Overstock.com Reviews | Glassdoor

Overstock.com Reviews

Updated June 23, 2017
691 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.8
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Overstock.com CEO Patrick M. Byrne
Patrick M. Byrne
522 Ratings

691 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • In my department I have excellent work/life balance (in 67 reviews)

  • Great environment with great people (in 40 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Great Place To Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great environment, the people are great. New Management and the new executive team is the best is has been.

    Cons

    Benefits /Pay could be more competitive

    Advice to Management

    Keep going on the right direction.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Wasn't a great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Demand Management Analyst in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Demand Management Analyst in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, good entry level position before I went back to graduate school.

    Cons

    No way to move up in the company, inexperienced SVP's.

    Advice to Management

    Better pay means better workers.


  3. Helpful (9)

    "I wouldn't recommend it to others"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Overstock.com is good about it's reasonable work schedules for salaried employees, depending on the job position. Overstock, from my experience, has not tried to take advantage of it's salaried employees by overworking them or expecting that they work 60 hour weeks. There are a few company sponsored programs that allow for growth that are given to it's employees. The company also offers a floating holiday which can be taken 1 of 4 days which allows a bit more flexibility in planning time off. The view from the corporate office has a beautiful outlook at the mountains.

    Cons

    Compensation for work is somewhat non-competitive when compared to the field. To rub salt in that wound, the company is rather open about the fact that it is intending to hire many new members, making it obvious that the lack of pay is not due to the fact that the company does not have the funds for it but rather, a choice made by the management.

    The process by which an employee is let go is obscure without offering any insight into what happened or how you yourself can avoid a similar fate. Office politics run rampant, and while employees are openly judged bi-yearly by their managers with little ability to speak out against an unfair rating, they have no ability to rate their managers in return, or even speak out against a bad one. In addition, the system on which they are rated is undefined until the moment that they are rated, leaving one wondering exactly what they will be judged on at this particular moment in time.

    Parking is atrocious at the corporate office, with not nearly enough parking spaces provided for the employees, and most new employees have to park in the overflow lot and take a shuttle to work.

    While the company does provide some web courses for people to take that it touts are worth college credits, these are primarily a bone thrown to it's customer service department, and useless to anyone who already has a college degree and is looking to expand their education.

    Advice to Management

    It has been said a few times that one of the realizations that happened with the overstock management was that it's employees were valuable and paying for ones that do good work was worth the extra money. Lately these words seem to have rung hollow, and instead it feels more as if the employees are yet another piece of overstocked merchandise that when it can't be utilized is simply thrown to the wayside.

    Provide more accountability upward as opposed to simply in one direction. Allow employees to have an anonymous voice for whether or not they feel like they're being treated fairly by their managers.

    Allow more insight into the reasons why people are let go so other people can avoid making the same mistakes. And if there is no good reason why someone was fired, then perhaps that's an indication that they were fired for the wrong reasons.

    Get more parking spaces.

    Offer real opportunities for growth, not just to the people working for the CS department but across the company.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Not a friendly place to work"

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

    Pros

    overstock has decent pay and benefits

    Cons

    Management is incompetent. You have to kiss up to them to get any attention, the people that have moved up have done so because of that

    Advice to Management

    Quit your day jobs please


  5. Helpful (11)

    "Great company Gone horribly WRONG"

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

    Pros

    Health benefits are OK
    It is a great place if you are a ski bum or if you like hiking the state of Utah, or simply because you have a higher reason not to leave the state of Utah.
    If you are good at selling ideas that sound good in meetings and love to have meetings from 8am to 6pm, this is the place for you. If you are crafty enough to arrange your work schedule around meetings, you can actually move from one meeting to another for a whole week, without actually performing any real job as long as you talk your way around the great projects or ideas that should be implemented and take down any new initiatives or real work done by others.
    Align yourself with the VP of Merch/marketing and you are done and don't ever go against any of the buyers.

