Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 15 October 2014
Updated 15 October 2014
3,658 Reviews
3.3
3,658 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,509 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 112 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 331 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 599 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 138 reviews)

More Highlights

885 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 290 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. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to learn - horrible place to build a career

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of innovation and smart people. Great place to learn about many aspects of the business.

    Cons

    Preference is to hire managers externally vs. promoting from within. The incredibly difficult work-life balance takes high performing employees and burns them out until they have nothing left to give with little to no recognition or compensation. Promotions take a really long time and when transferring within teams there is very little chance to be promoted and starting all over again with a new manager within a lateral move, on a new team can take 1-2 years for promotion. Therefore, don't come to Amazon to build your career unless you're willing to put in a minimum of 3 years before being recognized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on developing. You hire the best so try and keep them and not just by giving them restricted stock units, that's a "dangling carrot" but by truly investing in their development and success. Promote work-life balance so people who have lives outside of work want to stay longer-term.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fairly Flat Organization structure with opportunity to grow, but no work life balance.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    A flat organization with many opportunities to grow and be visible. However, it's up to you to grow your career. Fast paced with a lot of highly motivated, intelligent, and smart people. There's a definite energetic vibe here as compared to another major corporation in the area. Co-workers are willing to help and provide assistance when needed.

    Cons

    Overworked and underpaid for the amount of work they wring out of people. Forget about work life balance. Too many release cycles piled on top of each other with not enough resources for people to succeed. The company name Amazon seems in line for a Darwinian culture where only the strong survive more than a year or two. Works well in the wild, but they end up losing very valuable people and experience in the end.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of stack ranking, focus on work life balance or hire more people or pay above market rate for the amount of work expected. Focus on your employees like you focus your customers as part of your "Leadership Principles".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    huge machine, smart and hardworking people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - INSTOCK in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - INSTOCK in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Amazon.com as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    people are lovely, willing to teach and bright.
    work is interesting, has a lot of systems that can be helpful, able to work with a lot of data
    work-life balance is quite good and flexible

    Cons

    disorganised, frantic. too busy fighting fires rather than thinking strategically. poor recruiting and onboarding process - little or no contact, very self service, kind of like a big start up still, perks are not great either.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Lots of responsibility and ownership. Lots of hours.

    • 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 have autonomy and ownership.of your business. Given a lot of responsibility early on.

    Cons

    Can be a lot of churn without enough direction. Feel like u are reinventing the wheel.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Learn A Lot and Move On

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great pay (base + bonus + equity)
    Ownership
    Some autonomy

    Cons

    Benefits - what benefits?, Managers who have been in the same group for too long, Home grown systems that aren't scalable or sustainable, HORRIBLE Data management system, Frugality as a principle and excuse = frupidity, no career growth, you have to transfer to a new role at your same level and can only be promoted in your existing role, non-documenting culture, attrition is high (avg tenure is less than 2 years excluding growth)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your systems, especially data warehouse. Work on your hr culture regarding internal transfer policies. Provide opportunities that allow someone to grow their career other than move groups every year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Passionate Frustration

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

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

    Pros

    Compensation was okay; stock options were the proverbial carrot. The fast pace of the operation kept things moving. Ultra casual attire was cool.

    Cons

    High workforce turn over required constant management / evaluation. Work-life balance did not exist in the distribution system. Mandated 20% management turnover created an environment of constant scrutiny. One strike for whatever reason and you better be looking for another option.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that performance management when done correctly helps create productive, solid employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good workers, lacking upper management

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

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

    Pros

    They have a good starting hourly wage for young people and the automatic raises are nice as well. It seems lots of the Tier I employees are good workers with good attitudes, definitely made tons of friends here at work. You get the occasional slacker but they tend to not last.

    Your health benefits are low cost and provide great coverage.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is one of this companies downfall, they expect you to drop whatever plans you have in order to work the overtime they call on very short notice. This overtime usually falls in line with holidays (New Years, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) so it's hard to spend time with your family during those holidays. Also don't expect to get Black Friday off unless you're willing to use Paid Time Off or Unpaid Time Off.

    Lack of experience in management is another of it's downfalls. They tend to hire managers right out of college, which means these managers lack the experience needed to work with or even discipline workers. Several times I've seen them pawn these assignments off to the Tier 3s because the managers didn't want to get the bad rep. They also don't have the courage to say "no" when a request comes down from their management, even if it means it'll strongly impact the stress and workload on the tier 1s below them.

    Management's focus on numbers and backing other management no matter what is it's final downfall. Above your AM (Area Manager) they tend to focus less on personnel and more on the numbers. This creates a problem if an issue comes up that needs to be go up the chain of command. This includes employees not being trained when they should be simply because management doesn't want to spend the hours to train. This increases the stress and likelihood of mistakes happening because it's always the same people doing the same stressful job day in and day out and on every occasion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider spending the time and money needed to make sure that the stressful jobs are able to be evenly distributed across a greater number of employees. Problem Solving, PIT Driving, TDRing, etc.

     Be willing to backup lower level employees if you know a manager has made a wrong decision and be willing to reverse their action and not just the management's decision as final.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great work, good pay, tough environment

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - very interesting work in an entrepreneurial environment
    - working with smart people, both in legal and business
    - great resume builder
    - regularly learning new areas of law

    Cons

    - hard to maintain work-life balance
    - legal team is very cliquish
    - "frugal" environment (I purchased some of my own office supplies as the ones supplied were very cheap)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

Work at Amazon.com? Share Your Experiences

Amazon.com

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.