Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 22 October 2014
Updated 22 October 2014
3,692 Reviews
3.3
3,692 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,533 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 115 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 336 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 605 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 139 reviews)

More Highlights

894 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 294 people found this helpful  

    Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The name will precede you. This company can legitimately be called a "Disruptor" and perhaps even a world-changer. Customers love it and it's amazing to watch it all unfold at times. It's a pleasure to be even a small part of that.

    Even low-level employees are given some ownership, more than they might in some other places. Processes like the customer service andon cord demonstrate this.

    Pay is mostly good, with some caveats (see the Cons section).

    You will learn a ton. You'll be put through the ringer, but will emerge stronger for it. It's been said that a year at Amazon = two years elsewhere. That's definitely true. You'll learn business, supply chain, tech, retail, you name it. You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly. That was one of my favorite parts about working here.

    You can bring your dog to the office, dress code is casual, and South Lake Union is a fun neighborhood to work in. Seattle is stunningly beautiful in the summer, too (if you have time to enjoy it, that is.)

    Bezos is one of the few CEOs I've seen who earns the glowing reputation. He's a genius and a visionary. It's exciting to work in his company, though the thought of what will happen when he moves on is also a bit frightening.

    Cons

    "Work-life balance" means different things to different people, so I'm not going to say it's bad here per se. That said, long hours are the norm at all levels across the company, and usually that's required and expected just to keep up. Expect 60 hours as your baseline year round and 70 or more during Q4. You should expect that your time and mental energy for kids, hobbies, etc. will be extremely limited. Plan accordingly. Whether this is a negative will depend largely on the individual; just ensure you know where you stand on this before you sign an offer letter.

    That Amazon is a massive company with tons of smart people at all levels can actually be a huge negative. You might be a solid individual contributor, but so is absolutely everyone else - and you're all fighting for the same attention. It can be very hard to stand out, and you have to ensure your manager and your manager's manager know what value you bring at all times or you're toast. (You may still be toast regardless.) That means politics, backstabbing, and stack ranking do occur, despite some claims to the contrary. People definitely look out for themselves and themselves alone here; it's not a collaborative environment. It's also very easy to get the sense that you are a highly expendable cog even if your contributions bring significant value to the company. Plan to fight for yourself hard here, and be prepared to not get much acknowledgment or praise. Even if you do prove yourself well, know that advancement opportunities are limited. Most transfers in my observation were lateral, with big new hires being external. I've heard that the strategy of many people is to do a few intense years of lateral moves which can then be leveraged into a higher position at another company.

    Compensation is a mixed bag. Salaries are just average, but you get a huge signing bonus and stock which vests in strange increments over four years. Since the average employee lasts less than two years, you will not see most of that stock and you may need to repay some of that signing bonus (usually awarded over two years) if you leave or are pushed out. Raises are very, very small each year - your salary will not substantially increase even with a good review. Most people work startup hours, so their effective pay rate is pretty low. Additionally, the company espouses frugality as a core value. While this can be a positive, it also means they're downright cheap on some things, including hardware. Employee perks are pretty much nonexistent, and that's compared to most big companies and not just the Googles of the world. Benefits like health insurance and 401k match are mediocre at best. No free Prime accounts. No paid parental leave; moms get disability and dads get zip. (As in zero. None.) I did mention earlier that this isn't the most kid-friendly company to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's great to work at a place that highly values customer experience, so please keep that up. Work on your compensation - it's not competitive when compared to other tech giants. If I'm going to work as hard or as much as I did, at least I'd get free haircuts and food and massages at Google. Hell, even some paid paternity leave would be a start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to gain industry leading experience in but be ready to sacrifice your life outside of work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Amazon Area Manager
    Current Employee - Amazon Area Manager

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great compensation package, great industry leading experience and rapid growth. All of these things make your resume stand out as well as having the opportunity to transfer to a different department or city due to the rapid growth of the company.

    Cons

    Poor work life balance, favoritism, racism, constant change. The pay comes with lack of a work life balance as you need to be prepared to work long hours with a short notice. Favortism and racism are alive within the FC's so look out for yourself, trust no one and document everything.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a streamline process for fair and concise promotability of internal candidates

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Work hard, work very hard

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    At the employee level and lower management, the collaboration and teamwork is there. Brown bag sessions are held, and training sessions are organized by peers.

    The insurance plans are top notch with a lot of choices, and cover most services.

    Cons

    The annual rating structure breeds a culture of doing something to just get ahead. All of the teamwork and collaboration goes out the window when the focus is shifted towards who is the top and who is the bottom.

    The principles are not well explained or followed through outside of the corporate office which creates a confusing environment where those who do go between the spaces don't know what to expect.

    Paid holidays are at a minimum and it is expected that work will still be done on those days. If an employee doesn't at least check in, then they miss the latest news or evolution of the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management would be to listen to the employees. Let them become true leaders and provide solid career paths.

    Focus less on results and more on people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Amazon is a great way to create mental toughness

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    flexible shifts
    friendly staff
    easy to move up

    Cons

    repetitiveness
    work environment
    no rewards for your work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Varies From day day. Some days you work extremely hard other days you may have the opportunity to go home.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Hazleton, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Hazleton, PA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Diverse work force, you can meet a lot of different people.Stock given to employees as a reward for the time you work with Amazon. Benefits are pretty good and a decent 4O1K with company match.

    Cons

    A lot of favoritism by supervisors and managers especially regarding promotions and job placement. Can be a very labor intensive job depending on the position you are placed in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give promotions to competent employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Program Manager Ops

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    A lot of ownership and hands on experience
    Managers are generally very open and supportive
    You normally have complex problems so you will never get bored
    Tons on innovations

    Cons

    Poor work life balance
    Long hours and possibility of burning out

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Dynamic work atmosphere, excellent learning

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work at if you are looking at rapidly improving your knowledge base. Very fast paced and dynamic work environment which keeps you on your toes all the time and ensures you deliver. Most of them on the business side are extremely intelligent and grounded people who are quite approachable and humble.

    Cons

    Lot of politics in some teams- but this is the case with most of the companies. Compensation is good but increments are rather meager during appraisal.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Software Engineer Intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amazon.com as an intern

    Pros

    I like the idea of saving time in Customer Service Application using bunch of AJAX and auto suggestion boxes and lots of tricks, and I learned a lot of knowledge in how the web and frameworks work.

    Cons

    The team I was in was not very prepared of having an intern, so I did not have much of the project-related experience like designing, implementing, bug bashing, and delivery. The environment was not very free nor fantastic like we heard about from many IT startups, and I had no free food...

  10.  

    Decent company but not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cloud Support Engineer in Dallas, TX (US)
    Current Employee - Cloud Support Engineer in Dallas, TX (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This is a place to get experience fast.
    Hiring process is excellent.
    Lots of smart people.
    Reasonable leadership principles.

    Cons

    Training is a joke.
    Planning is abundant but almost useless.
    Managers are vindictive.
    Zero transparency at all.
    "Frugal" mentality ruins most things.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk to employees, don't just sit in your office on conference calls all day with other out of touch managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Highly intensive work experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    You learn a lot in short time.

    Cons

    The company is highly unorganized. You need to search everything on your own.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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