    Cons

    Toxic work environment, you can actually spent days without talking to anyone.
    No vision of the future at the leadership level.
    Every day there is a Fire drill kind of environment, where the only thing you do is take out fires (problems) and being careful not to be blamed for the causes of the problem.
    Patrick Byrne made a great idea a reality, sadly most of his time, ideas and money are spent in fighting everybody else with lawsuits (wallstreet, hedge funds, gary weiss,banks etc) and talking about naked short selling, which is in fact a problem, but not the cause of Overstock's stock price decline.
    So the company is headless in terms of direction and lacks vision of the future.
    Retention rate of employees is very low, the average time a person stays at Overstock is close to 1 year.
    There is no open communication channel from lower to upper management levels, last initiative was to set up a web interface to allow employees to voice their ideas, but the qualification process of the ideas is in the hands of the same people that truncate the communication to the decision person (Patrick Byrne).
    Great place if you love to spend your time in Facebook and Youtube, just make sure you have one of those 3M screen protectors, so no one can see from the side what you are doing.
    No retention strategy for talented employees.

    Advice to Management

    There is a lot of raw talent, at Overstock due to the location close to BYU and UofU, but it is not fully used because the culture prevalent at Overstock, makes people behave as Know it All's.
    Once these talented people get a hold of the business, they move to other positions leaving Overstock, without the knowledge because there is never a transition of tasks.
    Once someone is gone, all the experience and knowledge is gone.


  6. Helpful (10)

    "This is a company that never quite matured."

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

    Pros

    Folks here are friendly.
    Folks try very hard to get their jobs done despite a strong culture of micromanagement.

    Cons

    Nepotism
    Poor compensation
    Short-sighted planning ans strategy
    Middle management does not last long unless they act as "yes men" to their executives
    Poor ability to identify and follow best practices
    The CEO has a dog he brings into the office and he lets it wander around and sniff people.
    Extreme levels of dishonesty from the CEO and his direct reports.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to "overstock.com", "o.co" has no brand recognition.
    Keep the customer service and the marketing departments completely separate.
    Start holding vendors accountable for services provided.
    Understand that as an internet retailer your core business depends on reliable IT service and your IT department has been gutted by poor wage raises and compensation.
    Concentrate on what you are doing good at, not on fads.
    An "open" work area environment is counterproductive when the office is so crowded.
    The CEO should quit micromanaging.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "Company has Strong Potential for Growth but Weighed Down by Terrible Senior Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The Corporate Office is in a great location. There are scenic views of the Wasatch Mountains from the building with great hiking and skiing just a short drive away.

    PTO is given when needed. The company does a good job respecting the personal lives of the employees. I’ve never had trouble taking time off, even on short notice.
    The IT departments in the company do promote based on experience and you can be rewarded for hard work when positions above you become available.

    The company has a fairly loose internet policy and you are allowed to use YouTube or view other websites in your downtime. This has the potential for abuse, but very few websites are actually blocked from employees.

    Many midlevel managers are friendly and care about their employees and the quality of the work environment within their departments. They have limited power to solve problems but they will listen to your concerns.

    Overstock supports artisans from around the world by promoting their goods through the Worldstock program.

    Cons

    The CEO believes employees will work better when there is no barrier to communication. In most departments, this means that desks are crammed together back to back and side to side with no cubicle walls or privacy of any kind. In some areas there are over 100 employees in a single room. Employee screens are visible to anyone who cares to look. The open air workplace is incredibly noisy and distracting with no barriers to overhearing nearby phone calls, conversations, or meetings. This environment is a huge detriment to productivity.

    Overstock spends a lot of time on side businesses such as selling cars, vacations, or insurance which are often added to the business plan only to be cancelled shortly thereafter. The problem is not that these are terrible ideas but that they are poorly planned and not properly supported once implemented. Once started, the focus quickly shifts to the next big idea leaving the last one to flounder until it is quietly killed and removed from the website. While these side projects don’t affect the jobs of most employees, they are expensive to implement which directly affects the amount of money in the bonus and raise pool. Some of the recent projects cost millions of dollars yet were cancelled before even appearing on the website.

    The CEO and the SVPs have far too much power to push through projects in the company. If one of the executives has an idea, it will be implemented without being seriously vetted. Employees with expertise in their field are routinely ignored in favor of gut hunches from the executives. Those who suggest that an idea might not be in the best interest of the company usually do not last long, sometimes leaving of their own accord but oftentimes fired for some small offense. The fear of vindictive reprisals results in employees just doing what they are told to do without offering any suggestions, regardless of any knowledge that could improve the project.

