Funeral Merchandise

As an Advance Planning Specialist, I’ve been helping families with Advance Planning for the past 17 years. I have worked at large family owned funeral homes, small family owned funeral homes and corporately owned funeral homes and cemeteries. It has been interesting to say the least.

Today I would like to share my observations on how funeral homes present merchandise (caskets and vaults) to the families they serve.

One of the funeral homes I have experience with requires that every funeral director and preneed counselor to present every casket and vault available, starting at the top, of course. This practice ensures that every family will be shown the $30,000+ bronze “Michael Jackson” casket (that can be paired with the $10,000+ bronze lined vault). The purpose is for the family to select something in the middle or just above the middle price.

Promethean casket used for Michael Jackson

Contrast this to a smaller family owned funeral home I spent some time with. The funeral director there assumed every family wanted the least expensive “cloth covered” casket and was surprised when a family chose something other than that.

My experience has been that most people do not want to sit through looking at 20 caskets that cost more than they are interested in paying. We are savvy consumers now. Before they meet with a funeral director or a preneed person they know more than they have ever known before. They aren’t interested in formal presentations or looking at merchandise they have no interest in. They know what services they want, and aren’t interested in someone telling them what they need.

My presentation now is simply asking: What services do you have in mind? There is no pressure, no upselling, no judgements. I simply ask the questions and wait for answers. Most families I meet with already know what they want before they meet with me. My role is to answer questions so that they are happy with their choices.

At Northern Indiana Funeral Care we put our prices on our website and in all of our printed materials. Most funeral homes do not. Most funeral homes won’t give you a price over the phone. Why is that? Because if you knew the true price you would never meet with them.

Feel free to call me at (260) 456-0890 for questions about funeral planning. I’m here to help.

Please visit our website at Take a look around, notice our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the endorsements from the American Legion Department of Indiana and the Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Union.


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