Cheap/Reputable Casket Source

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Cheap/Reputable Casket Source

Postby leonard » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:50 pm

I have a relative that is receiving hospice care and we have been told by hospice to start making final arrangements. So, I am not in a situation where I need a casket immediately for a funeral, but will need it shortly.

I am looking for a reputable and cheap source to order a casket online. The last casket I purchased was from a funeral home and very expensive. This casket will be oversized therefore even more expensive, so I would like to find a cheaper source.

Does anyone have experience ordering a casket online? if so, what was the website/company and what was your experience?

Has anyone ordered a casket from www.dignifiedcaskets.com? Experience? This site seems to be the most reasonably priced source for the size for which I am looking.

Has anyone ordered a casket from www.costco.com? Experiences?

As always, I appreciate the levelheaded input of the bogleheads just when it is needed.

Thank you in advance.
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Postby Frugal Al » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:15 am

The best deals I've seen on the inexpensive ones are from Frigidaire and Amana, and they come with a free refrigerator :wink: . I told my wife that's all I need.
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Postby jebmke » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:49 am

We used an online source when my FIL died in 2006. I don't remember who we used but it worked fine and saved a lot of money. I wouldn't have any reservations about using Cosco - they are a well known retailer. Try to stick with a name brand if they have it. Batesville is one of the better known brands.
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Postby fishndoc » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:58 am

If you do not buy the casket from a funeral home, will they still provide the funeral service, and if so, won't they just up the price of the funeral itself to offset any savings you get on the casket?
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Postby BigFoot48 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:08 am

As a reference, my in-laws wishes were to be cremated and when my FIL recently died we found a provider of that service, and the cost was about $900 IIRC. His remains are now in a nice box engraved with a golfer on top of the MIL's TV.
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Postby Sam I Am » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:08 am

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Postby fishndoc » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:44 am

BigFoot48 wrote:As a reference, my in-laws wishes were to be cremated and when my FIL recently died we found a provider of that service, and the cost was about $900 IIRC. His remains are now in a nice box engraved with a golfer on top of the MIL's TV.

Any discussion of this always evokes a flash back to the scene in the "Big Lebowsky". :D
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Postby Hondo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:54 pm

Funeral homes have inexpensive wooden box caskets they use for paupers. They don't volunteer this information -- you just have to demand one.
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Postby leonard » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:45 pm

fishndoc wrote:If you do not buy the casket from a funeral home, will they still provide the funeral service, and if so, won't they just up the price of the funeral itself to offset any savings you get on the casket?


The FTC actually has federal regulations governing this very issue:

1. Funeral Homes are required by law to accept shipments of caskets purchased form a different vendor.
2. Funeral Homes can't require the buyer and/or arranger of the funeral services to be present to receive the shipment, since it is considered an undue hardship.
3. Finally, the funeral home is not allowed to charge any "extra fees" for the use of a casket not provided by them.

And your second question on "will they just jack up the price on the other services." is a very good one.

Unfortunately, I had another relative pass about 18 months ago. So, I have the itemized bill from that funeral to compare against from the exact same funeral home. So, it will be pretty easy to identify out of line charges, if they are trying to "make up" for the casket profit.
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Postby leonard » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:49 pm

jebmke wrote:We used an online source when my FIL died in 2006. I don't remember who we used but it worked fine and saved a lot of money. I wouldn't have any reservations about using Cosco - they are a well known retailer. Try to stick with a name brand if they have it. Batesville is one of the better known brands.


I would be inclined to use costco. However, the other sources I have found are actually $400 dollars cheaper than costco for a similar size casket. Thus, the reason I am trying to validate either dignifiedcaskets.com or another reputable dealer, where I might save more than the costco price.

One thing in costco's credit is the reviews of the caskets provided in their product reviews. People found that the quality and appearance was extremely high.

Thanks,
Leonard
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Postby leonard » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:51 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:As a reference, my in-laws wishes were to be cremated and when my FIL recently died we found a provider of that service, and the cost was about $900 IIRC. His remains are now in a nice box engraved with a golfer on top of the MIL's TV.


My instructions to my wife are "by the abolute cheapest means necessary", which right now would be cremation. I won't care, when the time comes.

Unfortunately, in this case, my broader family feels strongly about burial and the plot is already paid for.
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Postby leonard » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:55 pm

Frugal Al wrote:The best deals I've seen on the inexpensive ones are from Frigidaire and Amana, and they come with a free refrigerator :wink: . I told my wife that's all I need.


