Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Forget Costco - Get even cheaper funerary products on Ebay!

In the market for a discount funeral? I wrote recently about Costco's foray into the wonderful world of funerals, put today I found a new vendor: eBay.

I was poking around in eBay "Everything Else" category and came across "Funeral and Cemetery." Maybe because I'll soon turn 50 and therefore am facing my inevitable death, I couldn't resist evaluating my options. Here's what I found:

"casket pine jewish green-friendly funeral home hearse - caskets non-imported, built in Missouri pine painted." Let me rewrite this fairly nonsensical auction description for you. The seller represents Missouri Amish craftsmen who make pine caskets because they think Jewish people prefer simple burial devices that rot in an environmentally better way. Selling for $500 to $1000 with free shipping, these caskets are available in the color of your choice. "You may order custom colors for these caskets. We order all of our paint from Sherwin-Williams so that you can go to your local Sherwin-Williams and choose a color that you would like." Wonderful! Now I can match my casket to my plum pumps!

Next up: how about a "VELVET CASKET COFFIN COVER/CHAISE/BEDSPREAD/COUCH COVER"? The seller elaborates, "Here is a dynamite fabulous very old coffin/casket cover in crushed green velvet... There are so many unusual uses, a shawl, a drape, a couch cover {what a great conversation piece}, even a bedspread on a single bed, or a cover for a fainting couch or chaise cover, or use it as a coffin cover for a recently deceased loved one." Uh... I'll pass. Sleeping with an old coffin cover gives me the creeps. But Scarlet O'Hara did make that fab dress out of her mother's velvet drapes - you might give her a call. She could Buy It Now for only $89.99!

For the more stylish, richer corpse, you might consider the "Brushed Lilac/Lilac Shaded Coppertone Finish Casket." This coffin is manufactured by Cornerstone Casket, LLC, a company "well positioned to capitalize on the Asia manufacturing phenomenon now underway, to provide the funeral industry in the North American market the best value caskets available." However, they do admit what all coffin makers must admit: THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC OR OTHER EVIDENCE THAT ANY CASKET WITH SEALING DEVICE WILL PRESERVE HUMAN REMAINS." Well, I was seeking that ashes to ashes, dust to dust thing anyway. And guess what kids? This is the exact same coffin Costco sells for $924! Better comparison shop.

Finally, for the budget-conscious handyman, just DIY! eBay has just the book for you: "Do It Yourself Coffins for Pets and People." The seller states (and I'm not kidding here)that the author "departs from his usual animal carvings, burying himself in a new art form - the manufacture of special boxes for pets and people. Here's one project you won't want to put off until tomorrow... One box design even doubles as a beautiful blanket chest or coffee table!" The seller also reassures shoppers that purchases made by Friday will arrive in time for Christmas and that the company can "ship anywhere - even to your loved ones cross country or overseas."

(Sadly, the funerary product most often sold on eBay is baby caskets, which is far too sad to satirize. I feel terribly for anyone who has to bury a child.)

I could go on, but that's enough of this dead issue. Happy funeral shopping, kids! And Merry Christmas!

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