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Wal-Mart Sells Caskets Online

Uber-cost-saving retailer Wal-Mart has started selling caskets on its website. Yes, you read correctly. Caskets and urns to be exact.

It's actually not unheard of to sell caskets online. Wholesale retailer Costco also provides a similar service. But is it a little eerie that while shopping for, let's say, diapers, or perhaps, Christmas decorations, you also can order a casket, to be delivered within 48 hours?

And you never know, maybe you will qualify for free shipping.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, funeral homes must accept third party caskets so perhaps Wal-Mart has just made another brilliant business decision. After all, people are usually either buried in some sort of casket or cremated and placed in an urn.

And who doesn't love the convenience of shopping online?

Right now Wal-Mart offers 14 caskets and more than 20 urns. Caskets range in price from $895 for the "Lady de Guadalupe Steel Casket" to $2,899 for the Sienna Bronze Casket.

They even have clever names such as "Dad Remembered Steel Casket" or "Executive Priviledge Steel Casket."

We would love to hear what you think about Wal-Mart's latest move and if you would buy a casket, or urn, online.

By Lauren Wiseman  |  November 2, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  Lauren Wiseman  
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Comments

The Trappist monks at New Melleray Abbey in Iowa have been selling handcrafted caskets and urns online for years. We buried my mother and both my wife's parents in them, and other relatives have used them, too. They're relatively inexpensive, beautiful, different - and delivered within two days to the funeral home.

Posted by: greginheaven | November 2, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

You can buy diapers and Christmas decorations at the same time you buy your casket on the Costco website too. Not sure how how one situation is any more or less eerie than the other.

Posted by: capital_tee | November 2, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

that's gotta be the most redneck thing to do. go to wal-mart to buy your fishing and hunting equipment, dinner for the next week, and a casket for grandma.

Posted by: j762 | November 2, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: huangzhixian104 | November 2, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Still too fancy for me. A pine box is good enough. Hey -- I'm dead. Keep it simple.

Posted by: jethro1 | November 2, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Particle-board with brass-plated pot-metal fittings?

Remember -- no returns after first use!

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

The "funeral home" industry is a uniquely American rip-off. Outside of America, the ghoulish (but profitable) practice of embalming is not widespread. Neither is the (profitable) custom of applying make-up and minor taxidermic surgery to make the corpse look "lifelike". Neither, for that matter, is the (profitable) practice of open-casket "viewings".

Most civilized countries favor prompt burial or cremation. In the US, many state laws are specifically designed to *impede* these low-cost options. One guess as to who lobbied for those laws ...

Just say 'no' to the used-car-salesman types who prey on the bereaved at their most vulnerable moments, convincing them to spend extravagant amounts of money on a 'comfortable' casket that will somehow 'preserve' the body.

It's obscene that the *cheapest* box Wal-Mart sells is $895. By their actions, I count them among the death price-gougers. How much would a simple pine box cost? $50 or so? Why doesn't Wal-Mart -- the store of choice for America's working class -- offer even a *single* sanely priced casket?

Posted by: DupontJay | November 2, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

W-O-W.

Posted by: shes_cleva | November 2, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'd rather be fed to dogs than have a dime go to Walmart.

Posted by: gce1356 | November 2, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

This is indeed a good thing. Another option for the consumer is helpful and keeps funeral directors on their toes, bringing them one step closer to honesty in their transactions with Funeral Consumers.

Your Funeral Guy

Posted by: yourfuneralguy | November 3, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow...what an untimely article. I just buried my dad about two weeks ago...my brother made a tounge-in-cheek comment that Wal-Mart should sell caskets....well, there it is!!!

Posted by: greenstrat_01 | November 4, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

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