it seems like people in those areas are fired or reprimanded for arbitrary reasons.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on improving the areas of the website that are the things we brag about the most. Weird projects that come out of nowhere and suddenly become important just waste everyone's time. We should be focusing on the backbone of the business.


  9. Helpful (12)

    When the tough gets going they abandon employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Tester in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Software Tester in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work Life Balance is Ok

    Cons

    Lot of expectation from employees Low Compensation No growth prospect in the company

    Advice to Management

    Change of attitude towards new employees


  10. Helpful (26)

    Sound Technologly, Chaotic Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    + Vast majority of coworkers are smart, capable, friendly. + Good data and dev technology. If you are not learning, it is by choice. + Work/life balance is pretty healthy outside of holiday season. + Gives back to the community via Worldstock, Pets, etc.

    Cons

    - Compared to most other public companies, financial gain is a smaller portion of the decision making process. Testing new business models and channels is an executive priority. As a result, company strategy can come across as political and arbitrary. - Hard work and competence is often overlooked if you are not part of the inner circle. - Unprofessional conflict management. The president has no problem publicly humiliating employees or making preposterous personal threats when she has lost her temper. - Open work environment. Rows of desks with nothing in between. It breeds a culture of constant interruption. - High turnover that is not exclusive to the worker bees. There has been a large exodus at the Director and VP level over the last several months.

    Advice to Management

    The current business strategy seems to oscillate between eCommerce social experiment and a race to Fortune 500. Outpacing the market would be easier if there was a single strategy. It would also go a long way in reducing employee frustration. It's hard get behind a company when you are never sure of the main objective. The majority of employee frustration stems from poor communication. There is a large disconnect between leadership's actions and leadership's words. If you can find a way to bridge that gap, you will see turnover decrease and moral increase.


  11. Helpful (3)

    It

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Content Analyst Lead in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Data Content Analyst Lead in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work. The CEO is the coolest in the biz. Benefits are awesome.

    Cons

    One word - nepotism. Friends hire friends. You may apply and not even get an interview or a response.

    Advice to Management

    To much nepotism with friends hiring friends instead of people getting the job due to their merit.



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