12 Tips for Buying a Cremation Urn at Costco

Updated

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Yes, you can buy cremation urns at Costco — but you won’t find one sitting on the shelf. Buying a cremation urn is the same as buying a casket through Costco — you must buy one online. 

While Costco has many bulk items that you may want to purchase for the funeral dinner, such as plates, napkins, amazing layered cakes, and flowers for the tables, you’ll need to visit Costco’s online store to buy a cremation urn. Here are some tips for making that purchase.

Tip: Storing ashes in an urn is just one option. You can also scatter your loved one's ashes or have them transformed into something truly unique. With Eterneva, you can turn a small quantity of cremated remains into a real diamond to display or wear as jewelry. And with Parting Stone, you can solidify all of a loved one's ashes into between 40 and 60 palm-sized stones. 

1. Make Sure You Live in a Qualifying State

You can only purchase or ship urns and keepsakes to one of the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

If you live in a state not on this list, you may want to check with one of these other popular online urn retailers or buy an urn from your cremation center or funeral home. 

2. You Must Be a Costco Member to Make an Online Purchase

To get any of Costco’s great deals, you must first be a Costco member. There are two different membership experiences — the Gold Star and the Gold Star Executive.

The Gold Star membership comes with two membership cards and the ability to make purchases in the store or online. Currently, that membership is $60, but you may be able to find it for a lower price if you purchase it through your work or a discount website.

The Executive membership gives you additional benefits and discounts on Costco’s services. Executive cardholders also receive a two percent reward of all eligible purchases you make throughout the year — up to $1,000.

There are also business memberships available.

3. Search For “Urn” Instead of “Cremation Urn”

Searching Costco for a cremation urn only yields one result at the time of this writing. Instead, enter “urn” in the search bar on Costco’s website.

4. Choose an Urn

As of this writing, Costco only has three different urns for ashes available. All three urns retail for less than $120. Here’s the breakdown of each one.

Brass urn set

Currently, Costco sells a brass urn set that is Grecian blue with nickel accents. It has a screw-tight lid and has a capacity of 220 cubic inches, which would hold the remains of most adults. It measures 10.25 inches high by 5.5 inches in diameter and is made in India.

The set comes with four items: the large urn with a carrying pouch, a small matching urn, and a matching keepsake heart urn with a stand.

Both the small urn and the keepsake heart urn have a capacity of 3 cubic inches. You can use these to hold a small amount of cremated remains. 

Aluminum blue hummingbird cremation urn

The second urn available through Costco is made of high-grade aluminum and depicts a hummingbird visiting a flower. It is dark blue and Vietnamese artisans use mother of pearl to decorate the bird.

This urn has a capacity of 210 cubic inches. It is 11 inches high and 5.5 inches in diameter. It has a screw-tight lid. This urn comes with a carrying bag.

Hardwood urn

While the previous two urns were shaped like traditional vase-type urns, Costco also sells one made of hardwood shaped like a box.

This urn is appropriate for a Christian, as it is a cherry wood box with an inlaid walnut cross on the lid. The front of the urn has laser engraved praying hands. No stains were used to make this box, so the wood’s beautiful, natural color comes through.

The hardwood urn has a 225 cubic inch capacity. It measures 10 inches wide, 7.25 inches deep, and 8 inches high. It is made in America.

The urn loads from the bottom and is sealed with steel screws. 

Check Costco’s website for its current selection of cremation urns, as they may change periodically.

5. Check the Delivery Date Before Making the Purchase

Currently, all three products on Costco’s website could be delivered to the middle of the United States within seven to 10 days. If you need to have the urn for your loved one earlier than ten days, you may want to purchase one from a local retailer. 

One of the benefits of having your loved one directly cremated is that it gives you a bit more flexibility on scheduling the funeral.

6. Check the Size of the Columbarium Niche

If you plan to place the urn in a columbarium niche, look at the sizes of the urns and make sure they are small enough to fit the space. Otherwise, you’ll need to transfer the contents to a smaller urn. 

7. Consult with the Cemetery to See if You Need to Buy a Vault for the Urn

If you plan to bury the urn in a cemetery plot, check with an employee from the cemetery to see if you need to purchase a vault for the urn. You may not need to if you buy a sturdy urn made of metal. A vault is an additional expense that you may be able to avoid if you buy the right type of urn. Confirm this before making any purchases.

8. Check the Cremation Urn Reviews

Before choosing one product over another, you might want to take a quick look at the customer reviews. Most of the reviews for the current products are highly complementary. 

9. Comparison Shop

You may find yourself too overcome with grief to spend much time comparison shopping. This is understandable. Many people have a hard time making decisions immediately after losing a loved one. 

If you are not rushed to make a purchase, you may want to check options from local companies and online retailers. Several companies specialize in creative urns, which would be a great option for families with specific tastes and sufficient resources. For example, Foreverence creates truly one-of-a-kind, 3D-printed urns in all shapes and sizes. 

10. Consider Having the Urn Shipped to the Cremation Center or Funeral Home

If you purchase a casket through Costco, you must have it shipped to a funeral home. Cremation urns may be sent to a house (as long as you live in a qualifying state.) 

You may wish to have the urn shipped directly to the cremation center or funeral home for simplicity’s sake. You may want to let the funeral home director know your plans, so the funeral director knows who the urn belongs to when it arrives. 

11. Make Sure of Your Purchase Before Hitting the “Buy” Button

Unlike most of Costco’s products, you cannot return an urn to your Costco store if you’re unhappy with your purchase. In fact, you need to have special permission to return an urn. Call 1-800-955-2292 for a return authorization. 

Although the website doesn’t state this, it is assumed that you can’t return an urn that held cremated remains for any length of time unless there was something wrong with the product. Most online urn retailers have this same policy.

12. Personalize the Urn By Visiting a Trophy Store

Costco does not offer urn personalization. If you would like to personalize your loved one’s urn, consider visiting a local trophy store or looking online for a company that will laser engrave a plaque.

You can personalize traditional urns by hanging an urn pendant around the lid. The wooden box can be personalized by purchasing an engraved plaque for the surface.

Consider Pre-Purchasing Your Own Urn

If you have ever had to make funeral plans for a loved one, you know how stressful it can be. It’s especially challenging if you are not aware of the deceased’s preferences. 

Make things easier on your family by pre-planning and arranging your own end-of-life services. Pick the funeral home. Leave a plan that expresses your wishes. Tell your loved ones your preference on your eternal resting place for your cremated remains. Choose your funeral songs and readings. 

You may even consider purchasing your urn through Costco, another online retailer, or a local business. Leave easy-to-find instructions on where the urn is stored or leave it in a conspicuous place. 

The more planning you do ahead of time, the easier it will be on your loved ones. Instead of spending time choosing an urn, your loved ones can gather together to share memories and look at photos. 

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