With an increasing number of us taking a more active role in planning our own funerals ahead of time, the question of purchasing your own coffin is one regularly posed to us. It may seem like a slightly odd question and probably not something you’d even given a prior thought to or considered shopping around for, but the number of people wanting to buy their own coffin is on the rise and there’s a growing marketplace ready to help.
Aside from people planning and paying for their funeral in advance, other reasons for people wanting to buy their own coffin include ethical, socio and environmental beliefs. Price and personalisation still sit at the top of the list for many, and finding something that reflects your personality or fits within a particular budget can require some research. So where do you start?
Choosing the right coffin
Whilst buying a coffin has become far easier over time, the proliferation of manufacturers and suppliers can mean that choosing the right option needs a little more thought. This is not something you will have experienced purchasing for yourself before and it is a very personal statement.
With a huge range of material options on offer and manufacturing taking place around the world, where your coffin is made, by whom and how are key considerations. Do you specifically want something handmade or manufactured in the UK for instance? Do you want natural materials and a teardrop shape or something far more traditional in look and feel? Perhaps you want something completely different and want to consider picture coffins, coloured coffins or themed coffins – which incorporate a way to reflect your passions, hobbies and interests such as your favourite football team for example.
It can be useful to start by considering budget as well as the basics of size, material and personalisation and look at the options available to you. It may be that mixed together, these key criteria help you refine your wishes.
The rise of online coffin sales
Although it’s been possible to purchase your own coffin for many years, like all products the internet and the impact of the pandemic has boosted the uptake of online sales. This has helped to provide a far greater choice of products and introduced many new names, materials and styles to the market.
Even with that in mind, it’s no surprise that a coffin is a difficult thing to buy remotely and it’s likely that you will not have any direct experience of buying from these companies before. So, whilst you’re researching, do give some consideration to the actual transaction itself. Here are some key questions to ask:
- Would it be better to research online and then transact through your local funeral director?
- Can you see samples of the materials in question or view the coffin of choice at a funeral director?
- Where is the company located?
- What guarantees are there?
- Can you speak to someone and discuss your requirements i.e size variations?
- What are the options when it comes to delivery and storage?
Choosing a quality coffin
Once you’ve decided to buy your own coffin, carried out your research and found what you believe to be the right option, how can you ensure quality when making your purchase? There are a number of industry associations linked to the funeral trade, some of whom provide accreditation. As an example, all of our coffins are FFMA accredited. The FFMA is the central organisation that works with manufacturers, the government, funeral directors and crematoria to ensure a consistent level of quality. Accreditation means the products meet minimum required standards and provides you with added confidence around your purchase.
As noted above, there are also those slightly more obvious questions around the company too. So don’t forget to find out whether it is a reputable supplier, offer advice and support, and provide samples before you buy. When it comes to making the purchase, remember that paying with a credit card can offer further protection.
Whilst the ultimate answer is that you can buy your own coffin, it’s a very unique purchase, especially when buying directly, and so we’d always recommend careful research and planning before making any decisions.
Here at Tributes we have a dedicated Customer Care team on hand to answer questions and provide guidance. And do remember your local funeral directors too. They typically have a huge amount of experience and are becoming increasingly used to supporting families and individuals in sourcing all the elements that create some very bespoke send-offs.