Half Price Books Reviews in Houston, TX | Glassdoor

Half Price Books Houston Reviews

Updated October 9, 2017
10 reviews

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Houston, TX Area

3.4
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Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
8 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • I knew other people who were working a couple of jobs to make ends meet, but working 50 to 60 hours a week for low pay is really no way to live (in 21 reviews)

  • Lack of vision from upper-management (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "As good as it gets...for retail"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    - Day to day variety: appraising, customer service, section management
    - Lots of autonomy: depending on location...
    - Coworkers were great; fun, open environment where you could interact while working
    - Great health insurance
    - Lots of cool books/merchandise which you get a great employee discount on

    Cons

    - Pay, pay, pay: hard to get OT hours as well
    - Management is often incompetent, tenure is often prioritized over capability/work-ethic for promotions, training was often mediocre
    - Retail problem of no time off during holidays
    - Lack of vision from upper-management

    Advice to Management

    Keep the niche market. The business model was sustainable if you don't try to become something you're not...


  2. "Best company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cashier/Bookseller in Pearland, TX
    Former Employee - Cashier/Bookseller in Pearland, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Treated like family, flexible hours

    Cons

    You have to love books and talking with complete strangers on a regular basis

  3. Helpful (1)

    "bookseller"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller I in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Bookseller I in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great employee discounts, great work environment, great hours, flexibility, benefits, career opportunities, company values

    Cons

    Each SM was kind of given free reign over how the store was run aside from a few very general guidelines, so it's possible to work in a ridiculously disorganized store with managers that are not as well trained as lower-level employees in other stores.


  4. Helpful (8)

    "No incentive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Book Seller I in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Book Seller I in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The environment , coworkers, and certain benefits. There is always something different everyday. You will learn about who we are as a company and what we do to keep our customers content with obtaining the things they love: books , music, and media.

    Cons

    Benefits have quickly eroded or are completely eliminated over the last few years. It's becoming too expensive to afford insurance on the pay we receive which doesn't match the rate of inflation or the cost of living.
    Management is a joke, all they care about now are online sales and think somehow that we are going to compete with Amazon. This is never going to happen.You will be singled out if you continually bring up concerns about problems.

    Advice to Management

    Stop expanding and focus on the stores you have. Our infrastructure is terrible. Our computers and servers are slow and our wi-fi is nonexistent. Our computers are running on outdated OSs. We still use internet explorer, which no longer supported. SIPS database is a mess a completely inconsistent. There are days when I could literally walk out to the section and check the shelf in the time I wait for a response from bookworm. The registers are the same, scan and wait. Login and wait. Try to do anything and wait. It's basically trying to do your job with boxing gloves on. Almost impossible and completely inefficient.

    Search and ship needs to be gutted, it's a five step process that could be cut down to two.We should not have to go out our way to promote or offer the service. Shipping time frame are too long and most customers do not have the patience to wait 7-10 days for a product to arrive at their door when they could go somewhere else and get it that same day or get it in 2 day FREE shipping through Amazon Prime. You simply can not compete with that.

    Pay is terrible, you are going to lose what good workers you have when places like Target are starting at $10 and of all places Walmart is starting @ $12. Btw Amazon is coming with brick and mortar stores, don't think they won't offer better benefits, hours and pay, they will. I see the writing on the wall for this company and unless major changes come forward, you are looking at a company will be bought out and become like every other retail chain or it will simply cease to exist, replaced by something better.

    Do good by your employees,they are the only asset you have and you are losing all the ones worth having because you simply refuse to compete.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Zero Flexibility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pretty great employee discount. Decent pay.

    Cons

    If you go to school, or have a family, get sick or get stuck in traffic you will get flak. They want every second of your time for them. This isn't a reflection of the company as a whole, however my location was pretty terrible. There is tons of turnover there.

    Advice to Management

    None.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "I worked here full time for 3/mo. While they do take care for employees management is inconsistent and unforgiving."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Bookseller in Pearland, TX
    Former Contractor - Bookseller in Pearland, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They do take care of their long-term employees
    The pay is alright for the work
    Day passes pretty quickly
    The benefits aren't phenomenal but they're okay. Good insurance
    Amazing coworkers

    Cons

    Management is completely inconsistent store to store, and sometimes even between store and district settings.
    There is little corporate oversight
    The three month temporary period is completely unforgiving of mistakes.
    The company keeps decreasing benefits to stem financial losses because they are opening way too many stores too quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on the stores you already have. Increase oversight and management control so that it's more standard store to store.


  7. "Fun, engaging work place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Worked in an environment where employees are valued!

    Cons

    As 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!

  8. Helpful (3)

    "It's alright"

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

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

    Pros

    They 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.

    Cons

    There 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 Management

    To 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.


  9. "Great place to work. I wish I could afford to keep it as my only job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Friendly, fun. Good training and benefits.

    Cons

    Usual retail issues - but the hours aren't as early or late as a lot of places, and fewer really bad customers.


  10. "good outweights bad better retail"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Half Price Books full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    benefits like insurance, sick pay, vacation paid, holidays paid, bonuses, hour paid lunch, flexible hours, and 50 percent discount on already half off merchandise.

    Cons

    politics in store, slowly becoming more coporate like, fast expandsion making training good employees hard.

    Advice to Management

    Take it easy on changes. its never hurt us being the way we are. wait for one change to settle and then more on to another.


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