Funeral Industry News

Casket Seller Booted From Flea Market

August 31, 2009

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Casket Seller Booted From Flea Market

image FORT MILL, S.C. — Hours after he set up his display inside the large warehouse turned flea market, Merritt Eggleston was asked to leave.

?This guy comes up to me and ?says you?re not supposed to be here,?? Eggleston told NewsChannel 36. ?He says ?I can?t have you selling this here.??

An employee of Trader Marc?s, a six-week old flea market, had approved Eggleston?s request to rent space last Saturday.

But when the market?s owner, J.R. Pettus, noticed Eggleston was selling caskets, he pulled the plug on the booth.

?We studied a lot of flea markets before we opened this one and we didn?t see anyone selling caskets at any other flea market,? Pettus said.

Eggleston, who builds caskets in the back yard of his Rock Hill home, said he was approached by several interested people while manning his booth at the flea market.

?I?m trying to help anybody I can,? he said, noting his caskets cost thousands of dollars less than the most basic model offered by funeral homes.

He said a flea market seemed like a logical place to market his wooden boxes, which are aimed at older people on fixed incomes.

Shoppers at the market had complained, Pettus said, adding that the sight of caskets forces onlookers to think about death.

?It is a difficult subject,? he said. ?We?re all going to die. We just don?t want to be promoting it at the market.?

Eggleston was given $100 for his trouble, double what he paid for the two booths his casket display had occupied at the market.