Amazon.com stepped up it’s selling to the Funeral Industry after October 2009 when it was revealed that WallMart was selling Caskets on line. The Fact that Amazon has a contract with an online casket provider for 67% off the list price of many caskets, points to the fact that the markup on caskets can be 300% or more. Not all funeral homes do this, there are lower cost funeral homes and online casket providers where the markup is much less.
This supports what I have been saying for several years that many times the markup of caskets in the funeral home can be up to 500%!
What is interesting about amazon.com and other online vendors is that they sell directly to the consumer. This is a trend that will continue and more and more Funeral vendors will be doing this!
In Fact Last Year the National Funeral Directors Association lobbied on behalf of the Bereaved Consumers Bill of Rights Act asking that online vendors like amazon.com be brought in under the Funeral Rule Regulations.
With the election of Republicans to the US House of representatives the passage of the Bereaved Consumers Bill Of Rights Act is unlikely to happen and caskets and other consumer funeral products being sold directly to the consumer for the short term will avoid funeral regulations.
What is mentioned above is contributing to Funeral Industry Decline in the USA. The more that funeral goods are available online especially at popular sites like amazon.com the less the local funeral home will be needed and the more the funeral industry will decline.
> Interesting Fact: Amazon sells a steel embalming table
> # of Employees: 21,700
> Most Recent Quarter Revenue: $7.6 billion
> Most Recent Net Income: $231 million
Amazon.com helped bring the funeral service online. Like Wal-Mart, the company offers caskets in more than 50 different varieties. Additionally, it sells a steel embalming table for $1,095 and pet urns for under $200. Many caskets are sold at 67% off the list price, thanks to a partnership with Bestpricecaskets.com.
Funeral Industry| Funeral News| Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy
your funeral guy has no affiliation with best priced Caskets.com http://www.bestpricecaskets.com/
Your Funeral Guy’s book Rest In Peace Insiders Tips to the low cost less Stressed Funeral is available online at amazon.com Presently Your Funeral Guy is not involved with the selling of any Funeral Goods or products.
In 2011 Funeral Home non compliance with the law will continue. This is quite important because in spite of the “Funeral Rule” Funeral Home non compliance will continue. Essentially no one is watching the hen house. The Funeral Rule is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission-FTC.
Your Funeral Guy witnessed Funeral home non compliance this year asking several times for a general price list-gpl- from a funeral director and not receiving one..
A recent report of major non comlpance appeared in South Carolina.
About 30 percent of Midlands funeral homes are not complying with federal laws that require them to accurately disclose the prices for their services.
So says a recent report by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of South Carolina, a volunteer advocacy board that gathers comparative funeral price data and other information.
Funeral industry| Funeral News|Funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy Funeral Director, Illinios and Virginia
- HR3655 will stop future Burr Oak Cemetery Scandal s-Image via Wikepedia
The Congressional Budget Office(CBO) has issued a report on HR3655 The Bereaved Consumers Bill of Rights Act. This is also known as Funeral Rule 2.
The Bill Essentially will require cemeteries to operate under the funeral rule. Cemetery records on a computer are required. Price disclosures to consumers will be a requirement of Law.
This will prevent Cemetery scandals like those that occurred recently at Burr Oak Cemetery and Eden Memorial Park, a Service Corporation International Firm.
This legislation will bring significant needed reform to death care. The CBO Report brings the Legislation HR3655 a step closer to full US House of Representative Passage
Here is a Snippet from the Full CBO report.
“Based on the information from the FTC CBO assumes would require five additional positions at a cost of 1 million per year to develop, enforce the new requirements, train staff and develop education materials.”
View the full CBO Report here.
Funeral Industry| Funeral News|Funeral Blog by- Your Funeral Guy
- Image via Wikipedia.
John Stossel of Fox News has pointed out that Funeral Directors use Government to keep prices high.
This is true because in spite of Federal Law- called the Funeral Rule declaring free trade in the funeral industry- it does not happen in certain States, counties and cities. State and localLaw trumps free trade(Funeral Rule) in the funeral industry. This should not be.
In Certain localities the Funeral Rule is trumped by State Law. In other words competition is forced out by certain laws. In some places you are forced to buy Caskets from a Funeral Director.
Monks in Louisiana have recently raised this issue and got libertarians to help them.
