How does the funeral home arrive at a price to charge me?

Some funeral homes have multiple price sheets.  As you come in they are checking you out.  How nice of a car did you drive in with? How nice is the jewelry that you are wearing? Who will be paying? How will you be paying? Where do you live (do not tell them nearby, you live 15 miles away but are shopping for the best deal)? Do they already have the body (not good)? Are the tears still flowing down your cheeks? How much checking around have you done before coming in there? What did your husband do for a living? Have we done other family members for you in the past? They are trying to figure out, how much can they can charge you and have you still be happy? They might detain you for a long time to tire you out much like a new car salesman does.  The last thing they want you to do is to shop around for a better price.  How do you combat this? Just start to leave and tell them that you are going to go get prices at another funeral home if they are too busy now and you will see how fast they can put some prices together for you.  It works when buying a car also.  How much extra does it cost the funeral home to do your funeral in addition to the other two that they have that week? Honestly maybe 3 employee’s labor for 5 hours x $12/hour, so maybe 3 x 5 x $12 = $180 employee cost if they are not providing the casket.  How much will they be willing to do your funeral for if you are 20 miles away? It is just extra income for them and they are likely to give you a much better price, which they are obligated by law to provide for you in writing.  You then use this itemized list of prices to negotiate with funeral homes that are near you or whom might have the body.
Your best answers are:
We live about 20 minutes away but we do not have much money so we are looking for the best deal.  I am preplanning and looking for the best deal (even when the person has actually died or is in hospice.  Later you can say you were shopping for yourself and for the other person also.  Remember you are playing a game that they are experts at).  My husband worked as a warehouse hand and I don’t work.  No, our family has had funerals in the past closer to home but we live about 20 minutes away and I thought that you would give us the best deal because we do not have much money.
Remember with more and more people getting cremated now, the funeral home business is shrinking and they are hungrier to negotiate.  You just have to use as many tools as you can to get the best deal.  You are the decision maker, and you make the final decision but you are playing with the masters.
I have noticed that few businesses pass from one generation to the next because of market competition and the big chain stores, but the funeral home business is not competitive and is usually passed down from generation to generation.  Why? No price competition, and they know it.
One appalling thing that I have learned recently is when you first enter the funeral home, they want to know if you have an insurance policy and how much it is for.   What does this have to do with anything? Well the first thing they do is to call the insurance company to see how much the policy is for.   That is how much they will charge you.   Yes, they will spend every penny for you in one spot.   One smart person told the funeral director to forget the policy, he was going to pay for the funeral out of his pocket and to give him the best price.   They did not like that at all of course.   Then the person would collect on the insurance policy later.   Again, shop around for the best deal and I encourage you to not mention the life insurance policy to help you get the best price possible.   Tell them you are short on money, there is no insurance policy, that you are not getting any help from other relatives and that you will be checking with at least 4 or 5 other funeral homes for the best price.

Posted in: Buying a Casket From Us