Funeral Industry News

Local Business Offers Do-it-Yourself Casket Kit

August 28, 2009

Local Business Offers Do-it-Yourself Casket Kit

images ROCK HILL, S.C. — When he saw the $12,900 bill for a relative’s funeral last year, Merritt Eggleston saw an opportunity. Several months later, he has launched a business building low-cost caskets. “You ought to see what some of them are going for on the internet, even for animals,” Eggleston said of his research on casket prices. Eggleston, 66, spent decades working in home construction, an industry hit hard by the recession.He lost his job and was forced to sell the dream home he was building in Chester county.

Working out of a small shed in his backyard, Eggleston cuts and assembles pine boxes large enough for people or pets, offering them for sale at under $500.

John Gullickson, a licensed funeral planner and owner of Insurance Services of the Carolinas, said Eggleston has found a niche business which could prove to be popular, especially in a slow economy.

“I thought it was a great idea because one of the biggest costs of the funeral is the cost of the casket,” Gullickson told NewsChannel 36. “You?re looking at saving people two to five thousand dollars” off the cost of a basic casket offered by most funeral homes.

For families who want to save even more money, Eggleston is offering a ready-to-assemble casket for $275.

The kit can be assembled with glue and a screwdriver and can be stored under a bed until needed.

Eggleston said he hopes to market his caskets at a Fort Mill flea market and is setting up a booth in the Trader Marc’s building on Saturdays beginning August 22.


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