The funeral directors had managed to get their state to pass a law decreeing that only “licensed funeral directors” may sell “funeral merchandise” like caskets.
To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to obtain a funeral director’s license. That required a year-long apprenticeship, passing a funeral industry test and converting their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by installing embalming equipment, among other things.
The state board and the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association
— the profession’s lobbyist — say the law is designed to protect consumers. But that’s what established businesses always say about absurd regulations they demand. An unusually candid funeral director told The Wall Street Journal, “They’re cutting into our profit.” Well, yes, free competition does do that. That’s the point.
Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy
- Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Funeral Industry change- needs to happen. And it can Through Deregulation. But It is not Federal deregulation. It is deregulation of the states. Consumer funeral cost will then be reasonable.
The case of Louisiana Catholic monks has brought this issue to the nation’s attention. Catholics Monks in Louisiana are not allowed under the law to make a living selling pine boxes(coffins, Caskets) because in that State Louisiana, Only Funeral Directors can sell caskets in that state . The Monks have shown wisdom in suing the state of Louisiana, in an effort to break the funeral and casket cartel in that state.
In some states it is state law that trumps the “Funeral Rule“. Deregulation of the Funeral is quite simple The Funeral Rule Needs to trump State Law.
In the mid 2oth century this was not possible. 1st There was no funeral rule. Second most funerals did not include interstate commerce. Everything was handled by the local funeral home. Some would argue that is still the case. It is not the what happens. In many funerals today interstate commerce is involved. Deceased Folks(dead bodies) are often transferred from State to State. Cremated Remains are also moved across the country freely.
We can freely use the interstate commerce clause to argue funeral industry state deregulation (or funeral rule preeminence=Federal regulation of the industry),
Funeral Directors and Funeral Homes, crematories etc still need to be licensed to prevent abuse(Psst.. Maybe) But that is where state law should end.The funeral rule needs to be the law of the land in every state. Funeral Director protections need to be eliminated.
Today we can argue for the preeminence of the funeral rule.
Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy
It is possible to be bullied in your funeral arrangements and in your grief. There is a report coming out of Elk Grove Village Illinois outside of Chicago. If what the customer says is true there are some outright violations of the Funeral Rule, the law which occurred.
Under the funeral rule one has the right to purchase a casket from a third party outside of the funeral home. A Funeral customer cannot be told they are not to purchase a casket from a third party. One also cannot be charged a fee for purchasing a casket outside the funeral home.
“Anyone who’s lost a loved one knows how tough it is to do what you have to do. It’s a time we’re most vulnerable.
That’s one reason for tough rules governing funeral homes.
But, as 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found, one family trying to deal with its grief and financial problems at the same time may have put those rules to the test.
Judy Havlik still breaks down talking about her ordeal arranging a funeral for her mother, Margaret Lundgren.
The cost at the Grove Funeral Memorial Chapel and Funeral Home in Elk Grove Village was estimated at between $8,000 and $10,000, including cemetery costs on the initial itemized statement.
“We knew this had to be done, so we had to find a way to do it,” Havlik said.
The itemized statement included $1,900 for a wood casket and $925 for a vault she selected at the funeral home.
When Havlik got home she went online and found a less expensive and acceptable alternative, including a metal casket she thought her mother would love, and a grave liner.
“The savings would have been a total of $1,660,” she said.”
In most cases you can get a casket(and usually the same one) off the Internet(Walmart sells them online)for less than you will pay in a funeral home showroom. In the case described an astute reporter got a hold of a FTC attorney for comment
Funeral Industry|Funeral News| Funeral Blog
ConnectingDirectors.com did not do a story this past week on Funeral and Cemetery Legislative reform.
Several Funeral Industry Websites are ignoring the Funeral and Cemetery Reform hearing that took place in Congress this past week. Connecting Directors.com did not do a story or even post a news article. FuneralWire.com has no article on the current story,only a mention of the NFDA support letter of 11/13/09. The Bereaved Consumers Bill of rights Act
Now to ignore the biggest story on the Funeral and Cemetery Reform legislation since the revision of the Funeral rule(law) in 1992 is flat out bias. Even Financial trading companies are reporting on the hearings-research.scottrade.com
Congressman Bobby Rush held hearings last Wednesday on Funeral and Cemetery reform- This Legislation will help the Funeral Consumer.
Funeral Industry| Funeral News|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy