Half Price Books Reviews | Glassdoor

Half Price Books Reviews

Updated February 13, 2017
200 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
Star Star Star Star Star
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Half Price Books President and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright
Sharon Anderson Wright
110 Ratings

200 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits (like the employee discount), not to mention the company itself is very employee driven (in 29 reviews)

  • Great company with great benefits (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • low pay, but it's a bookstore so (in 12 reviews)

  • Paid sick time reduced to 9 days per year from 12 (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Fun place to be."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Lexington, KY
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Lexington, KY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Half Price Books full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The best job I've ever had.

    Cons

    Nothing at all to complain about!


  2. "Full Time Customer Service"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits were good - vacation and time off were challenging

    Cons

    Direct Manager was very micro manager and was at times rude and did not treat everyone the same

    Advice to Management

    Get to know more about what goes on at the customer service and store locations


  3. "Hit or miss depending on location and management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Extremely laid back environment as far as retail goes. Coworkers and customers were mostly cool, management was flexible about working around my school schedule. The job is easy but varied enough to keep it interesting.

    Cons

    The quality of the work environment varies widely by location. Some managers are helpful and positive; some are an utter nightmare. Some shift leaders are great; some sit in the office on their phones all night. The company is not as profitable as it could be due mostly to unwise decisions made on the corporate level. Store employees suffer the most, with increased responsibility and slashed benefits.

    Advice to Management

    Promote more deserving people. Give positive feedback as well as negative. Quit wasting money on sidelines and dollar store-esque junk.


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  5. "Great Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Naperville, IL
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Naperville, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Only promotes withing
    Great work environment
    Room for growth
    Great work culture

    Cons

    Mostly only full time (not a con for me but for some)
    not many other downs other that its a bookstore. Don't expect an engineers salary.


  6. "Sad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Cincinnati, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The stuff is great, some co-workers are great.
    Pay is 'meh' for how hard you work. It all depends on your managers- some districts are awesome, some (Cincinnati, for example) are NOT.

    Cons

    If you're unlucky enough to work in a district or store that is full of bullies or cliques, it is awful.

    Advice to Management

    Reward your hard workers, don't shame them for making others (i.e. your lazy friends!) look bad!


  7. "Former Employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Cedar Park, TX
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Cedar Park, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time

    Pros

    Your hours never get cut, they hire temp workers when they need them, so you don't get screwed when it gets slow.

    Great atmosphere, especially if you love working with books.

    Some measure of freedom and discretion as far as your personal sections.

    Cons

    There is a massive amount of red tape if you get hurt and need time off.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out a way to get employees leave if they are injured without making it an ordeal. They're already hurt, try to make it easy for them to have a break. Especially unpaid leave!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Bookseller"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Louisville, KY
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Louisville, KY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and a fun work culture.

    Cons

    Management was finicky and could be unprofessional.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your employees and not let the good people leave.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Satan runs this place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Lexington-Fayette, KY
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Lexington-Fayette, KY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cheap books and other useless junk

    Cons

    Owner is a sociopath. He loves the Grateful Dead though so it's all cool. Ask any of the employees there, they are all unhappy. Corporate also doesn't have your back even if you're getting screwed over.

    Advice to Management

    Try to see how long you can hold your breath for.


  10. "You'll love it at first but it will break your bookish heart"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Shift Leader in Fremont, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Half Price Books full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I give this review one star to represent the superstars who I had the privilege of working with. This seems to be a running theme in the majority of these reviews: great coworkers. You see a lot of wonderful items come across the buy counter and the discount is great until you realize how much of your paycheck is going right back into their pockets.

    Cons

    I don't even know where to start because there are so many. Understaffed, overworked, underpaid. Shocking nepotism on the part of management. Taking away and reducing our benefits and going out of their way to find ways to fire long-time employees or make their lives miserable until they quit. Ridiculous hiring choices that resulted in more work for everyone but management (who could have avoided these painful processes if they had only listened to their supervisors rather than completely discounting their advice.) Customers who are allowed to walk all over you (in fact, we were encouraged to let them take advantage of us and treat us like garbage, perpetuating these behaviors.) Hostile work environment thanks to management. I keep mentioning management because they made everyone's lives a living hell due to their complete incompetence and antagonistic behavior, even towards customers (yes, the rest of us had to give them the sun and the moon while they were allowed to go so far as to call customers on the phone to berate them or deny them basic services in the store.) At our location, we had major issues with the homeless, having to clean blood and large quantities of feces from every surface of the bathroom, not to mention crack pipes and ashes, large-scale flooding of the toilets resulting in severe damage and loss of profits, multiple calls to the police, and we STILL were not allowed to close the restrooms to the public. Hey, did I mention management? Employees who went above and beyond for the sake of the store were chastised like children, told they were not allowed to speak to each other while working, were micromanaged to the point of ridiculousness, were made to feel like they didn't know how to do their jobs, were picked on incessantly for anything and everything, were banned from talking about work related issues or the sharing of information outside of work (What? Yes, they even tried to police us when we went home for the day.) I saw over 30 employees come and go in my time there and was told that this type of turnover was "normal." In what universe is this normal, especially when you're running your business with a skeleton crew at any given time? I could go on for pages and pages but I hope you get the gist.

    Advice to Management

    As my advice to "management" (I use the term loosely) was never heeded, I have none to give now that I have been lucky enough to get out of there. This should have been the best job ever. Instead, it turned into one of the worst.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Interesting job, but unreasonable expectations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Dublin, CA
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Dublin, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place if you love books, vinyl records, etc. Coworkers generally made it fun. Get to share your opinions and recommendations. Hour lunch. Never stuck in one position too long - many things to do, including register, buying books, shelving books, pulling books for clearance, boxing books, making displays, taking calls, etc.

    Cons

    Management has unreasonable expectations for how fast you work, how many boxes you clear, etc. Was explicitly told that the daily goals for boxes were unattainable in most cases, that the store manager designed it that way. Performance reviews focused on the negative. Must be a quick learner, because they expect you to be perfect from Day 1.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the positives - be more encouraging with your reviews, even while addressing things that need work. Spend time one-on-one if an employee needs improvement in one area. Make the goals more reasonable. Make schedules more consistent - going from opening one day to closing the next is hard on anyone.



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