My experiences with online memorial purchases…
We routinely come into contact with families that have purchased memorials online. This is one of those times when you can learn some pretty tough lessons, but only after you have paid a fairly steep price.
Local memorialists know local cemeteries. And local memorialists are your neighbors, so when they do make a mistake they have to see you at the store, at local sporting events, school functions…. We are more motivated to correct the problem. Most customers are surprised to learn that cemeteries have rules and regulations. They are, most often, things that the family never even considered. I have seen memorials rejected because they are ½” too small, have paint in the letters, do not include a religious emblem or plot number, or they have not blasted the text deep enough, so when the paint wears out the engraving is no longer visible.
By this time the memorial has been shipped halfway across the country (by shippers who do not understand how to properly handle this material), and at 150 – 200 pounds per cubic foot, that ain’t cheap. So you have a seller in another state, do you think he is going to have this shipped back to him to remove paint, add a couple 1” digits in the corner, or replace the entire memorial because the corner got a little dinged up?
The attraction to an online memorial purchase is usually the cost. What they do not always mention is that someone here will usually need to handle the installation, concrete foundation, assembly and oftentimes minor repairs. Cemeteries have fees and applications. There is a process. It is not as simple as picking something out and dropping it off.
I find that people are also likely to buy online because they are given more attractive delivery times. But, the seller does not bother with applications, foundations and/or the rules and regulations, which when done properly can be time consuming. I would rather give an honest estimate on time (from start to finish) and then meet that deadline.
Over the past few years we have agreed to install several memorials manufactured by online sellers. I have seen them damaged (by shippers) beyond repair, unattractive/ spotty material, sizes that will be rejected by the cemetery, inadequate blasting (illegible lettering), and a variety of cemetery related issues that are then left to the customer to resolve. The local memorialists, and the cemeteries are often unwilling to help because the sale was lost to them.
A local monument dealer is with the customer from inception to installation. We know the rules and regulations of the cemeteries in our area. We can save you money and time and heartache. We are serving our community. We are your neighbors and most often we are family owned and operated.
Maria Schlitzberger Hall
Schlitzberger and Daughters Monument Co., Inc.