All We Are is Dollars in a Wallet

The husband and I run an online dice store, Game Master Dice. I’ll write about the whole, sordid history of acquisition and the daily running of it one day; for now, I wish to discuss a phenomenon one experiences in sales:

Everyone is a walking wallet.

My husband told me that awhile ago, when I complained about how pressured I feel at stores. These days, I feel it everywhere. Websites, billboards, friends, store aisles -they are all trying to get a bit of my money. No –all of my money. It’s just a matter of who can grab it first with the brightest ad and the most compelling sales pitch.

Most of us learn to resist, mostly. Otherwise we’d not be living with a roof and walls whilst wearing clothes.

But the onslaught is relentless! I know that advertising has been around since before Pompeii. I know that companies have always sought the best way to purchase ad space in our brains. I also know that ads were less insidious, even when the mental takeover involved a catchy jingle.

If businesses could, they would literally brainwash us to buy. I incorporated that idea in my serial science fiction story.

I’ve thought about all these sales tactics lately because we’re trying to ramp up sales in the dice store. We are therefore pulling out the tricks I use(d) when doing paid content writing: keywords, tags, linking, Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook…

We want to make a living, but sales and marketing have always made me uncomfortable.

My consolation is that we’re marketing to people who want to purchase what we sell. They’re going online to find a dice set or a Reaper miniature or a dice cup, and we’re trying to point them down our little aisle of the internet. It’s not like we’ve popped up during their drive with a BUY OUR DICE NOW!!


I remember a job interview waaaaay back when, during which they asked me if I’d be comfortable selling their product to customers who called in. I had nailed the interview up to that point; I knew it. My answer to that question, I also knew, shot me right in the foot.

So how comfortable do you feel advertising? Do you tell friends and neighbors about a great deal without any qualms at all? Would you rather stay out of the Rat Race entirely and go live on Walden Pond?

If you get 10 of your friends to read and comment …yeah, nevermind.


If you read what I wrote this week, I guarantee you won’t be pressured to purchase anything:
Wednesday, July 24: “Summer Days Ain’t Lazy at All.” I complained about pregnancy.

Thursday, July 25: “The Top Ten Reasons I Can’t Write Romance.” Also complaining, but in a humorous way.

Friday, July 26: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Rasmus K. Robot and Charles!

Saturday, July 27: Announced the 36th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is your ‘favorite’ relative (who’s really not). PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, July 28: “One More Day,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt. Someone else was complaining.

Monday, July 29: An inspirational quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin. He says to stop complaining.

Tuesday, July 30: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Eight.”

Wednesday, July 31: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Manic Kids? Try Snacks!,” “Why the Heck Would Anyone Get Pregnant?,” and “Pregnancy Limerick.”


©2019 Chelsea Owens

32 thoughts on “All We Are is Dollars in a Wallet

  1. I would have to say that marketing is one of the things I find most difficult.
    But wow! What a lot of dice. My son used to play D&D when he was growing up. I think he still has a few D&D days with his friends (when he gets the day off from parenting responsibilities).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve noticed we all need to market ourselves in some fashion, say with your learning materials. Authors, performers; everyone applying for jobs need to get out there and it’s hard!

      So many adult people we know still like to play DND. Our neighbors told us they and their kids go to a monthly session run by another family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you say about marketing is true, but it’s not easy.
        It seems that once D&D has one hooked, it never lets go. It’s good that families can play together.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve personally never liked to having to act pushy to get people to buy things (I have worked in retail), but I guess businesses have to survive doing stuff like that.

    Jingles are a form of brainwashing. They are designed to get in your head and stay there for product recognition. I could still quite easily sing jingles from ads I saw as a kid.

    On a side note I might check your store as I’m always on the lookout for more dice, though any small amounts of spare income I ever have (haha!) ends up going to Star City Games for Magic singles….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! Magic, the Gathering! Another great pursuit!

      I’m with you on the advertising and brainwashing. I suppose I feel things have gotten worse and there’s no official board looking out for all the psychological damage the apps are wreaking.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re one of the few companies that ships international -and I know why! It’s an expensive pain!!!!! I need to write a post about our interesting experiences doing that.

