Georgia Gray Headstone in cemetery with vases and flowers.
How to Buy a Memorial Marker or Headstone Online
Have you been considering the online purchase of a memorial grave marker or cemetery headstone? Have you hesitated from making the online purchase because you're not familiar with the process of ordering or fear you'll have unexpected issues dealing with your local cemetery?

If so, rest assured that buying a memorial online doesn't need to be difficult. In fact, a reputable online seller will work closely with your cemetery to make sure there are no complications during the process.

Here, we're going to discuss several things that need to be considered when you choose to make a memorial purchase online. We'll look at what the ordering process is like and how the marker gets installed at the cemetery. We'll also talk about some key questions you should ask the cemetery before you purchase the memorial monument or headstone.

Knowing the answers to these questions will save you time and allow you to rest easy, knowing what the cemetery regulations are.

Let's take a closer look.

What You Need to Know From the Cemetery

Before you place an online order, you'll need to find out three things from the cemetery you're working with:

1. Is there a size requirement for the headstone?
2. What are the acceptable colors of granite and/or bronze?
3. Does the cemetery requirements allow for bronze on granite or only granite?

Additionally, you'll want to find out:

  • Do they charge installation fees?
  • Can you use a bronze vase that becomes a marker as the headstone?
  • What options exist for choosing the companion headstone?

Depending on where you live, there are cemeteries that will require you to complete several documents before accepting or giving approval for headstones. When possible, your online dealer will make every effort to complete all of these forms. However, this may be a step you'll need to take on.

If your dealer is able to complete the forms for you, they'll forward the completed forms to you for your signature.

Placement and Installation

Often, a cemetery will require that you submit a layout or drawing of the gravestone. Your seller will provide that to the cemetery if it's requested. When approval is received from the cemetery, the dealer will forward you the market layout for review and approval. The market won't be made until the final layout approval is received from you.

Most cemeteries will install the marker for a set fee. However, if your cemetery doesn't perform installs, you can look for local independent installers that will do the job for you.

Catholic and Rural Cemeteries

The Catholic Diocese maintains all Catholic cemeteries. They're known for having much stricter rules than non-Catholic locations. For example, a Catholic cemetery will require that every headstone has a Christian symbol of some sort on it. Make sure that your online memorial dealer is familiar with Catholic cemetery rules and will work with you in every way possible to ensure they accept your chosen headstone.

Unfortunately, we're typically not able to deliver our headstones to cemeteries located in rural areas. We also can't deliver to other cemeteries that don't have a business office where a person can not sign for delivery.

However, you still have options available. For example, we'll deliver the headstone to a freight company or other local business where you can pick it up and deliver it yourself to the cemetery. It'll also be up to you to make sure the stone fits all cemetery requirements.

Due to shipping regulations, we're not able to send headstones to any residential addresses.

Example of a Question We Receive From Customers

To help you answer the question of if ordering a memorial online is the right choice for you, let's take a look at a recent customer question that addresses the many variables of the purchase. Then we'll take a look at the answer.

Customer question:

"I'm looking for some guidance on my purchase. I'd like to order a bronze market that has a granite base. The cemetery location I'm looking at is rather small and doesn't install. The memorial company that's local to me won't receive shipments or install markers from outside third parties. Clearly, they're looking to force local buyers into their price structure, which is quite high. What suggestions do you have? How do your other customers get around attempts from local memorial businesses that have policies set up to stifle their competition?"

Our response:

"Thank you for the questions. It is a common one. First, know that any cemetery that accepts grave markers must accept the one you're looking to purchase from us. In fact, they must accept any marker, no matter where it's purchased from. Also, if it is their policy to install markers, under the Fair Trade Practice Act they must install a marker from any vendor.

Monument companies are different. They are individualized companies that have the right to reject or refuse any customer at their own discretion. First check with another company that specializes in monuments. Or, you could ask the cemetery if they have anyone they recommend to install the marker you purchase from us. However, if this is a small rural area there might not be another option.

If there aren't any monument companies that offer installation, check with a few local landscapers to see if they would install it. As a final option, you could have the marker shipped directly to your business or home and accept delivery. Keep in mind that a 12" x 24" bronze and granite marker will weigh around 120 lbs. You'll probably need the help of a few friends or family members to get it to the cemetery and install it without the help of a third party."

Consider Buying a Memorial Marker or Headstone Online

If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We're always here to answer any questions or concerns you have about buying a memorial marker or headstone online.
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