Half Price Books Reviews

Updated May 19, 2020

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3.0
52%
Recommend to a Friend
53%
Approve of CEO
Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
199 Ratings
Pros
  • "Lots of perks with generous employee discount and being able to borrow books and media via a check/in and out system(in 50 reviews)

  • "Great benefits, excellent environment(in 34 reviews)

Cons
  • "Rather low pay for full time work(in 33 reviews)

  • "In recent years, corporate has put a hiring freeze on full-time positions in lieu of hiring two part timers instead(in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Best Job I've ever had!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Incredible team, good wage, senior management made an effort to know me when visiting my store, fun environment, good employee benefits/discounts

    Cons

    Shifts are always 8 hours long, without the option of 4-6 hour shifts.

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    Half Price Books2020-05-04
  2. Helpful (3)

    "NOT a "family" run company anymore!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller II in Columbus, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I met some really great friends working there for so long. Most of them do not work there anymore. Either quit, fired, laid off, or abused until they felt they had to quit.

    Cons

    They just laid off over 2000 employees and refused furlough to many. The ones they did not furlough lost their healthcare insurance in the middle of a pandemic with zero notice or warning after being reassured that they were safe and the company would take care of us. The people who did not get to keep their jobs when the stores started to reopen seem to all either have worked there a long time and made "too much" money, they had filed grievances against management, or they were using FMLA or had used worker's comp. It essentially appears as though they used a worldwide pandemic as an excuse to get rid of employees that would otherwise be legally protected. They lie, they cheat, they abuse employees, and they do not at all care about the staff in any way. Employees have been harassed into panic attacks and therapy. They also do not care about their customers and have been encouraging employees to cheat customers for the last few years.

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    Half Price Books2020-05-20
  3. Helpful (10)

    "Do NOT Apply."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Houston, TX
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The only reason to work here is for insurance benefits.

    Cons

    HPB presents itself as a down to earth, good willed, customer service oriented business, it’s too bad that it’s all a lie. They claim they are fair to their customers. When buying books, the database makes an offer of .50 cents for a book that can be sold anywhere between $14.99 - 34.99, that’s not exactly right or fair, is it? Employees are told not to change the price given, hit enter and continue to the next item to scan. They tell you they will recycle or donate anything that they are not buying or intend to sell. Another lie. HPB hasn’t had recycling service for years. Anything not bought or donated goes straight to the dumpster. They will not protect you or your rights from harassing, belligerent customers. The customers money is much more important than you as an employee. These types of customers are never dealt with and will continue to shop and continue their terrible behavior at your expense. Management: The corporate office has little to no communication with the districts until something goes majorly wrong, by then it’s way too late to fix. Store management is chosen out of personal preference NOT education or experience. They have no idea how to run a retail store nor how to effectively manage and motivate staff to their highest efficiency. They are paid literally .50 cents more an hour than regular staff. If you offer suggestions that would make things more efficient and better overall, you are ignored. HPB does not take care of its older locations, only expanding and creating new ones. The network is outdated and incredibly slow,this affects registers and credit card transactions which fail from time to time or take minutes to process after the transaction is over. They still use IE as a browser, a security risk. You are better off checking the shelves physically than waiting on the system to tell you the status of the book your searching for. It’s like trying to do your job with one hand tied behind your back. They recently have been focusing on more online sales through their website or Amazon. This means you are expected to ask every customer for their email address for marketing purposes. This while also getting so many Search and Ship orders per week beyond all the other duties you will have. If you do not meet the quota of 5 a week then it will reflect negatively on you. I fail to see why employees are expected to do marketing’s job for them. Hounding a customer to do a search and ship, a service that most customers don’t have knowledge of or want and then making them wait 7-14 business day for their book is an eternity and quite frankly ludicrous. HPB is not Amazon and never will be. If you still decide to apply after reading all this, remember this company threw 2100 of its 2700 employees under the bus during this pandemic. Cutting them off from funds and insurance in the most desperate time in recent history. I was an employee of 10+ years, I never made anywhere near 30k a year. I worked weeknights, weekends, holidays, did extra time and wasn’t even paid out my full vacation time accrued when laid off. Do not expect your experience to be any better. Why are they currently open and subjecting their employees to possible infection? One word: Money. They do not care about you only what you will do for them. This company does not deserve to survive the current circumstances.

