It's getting easier to shop prices on the one big expense many people put off planning — their own funeral.
Costs for those final arrangements can vary widely. An October survey from the Funeral Consumers Alliance and the Consumer Federation of America found full-service funeral prices ranging from $2,580 to $13,800. Even within the same city, the groups said, highs and lows often had variances of more than 200 percent. (See chart below for pricing.)
Although the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to give pricing information by telephone, 24 of the 150 businesses in the survey did not provide that information after a phone and email request. And only a quarter had price information listed on their website.
"The funeral industry certainly makes it more difficult than it needs to be," said Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. "Unfortunately, consumers have to do a lot more work to get an apples-to-apples comparison than they do in almost any other industry."
Or at least, they did.
New comparison-shopping site Parting.com details the price lists of every funeral home in the United States, site co-founder Tyler Yamasaki said. Users can enter their ZIP code and type of funeral — traditional, cremation memorial, immediate burial and direct cremation — into the free site to see estimated prices from local businesses.