Funeral Industry News

What Are Cemeteries Thinking?

March 19, 2010

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

What Are Cemeteries Thinking?

imageWalmart, Costco, and Amazon have taken the plunge into the funeral industry by selling urns and caskets. Luckily, they aren’t selling burial vaults, yet, but I am sure with time they will give that a go as well.

The burial vault is the one thing that funeral homes have always had a strong hold on because burial vault companies don’t sell direct to the public or superstores. But don’t forget about the cemetery.

Cemeteries have begun to push burial vaults on the public more and more. Where we are located in central Ohio cemeteries are doing everything they can to sell the families whatever they can. They are even including burial vaults into the sale of the burial plot, and in most cases the families have no idea they are even purchasing the burial vault. There are cases of course, where families do know they are purchasing a burial vault and are happy with making that purchase at the cemetery.

Earlier this week I was at a local cemetery and from what I saw I can’t imagine how any family could ever be comfortable purchasing one of their vaults. Take a look at the picture below.

One problem that funeral directors face, is the fact that the public has no idea what a burial vault is and that they even need to have one to be buried in most cemeteries. If these unknowing families go to the cemetery to purchase plots before going to the funeral home to make arrangements, they more than likely end up purchasing some kind of outer burial container.

It blew my mind that any family would purchase a burial vault from this cemetery after seeing this when they pulled in the front gates:

This is a picture of the outer burial containers (to be a burial vault it must be lined and sealed) offered to the families. Why would anyone want to purchase one of these?

I was really shocked to see these containers just tossed in a pile out in the open.

Shouldn’t the vault sale be left for the funeral home? At least this way the family would know what they were getting.

What are cemeteries thinking?