    Overstock suffers from nepotism, with many managers, directors, and especially SVPs promoted based on how well they are liked rather than their experience. This has resulted in some exceptionally inept management. Because most of the SVPs have no prior executive experience, they continue to manage as if they were still team leads. Executive micromanagement of projects is a rampant problem throughout the company. It is not at all uncommon for SVPs or even the CEO to assign projects directly to an employee, often with unrealistic deadlines and no regard for whether that project even relates to the employee’s work responsibilities.

    Despite repeated claims to the contrary, the senior management at Overstock does not value the input of its workforce. Employees have been repeatedly told to keep constructive criticism to themselves, especially if it relates to a project that an executive is involved with. Employees who offer opinions, regardless of how well supported they may be, are usually removed from working on the project and sometimes fired. Employees are scared to give honest feedback and instead resort to giving false praise to obviously doomed projects to preserve their jobs. This causes many projects that could have been saved (or killed if warranted) in the early stages to fail after deployment.

    There are also a wide variety of subjects employees are repeatedly told not to ever discuss in any way, including the stock price (due to the CEO’s belief that outside forces are manipulating it to make it appear less valuable), lawsuits against the CEO or company, criticism of the CEO’s website deepcapture.com, or complaints about the CEO’s attack dog walking unleashed around the building and frightening employees. Occasionally a new employee will unknowingly mention one of these subjects and will be quickly told never to do so again.

    Most employees that I’ve spoken with view the company as a resume builder but not as a place for long term employment. The average turn over time is very short with employees of as little as two or three years being viewed as the seasoned workforce. Most employees leave within 18 months, even on the VP level. There have been 15 VPs in the marketing department alone over the last four years. This volatility results in a lack of overall focus as each VP has had a different view of the direction the department should follow. Employees are often shifted around between teams that need more people to support the new VP’s vision with little regard to the employee’s skill. Within six months of their hiring dates, most employees have changed desks and teams more than once, usually without any change in compensation. In addition to the volatility, there is little incentive for employees to stay as tenure does not come with increases to salary or PTO allotment and the company’s 401k matching policy is so poor that departing employees lose very little by not waiting to become fully vested. I would not recommend Overstock as a good place to work.

    Advice to Management

    The executive micromanagement and nepotism need to stop. They are causing the company’s potential growth to stagnate at best and are contributing to a decline at worst. Rather than promoting the employees that are the most fun to party with, hire people that have expertise in their fields and then actually listen to and follow their advice rather than your own uninformed gut feelings. There are good ideas from within the workforce. Listen to what employees have to say and don’t view constructive criticism as hostile.

    Stop spending money on side businesses unless there is an actual plan in place to bring them to success. We are not an insurance company and unless we plan on hiring some employees who know anything about running an insurance company, we should probably stop trying to sell insurance. The employees work hard and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts and it is incredibly frustrating to us to not receive bonuses or raises due to the budget shortfalls caused by the failures of expensive projects that are far outside of the company’s core competency. We are great at selling bed, bath, and garden items. Let’s focus on expanding that and stop trying to be a real estate company, car dealership, insurance broker, and travel agency unless we’re prepared to support those areas with knowledgeable employees.


  8. Helpful (14)

    "Very frustrating place to work, they are headed for a crash"

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

    Pros

    Overstock generally hires smart people that are nice to work with. The location is very nice and composition is on standard with nation and generous for Utah.

    Cons

    Overstock has been one of the most frustrating places to do software development. I have heard software development at Overstock described as 'Mob Architecture' and cowboy development. You can literally be writing code and have someone else change it the next day and not talk to you at all (but its ok because they talked to Arch). Their biggest code base is their Shopping Site and it is a complete disaster. It is like no one thought at all about where to put code, who should maintain it and most code is placed where ever 'it just works'. When new projects are implemented usually little thought is put in place to design, but just what is quickest.