How much to install the plug in in the plot for the fridge? Does the cemetary charge for the power or is it metered?
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Postby likegarden » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:09 pm

You might want to check, if it is permitted to bury your future urn in your plot. In one country of central Europe urns are buried in an urn cemetary, I do not know about here in the US though. My instructions are also for cremation and dispersal of my ashes in nature, such as the ocean.
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The Neptune Society

Postby Taylor Larimore » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:25 pm

Hi Leonard:

I am sorry to learn that your relative is expected to die soon.

When my brother died about 10 years ago, his wife used the Neptune Society. She was pleased with their (cremation) service and low-cost. This is a link:

http://www.neptunesociety.com/home.lasso

We would like to learn of anyone who has recently used their services because, if the local hospital doesn't want our remains, we plan to use the Society when the time comes.

Thank you.
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Postby snowbound » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:36 pm

Prior to my wife passing away she expressed the desire to be cremated. In New York State anyway you can purchase a wood container that goes inside the coffin and the deceased is then cremated in the wood coffin. In other words you are basically renting a coffin. It cost me $700.00 for this service, much cheaper then purchase of a coffin would be.

Also you do not have to have a burial plot for a urn, the urn can be placed on top of another grave site with the permission the family.
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Postby Frugal Al » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:37 pm

leonard wrote:How much to install the plug in in the plot for the fridge? Does the cemetary charge for the power or is it metered?

Actually I was referring to the box the fridge comes in :wink: .

It's going to be cremation for me as well, with my ashes going into the Sir Francis Drake Channel. My daughter, and probably my wife, can have a couple rum drinks and make a vacation out of it.
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Postby NateW » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:18 pm

Costco sells caskets. This is no joke:

http://www.costco.com/browse/product.as ... d=11009034

--Nate
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Re: The Neptune Society

Postby Sam I Am » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:42 pm

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Re: Cheap/Reputable Casket Source

Postby mephistophles » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:42 pm

leonard wrote:I have a relative that is receiving hospice care and we have been told by hospice to start making final arrangements. So, I am not in a situation where I need a casket immediately for a funeral, but will need it shortly.

I am looking for a reputable and cheap source to order a casket online. The last casket I purchased was from a funeral home and very expensive. This casket will be oversized therefore even more expensive, so I would like to find a cheaper source.

Does anyone have experience ordering a casket online? if so, what was the website/company and what was your experience?

Has anyone ordered a casket from www.dignifiedcaskets.com? Experience? This site seems to be the most reasonably priced source for the size for which I am looking.

Has anyone ordered a casket from www.costco.com? Experiences?

As always, I appreciate the levelheaded input of the bogleheads just when it is needed.

Thank you in advance.


If you must go cheaply, then go cheaply with dignity. Donate the body to a medical teaching hospital. They will pick it up. Dissect it in classes and dispose of what remains.
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Postby filmtheory » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:13 pm

Direct cremation (without embalming) is inexpensive, simple, and dignified. My parents wanted this. We had a memorial service at church a month later.
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Re: Cheap/Reputable Casket Source

Postby JupiterJones » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:51 pm

mephistophles wrote:If you must go cheaply, then go cheaply with dignity. Donate the body to a medical teaching hospital. They will pick it up. Dissect it in classes and dispose of what remains.


That's what my grandfather's request was. It was handled very smoothly by the local university.

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Postby Fear and Loathing » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:31 pm

Sorry to hear about your potential upcoming loss.

Personally I want to be cremated for cost and space reasons - and the expense. My wife also suggested a hefty bag and a trash compactor.

That said, try cardboard.

http://www.funerals.org/frequently-aske ... #cardboard
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Postby Opponent Process » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:41 pm

seems like renting a casket could save a lot of money. don't you only need it for a few days?
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Postby leonard » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:32 pm

Opponent Process wrote:seems like renting a casket could save a lot of money. don't you only need it for a few days?


Interesting idea. Evidently some funeral homes do that. Will check in to it.
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Postby Abe » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

leonard wrote:
fishndoc wrote:If you do not buy the casket from a funeral home, will they still provide the funeral service, and if so, won't they just up the price of the funeral itself to offset any savings you get on the casket?


The FTC actually has federal regulations governing this very issue:

1. Funeral Homes are required by law to accept shipments of caskets purchased form a different vendor.
2. Funeral Homes can't require the buyer and/or arranger of the funeral services to be present to receive the shipment, since it is considered an undue hardship.
3. Finally, the funeral home is not allowed to charge any "extra fees" for the use of a casket not provided by them.

