How to Save Money

Express Casket Courtesy Funeral Counseling – How to Save on Funeral Costs

Planning a funeral is a daunting task that requires a substantial investment of time, energy, & money. Express Casket can help relieve your worries when it comes to costs – we specialize in helping you save money & find the best value.

Ordering a Casket from Express Casket

What do casket costs typically look like? Here is a helpful chart to show your savings when you order from Express Casket:

Casket Model Avg. Funeral Home Avg. Express Casket Your Savings
20 Gauge Casket $1500 $700 $800
18 Gauge Casket $3500 $829 $2671
Wood $4000 $1200 $2800
Over-sized $3000 $1100 $1900

Getting the Best Casket Price

Funeral homes price caskets as big ticket items - they know consumer buying patterns and they have arranged their pricing schedules to maximize their profits. Express Casket can help you lower your casket costs, even if you end up purchasing from the funeral home.

Follow this checklist to ensure that you are getting the best price on your casket, regardless of where you order from:

  • Get a complete schedule of costs from the funeral home you choose. Have them include one of their caskets. Use the General Pricing List as a guideline, and make sure they include all charges, fees, and taxes so you have a completely accurate total. Why? If you tell the funeral home upfront that you are not purchasing a casket from them, they will often attempt to make up the loss by padding prices for other items.
  • Don’t Tell the funeral home you are ordering the casket from Express Casket until you have your itemized price list with the casket included. Why? Many funeral homes will match our prices when they hear you are ordering from us but then raise the price on other items without your knowledge. First get your itemized price sheet and then order from us.
  • If the funeral home tries to change any of the previously agreed prices, refuse to do business with them. Why? The funeral industry is governed by the United States Federal Trade Commission's 'Funeral Rule'. Funeral homes are expressly forbidden from changing other prices because you are using a 3rd party casket provider. The Funeral Rule exists to protect your rights... don't be taken advantage of at an emotional time!

Following this checklist gives you the best chance at realizing thousands of dollars in savings. Of course we would love to have your support as a customer of Express Casket, but if you decide to order elsewhere we still want to see you get the best deal possible.

Don't pay more than you have to for a casket – manage your funeral costs and get the most value for your money. It's easy to get started, and our funeral counseling is offered 100% free and with no obligation – we're on-duty 24-hours a day at, or call 888-448-4001.

What to Look Out for When Considering Funeral Costs

Two things to always know when dealing with funeral homes:

  • Get prices from at least three funeral homes in your area. This is the best way to determine what the average costs are for a funeral in your area.
  • Funeral home price lists are like menus – only order what you want. Feel free to question and/or eliminate any products or services you do not want, that are not required by law, or that can be ordered for less money somewhere else.

The following are common funeral home tactics – they might not be outright illegal, but consumers who fall victim will see their funeral costs rise dramatically:

  • The funeral home may tell you that 3rd party caskets are inferior, may be delivered damaged, or may not be delivered on time. Express Casket products are the same caskets you see on the showroom floor of many funeral homes, we take great care in shipping them, and we specialize in next-day (or sooner) delivery. The FTC ruled on April 19, 2010: "...while disparaging the quality of third-party caskets does not necessarily violate the Funeral Rule, funeral providers may be held liable if they make material misrepresentations about third-party caskets that are false, misleading or deceptive."
  • The funeral home may offer misleading prices for metal caskets. 18 gauge caskets are heavier than 20 gauge caskets, and have locking mechanisms, memory tubes, and rubber gaskets. Some funeral homes claim to match our prices on 18 gauge caskets by offering a 20 gauge casket instead. 20 gauge caskets are good caskets too, but do not pay more than $700 for one and be aware of the differences between the two models.
  • The funeral home may assume a Saturday service. Everything is more expensive on Saturdays – cemetery & funeral home fees, transportation, police escorts. Ask about costs on other days of the week.
  • The funeral home may assume an open casket service. A closed casket service can save you thousands of dollars, including embalming, funeral outfit, body preparation, and more. Ask about the difference in price.
  • The funeral home may not include the costs for a graveside service on their list of costs. A graveside service is generally the least-expensive way to hold a funeral, barring cremation. Some customers have reported that their total funeral costs were less than $2000. Call us to discuss planning this type of service.
  • The funeral home may not divulge the full range of 3rd party suppliers for funeral products. Save on flowers by purchasing direct from a florist. Save on the register book by purchasing direct from a stationary shop. Save on a grave marker by purchasing from Express Casket – our prices could save you up to 75% from those of a funeral home or cemetery.

