Working at Books-A-Million: Company Overview and Reviews

1127 reviews
Books-A-Million Ratings
Average rating of 1127 reviews on Indeed
3.3Work-Life Balance
2.5Pay & Benefits
2.8Job Security & Advancement
Birmingham, AL
5,001 to 10,000
$100M to $500M (USD)
Consumer Goods and Services

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Salary Satisfaction
Of the employees are satisfied about their pay
Based on 1574 reviews
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Books-A-Million Reviews

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Overall Reviews at Books-A-Million

Bookseller | Beavercreek, OH | Oct 7, 2019
Do not work here, you will have to lie to customers!
If you do your research on the web you will find that Books-a-Million has been voted the worst company in America to work for two times. There are many reasons for this and I'll tell you what they are... At first, I was excited, I love books and helping people find good ones to read. I'm a seasoned employee, I'm already a full-time librarian and have been one for nearly ten years. Working at BAM was just an extra job. I worked at the Beavercreek store in Ohio. My first day the training was atrocious. I was sent to a cluttered backroom office and made to watch videos on how to upsell rip-off magazines/membership cards to unsuspecting customers because that is your main job as a bookseller. The next several training days were spent shadowing at the register and watching the cashiers do this very thing. You must upsell THREE DIFFERENT things to EVERYONE at the register. They are as follows: a membership card that costs $25. Knowing full and well that no one wants to pay to be a member anywhere (hence why the discount card at every other retail establishment is free) they mandate you twist the truth by saying something like, "Would you like to sign up for a membership? Normally it's 25 dollars to join but today I can give it to you for 8 dollars" Now, you must be thinking, how is this so? It is because you are instructed to do the math by discounting the items immediately and counting the ten dollar gift card the customer gets for signing up and then subtracting that figure f
Pros30% off discount
ConsLousy pay, must meet quotas, lie to customers, poor management
Customer Service Representative | Katy, TX | Mar 28, 2012
Highly Stressful Environment
I'll try to be as brief and straight to the point as possible. Books A Million in Katy Mills is a difficult, stressful job. Just because you're selling books and coffee doesn't mean the work is easy or relaxing. I'm writing my review in this way because I'm someone who gets easily stressed out and I suffer from horrible anxiety. So I want to warn any anti-social or stressful individuals about the cons of Books A Million. I've seen people quit the job or walk off on a regular basis. Managers are also quiting or leaving the company on a regular basis. Job security is not guaranteed. You sign a contract on your first day that gives management the right to fire you whenever they please and without giving you a specific reason. The job is monotonous, tedious and highly repetitive. I can't really convey how emotionally and mentally draining it is to answer phones all day and clean the same book shelves over and over and over again. Imagine cleaning your entire house for two to four hours every single day. The busiest days are Friday nights, weekends and the holiday season. November-New Year's Day. Customers are and will always be rude to you and they will also be highly demanding and pushy if they do not get what they want. The customers want to be treated like royalty and expect to be treated like a worthless grunt by the customers. It took all of my self control not to physically attack certain customers because of their deliberate viciousness. Customers will hurt you if they
Prosemployee discount
Conssloppy management/managers, rude and hurtful customers, employees must clean restrooms, high level of stress, takes hours to clean store after closing time.
Bookseller | New Jersey | May 24, 2013
No card sales? No hours!
