That's a real tough dilemma. It is for me anyways because I know that the family wants to do their best, but can usually see that the budget will not accommodate what they interpret as the best. Love is love, "DOING" something, anything and not abandoning the deceased to the county is a sign of love, please remember that.
The three Sides...
There are three sides to the funeral process:
1. SERVICES (non-Taxable):
- Basic service of the funeral director and staff
- dressing and casketing
- visitation service (set up and supervision)
- church service (set up and supervision)
- graveside service
- Prayer Cards
- Casket Cross
- Funeral Escorts
- Church fees
- Cemetery charges
- Death certificates
- Airline charges
- Permits and fees
"Cash advances" are non-negotiable. These are outside of the funeral home charges that are paid to third parties.
That Mountain Bike!
Of all the merchandise sold, do not let them hold out on that "CASKET" price. You will know if a casket price is high, its almost like a natural feeling, You will look at a vessel made out of plastic cloth and metal, it has maybe two moving parts and other than putting a body in it, it serves no purpose. IT DOES LESS THAN A HIGH END MOUNTAIN BIKE AND COSTS THOUSANDS MORE. Ask yourself, "Is this really worth $4,500? Probably not. NEGOTIATE that casket price down, SAVE SOME MONEY! Also, if you negotiate down the price of the casket, the Taxes also go down... You should be able to purchase a nice casket for under $800.
|Your Money, GET IT?|
Tips are far and few between so what the staff earns is what they earn. Few funeral homes with the exception of corporate offer bonuses and most staff is part time to keep costs down. Consider a tip to the staff, not the owner. they truly do appreciate it.
HOW MUCH HELP IS ASKING TO MUCH?
Exceptions can be made family to family to assist. But then when that happens and the family that pays more finds out, they tend to get a bit upset because this consideration was not afforded to them. My philosophy is that if ones pricing was affordable in the first place, then they would not be put in the dilemma that they have to decide to help or afford a family the opportunity to walk.
I fail to understand why a business would let a family walk on a few hundred dollars. I mean its kind of ridicules. Why not accept the loss and serve the customer. Some facilities feel that if they do this it will make them appear cheap or "low cost" or even second class.
I remember once that I was helping a friend of mine purchase a truck. All the time we kept asking for the "invoice" we wanted to see it. The guy said no, no, no, no, no. When asked why he said. "If I sell you the vehicle at cost, then how and the hell am I going to make a living and who are you to gauge how much we need to make on each car to keep the doors open" GOOD POINT!
As you can see, there is nothing wrong with asking for a little help or negotiating a price if you are trying to make ends meet, BUT!
- If you are doing it because you refuse to shop around
- If you are doing it because you prefer the more majestic location and cant afford it
- If you are doing it because you are embarrassed to go to a simpler or smaller place
- If you are doing it because you are use to paying higher prices before the economy went to hell
- If you are doing it because you are extremely budget oriented (a budget is fine, but not at others expense)
- If you are doing it to impress your friends
- If you are doing it out of guilt