For additional tips on keeping funeral costs reasonable, please visit our Consumer Guide.

The bottom line – you have guaranteed rights as a consumer when shopping for funeral products & services. Know your rights & exercise them... easier said than done when you are coping with the loss of a loved one, but that's why we are here to help. Express Casket funeral counseling is offered 100% free and with no obligation – we're on-duty 24-hours a day at, or call 888-448-4001.

We look forward to helping you!

A Brief Word About Choosing a Casket

First things first - you are under no obligation to purchase a casket from a funeral home. And why would you want to, when there are lower-cost, better value options available? Express Casket has helped thousands of people say goodbye to their loved ones respectfully, in style, and for a price that makes sense.

  • We offer an outstanding selection of the best caskets & incredible customer service.
  • Natural wood caskets, steel, laminates & more. Top-of-the-line models, cheap caskets for every budget, and everything in between.
  • Next day delivery is guaranteed. Same-day & weekend delivery is possible in most cases - call for details.
  • We accept all major credit cards, personal checks, money orders, and online payment via PayPal. There's no sales tax (except on orders from Texas).

Choosing a casket for a loved one is a very personal decision. When deciding, keep the following in mind:

  • Do you want a wood or metal casket? This choice does not affect the function of the casket in any way.
  • What is your budget? If you want to spend lavishly on a casket then please do so, but if you have a smaller budget there is also a wide range of options available.
  • Now all your choices are based on personal preference. Consider your loved one's favorite colors. Think about their personality - reserved or more flamboyant & expressive? Consider their life - some caskets are made specially with veterans in mind, or mothers, or may have unique artwork & embellishments.

Think about your loved one and the family & friends left behind and you will be able to find the perfect casket to honor them... that is the only consideration that really matters.

Learning More About Funeral Homes

The funeral home industry is extremely large and very profitable. There are over 20,000 funeral homes in the United States and collectively the industry generates over $25 billion in annual revenue. Fees for services are extravagant and markups on products are substantial. So just how do funeral homes continue to charge high costs without delivering equivalent value?

Three corporations dominate the funeral home industry: SCI, Stewart, and Loewen Group, which together account for about 15% of the funeral business in the United States. Your compassionate neighborhood funeral home could owned by one of these corporate giants - they typically buy small funeral homes and operate them under the previous name, to retain the appearance of a small, family-owned business. This allows the funeral homes to set prices as they see fit, without fear of effective competition.

The federal government has stepped in to regulate the industry and some states and local jurisdictions provide additional guidelines to help alleviate the worst abuses, but consumers remain at a disadvantage when planning a funeral due to the unique emotional nature of the process. Funeral homes are notorious for using scare tactics, and we have compiled several of the most common ways that they prey upon the fragile emotions of consumers:

"Don't you want your mother looking her best when she sees your Dad in Heaven?" - Do not be pressured into spending lavishly on burial clothing - dress your loved one as you see fit, and however makes you most happy.

"Of course you want a sealed casket... don't you?" - All caskets for sale are designed to be sealed, do not be scared into purchasing a casket with expensive features you don't need.

"You don't need a casket list... let me show you our floor selection." - Funeral homes rarely put cheap caskets on their showroom floor. Insist on receiving a complete list of all their offerings before viewing models.