First off let me state, I love the idea of BAM!... the selection of the store is plentiful, and theres always more there than you actually bargain for. Tables turn when you're behind the scenes though.... Your days are either 5 hour shifts or 8-10 hours a day. Your job as a bookseller is to stand at the register and sell Millionaire's Club Cards... this is the companies discount card. I honestly don't know why the don't call the position "Card Seller." Your given a piece of paper with your daily goals.. you must sell a certain amount of these cards, you must obtain a certain number of automatic renewal sales (for the cards) and you must obtain a certain number of magazine subscriptions. For every $300 you make through customer purchase you must sell at least 1 card. so if 3 people spend 100 a piece, one of those people need to buy the card in order for you to keep your selling percentage up. The idea of the customer service is to get them in the line and out of the line quickly... Quickly doesn't happen then when you're forced to explain ALL the benefits, and then top it off with "Oh and it's ONLY $20 a year".... It's an automatic no, and you're screwed. Even if YOU the employee understands you make the money back off the card, the customers don't and in the end it ends up hurting you. The pros of selling cards? -----> You earn money with each card you sell. The cons of selling cards? ------> If you DON'T make goals, your hours are cut. If people come u
Prosfree coffee/tea in march, able to check out books without purchasing them
Conszero hours if you dont sell cards, only 20% discount, not a steady source of income
Sales Associate | Knoxville, TN | Oct 11, 2019
I wanted to love this place.
Before starting at BAM, I felt it was a wonderful opportunity to work for a fun and interesting company. Only to find myself disappointed. Consequent to having my interview, the manager specifically asked me if I had anything to add or ask her, I immediately informed her of my current position. Explaining to her that I can ONLY work 3 days a week, because my Husband was a manager and those were the only times that I would be available, and the fact that we only have ONE car. After asking her if that was alright, she told me that it was absolutely fine, which made me even more excited to begin. My first week was definitely a bit intimidating, but fun no less! One week, I could only work 2 days, but I informed my employer of the situation 2 WEEKS ahead (because my husband usually received his schedule 2 weeks in advanced), she said that was fine, because she had yet to make the schedule for that week, to which I was relieved. Afterwards, my schedule went back to normal. That is, until the 3rd week came and I realized I was only on the schedule for 2 days. When asked, she explained that we weren't as busy and she had to cut some hours. I understood and I accepted that. But, then came the 4th week: 2 days, again. I started to realize that even after a month later, it never changed. So, I asked about it, only to receive a "Oh, I don't know anything about that. Sorry. You'll have to ask so-and-so", by the second manager. Unfortunately, the first manage
Bookseller | Spring Hill, TN | Feb 12, 2019
Bad, Not Terrible
You're not a bookseller, you're not a barista, you're a membership and magazine salesperson first, and that's how hours are divvied up. Doesn't matter how good you are at CS. They want you to con people into getting free mags, hoping they'll forget and be charged the subscription. The upper management harangues the GMs when their numbers are low, which is always, as no one wants the memberships or mags. So the GMs, the bad ones, take it out on you. You will not get over $12 an hour, even as a co-manager, without selling a ton of the memberships and mags. Advancement is hardly there; it doesn't seem they promote from within that much, and the promotions don't seem worth anything until you get to be a DM. Maintenance of the cafe (getting the right parts to fix the espresso machine, for instance) can be a downright joke, as well as other supply inefficiencies. Now, it wasn't all bad. It's not the worst job you can get. The discount is decent, and you're working with books. The hours are usually fairly flexible, although that seems to vary a bit from store to store. Besides some of the metrics stuff, it's a really laid-back place; you won't be coming home covered in grease and smelling like burgers, and if the barista's cool, they'll give you something from the cafe all the time. Except for occasional late-night or early-morning restocks or signage changes coinciding with the holiday seasons, your chances of being stuck late are not as high as other places, and you'll neve
ProsLaid-back, decent discount (30% if it's still the same), generally pleasant customers
ConsPoor management/support, poor pay/little incentive, advancement isn't worth the time investment
Warehouse Worker | Florence, AL | Feb 29, 2016
You are at the bottom, and there you will stay.
