A few months ago my husband and I began planning our first family vacation to Disney World.
NOW, if you have ever planned the proverbial trip to Disney World, then you are aware of the expense involved. From getting there to lodging, to dining, park admission and entertainment...the trip ain't cheap! So we decided we would save money where we could, including the air fare to get there.
Rather than book airline tickets through our normal airline carrier we decided to book through a new-to-our-area discount airliner. The flight is direct and was supposed to be inexpensive. Or so we thought.
You see, the airline carrier advertised $75 one-way tickets to Orlando. What a bargain, right??!!
But then they charged us for checked luggage (if you are going to be at Disney World for a week with kids then you are going to have to check some luggage), carry on items (If you have flown with small children then you KNOW you must have something on board to keep them happy and quiet), and they even charged for our seats on the plane...in coach class. Once they added on all of the taxes and fees our airline tickets cost just as much through the "discount provider" as they would have had we purchased them through our normal carrier. And you don't get frequent flier miles as a thank you, either.
You see, online "discount" monument providers are a lot like that discount airliner I wrote about. I recently stumbled accross an online "discount" monument provider who was advertising granite markers for $199 with free shipping. That sounds pretty good, right? Especially considering that the same marker in our store cost $395.
BUT, when I started reading about the product I started noticing that they had pulled the old "advertise low, upgrade 'em high" trick.
You see, what they have done is market a product for $199 that looks okay and, by all means, "gets the job done". However, the price only includes certain things. For instance, the name. They had advertised that the engraving is inlcuded in their price but only for a name (first and last) and two dates (years only). If you would like a middle name, middle initial or suffix, that will be additional. If you want the actual month and date and year of your loved one's lifetime, that is additional too. And, if you would like a graphic or an epitaph, that will be extra as well.
Another issue arises, which is installation. Sure, you can haul the marker to the cemetery, buy some supplies and place the marker yourself. But the marker is going to be heavy (100+ pounds depending on size!) and you will need the necessary tools and supplies to do the job right. Or, you can hire a company to do it for you.
The last issue that arises is that of maintenance. You see, the Earth is constantly moving, thus causing the ground to settle and making the marker subject to shifting along with it. Our price always include a guarantee on the way the monument was placed in the cemetery and we are always glad to go out and raise and/or straighten the monument if sinking or shifting occurs.
So, by the time you add in the extras that the online discount provider tacks on, and the time and materials it takes to set the marker, and the future expense of having someone fix it if and when it settles, you would have spent far less by purchasing the marker at Emerson Monument Co, your local monument manufacturer and dealer.
At Emerson Monument Company our price is always clear. We let you know up front what is included and never cut corners on quality. If you have any questions about the process of purchasing a memorial or need help getting started, please contact us and we will be glad to help!