In this day and age, it seems like you can buy just about anything online. From cars to live plants, is there anything you can’t find online? It turns out, online shopping even goes beyond the grave. Not only is it possible to buy headstones online, but it’s easier than ever.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Can You Really Buy a Headstone or Grave Marker On the Internet?
- How to Buy a Custom Headstone Online
- Where Can You Buy Affordable Headstones Online?
There are more online options than ever before when it comes to buying a headstone online. With so many different types of grave markers to choose from, it’s important to know all of your options. Online shopping empowers people to take more time when browsing headstones to choose something meaningful to them.
If you’re looking to buy a headstone online for a loved one, it can be confusing to know where to begin. Our guide breaks down exactly how and where you can buy headstones online as well as everything you need to know before you get started. It’s time to enter the 21st century of funeral and burial planning.
Can You Really Buy a Headstone or Grave Marker On the Internet?
Can you actually buy a headstone or grave marker on the internet? In short, yes. You can buy many funeral and burial products online, including headstones, memorial plaques, and even caskets.
While it’s possible to buy a headstone through your cemetery or a local headstone supplier, you have more options than you think. It’s as simple as choosing the headstone you want from an online retailer and specifying any customizations.
From there, they’ll prepare your headstone to your requests, and it can be shipped directly to the cemetery for use in the burial.
Why buy a headstone online?
Why choose to buy a headstone online compared to an in-person supplier? There are likely many places in your town that supply headstones and might even create them on property. In addition, your cemetery usually partners with a local headstone maker to ensure you find what you need.
While this could certainly be convenient, it’s not always the best fit for your needs. Here’s why many are choosing to buy a headstone online vs. in-person:
- Cost: The number one factor is simply the cost. It’s usually cheaper to purchase a gravestone online, though you’ll also need to account for any shipping fees.
- Variety: If you want a wider selection, it’s best to look online. You can find just about anything under the sun, and this makes it possible to really customize your headstone.
- Ease: It’s also never been more convenient to shop for a headstone online. If you’re unable to browse headstones in person, this is a great alternative.
It comes down to these three things above. It’s still perfectly reasonable to choose an in-person supplier, but it’s also good to know your full range of options if you look online.
Are online headstones different in quality?
There’s a misconception that shopping online for a headstone will result in purchasing one that’s not as high in quality. The funeral industry actually perpetuates this myth. In the United States, there has been a history of a monopoly-like process in which local funeral homes require customers to purchase headstones through their partner providers.
While it’s true that purchasing the entire service and funeral in a single lump sum might be more straightforward, it doesn’t give the family many options to choose the best things for them.
Headstones purchased through trusted online retailers come from the same high-quality manufacturers that cemeteries use themselves.
Buying a headstone or grave marker is a personal choice, and you should have the freedom to make it how you choose.
Will cemeteries allow online headstones?
Another misconception is that you’re not allowed to use a headstone you purchased online at a local cemetery. While it might be in the cemetery’s best interest for you to go through their service providers, all cemeteries provide a list of requirements for each headstone. As long as you adhere to these rules, there’s no reason your headstone can’t be used.
It’s best to inform your cemetery that you intend to shop for a headstone online. They can provide you with a list of cemetery rules, let you know if it’s allowed, and the plot size. As long as you’re willing to work within their restrictions, this is typically not a problem. However, expect the cemetery to charge what’s known as a “setting fee” to install the grave marker.
How to Buy a Custom Headstone Online
As we mentioned above, it’s never been easier to buy a custom headstone online. However, before you begin, it’s important to pay close attention to these steps to get all of your affairs in order—you don’t want to buy a headstone that you can’t use.
1. Talk to your cemetery
The first step is to simply talk to your cemetery. They’re likely familiar with folks choosing to purchase a headstone online, so this isn’t an abnormal request.
Ask the cemetery for a copy of their cemetery rules. They’re required by law to provide this to anyone who asks. The cemetery rules will have specific information about the following:
- Largest and smallest marker size
- Materials you can use
- What photographic materials are allowed
- Edge types
- Color restrictions
You’ll also want to ask for the specific size and location of the plot and any specifics for this area. For example, the cemetery may only permit religious symbols in one area of the grounds and so on. Make a note of all of these things to simplify the online shopping experience.
2. Set your budget
Next, it’s time to set your budget. If you’re wondering how much a headstone costs, it varies. The cost depends on the size, material, shape, engravings, and so on. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$700+, depending on what you choose.
The most affordable choice would be a flat grave marker on the ground, whereas an upright headstone will cost more. There’s no right or wrong choice, so determine what budget you’re comfortable with.
Remember that online shopping means extra fees. You might need to account for shipping costs, and these can be steep for larger markers. Include extra fees and shipping costs in your overall budget so there are no surprises.
3. Start your search
It’s time to start your online search. Do some online searching to find the type of gravestone you’re looking for. Some of the bigger online retailers have a huge selection, so take your time browsing these websites.
Consider what type of headstone your loved one would want. What materials look best to you? What fits your budget? From there, make a decision and continue to the next step. If you’re struggling, it can help to speak to a representative from these websites to find what you’re looking for.
4. Make your customizations
Online headstones usually come with the option to add customizations. Most families choose to add any variation of the following:
- The name of the deceased
- The birthdate of the deceased
- The death date of the deceased
- Surviving family member names
- Religious symbols
- Decoration elements
Depending on the material, size, and budget, you’ll have some options for customizations. This is your opportunity to really let the individual’s legacy shine. Make sure to check and double-check for spelling and grammar errors.
5. Send your headstone to the cemetery
In most cases, you’ll send the headstone directly to the cemetery. This eliminates the need to travel with it yourself since it can be heavy and fragile.
The cemetery can store it for you until it’s time for the burial, or they can place it on the plot if you’re not holding a graveside service. They typically charge a setting fee for any outside headstones. Once this step is done, that’s it. Your new headstone is installed securely and ready to visit.
Where Can You Buy Affordable Headstones Online?
There are a lot of trusted online headstone retailers. These work with the best manufacturers to ensure you’re getting the highest quality headstone for your loved one.
Yes, you really can buy everything on Amazon. Amazon offers headstones, grave markers, and other funeral accessories from a number of retailers.
Most headstone prices range from less than $100 to over $2,000. Engraving and shipping costs will depend on the individual seller, so make sure to read the descriptions carefully.
American Headstone Company
This family-owned business is located in southern California. Since 1983, American Headstone Company has provided beautiful granite and bronze memorial stones, cremation markers, pet markers, tombstones, and more.
Located north of Salt Lake City, Utah, Nationwide Monument ships thousands of memorials across the United States every year. They do standard headstones, monuments, and more, and they also create custom designs.
Established in 1920, Legacy Headstones has been owned by the same family for over 100 years.
Located in Pennsylvania, Legacy Headstones uses only the best materials to skillfully create customized memorials. All custom memorials are shipped for free to the gravesite of your choice.
Another manufacturer that provides free shipping in the USA is Signature Headstones.
With a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, they customize each of their headstones to ensure each individual receives the memorial they deserve. Their easy-to-use online designer makes it simple to personalize your selection.
Find the Right Headstone Online
With so many headstone designs to choose from, where do you begin? Having the ability to shop online for the right grave marker eliminates much of the stress behind shopping in-person through a local supplier or cemetery. There’s no need to compromise in quality or style when you shop online. It’s all about convenience and finding exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re currently shopping for a headstone for a loved one, it’s important to know all of your options. Finding a headstone online is a simple process, and you can be in control of the customization. This industry is only growing, so now is the time to start your online search.
Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, you have more than just the type of headstone to think about. Handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.