Half Price Books Reviews

Updated May 15, 2021

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3.3
52%
Recommend to a Friend
55%
Approve of CEO
Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
242 Ratings
Pros
  • "Surrounded by books all day; amazing employee discount, familial work environment(in 58 reviews)

  • "Great benefits, new books everyday(in 37 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Low pay given the many hats you will wear(in 40 reviews)

  • "Horrible and unsupportive upper management(in 18 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Awesome

      May 5, 2021 - Bookseller in Houston, TX
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Super chill management and even corporate isn’t as bad as at other places. It’s a good job if you can keep busy and self motivated

      Cons

      Dealing with the public like all retail jobs is draining at times

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    2. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Half Price -- Only Half Good

      May 15, 2021 - Bookseller 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Access to books, excellent employee discount, meeting interesting people, casual dress code.

      Cons

      Extremely low pay, mediocre benefits, cutthroat co-workers (who will do anything to move up). Be prepared for some lying, cheating, back-stabbing, and excessive gossiping. There are some bitter long-time employees who have been bypassed for promotions who will make your life miserable if they can. Store manager spent far too much time in his office. Crowded and somewhat dusty/dirty work environment. Physically demanding (which can be a Pro or a Con, depending on your perspective) -- I lost 20 pounds in my first five months at HPB, due to the bending, stretching, moving books, moving carts, and moving boxes.

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    3. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Loved my time at HPB

      Apr 22, 2021 - Bookseller in Houston, TX
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fun environment, interesting people, great discount, nice benefits package. Get to be surrounded by nerdy stuff all day, talk about nerdy stuff all day, recommend nerdy stuff all day, etc.

      Cons

      It’s retail! Be prepared to do 5 different jobs and never have time to finish any of them. Overworked, underpaid, upper management that’s forgotten how the stores work and customers constantly upset about how little they are getting for selling their stuff.

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    4. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Pretty good

      May 8, 2021 - Sales Associate/Cashier 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Pretty good. If you like chaos it's a good place to work. Very free spirit atmosphere.

      Cons

      Management sucks. IT kind sucks. It's kinda chaotic.

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    5. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Poor Vision and Values

      May 10, 2021 - Store Inventory Merchandiser in Louisville, KY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Half Price Books is an easy entry environment that provides plenty of opportunities in career advancement. They provide very good benefits and pay an average rate for retail.

      Cons

      Half Books has issues with their core culture. Management is seemingly incapable of valuing their staff, accepting accountability and have their fair share of ethical issues that desperately need to be addressed.

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    6. 4.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Amazing Co-Workers

      Dec 30, 2020 - Bookseller in Clive, IA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The people I worked with were fun, kind, and knowledgable. They seriously were a blast and did everything in their power to make me feel welcome and help me learn. The team would protect each other and if someone did mess up, everyone would try and help teach the individual so they wouldn't make the same mistake.

      Cons

      There were some regular customers who would harass myself and other female staff members. Our managers did what they could to help us, but that was literally just having us ring on the intercom if we saw the men so the managers would deal with them and we would go in the back. They seriously couldn't ban these people or even give them a warning despite the fact that these men would insist that we go out with them (We refused), would find us on Facebook, or just follow us around the store and wait until we left and try to follow us. I even had a random customer come to my aid once because a guy started around the counter towards me (manager was hurrying up as well but the store was big). My mangers had no power even though they did their best to get the creeps out.

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    7. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      COVID Catastrophe

      Mar 13, 2021 - Assistant Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great staff before they were all disposed of , fair pay for retail before getting a pay cut due to COVID-19, interesting merchandise overall

      Cons

      Company laid off most of the staff, employees directed to severely underpay customers for product expecting most people to either not notice or accept the pandemic as an excuse that we can’t afford to pay as much. In my opinion, we were lowballing even before the pandemic.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    8. 2.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Just like anywhere, HPB had its ups and downs...

      Apr 27, 2021 - Book Seller in Redmond, WA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - You're around books all day. - The majority of customers were enjoyable to interact with. - 50% employee discount on used items. - Store manager at my location was fair when it came to HR matters as was the district manager.

      Cons

      - Working in a bookstore is a romantic proposition for some and HPB definitely takes advantage of that by offering low-pay and marginal benefits to their employees. The reality is you're going to need an SO or parent supporting your book store career because the pay is criminally low. As an example, a gentleman in his sixties at my location has been working for HPB for 27 years and still lives with a roommate. Wow! - Weekend hours but that comes with the territory in retail. - Ethically questionable organization as the business model that has allowed them to survive in the era of Amazon is hinged solely on ripping off unwitting customers selling their books and other media. Imagine paying pennies on the dollar for merchandise that is delivered straight to your place of business without charge and selling it at a 500% mark up! Combine that with slave wages and an ignorant customer base and you got yourself a nice little boondoggle. - Not a problem in itself but HPB is a standard corporate chain shop. They're not Amazon but they're definitely not an independent community-minded operation. - I can only speak for the location I worked at but the insecure and self-loathing employees with characteristics akin to a mop could really put a damper on the day. - Not at all environmentally conscious contrary to what HPB would have you believe. They like to market themselves as some sort of eco-friendly solution for repurposing used books but that sentiment is a superficial virtue-signaling tactic at best and not an operational concern for HPB whatsoever.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    9. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      The best company I ever worked for (pre-Covid)

      Mar 24, 2021 - Store Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Generous PTO (especially for entry-level retail staff), Progressive company culture, Unique environment that engaged you every day as well as fostered bonds with co-workers

      Cons

      Salary is low compared to managers supervising similar staff levels in other companies (not so much as to be insulting, but some job hunting after I left told me that many, many companies either offer more pay for a similarly sized staff to supervise or have a significantly smaller number to supervise), company culture is beginning to erode to a more common place retail store

      1 person found this review helpful
    10. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Bookseller 1

      Apr 26, 2021 - Currently Unemployed in Florence, KY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      nice coworkers and decent pay for starting

      Cons

      isolating work environment and terrible customers

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