    The Architecture group mainly focuses on writing 'frameworks' that wrap just about every open source project they use (hibernate, jersey etc) in what I consider mostly fluff and unneeded abstractions of the true underlying framework. Overstock has created their own JSP like framework and their own dependency injection framework as well. They don't adhere to many basic pragmatic design choices (such as write once) maintaining many different internal libraries for model code that map the exact same behavior in a different library. Applications sometimes share the same table structure and communicate through database changes. They even have a reporting structure that tells the applications what to do through the database, there is no clear authority when it comes to data management. Communication between architecture and the teams varies quite a bit, depending on which person in Arch your working with (they don't communicate with each other either).

    Development teams are organized according to how the Business is organized, which on the surface works. But in reality leaves the development team vulnerable to the creativity of the senior management around the business entity. If you work for a Product Owner that lacks vision get ready for some uninteresting work (just do what X e-commerce site has already done), and potentially left for layoffs when push comes to shove. What the team works on is not collaborative at all. It is more like a hand me down of project work that is approved by senior management and left for the team to be excited about. When it fails that team is gone and the senior management chalks it up to a bad year. This recently happened when Overstock let go of 25% of it Developers and Testers, but not one senior management was affected even though it was widely known of some poor marketing decisions at the senior level brought about the bad year. And this was after they just hired quite a few individuals just 3 months previous!

    Overall I would avoid working for Overstock. Senior management doesn't allow for creativity on the team level. Domain ownership on a team level is almost nil. Company is headed for some rough times financially unless they start innovating!

    Advice to Management

    You hired smart individuals, let them find ways to make the company profitable rather than make everything a directive.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "No pay increase for over three years now"

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

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

    Pros

    I used to love my job and could not think of a better place to work. I feel Patrick Byrne is an awesome CEO and appreciate how he tackles even the most controversial issues (inside and outside Overstock.com)

    Cons

    I have worked at Overstock.com for almost 4 years now. Every year I keep hoping for a cost of living pay increase at least. But, I don't get one and, I am not the only one. I was recently told in my yearly appraisal review, once you hit a certain pay amount in customer service, there will be no more pay increases, no matter how long you work here.

    Advice to Management

    People need pay increases every year due to the cost of living going up. I know a lot of our awesome employees that have found other work, because they need to make more money. I just wish someone would have told me (4 years ago), that no one will ever make more than $13.00 an hour, as a customer service agent, no matter how long you work at Overstock.com. I feel I have wasted 4 years of my life now that I will never get back.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "It started out good and has slowly spiraled into a nightmare."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Care Agent in West Valley, UT
    Current Employee - Customer Care Agent in West Valley, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunities for growth – if you have the right connections.

    Cons

    This used to be a decent place to work, but has turned into a nightmare. If you are looking for a Customer Service position, don’t apply here unless you are desperate and haven’t been able to find work anywhere else. At one time the work environment was very laid back and easy going, but in the last year that has changed. The Team Leads monitor everyone’s phone to see who is not available to take calls, and walk around the floor yelling at agents so loud the customers can hear them. Agents are expected to respond to customer emails AND talk to customers while resolving their issues at the same time! We are monitored for the amount of minutes spent in “Bathroom Break”, and are discouraged from using the restroom except during our normal Break or Lunch time. Agents have become micromanaged to the point of being ridiculous. EVERYTHING is monitored and recorded except for the amount of air we breathe while we talk.

    There are quite a few specialty teams to apply for advancement to, but forget about being accepted for a position, unless you are best friends with or related to someone on one of those teams. If you have a medical condition and have FMLA approval, don’t ever miss work due to your condition, otherwise you will never be advanced to another team/department. Don’t ever complain or report any concerns to Human Resource, they are self admitted gossipers and you do not want to get on their bad side.

    The beginning of January 2014 the health insurance will be increasing to an HSA account with a high deductable, including prescriptions.

    Needless to say, there is a very high turnover rate here. I get home from work and right away check the job boards. This job has turned me into a nervous wreck and I actually have bad dreams about my job. The pay and the benefits are a joke considering what the employees have to put up with. If you like dealing with customers and supervisors yelling at you all day long, being micromanaged, cranking out emails and phone calls simultaneously all day long, and feeling like crying as soon as you get in your car, all for low pay and pitiful benefits, then this must be your dream job. I have worked in Call centers for over 20 years, and after working here, I never want to work in another Call center environment again.


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