Does Buying a Coffin From Costco Save Money on Funeral Costs?

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Costco Coffin Review after death of my aunt

Would you buy a funeral coffin from a place like Costco? Does the thought of doing something like this creep you out? I can’t say I blame you.

Recently, I purchased one through the retail giant after my aunt died. She had been in hospice care for a long time as a result of lung cancer. Given her frail condition, I knew it was only a matter of time.

Sadly, she passed just after the start of the new year.

While I recognize this was an unconventional move on my part, my hope was to provide her a meaningful goodbye while also saving money.

In the days leading up to her death, my aunt made it clear that she didn’t want a fancy funeral. In fact, she didn’t want a funeral at all.

There were two reasons for this. The first was because she lived on a fixed income and had very little money. The second is because she was super humble and not one to put on a show.

It just wasn’t her.

When I explained to my aunt that having some type of service would be helpful to grieving family members, she acquiesced and agreed to a simple memorial.

On the day she died, I was devastated. But I also had a plan. I was going to buy the casket online and have it shipped to the funeral home.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I purchased the coffin directly from Costco for the price of $949.00 [this included the standard shipping]. As part of a two-step ordering process, I had to call a special number and speak to a representative at the Universal Casket Company. That’s who Costco contracts with for the coffins.

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The person was very nice and took down different information, including my aunt’s name and the mortuary the coffin was being shipped to.

The name of the casket was In God’s Care and made by Universal. The color was a very rich blue, complimented with metal handrails and embossed with crosses.

Prior to her passing, I had been pricing coffins online and knew that a comparable product would cost close to $2000.00. Because I wanted to give her something nice while also reducing my financial pain, the decision (at least for me) wasn’t hard to make.

I ordered the casket on a Monday morning and it was at the funeral home by late Wednesday afternoon. I can honestly say I did not encounter any problems.

The funeral director I worked with was very understanding and even admitted to me privately that most funeral homes make their money off caskets.

As a memorial, we had a closed-coffin service at a local church where friends and family members paid their respects. Many attendees who were unaware of where the coffin was purchased remarked on how beautiful it looked.

After the service, my aunt was transported to a crematorium. And yes, she was cremated in the casket I purchased for her.

With the money I saved, I was able to pay the church a small gratuity fee and tip the minister.

I have to say that in the case of my aunt, the Costco purchased coffin did save money. I know there are reviews on the Internet to suggest the savings isn’t worth it. I’ve even read a few where people think doing such a thing (buying online) is cheap and disrespectful. I certainly respect their point of view.

If I had to pick one thing I didn’t like, it was the color of the casket. It was a lot bluer than I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, it was still beautiful. But the pictures from the Costco website didn’t exactly match what arrived at the funeral parlor.

So was the price I paid – $949.00 worth it? All I can say is look around and you will quickly see similar 18-gauge steel caskets costing a whole lot more. If you are considering buying a coffin from a place other than a funeral home, be sure to check if your state has any special laws or requirements.  My aunt lived in Illinois and there were no restrictions.

Have you purchased a casket for a loved one from Costco? Would you? I’d love to hear your experiences. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

The casket shown as the main picture in this post was not purchased from Costco and is simply a stock photo picture.

About John D. Moore 346 Articles
Dr. John Moore is a licensed counselor and Editor-in-Chief of Guy Counseling. A journalist and blogger, he writes about a variety of topics related to wellness. His interests include technology, outdoor activities, science, and men's health. Check out his show --> The Men's Self Help Podcast