With all of the advances in technology, consumers today have much more information regarding potential purchases than ever before. While the monument business may be outdated, the internet has created opportunities for families in need to save money by purchasing memorials online.
Most larger, corporate owned cemeteries sell memorials directly, which is very convenient for families who want to take care of all of the memorial arrangements at one place. That being said, families will typically pay a significant premium to buy directly from the cemetery. That reality has led many to search for online vendors to supply the memorials, but the process can be very misleading.
For starters, the first rule of purchasing a memorial is knowing what type of memorial your cemetery will allow. Many online vendors will simply let you add an item to a cart and purchase it, without ever confirming the rules and regulations of the receiving cemetery. This of course can lead to wasted money, time, and frustration.
Secondly, most online monument companies will boast prices seemingly 75% less than what your cemetery may be offering, which can be very misleading. Most prices are not inclusive of all pieces required for cemetery installation, any cemetery fees related to installation, actual physical foundation setting, and monument installation on site. There may also be delivery fees tacked onto the memorial price you see online. That means that even if you purchase online for seemingly very inexpensive, you will have to arrange for delivery, completion of memorial, foundation, installation, and fee payments. This usually adds up to a lot more money than what was originally advertised.
Lastly, it is very difficult to make decisions regarding an everlasting memorial for a loved one, without ever seeing a physical display of the materials and craftsmanship. Typically online monument companies will ship nationwide, but will not have a showroom or samples anywhere near your local area.
The solution to all of these issues is simple: FIND AN ONLINE VENDOR WHO HAS LOCAL OFFICES IN YOUR AREA. It may take you some time to sift through the multiple ads and vendors you come across, but usually a search for “headstones in (your local city)” will yield very helpful results, and sometimes even reviews of the company in your neighborhood will go along with your search results. A local company can tackle all of the above issues as follows:
A) A local company is typically already familiar with the rules and regulations regarding memorials in the surrounding cemeteries. This will prove to be very valuable in the process.
B) A local company may display prices slightly higher than the nationwide vendors display, but usually those prices are inclusive of all necessary parts of the memorial, physical delivery to the local cemetery, on-site foundation work, installation, and coordination of cemetery fee payments. This saves the consumer time and headaches, while still costing significantly less than the cost of purchasing directly from the cemetery.
C) The local monument company will have one or multiple showrooms in your area, which can enable the consumer to not only see the materials first hand, but to speak to an actual memorial expert face to face. Designing a memorial is much more productive of a process in person, than over an online submission form.
It may sound like more research is required initially, but trust me, it will pay off in many ways!