Shopping for Cremation Urns Online
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by Jerri Haaven certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant
Today even furniture can be bought with a few clicks of a mouse and a valid credit card. The funeral and death care industry is not exempt from this convenient practice.
People searching for cremation urns can purchase with ease online. And save a lot of money - at times as much as 70% - for the exact same quality urn you would find in most funeral homes. Doing a little homework provides a sense of security that you’ve made an intelligent purchase.
Below are a few questions to consider before providing your credit card number to an online merchant.
Is it safe to buy cremation urns online?
Yes. Buying cremation urns online is as safe as any walk-in retail shop. Here are a few tips.
- Verify that the retailer has a secure purchase page. On a secure page, a credit card number is encrypted during the transaction process and won’t be compromised. Most e-commerce sites, including OneWorld Memorials, utilize systems that are highly encrypted and PCI compliant. Transactions are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
- On the "check out" page, ensure that the browser bar indicates the transaction is secure. You’ll either see a web address that includes “https://” or “shttp://” or a padlock image in the browser bar. Read additional information about shopping online.
- Read customer reviews.
How do I know if I’m getting a good deal on cremation urns?
Depending on your budget and preferences, only you can determine whether a purchase is a good deal or not. Our planning guide “4 Questions to Consider when Choosing a Cremation Urn” covers factors that determine what urn would be suitable for your purpose.
Here are a few things that might help to settle that nagging issue of getting what you pay for.
- Cheap vs. expensive. Do research such as cost comparisons of online retailers who offer cremation urns or cremation jewelry. Keep in mind, cheapest doesn’t always mean a product is of poor quality; and vice versa – most expensive doesn’t equal good quality.
- Know what you’re getting. Some online retailers are very good at providing great deals on well-produced products. Read the product description carefully so you know: materials, size, and use. This can help you understand what you are buying. If still in doubt, call the online shop and speak to a representative about the item.
- Customer service. A customer focused online retailer will have a toll free number and staff to help you at least during normal business hours.
- Discounts and sales don't necessarily signify you are getting a good deal. Look for services such as free shipping or low cost expedited shipping. A product selling for $100 with a 10% discount special does not compare with the same or a comparable item selling without a "discount" for $85 and free shipping.
- Also consider the integrity of the company when thinking in terms of value. Read reviews about the company. Every company makes mistakes, but how does the company deal with those mistakes? Very often customer comments provide valuable insights into the way a company will treat you.
What other costs besides the urn price can I expect?
All expenses when shopping online should be visible at the time of purchase.
- Line items include shipping and handling, and possible taxes. These costs should never be hidden from the consumer.
- Read the shipping policies. For instance, "free shipping" may look good but might be available only after spending a minimum amount or only applicable for certain items or locations.
- Optional costs include: customization of an urn and method of shipping. Should you decide to engrave an urn, a pendant, or cremation jewelry item, for example, costs will differ depending on the amount of space or lines that are available for engraving. Overnight shipping or 2nd-day-air shipping would also incur an additional charge.
- Check the return policy to determine whether a customer incurs return shipping costs, or if the company pays for returns.
What about refunds?
When shopping for cremation urns online, does the company stand behind their product? If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, a 30-day “money back guarantee” will help to ease anxiety. This gives reassurance that your loved one’s final resting place is exactly what you wanted and ordered.
What size urn do I need?
After doing initial research about the online retailer and you feel comfortable with the company you’ve chosen, it’s time to select an urn.
A good retailer will have a well-organized product selection.
Most importantly, consider end-use of the urn and the size needed. Most memorial urns are designed to hold all of the ashes of a person weighing up to approximately 200 pounds. Keepsake urns are smaller, and are best suited to keep a small portion of the cremated remains, usually around a teaspoon or up to 15 cubic inches. This makes ash keepsakes ideal for sharing ashes with family members. Learn more about the proper urn size.
Consider reading about cremation urns and the materials that are available.
When in the midst of grief, shopping online for cremation urns or memorial products provides a person the ability to take the needed time to find one that is uniquely personal. It pays to do research, explore options, and feel satisfied that you’ve made a secure purchase.
* Image: http://bit.ly/1T1F5XI
Jerri Haaven is a freelance writer, and a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant. When caring for her dad, who suffered from dementia and COPD, Jerri struggled with the negative side effects of his illness. She developed positive outlets to express herself and recover from her loss. Today as a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant, she uses her skills to help people who are in the midst of their own personal story of grief and loss.