In the past, purchasing an urn involved going to the funeral home, which handled the funeral arrangements of your beloved family member, and picking one from their display selection. Now, since the advent of the Internet, one can simply type in the search term “urns” in any search engine and find literally hundreds of companies selling a wide variety of cremation urns online. Purchasing an urn from an Internet company can be painless and done from the comfort and privacy of your home. Yet, with such an enormous selection of urn vendors, how does one determine which vendor to purchase from?
It is difficult if not impossible to know who is genuinely interested in helping the customer and who is out to make a buck. These 7 tips are designed to help you evaluate the companies on the Internet selling cremation urns. Hopefully the information will help make this part of the process a little easier for you and your family.
1. Research the Urn Vendor
You want to deal with a business that is experienced and ethical. Invest a little time to educate yourself about the vendor you are considering doing business with.
- How long have they been in business?
- Where are they located?
- Are they members of the Better Business Bureau?
- If so, have they had any complaints?
Look within their website for an About Us or Company page that offers more information about them. You can also contact them by phone or email and question them.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are a member and if they have had any complaints for the last three years. Members of the BBB Online Reliability program will prominently display the BBB seal on their website.
Be skeptical of vendors that do not fully disclose simple yet important information such as contact phone number, email address, and where they are located.
2. Examine Their Customer Service
Good customer service is shown by being focused on helping you instead of just getting the sale. They need to be oriented toward fulfilling your needs and not theirs.
- Can they be contacted by phone or email?
- Do they appear knowledgeable about their products?
- Are they helpful in answering your questions?
- If contacted after hours did you receive a reply within a reasonable amount of time the following business day?
It is more comforting to talk to an actual person and this should be possible during regular business hours. Contact them with any questions you have or just to see how they handle your call. You can learn a lot just by interaction with the company before you make the purchase.
You want to feel comfortable when discussing various details with them and they need to be helpful.
3. You Need a Guarantee
You want some kind of satisfaction guarantee especially with this type of product. If you get the urn and decide you don’t like it, you should be able to return it as long as it is in resalable condition.
- Does the vendor offer a money back guarantee?
- Do they accept returns?
- If they accept returns, is there a restocking fee?
If your urn has been personalized or if it is custom made, then it is understandable if the company cannot accept a return just because of a change in heart. However, if it is damaged upon arrival or they personalized it with the wrong information they should replace it at no charge to you.
With the amount of identity theft going around, you want to make absolutely certain your personal information is protected by the vendor you are dealing with.
- Does it clearly outline what information is gathered?
- Do they inform you how your personal information is handled?
Certainly you have heard how many Internet users are having their information given or sold to spammers. Take the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen to you.
5. Secure Payment Processing
You’ve taken the necessary precautions to ensure your credit is healthy. Don’t ruin it by making an online purchase from an unsecured website, which in turn may lead to fraudulent charges.
- Does the website offer secure encryption?
- What types of security measures are offered?
- Do they have a security guarantee?
If a company is asking for your credit card information over the Internet, then it is very important that they have secure payment processing.
On the webpage where you submit your credit card information make sure the webpage url begins with https://, whereas there is an ‘s’ at the end of the http and a closed security lock at the bottom right hand side of the window. If these elements are not visible, the page is not secure.
Check the vendor’s website for a security guarantee and what measures are taken to protect your credit card information.
6. Watch Out for Hidden Charges
Most people dislike when they’ve decided to purchase an item only to find there are hidden costs such as delivery charges or other unexpected costs. Look more closely at the bottom line price and be aware of additional charges.
- Is delivery included in the price or is it separate?
- If buying cremation jewelry, do they charge extra for the chain?
- Is their pricing easy to understand?
After you’ve added the items to your cart and are ready to check out, look to make sure no additional charges have been added that were not previously selected.
If you are purchasing cremation jewelry, take note that many vendors charge a lower price for the pendant and then add an additional charge for the chain. This is to create the illusion that their prices a lower whereas the total price is higher than the one that got your initial attention.
7. Multiple Payment Options
Don’t get stuck having to pay for the urn with a credit card when you would rather pay by check. Make sure the vendor has different options in place for making payment that fit your preference.
- Do they take all major credit cards?
- Does the vendor accept check payment or money orders
- Can you mail or fax in your payment?
- Are you able to phone in your order?
Most individuals will choose to pay online with a credit card, but a good number of individuals are more comfortable calling in their order or of their choice or using a different form of payment altogether.
Make sure the company can accommodate your preferred method of payment.
These 7 tips should help you to select the vendor from which you will purchase your urn from. Even then, sometimes the simple things such as visual elements (professional website appearance, user friendly interface, good product images) or resources of information will lend to the trustworthiness and credibility of a company.
In the very end what it boils down to is asking yourself: “Do I feel comfortable purchasing from this company?” and hopefully this article helped you to find that answer.