      We charge a flat rate shipping for both, and the one for small international ($30) is either very close or not enough for the standard rate plus extra fees that come up. :\

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never a truer word! I haven’t had butter in months – not because it’s unhealthy (I’m not particularly that way inclined) but because I need to buy petroleum (I know you call it gas) for the car!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m useless at selling me and my own stuff but will work like a dog for somebody else.. Totally crazy.. I’m not sure what helps you become mega sales person of the year but I can’t bear to sell something to someone if I know they don’t need it.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t feel comfortable advertising literally anything, so I’m going to comment instead about how Lucky Strikes were considered the favorite cigarette in WWII rations. Rations were packed with random cigarette brands, and LS’s would be worth multiple Camels, Chelseas, and especially Raleighs. Ration rant over.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I DO like the look of those dice…and that is a perk to niche items; you know the people buying them want them either for themselves for a friend.

    Personally…not super fond of advertising. At least how insidious it’s become as of late. When I worked at a craft store, I didn’t care to push our product of the month on customers who clearly didn’t care for it. Especially if it was more than $30.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have some cool dice! I personally didn’t know about ones made with stone or wood, before we bought the site 12 years ago.

      I remember interviewing to work in a retail store when I was first pregnant. In the INTERVIEW, they told me I’d have to ask each customer THREE TIMES if they wanted the store credit card. As a costumer, I hate that!


  7. I didn’t know you sold products. That’s interesting. Inquiring minds want to know more…
    I’m great at sales but only IF I love the product. And ironically as I write this the Home shopping network is on in the background. Lol I have been known to be susceptible to a good salespitch.

    My sales experience? In high school and college I worked at a store called Jordan Marsh. It was an elite department store in the 1960’s. I was on their teen board starting at age 16. I had to go through a series of interviews because we not only sold clothing on weekends, we were teen models representing our high schools and JM’s teen dept. . One or two girls were selected from each school and we did bi monthly fashion shows at the Galleria in Ft Lauderdale on the Beach. Now the Galleria is a mall but in the 60’s there was Saks and a Jordan Marsh and a courtyard between them and several lovely restaurant nearby. Our fashion shows were held in the courtyard with a live band and always got television, radio and newspaper coverage. It was THE shopping place to go for upscale shoppers back in the day. But, It was easy to sell the latest trends. Especially when I got a discount on clothing. Seventeen magazine came down and photographed us. Bobbie brooks offered a college scholarship in my senior year of HS and I entered. I had to design an entire year’s teen wardrobe for them. It turns out that I won and my photo was in several national women’s magazines of the day. (ladies Home Journal, Women’s Day etc,) I conducted a winning show displaying my designs at Miami ‘s Dadeland store and got national coverage. In the end, my mom wouldn’t let me go to a fashion design school in NYC because she wS scared of me living alone in in NY, so I took the $ and went to U of Miami instead. I continued to work and sell on JM’s college board during the summers. You see I was passionate about fashion. So yeah, I could sell good quality clothing or makeup but I could never sell a product I wouldn’t use or buy myself. I can’t lie. And I can’t sell crap. Now I buy the majority of my clothes from designer Diane Gilman when she’s on HSN. And I go on line and buy Clinique make up. I buy my cat food from amazon and my keurig coffee from Bed bath and beyond on line. Easy Peasy. When I was a single mom I drew water colors of children’s names in the style of Kate Greenaway and sold my art for extra money. I also did calligraphy back in the day when people used pen and ink. Anything I’ve sold I loved. I couldn’t pretend to like a product. (well, I suppose I could because I used to be an actress, so I could pretend if I had to feed my kids), but, other than financial necessity, I have principles that prevent me from selling anything crummy. But, boy am I A sucker for etc. I have to keep myself away from too much online shopping. It’s addictive! I’d go broke!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Lesley!! Wow! What a history!

      Sales comes down to that for me, too. I’ve had businesses ask me to leave a review, and I will if I liked them. I suppose I ought to leave one if I didn’t, too, but they have to really tick me off to get that. 🙂


  8. What a cool store. I know where to come when I find I’ve lost my dice from my old fantasy board games. I remember covering for a friend who worked in a corner store – he needed to go and do a driving lesson. He trusted me to look after a shop for 1 hour. I managed to set off the burglar alarm and he arrived back to find the place surrounded by cops. Never trusted again.

    Liked by 1 person

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