Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Way We Die Now

In 1978 Wal-Mart branched out from selling standard department store items into pharmaceuticals. In 1983 it expanded into the wholesale market. In 1987, Wal-Mart began selling produce. Now it's 2009--and they're selling caskets. According to Reuters, you can get an Our Lady of Guadalupe casket for $895.* If you want to go more high end, Wal-Mart will sell you a sienna bronze for $2,899.

Both are almost certainly a savings on the funeral home price for caskets. If I had to guess, I would say both prices are well below the 800% markup that's standard for funeral home caskets--but that Wal-Mart is still making a handsome profit.

And be forewarned: if you buy a Wal-Mart casket online, you don't get free shipping.

* Which is only marginally better than the $925 Costco is asking for same.

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