Where to Buy Caskets: A Guide for Consumers
When a loved one passes away, one of the most difficult decisions to make is choosing a casket for their burial. Caskets are the containers that hold the body of the deceased and are usually made of wood, metal, or other materials. Caskets can vary in size, shape, color, design, and price, depending on the preferences of the family and the funeral home.
There are many options for buying caskets, but not all of them are equally convenient, affordable, or reliable. In this article, we will explore some of the most common ways to buy caskets and provide some tips and advice to help you make an informed decision.
Buying Caskets from Funeral Homes
The most traditional way to buy a casket is to purchase it from the funeral home that is handling the arrangements for your loved one. This can be convenient because you can see and compare different caskets in person and have them delivered and set up by the funeral home staff. However, buying caskets from funeral homes can also be very expensive, as they often mark up the prices significantly to cover their overhead costs and profit margins. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the average cost of a casket sold by a funeral home in 2019 was $2,700, but some caskets can cost as much as $10,000 or more.
Another drawback of buying caskets from funeral homes is that they may pressure you to buy a more expensive casket than you need or want. The FTC’s Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide you with a written price list of all their goods and services and to let you choose only the items you want. However, some funeral homes may use sales tactics such as implying that a higher-priced casket will honor your loved one better or that a lower-priced casket will not meet the cemetery’s requirements. You should not feel obligated to buy a casket that is beyond your budget or does not suit your preferences.
Buying Caskets Online
Another option for buying caskets is to order them online from a third-party seller. This can be a great way to save money and find a wider selection of caskets than what is available at your local funeral home. Online casket sellers can offer lower prices because they have lower overhead costs and can source their products from different manufacturers. According to Consumer Reports, online casket prices can range from $500 to $5,000, depending on the material, quality, and features of the casket.
Buying caskets online also gives you more control over your purchase and allows you to shop at your own pace and convenience. You can browse through different websites and compare different models, styles, colors, and prices without any pressure or interference from salespeople. You can also read customer reviews and ratings to get an idea of the quality and service of the online seller.
However, buying caskets online also has some drawbacks and risks. One of them is that you may not be able to see or inspect the casket before you buy it. You will have to rely on the photos and descriptions provided by the seller, which may not be accurate or complete. You may also have to pay extra for shipping and handling fees, which can add up depending on the size and weight of the casket. Additionally, you will have to coordinate with the funeral home and the online seller to ensure that the casket arrives on time and in good condition for the funeral service.
Buying Caskets from Other Sources
Besides funeral homes and online sellers, there are other sources where you can buy caskets. Some of them are:
- Casket stores: These are retail outlets that specialize in selling caskets directly to consumers. They may have physical locations or operate online or by phone. They usually offer lower prices than funeral homes and more variety than online sellers.
- Costco: The wholesale club chain sells caskets through its website and in some of its stores. Costco’s caskets are made by Universal Casket Company and come in various materials, colors, and designs. Costco’s prices range from $950 to $3,000, excluding shipping fees.
- Walmart: The retail giant sells caskets through its website in partnership with Star Legacy Funeral Network. Walmart’s caskets are made by various manufacturers and come in different