    Half Price Books2020-05-11
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Nice, Easy Place To Work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    You'll find an endless amount of books and media that you want to purchase; you get a nice employee discount; co-workers are generally chill and have a friendly/fun work relationship

    Cons

    Shelving books day after day can become mind-numbingly boring, but generally, they'll let you switch it up to something different. They also never hire full-time; full-timers are hired within from people that have worked there years - the list is long.

    Half Price Books2020-04-01
  5. Helpful (7)

    "Not great"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Discount, easy work, always something to do

    Cons

    Terrible management, favoritism, nepotism, terrible raises

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    Half Price Books2020-04-10
  6. Helpful (10)

    "Doesn't Value Employees Like They Claim"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Decatur, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working with books, relaxed work environment, fun atmosphere

    Cons

    Company doesn't value employees, lies to staff and customers, shady about letting consumers know their business practices, ignores employees

    Continue reading
    Half Price Books2020-04-06
  7. Helpful (4)

    "this company doesn't value employees"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Cincinnati, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    paid time off, profit sharing (though this is decreasing), insurance

    Cons

    ever shifting policies and practices make it impossible to do your job, favoritism, hostile work environment

    Continue reading
    Half Price Books2020-04-21
  8. Helpful (13)

    "6 Years of Loyalty- Thrown Out on my Ear"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Tukwila, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    My coworkers were some of the most passionate, giving, loyal people I've known. For the most part, you worked there because you cared- certainly not for the money. I was able to move across the country with this company, thanks to transferring stores. Full-time employees are provided healthcare, a 401k, and other benefits, namely an astounding employee discount. Daily tasks are usually varied, and a certain amount of independence and responsibility is entrusted to staff.

    Cons

    6 years to the day, I was fired without cause over the phone, along with over 2000 other people. I had been told I would be able to use my accrued vacation time during our mandatory store closure due to COVID-19. We were reassured over and over that the company had our best interests at heart and that they were doing everything possible during this pandemic. Throughout the month of March, corporate management failed to anticipate the severity of the crisis, choosing to downplay the pandemic to keep stores open during a large sale, staying open to the hazard of staff and customers, and changing the narrative from day to day. Communication with staff was sporadic and confusing. I along with many others who did not feel safe working with the public was reassured multiple times that corporate was taking our concerns seriously. When our company closed to the public I was told we would be maintaining staff and store functions at a minimum, but that my job was secure. When the Shelter in place order was given, I was told I would have 5 days of paid administrative leave, then vacation time for any days I was not one of 2 people at the store scheduled. I was never scheduled, and on April 2, I received a phone call from my store manager wherein he read a form letter informing me that I was being terminated. I had no warning, nor did I have any disciplinary issues or other infractions on my record. In the following days, the HR hotline fired employees were provided has gone to voicemail. The company has made no public statement about the firings. In summary, Half Price Books claims to be a company that values its employees and customers. It doesn't.

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    Half Price Books2020-04-05
  9. Helpful (8)

    "Awful"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books

    Pros

    Discount and some cool staff

    Cons

    Managers were bullies who picked favorites and turned blind eye to them being lazy bullies. Disinterested district manager. Not to mention the biggest con of letting go 2000 people during a pandemic. No job, no insurance.

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    Half Price Books2020-04-06
  10. Helpful (12)

    "Horrible Corporate Management"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Chicago, IL
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Coworkers are great, some of the best people I’ve worked with.

    Cons

    Corporate pretended everyone’s jobs were secure and then laid off most of the employees with no notice. Store refused to close for coronavirus until it was forced to and continued buying used media, putting employees and customers at risk. Corporate needs to get its act together quick.

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    Half Price Books2020-04-02
Found 377 reviews