A Question From Selected's
Electronic Discussion Group
I have a family in a near need situation that has contacted me about handling the services for visitation and burial. This would be a ship-in from another area of the country. In their discussion with me they suggested that they would purchase a casket at Costco and have it delivered. I suggested that they may want to purchase the casket from me and gave several reasons why that might be a better choice including that my prices would be competitive. With this said, I don't think I have persuaded them to change. So, I am asking for suggestions that may help sway the decision my way. I really thought I covered the bases, but I'm looking for help.
If they are truly set on buying the casket from Costco or any other third-party you're not going to change their mind. There are people who just think funeral homes are out to take advantage of them on caskets and they won't change their mind.
That being said most of the time that we've had a family discuss a third-party casket after talking to us they've changed their mind. Talk to them about price, talk to them about options, talk to them about delivery and the fact that you have a casket—it's there when they need it, they don't have to worry about a one or two day shipping with Costco.
We have found that when we discuss that we have better options more options comparable price and/or less price and we have merchandise that's available with no wait and we are responsible if there's any problem with it scratches dents that type of thing almost every family decides to use our product
You may attempt to have them select a casket at your funeral home. (Just in case, no obligation.) If there is a delivery problem, etc. the problem is already solved. They may see caskets they prefer for the price and may decide paying with a CC to the Costco website isn't exactly why they want. Good luck!
Some food, conversations for thought…
1. We have Casket selections that are in line with our quality standards at similar pricing as Costco (What is it that is attracting you to Costco?) Many times it is a color or style that we can match other times it does just come down to money. Hopefully you have selections at all cost points, if not get some for them.
2. If you purchase from me you will not have to worry about delivery not happening on time or if there is damage to the casket. (We have witnessed it all, casket not here on time, scratches or dents or even the handle cap falling off at the cemetery...We wanted to scream "this is not our casket!")
3. This may be illegal in some states but we have had family members come down during the delivery of a third party casket so that they inspect the casket themselves upon delivery (We called a family to let them know their third party casket was damaged upon delivery and I got the feeling that they suspected us of actually damaging the casket ourselves!)
4. Why not work with me, one stop shop, I will handle any and all issues that may arise.
5. If they do purchase from third party, treat them as if they did not! Keep the same level of service and maybe next time after planting all your positive seeds, they will buy from you.
I deal with third party caskets all the time because I have a cemetery that has been selling them for over 20 years. I have also served families who have ordered caskets on the Internet. The big issues with Wal-Mart (I don't know about Costco) is their delivery times don't always coincide with your service time. For instance, if you order a casket from Wal-Mart on Thursday, delivery probably won't be until the following Monday. One statement I always tell families is that the funeral home will not, under any circumstance, pick up a third party casket. It is their responsibility to get it to us.
I have also enclosed a Texas form for families to sign regarding third party merchandise. I don't know if you have a similar form in your state.
I would share your benefits vs your negative experience with third party caskets. Here is a review that I found on Cotsco's website, they have taken it down yet feel free to use it. I hope this helps.
I have shared my issues with 3rd party caskets before. I figure I've lost $150,000 in profit over the years. I am actively looking at renting a commercial property right next to the cemetery to run a casket, vault, etc store. Fire with fire.