NOTE: THIS IS FOR THE WAREHOUSE POSITIONS FOR BOOKS A MILLION I worked at this place for 5 miserable years. It was my first job right out of high school, so believe me when I tell you that no one belongs here. No one deserves to work at a terrible place like this. The pay is minimal, "yearly raises" only happen once every 3 years, if you're lucky, and management is absolutely ridiculous. The only good thing about that place is job security. I don't think they've ever had lay offs, but make no mistake, if you even look at a manager a certain way, you will be out of the building faster than you can imagine! Now, I will admit, I do have a few fond memories working out there, but there are more bad than good, to say the least. The work is terribly monotonous, depending on the department (I feel so sorry for you if you get put in Internet pick) the hours are awful, you become their property, basically, and the benefits. The benefits are probably the worse thing about this place. They're so bad, I went without insurance the entire 5 years, because they weren't worth paying for. Even with the insurance you pay for the majority of whatever it is you may need. There is no place in the world quite like this place. They're so cheap, most of the warehouse equipment doesn't work, so you can't get your work done properly, so you get yelled at for not doing your job. This place is in desperate need of an upgrade in management, equipment, and healthcare. If you're looking fo
ProsIt was close to my house
ConsEverything I just said above
Bookseller | York, PA | Jun 7, 2019
Generally a good place to work. Nice environment if you like being in a place with lots of books. Management was not the best though.
I enjoyed working at BAM for the type of environment that it was, since I enjoy reading and loved being around all the books, and other items that they sold (games, puzzles, children's toys, etc.). I helped to stock and open a brand new store, which was fun and interesting. However, once it was open, management made it unpleasant at times on an almost daily basis because of the constant pressure to sell customers extra things at the checkout counter, such as magazine subscriptions and a BAM membership (not sure if they still do this; this was years ago) for extra discounts. If I was caught not doing this, since I would sometimes forget, (other times I would purposefully skip asking a customer or 2 because I didn't like having to do this - most people said "no" and some were very annoyed by the question), I would sometimes be pretty severely scolded by one manager in particular, which was embarrassing and humiliating in front of my co-workers. He was impatient and at times unprofessional in his handling of situations. Other managers were much more pleasant to work with and more patient and understanding if there was a problem of any sort. The very low pay there and no benefits for part-timers, made it hard to put up with this sort of treatment, and I was almost glad to leave when they cut hours temporarily (supposedly) for me and a few others due to slow sales, although this was not handled well either. Did not find this out til I arrived for work one day. Was not called or no
Assistant General Manager | Cleveland, TN | Jun 2, 2012
Company focus is profit driven at the expense of its employees
In my two years with the company, my store was slowly squeezed from the inside out. 2010 proved to be a great year in which I thrived to manage up to twenty employees on a daily basis. My GM was a great mentor that drove us to achieve the number one ranked store in the company for 2010! I became the Assistant GM and assumed full responsibilities for the cafe, training, loss prevention, scheduling, and book management. I learned to prioritize and to handle all varieties of situational occurrences. However, company initiatives began to change in 2011. Upper management began to shift and we started to see waves of district managers come and go. Stores began closing down and hours of operation across the board suddenly decreased; along with them my store's payroll. Titles for which my employees had worked years to earn were now stripped away and bonuses were magnificently unobtainable. Although, tasks of operation continued without payroll and business hours in which to complete them; it ultimately fell upon my boss and I to pick up the slack. Sixty hour weeks became a staple in order to maintain the duties at hand. All holidays and weekends were sacrificed for that extra push in sales and merchandise switch outs. I began to feel almost abused by the once giving and now simply demanding company. Upper Management did not stay long enough to get a sense of our flow and only cared to change it to their liking every three months. Opportunities to influence sales dwindled and we were
Bookseller | Winchester, VA | Jul 19, 2013
It's definitely a place...
