Buyer beware is a saying that really needs to be embedded into your mind when making large purchases on the internet. In regards to the memorial industry things are no different. There has been a large boom in internet based companies selling headstones recently and we would like to inform you the consumer of some of the dangers and headaches you will encounter out there.
I recently visited 5 online based memorial companies that allow you to build your own headstone online, order it and get it delivered without ever needing to speak with someone. Quickly I found many problems.
- Lack of customization in building your marker accurately. Whether it is a lack of images to choose from or the software itself not allowing you to place objects where you want them or sized how you want them, I had more failed attempts try to build something that I truly wanted. Being that I understand the sandblasting process it takes to engrave a marker it made me wonder how it is even possible to allow a customer with no knowledge in sandblasting create a design that would adhere to certain limitations in size and making things too close so granite doesn’t start to chip or break during the sandblasting. What if I want portions of the stone with raised lettering, or laser carving, what about different languages engraved on the stone….no options to really make a custom memorial.
- Free shipping. I found many sites that offered free shipping anywhere in the US while the price of their markers are outlandishly cheap. Common sense just cries out “something is wrong here”. I found that while many of the companies offered free shipping on their home page as after you enter your credit card info in if you your total amount was not high enough suddenly there was a shipping charge. Some of the companies did offer free shipping all the way through and the only way I can image you could ship a 180 pound stone for free is if your profit margins are extremely high, but how does that work if you are retailing the stone for so cheap... Easy low quality granite, which will not withstand the test of time.
- Cemetery Rules and Regulations. This one is a shocker to most customers, There Is No Standard Size Markers for every cemetery. Each cemetery has their own rules and regulations on which sizes they accept along with what material it needs to be (granite or bronze). This means if you do not purchase the correct size the cemetery will not allow it to be installed and you end up with the marker in your own backyard. Some cemeteries require many forms to be filled out by the manufactured of the stone along with the family and need to accompany the delivery otherwise delivery is rejected. I read on many of the sites that if you purchase a marker from them that the cemetery rejects it is your problem.
I know these days not everyone has time to actually go and meet a headstone supplier and design a stone with them and look at actual granite colors, but make sure the people you are working with are asking the important questions. And are making sure that what you are ordering is actually going to meet your cemeteries regulations. Make sure all charges are upfront.
For more information on Memorial Headstones and Monuments, please contact Richard Rapozo , or feel free to Call (949)235-3881 and speak to Richard Rapozo about memorial headstones and monuments. American Headstones can be found online at www.allheadstones.com.