And your second question on "will they just jack up the price on the other services." is a very good one.

Unfortunately, I had another relative pass about 18 months ago. So, I have the itemized bill from that funeral to compare against from the exact same funeral home. So, it will be pretty easy to identify out of line charges, if they are trying to "make up" for the casket profit.


Funeral Homes are also required to furnish you with a price list. You can get more information at Funeral Consumers Alliance: http://www.funerals.org/
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Re: The Neptune Society

Postby BigFoot48 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:57 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:We would like to learn of anyone who has recently used their services because, if the local hospital doesn't want our remains, we plan to use the Society when the time comes.

We didn't use the Neptune Society for my FIL, but rather an Arizona group, The Cremation Society of Arizona. http://www.csofaz.com/ They provide the full range of services, and made the process as stress-less as it could be, all things considered.

The one feature they offered that might have some relevance to the Society, is a low-fee membership which gives a substantial discount on the basic cremation service. They only require a person to be a member for 24 hours for the discount to apply, and in the FIL's case, we had his membership in place for about 72 hours before he passed.
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Postby infecto » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:23 pm

NateW wrote:Costco sells caskets. This is no joke:

http://www.costco.com/browse/product.as ... d=11009034

--Nate


So does Walmart.

http://www.walmart.com/cp/Funeral/1058564
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Postby leonard » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:57 pm

Interesting.

The funeral home matched the lowest price I found on line. That eliminates the buying, shipping, and concern over the casket getting there on time - so I went with that.

Thanks everyone for the input.
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FCA

Postby Brewtownphilee » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:12 pm

I see that you have already purchased a casket, but if anyone else is interested, check out your local chapter of Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA). They offer substantial discounts on funerals, caskets, and cremations, as well as literature.
www.funerals.org
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Re: The Neptune Society

Postby tuckeverlasting » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:33 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Hi Leonard:

I am sorry to learn that your relative is expected to die soon.

When my brother died about 10 years ago, his wife used the Neptune Society. She was pleased with their (cremation) service and low-cost. This is a link:

http://www.neptunesociety.com/home.lasso

We would like to learn of anyone who has recently used their services because, if the local hospital doesn't want our remains, we plan to use the Society when the time comes.

Thank you.

I can recommend the Neptune Society. My mother and father both recently died (July 2009 and March 2011). They had prepaid contracts with the NS purchased a good number of years ago. In both cases the Society arrived promptly from their base about 100 miles away to pick up the bodies-- in the wee hours of the morning only a few hours after death at home. The remains are cremated and the ashes taken out on the Society's yacht to be scattered at sea. A certificate showing coordinates of "burial" site is provided. Family members are welcome to be present on the yacht during the ashes ceremony.
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Postby IndyInvestor » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:57 pm

A simple pine box...usually they don't bury you in the nice coffin anyway. It is a rental. Do you really care when you are dead? I wouldn't. Hopefully, I'll be on that escalator going up.
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Postby leonard » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:59 pm

IndyInvestor wrote:Hopefully, I'll be on that escalator going up.


Passing at Macy's?
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Inexpensive burial?

Postby CarlZ993 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:21 pm

I have a friend of mine that want to donate her body to the Texas State University 'Body Farm' in San Marcos, TX.

http://www.txstate.edu/anthropology/facts/
http://www.txstate.edu/anthropology/fac ... tions.html


The body is studied for Forensic Anthropology as it decomposes. I'm cheap, but I don't think I'll go this route.
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Postby MWCA » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:25 pm

Im going to the grave as is. I want to keep on blessing the world with my stuff. ;)
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Postby NAVigator » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:26 pm

Sam I Am wrote:I am having my casket made by monks, they are beautiful, and less expensive. They offer a plain pine box, and oversized caskets as well.

http://www.trappistcaskets.com/


They are not far from where I live and I know several people that have bought caskets there.

Here is a video
The Story of Trappist Caskets and the Monks of New Melleray Abbey

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Postby Sam I Am » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:17 am

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Postby dgdevil » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:30 pm

I bought my casket about 15 years ago, a simple pine box. I varnished it, got a nice piece of glass to place on top and use it as a coffee table until the time comes. But then I read about George Harrison, who I believe was whisked away in a cardboard box, and I felt jealous.
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