Wholesale casket prices vary from less than $300 to more than $8000. Factors that affect the cost of caskets include:
- The material from which the casket is constructed (Cloth-covered wood or cloth-covered corrugated fiber board)
- Gauge of the steel used in casket construction (20-gauge is least expensive; thicker gauges [18-gauge and 16- gauge] are more expensive)
- Type of wood
- Weight of copper or bronze (32 ounce or 38 ounce)
- Casket design (square corner, round corner, urn shape)
- Interior materials used and nature of the finish of those materials
- Exterior hardware (handles and lugs) used
- Paint finish
Product cost is also affected by delivery requirements. It used to be the norm that funeral homes retained some inventory to meet the needs of their clients. Today, (at least in metropolitan areas and in many smaller cities as well) next day or same day delivery has become the rule. This increases the service cost for the manufacturer or distributor and adds to the overall cost of caskets.
Casket stores (whether on the internet or in a strip mall) often claim that consumers may save thousands of dollars by purchasing from them. This claim may, or may not, be valid. The caveat buyer beware applies.