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Marketing is about contrast
With 20/20 hindsight, today I finally figured out why the funeral home carries (no shit) a 32 thousand dollar casket. It's so that the 5-6 thousand dollar ones (which are the bulk of the line) look inexpensive by comparison.

(Yes, I'm aware that I could have gotten a better deal by looking around online. No, I don't want to hear about it.)

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No you couldn't've. Costwise, maybe. Sanitywise? Not a chance. And sanity is the currency that's in short supply right now. Basic economics says that scarce things are more valuable.

It's a method called "anchoring". metahacker has a great article about it that he found online; we can discuss it another time. (It's a marketing slash human hacking topic that interests me greatly.)

I don't think right now is a time when you have to account to anyone for what you've spent on anything. Money is there to make life easier.

My family used to make caskets and we were always appalled at what the markup was.

The funeral industry, feh.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Jane was such an extraordinary person!

(This is Julia S. in case my LJ name isn't familiar to you.)

Yeah, been there. They absolutely take advantage of people when they're down, and all with a smarmy smile. I'm really sorry, but as long as you're not strapped, I think now is not a time to worry about money. I agree with hfcougar, throw cash at things to make your life simpler, and don't feel bad about it.

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This happened with us, too, when my grandfather passed a month or two ago. Frankly, if you can afford to skip online, do it. (My grandmother couldn't, and was very insistent that she pay for the casket herself.) We fielded seriously 20 calls trying to get the damn thing where it needed to be.

Let me start by saying how sorry I am for your loss. Even those of us who weren't really close will miss her.

I don't think it's pure psychology, or money-grubbing, although both certainly happen. There are people out there who want that kind of stuff. They're either doing it to prove to themselves how much they loved their dear departed, or to prove to the attending public how much they loved them. Yes, it's foolish, but some people are that way. My Mother would have been, when my Grandmother passed away, if she'd been making the decision on her own. Fortunately I was able to convince her to be sensible by arguing that my Grandmother would have wanted the same thing she did for my Grandfather when he passed, and the funeral home was able to look it up (which impressed me a great deal, since the difference between their dates of death was more than 30 years).

I'm sorry you're finding the funeral home difficult to deal with. It really is good advice to bring along someone you trust who has a little more emotional distance to support you. Even if you're making all the decisions, it helps to know you're not alone.

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