How to Buy a Casket

How to buy a casketChoosing the perfect casket can be an emotional process. The purchase may come at a very difficult time and you may be torn between your desire to buy something truly special and the need to keep costs down. While it’s true that the casket is often the most expensive element of burial cost, there are many beautiful selections in every price range.

Following a few basic steps will help the selection process go smoothly and ensure that you get the casket that suits your needs without unnecessary burden on your finances. If you are considering cremation, click here for information regarding cremation caskets.

  1. Set a budget: Caskets can cost from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. The best way to avoid over spending it is to have a price range in mind before you start shopping. If you are buying from a funeral home, the funeral director is required to show you a price list before showing you the actual caskets. This will help you look at just those selections that are in the range you have in mind. Funeral homes are also required to accept caskets purchased from other providers.
  2. Think about your loved one’s wishes: If you are shopping for a loved one who has left instructions on the type of casket they would prefer then you will that information to guide you. Often this is not the case. Thinking about the personality and tastes of the person will help you narrow down your choices on casket material, linings, and trim. If you are buying for yourself, then think about what is important to you when it comes to how you would like to be memorialized.
  3. Select the type of casket: The material used in constructing the casket is a critical component in the cost. Wood and metal are the most commonly used materials. Hardwoods, such as mahogany and walnut, while beautiful, are among the most expensive. More commonly found woods such as pine and poplar are generally less expensive. Among the metals, bronze is typically the most expensive, followed by copper. Stainless steel is usually the most economical choice. In addition to traditional wood and metal, alternative choices such as wood covered in cloth and wood veneers are available. New options such as fiberglass and plastic are starting to become more widely available.
  4. Select your interior lining: Casket interiors are generally lined with white satin. depending on where you are buying and the model you have selected, you may have the option to choose the type of fabric used or the style of the stitching. Upgrading to a different type of fabric or to a specialty design may add to the cost of the casket.
  5. Select other optional features: There are a variety of embroidered head panels and other customization available. Be sure to keep your budget in mind since many options will add to the cost of your casket.
  6. Choose your casket provider: There are three basic choices when it comes to purchasing a casket: a funeral home, a casket retailer, and an online provider. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Which one is right for you will depend on your personal preferences and the resources available in your area.
    • FUNERAL HOMES: The most convenient way to buy a casket is through the funeral home that is handling your arrangements. When buying from a funeral home you are protected by something called The Funeral Rule. This law requires that you are provided with a price list prior to seeing sample caskets. This means that you are entitled to look at only those products that fit your budget. To learn more about how casket buyers are protected under The Funeral Rule click here.
    • THIRD-PARTY RETAILERS: By law, funeral providers must accept caskets from third-party retailers. If you have a casket showroom in your area you are entitled to purchase your casket through this company. These sellers do not fall under The Funeral Rule.
    • ONLINE: In recent years it has become easier than ever to purchase caskets from online retailers. Big box stores such as Costco and WalMart now sell caskets online and there are dozens of national online casket providers. You do need to be aware that you’ll be required to pay a delivery fee but many people find that buying online saves considerable cost and reduces stress. To learn more about buying a casket online click here.

If you are buying a casket for cremation, most of the above applies. However, the casket must be fully combustible, rigid, leak-proof, and covered. You also have the option of purchasing what is called an alternative container. Alternative containers are similar in shape to a casket but they are much simpler in design. They may be made of a variety of materials including unfinished wood, cardboard, fiberboard, or composition materials. To read more about cremation caskets click here.

More About Caskets:

Casket Overview: The Different Types of Caskets
Frequently Asked Questions about Caskets
Buying a Casket: Consumer Protection
7 Tips for Buying a Casket Online
Casket Features – What to Look for


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