"This list is just a guideline - let's talk about our funeral packages." - Packages often contain a laundry of services & products that you either do not need or could purchase much cheaper elsewhere, including the casket. Having a General Price List allows you to track charges for each item and remove those you do not want.

These are just a few of the most common tactics. Be wary, use common sense, and know that your rights as a consumer are protected by law - you are in charge of the funeral, not the funeral home!

A Guide to Discount Caskets

A casket is a major purchase - the average cost is in the neighborhood of $2000, and some extravagant models top $10,000. Accordingly, you should approach purchasing a casket as you would any other expensive item: do some research, shop around, compare prices, and buy from the vendor that gives you the best price & value.

But there are several unique barriers that prevent most people from getting the deal they deserve on a casket purchase. Grief is one of many powerful emotions that buyers must cope with. Spending a lot of money may be used as a measure of love for the departed. There can also be pressure to act quickly. All of these, and more factors, combine to make it easy to overspend on a casket.

So how can you avoid overpaying for a casket? A casket wholesaler or discounter is your best chance at paying a fair price. Some important considerations every consumer should know about purchasing cheap caskets from a discounter:

  • Keep your emotions in check
    Try to put grief aside when shopping for a casket. Do not view looking for a deal as a slight against your loved one who has passed away. Use common sense and be diligent, just as you would when making any other major purchase.
  • If you have the time, use it
    If you are not facing any exceptional time constraints, use the extra time to shop around and compare prices. Get a price from the funeral home, and see how much lower the prices are at a casket wholesaler.
  • The selection is the same
    Discount casket dealers offer the exact same caskets as any funeral home does - this applies to ordering online and in person. Same caskets for sale, same quality, same features, but for much better prices.
  • Ask about specials
    Older models are often offered at even deeper discounts - they are still great caskets, but wholesalers need to make room for new stock. You may also realize solid value from newer models, which might be offered at a discount in order to spur sales.

Funeral Planning Checklist

Planning a funeral is a difficult and emotional task, and the burden of arranging details while coping with grief can be exhausting. We cannot relieve the emotional stress you must be feeling, but we can help you keep track of the many details that could otherwise prove overwhelming.

Here is a thorough checklist of tasks and things to remember when you are planning a funeral:

  • Gather personal information needed for the obituary.
  • Choose a funeral home.
  • Decide if the deceased will be buried or cremated.
  • Select a casket or cremation container.
  • Choose the funeral location and type of funeral service.
  • Apply for required documentation, including death certificate and burial permit.
  • Arrange all details of the visitation - location, schedule, guest list.
  • Choose burial outfit, including jewelry & mementos (not necessary for cremation).
  • Select music and flower arrangements for the funeral service, and select literature to be read.
  • Arrange for funeral transportation (funeral coach, limousine, clergy car, private transport).
  • Choose the clergy or the officiator.
  • Choose & notify the pallbearers.
  • Select which family member or friend is going to perform the eulogy. Additional speakers should be selected, if necessary.
  • Choose a cemetery (if not already chosen by the deceased).
  • Choose a burial or cremation plot (if not already chosen by the deceased).
  • Submit obituary to the appropriate newspapers or publications.

Some additional important considerations:

Pre-planning - If the death was anticipated, many or all of these details may have been pre-arranged. A sudden or unexpected death typically requires more planning.

Accommodating guests - Out-of-towners will appreciate recommendations for places to stay, particularly locations that are close to the service and reception. If you have time for additional planning and you anticipate a large number of visiting guests, you may want to contact a hotel regarding a discounted group rate.

Delegating planning - The details involved in planning a funeral can be overwhelming for just one person. If possible, delegate parts of the planning to a trusted friend or family member, particularly those details that are time or labor-intensive.

The most important thing is to stay composed and remember that planning a funeral should be invested with the same care and diligence that you would in any other circumstance that requires communication, organization, and attention to detail.

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