For a brief moment in my past I worked for a management company that owned about 15 funeral homes and cemeteries in another state. My perspective on life changed, or rather, my perspective on the death industry.
I was straight out of college and taking graduate classes in the evenings. So I would work about 6 hours a day doing light office work and compiling sales figures and stats for the weekly newsletter. You’d think a company that is in the death industry would have people that are quiet and respectful, nope! It was just like any other office, where you’d here the ladies cackling in the lunch room and the heavier set, slimy joke of the office chomping away on something, making his desk more disgusting and greasy.
What you may not realize though, is that funeral homes & cemeteries have sales people. And these sales people are the popular kids. What blew my mind is that just like other sales people who sell cars or sneakers is that funeral homes and cemeteries have SALES CONTESTS!!! Who sold the most caskets?! Who sold the most urns! And most importantly, who sold the most “Pre-Need” contracts? There were sales for when a person died(“At-Need”), in which the products(caskets & the such) were severely marked up. And then there were sales for those who were convinced to “layaway” their plot, casket and services so their families didn’t need to make any of those decisions and to receive a steep discount. Many get sold on the discount part. Why spend $12,000 when you can spend $7,000? But here’s how the money is really made…
The business model for these funeral homes & cemeteries is to severely mark up prices when you need their product/services immediately, but they really make their money giving you NOTHING. They convince you at a time when you are likely in a desperate emotional state when someone you loved passed away. How else are they going to reach you? When you’re at home drinking a lemonade mowing the lawn? They reach you when you come to their place of business to set up a loved one’s services. When you’re knocked on the ground with tears in your eyes, they throw their first pitch. And they see that you think the services are expensive and that’s when they nail you. They sell you a “Pre-Need” plan, of which, you pay let’s say $50 for let’s say 5-10 years. Sounds like no big deal, right? And you’ll be saving thousands of dollars when it does come to the time of your death. Here’s the catch…most people see that as an important expense when they are grieving over a loved one, but it becomes least important if the financial situation changes. When you sign a contract with this company, it clearly states that if you stop making payments on your “layaway”, YOU WILL LOSE THE MONEY YOU PUT IN!!! So you could have put in a few thousand dollars and the funeral home/cemetery are counting on you to stop paying. So they get your money and you get no discounted product or service. DAMN!!!
Didn’t know that, huh? In my eyes, a funeral home salesman is worse than this guy…———>
So, the next time you’re in a funeral home setting up services for a loved one, have your guard up. There are vultures circling over your emotional, crying body.
I suggest opening your own bank account and put a few bucks in every month. So when your time of death does come, your family can have instructions to access that cash. You can shop around for caskets and urns, you don’t need to purchase the funeral homes products.
Best yet, go the way Braveheart’s wife went out, get wrapped up in a cloth a buried secretly under some tree.
Just my oponion…