Everybody's favorite stereotype.
The funeral director as cheesy late-night infomercial salesman.
Joining Costco in an effort to put individual funeral homes out of business give customers more choice Wal-Mart will now sell you a casket in your time of need. (The comment section has the usual complaints about greedy funeral directors, yada yada yada.) The caskets are made by a company called Star Legacy but I've never seen one so I don't know the quality. I've seen some Costco caskets (Chinese made, I believe) that looked pretty chintzy to this professional eye, but I'm sure most families wouldn't know the difference. That is until the handles start to pull out on the way to the graveside because the loved one is a bit hefty and the rivets used are third world shoddy. This I have seen.
Anyway, the point is, and I've written about this before, is that yes the funeral home makes a lot of it's profit from the sale of merchandise. Caskets, guest book packages, flowers, urns, etc., but nobody ever gives much thought to all the other services we provide. I notice nobody ever complains about wedding planners and how expensive they are. Basically, we do the same thing. We plan and direct an event for your family that tells the world that your loved one's life had meaning. I happen to think that's important, you may not want to cut into your inheritance. That's your call to make. The one difference between funeral directors and wedding planners is they get months to do their work, we get a few days. But funeral directors are predators of emotionally vunerable people and wedding planners are providers of a joyous event.
So do what you want. America's a great country. Lots of choices. But remember when it's two o'clock in the morning and your 300 pound father is dead on the bathroom floor, wedged between the the toilet and the tub, purging fluids and feces, hopefully your local funeral home will still be in business to come and pick him up. If it isn't, call Wal-Mart or Costco. Maybe they can send over a stock boy.