Books-A-Million was a job I definitely loved for a very long time. It is a retail environment with a heavy focus on sales and I enjoyed the competition to make the goals set by the company. I think that the goals they set were very fair and doable with the proper dedication. However, during my time at the store, there was a huge issue with management turn over. This was not just in the store, but upper management as well. The core employees, such as myself stuck around through a lot of changes and adjusted accordingly, but this was no easy feat. My co-workers and even one of the managers became, and are still, my best friends. This job is exactly what you expect it to me in many respects. You get to work around books and coffee, which is wonderful if you're into those things. The most difficult part of this job was easily trying to constantly compensate for being understaffed. The longer I was there, it seemed very obvious to me that it was more important for the company to save money than to get the job done properly. Due to this, it made everything more difficult. Books became harder to find, the cleanliness of the store suffered, customers grew frustrated with the lack of assistance available, and by the time they got to the register- they certainly weren't interested in our add on programs.It was also sad to know that there was little room for advancement in salary or position. However, I made a lot of friends working at Books-A-Million. Not just employees, but our regula
Proschecking out books
Conslittle room for advancement, high management turn over
Specialist | Bossier City, LA | Jun 21, 2014
It's a job in the most unmotivational way ever encountered
Here's a basic rundown of how the typical day goes at BAM: Manager opens the store a couple minutes late. The usual customers come in to find new books or get a drink. Cashier/Barista get informed of how many cards they have to get to make percentage. Customer Service becomes a madhouse as there is only one person to run the desk/operate the phones. Manager wanders around and does something helpful every now and then, sometimes rarely at all. Store closes after a long day and all the customers leave unhappy because the cashier/barista would not stop harassing them over the discount card. On the bright side, if you work at the Customer Service desk, you can learn how to be personable and make a few friends as well as stock some shelves. It's easily the least stressful job in the store, unless you're supposed to do 15 things at once which occurs on a semi-regular basis. It's a thankless job though, considering you're not directly involved with the metrics of the store. Management in this store is ridiculous to say the least. The first thing the new General Manager did when he got to the store was have a meeting about how everyone was replaceable and we needed to meet metrics. He then proceeded to inform us on how to sell cards and magazines by avoiding pertinent information on how to cancel them and encouraging shady ways to sell customers on them. Epic scams are abundant with this company. As an added note, the store becomes unbearably hot in the summert
ProsBeginner Experience
ConsEverything else, and more

Questions And Answers about Books-A-Million

If you were in charge, what would you do to make Books-A-Million a better place to work?
Asked Apr 24, 2017
Magazine subscriptions: people hate having a product push at the last minute. Instead "do you want to know about . . .?" "Would you like a flyer . . . ?" etc. From upper management to bookstore management: notice people, the work they've done, and let them know. I've even been told "well of course you're doing a good job! We wouldn't be piling things on if you weren't."
Answered Mar 30, 2022
Schedule two week in advance, better communication
Answered Jul 19, 2021
What is the best part of working at Books-A-Million?
Asked Mar 31, 2020
They became family.
Answered Jun 25, 2022
The people that yore able to meet, and work with are the best part. (It’s not the pay, and merit increases)
Answered Jun 21, 2022
If you were to leave Books-A-Million, what would be the reason?
Asked Jan 12, 2018
General management were so rude, and the constant nagging for cards and magazines was awful
Answered Jun 29, 2021
Low salary, NO GM, District manager is unpleasant
Answered Sep 25, 2019
Can you have crazy colored hair?
Asked May 1, 2017
It depends on the manager but usually yes. It does sometimes affect your sales, though especially if a lot of older people come in the store.
Answered Jan 13, 2019
Company policy dictates that you can have different hair color, piercings as long as they’re not excessive, and tattoos that shoe as long as they are not offensive. If your store has told you otherwise, you need to call corporate and report it.
Answered Aug 17, 2018
What questions did they ask during your interview at Books-A-Million?
Asked Jul 21, 2016
The typical interview questions about why you want to work there, how you'd deal with upset customers, etc. We also spoke about how much I read and what type of books I like. Also about sale initiatives, and how well could you sell the extras to customers (magazines for millionaires, the Books-A-Million membership, donation drives, etc.)
Answered Mar 18, 2018
Tell me about a time you had to deal with an upset customer. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
Answered Feb 3, 2018