Archive for June, 2010


Shop Smart for Funeral Products

June 3, 2010

When confronted with the unexpected death of a loved one – even if you are unprepared or funeral arrangements were not handled on a pre-need basis – you should be careful not to fall victim to the escalated prices that many are faced with when decisions must be made immediately. Even during difficult emotional times, keep in mind that you always have the option – or obligation, rather – to protect your finances and your family by shopping smart.

Many feel the pressure to provide the best for their departed loved one, whether it be when selecting a cremation urn, a casket, or otherwise. Unfortunately, however, many people interpret the best to mean the most expensive, especially when seated across from a funeral professional who knows he or she has a captive audience and one which is averse to comparative shopping during a difficult time in their life. It’s natural to feel awkward about discussing or negotiating price, as though it is bad form to concern yourself with such considerations at such a solemn time. Just as in life your loved one wouldn’t want to overpay for a car, a home, or any other item, it is no different when arranging for his or her funeral. On the contrary, spending wisely is even more critical at the time of their death, as they no doubt would have wanted to keep expenses to a minimum.

Human nature compels us to feel guilty if we don’t do everything we can for a loved one who has passed on. The truth of the matter is that we have, in fact, done everything we could have for them in life. In death, however, what we do truly is for the survivors’ benefit. When purchasing a cremation urn, casket, or funeral services, you should bear in mind that the price you pay is relative to the environment in which you make the purchase. For instance, if you’re at a funeral home making arrangements to transfer your loved one from a hospital or nursing home to the funeral home, to the funeral director it’s almost a foregone conclusion that you will be purchasing the urn or casket from him or her, as well as the memorial service, guest book, director services, flowers etc. As such, it is far more likely that you will be spending well above that which you would have had you shopped for an urn over the web from the comfort and convenience of your own home. In many cases the urn you purchase from the web can be shipped the same or next day with expedited delivery. Moreover, the funeral home is mandated by law (the FTC’s “Funeral Rule”) to use the casket or urn that the survivor chooses, whether or not it’s purchased from the funeral home.

Funeral products, such as cremation urns or caskets, enjoy no more special status than any other product that you may seek to purchase. They are products, plain and simple, and are manufactured or handcrafted much like any other. The products are sold to multiple vendors; vendors who will, in turn, price them according to what their market will bear. So what does this mean for you, the consumer? Coupled with the vast informational resources of the Internet and realizing they are, in fact, still just products arms you with the ability to research, compare, and ultimately obtain the best price you can for your selected cremation urn, casket, or other funeral product without sacrificing quality.