The Case Against Funeral Homes Buying Caskets from China


The funeral industry plays a crucial role in providing compassionate and dignified services to families during their time of grief. When it comes to sourcing caskets, funeral homes face the decision of whether to buy domestically or consider importing from countries like China. In recent years, there has been growing concern about the potential drawbacks associated with purchasing caskets from China. This article aims to highlight some of the key reasons why funeral homes should carefully consider alternatives to importing caskets from China.

Quality Control and Craftsmanship

One of the primary concerns with caskets imported from China is the potential lack of quality control and craftsmanship. The funeral industry demands high standards of quality, durability, and aesthetics for caskets, ensuring that they provide a fitting tribute to the deceased. By purchasing caskets domestically or from reputable local manufacturers, funeral homes can have better control over the production process and ensure that the caskets meet the necessary quality standards. Chinese imports may not always meet the same level of quality due to variations in manufacturing processes, materials, and regulations.

Ethical Labor and Environmental Standards

The funeral industry places significant emphasis on ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility. When funeral homes purchase caskets from China, there may be limited transparency regarding the labor practices and environmental impact involved in their production. Domestic casket manufacturers are typically subject to stricter regulations and compliance standards, ensuring fair labor practices, and sustainable manufacturing processes. By choosing local suppliers, funeral homes can align their values with ethical and sustainable practices, demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Timely Delivery and Customer Service

Another potential issue with sourcing caskets from China is the logistical challenges and potential delays associated with international shipping. Funeral homes often operate under tight timelines and need to ensure the prompt delivery of caskets to meet the needs of grieving families. By working with local suppliers, funeral homes can benefit from shorter lead times, easier communication, and more responsive customer service. Domestic manufacturers understand the specific requirements and expectations of funeral homes, enabling them to provide personalized and reliable support.

Supporting Local Economy and Industry

Choosing to buy caskets from domestic manufacturers supports the local economy and the funeral industry itself. Funeral homes play an essential role in their communities, and by sourcing products locally, they contribute to the growth and sustainability of local businesses. Additionally, supporting local casket manufacturers helps preserve jobs and craftsmanship within the industry. By investing in local suppliers, funeral homes can strengthen the economic fabric of their communities and foster a sense of trust and loyalty among their clientele.

Cultural Sensitivity and Personalization

Funeral services often reflect the cultural and religious beliefs of the deceased and their families. Local casket manufacturers are more likely to understand the unique cultural sensitivities and preferences of the community they serve. They can provide a broader range of options, customization opportunities, and guidance in selecting caskets that align with specific traditions and rituals. This level of cultural sensitivity and personalization may be more challenging to achieve when relying on imported caskets from China.


While the availability of cheaper caskets from China may initially seem appealing to funeral homes, there are several compelling reasons to reconsider this option. By prioritizing quality control, ethical standards, timely delivery, customer service, and supporting the local economy and industry, funeral homes can provide a higher level of service and meet the expectations of their clientele. By working with local casket manufacturers, funeral homes can ensure that they are upholding their commitment to excellence, compassion, and cultural sensitivity throughout the entire funeral process.

Benefits of independent buying groups

Title: Unlocking the Benefits of Independent Buying Groups


In the competitive landscape of business, independent retailers and small businesses often face challenges when it comes to purchasing power, negotiating favorable terms with suppliers, and accessing cost-effective resources. However, independent buying groups have emerged as a powerful solution, providing significant benefits to their members. In this article, we will explore the advantages of independent buying groups and how they empower small businesses to thrive in the market.

Enhanced Purchasing Power

One of the primary advantages of joining an independent buying group is the enhanced purchasing power it provides. By pooling together their resources, independent retailers can benefit from economies of scale and negotiate better terms with suppliers. The collective buying power of the group allows for volume discounts, reduced shipping costs, and access to exclusive deals that would typically be beyond the reach of individual retailers. This level of purchasing power enables independent businesses to remain competitive with larger chain stores and increase their profit margins.

Access to a Diverse Supplier Network

Independent buying groups bring together a diverse network of suppliers from various industries. This expansive network offers members a wide range of choices when it comes to sourcing products and services. By leveraging the group’s collective relationships, retailers gain access to high-quality suppliers they may not have discovered on their own. Moreover, the group’s reputation and purchasing volume make them an attractive partner for suppliers, which can lead to additional benefits such as priority access to new products, improved service levels, and tailored support.

Negotiating Power and Cost Savings

When independent retailers negotiate individually with suppliers, they often lack the leverage to secure favorable terms. However, as part of an independent buying group, members can negotiate collectively, driving better deals and cost savings. By combining their requirements and aligning their purchasing strategies, the group can achieve economies of scale, volume discounts, and more favorable payment and delivery terms. These negotiated savings directly impact the bottom line of each member, enabling them to invest in other areas of their business, such as marketing, staff training, or expansion.

Sharing of Best Practices and Knowledge

Independent buying groups foster a collaborative environment where members can share experiences, insights, and best practices. The exchange of knowledge among like-minded business owners creates a supportive community that can lead to improved operational efficiency and innovation. Members can learn from each other’s successes and failures, gain valuable market insights, and stay updated on industry trends. This shared knowledge helps independent retailers adapt to changing customer demands, optimize their operations, and ultimately enhance their competitiveness.

Marketing and Promotional Support

Joining an independent buying group often comes with marketing and promotional support, which can be invaluable for small businesses looking to expand their reach. The collective marketing efforts of the group can include joint advertising campaigns, shared marketing collateral, and access to co-op funds provided by suppliers. These initiatives enable members to promote their businesses more effectively, reach a larger audience, and enhance their brand recognition in the market. Additionally, the group’s branding and reputation can serve as a seal of quality, instilling confidence in customers and attracting new business.


Independent buying groups have emerged as a vital resource for independent retailers and small businesses, providing them with the means to compete effectively in the market. Through enhanced purchasing power, access to diverse suppliers, improved negotiating capabilities, knowledge sharing, and marketing support, these groups empower their members to thrive in the face of competition from larger entities. By harnessing the collective strength of like-minded businesses, independent buying groups have become instrumental in leveling the playing field, fostering growth, and ensuring the long-term success of independent retailers.

Future of the Group

We are in our tenth year and are now 20 members strong.  It is time for us to add more programs and value to our membership.  We will focus on offering solutions to member challenges and opportunities provided by our group size.

Key initiatives for 2019 are a group health care program based on recent law changes that allow us to benefit by being part of a group with a common business objective.   Other initiatives will focus on working together and sharing resources such as car, livery and director sharing.

After offering these service will focus on growing our membership outside Michigan so we can make our secondary and tertiary spend items more significant.  Once significant we can recruit preferred vendors.

It is an exciting time for our group.  Come join us.

Why are you providing for SCI’s discount

It is generally understood that SCI has negotiated discounts 10-15% better than large independent funeral homes.  Thier discount is coming from the higher prices you get charged by the manufacutures. 

How can they do this?  Because you are independent and divided they can keep your prices higher.  The solution is to join forces and not loose your independence.

The Solution

Join the Remembrance Purchasing Group.  We negotiate together to earn better discounts, volume and growth incentives.  How, because we are pooling our volume.  If we negotiate together the manufacturers cannot divide and conquer.