28 Comments

  1. What’s to understand? They offer a cheaper option but don’t want you to take it so they shame you out of it. It’s like the “pine box” option at a funeral home. “Certainly if you weren’t particularly close to your loved ones where have this economical option”.

  2. Of course I see what’s literally happening: but why is she mentioning the option at all? If I’m shopping for something at Best Buy, no clerk volunteers the information that I can get it cheaper at Amazon and then goes on to shame me into not doing so.

  3. Pine box? Even cheaper is cardboard, used for cremations . . . which is what my dad had. His decision, not mine, but I’d’ve done the same. The total ‘funeral’ bill was $1800 – which he complained was too much ’cause my Mom’s had only cost $900. Well, the person at the funeral home (I was pre-paying it for him) said if he’d pre-paid for his at that time, it’d only cost $900, but even cremations have gone up in price (probably ’cause they’re getting more popular, I thought to myself).

  4. She probably assumes that everyone already knows about shopping online, so that she isn’t betraying any secrets.

  5. Why assume that the store itself does not have an online option where you can save money and avid the shame of ordering cheap shit in person?

  6. Mr. Grumpy, I’ve never seen a store that offered the same items online at a cheaper price: that would be the worse imaginable business model.

  7. Not if it gets the customer to buy something they would be too embarrassed to buy in person, but there’s probably a reason I don’t have a career in sales [or any interest in one].

  8. They might have been baulking at the price. “Is there a cheaper option?” “Of course…”

    To me this makes an excellent commentary on how much BS is associated with weddings (the “never tell them it’s for a wedding” trick, the normalization of over-the-top nonsense, etc). But I really doubt that was intended.

  9. Companies that offer discounts for online ordering usually are trying to save on salaries. Why would they do that once you’re already at the store and the’re already paying a clerk to tell you not to buy it there?

  10. CIDU Bill re “Mr. Grumpy, I’ve never seen a store that offered the same items online at a cheaper price: that would be the worse imaginable business model.”

    I have one minor example: a couple of years ago I found online that a local used bookstore had a book that I wanted, and since it was nearby and I wanted to save the postage costs (and to pay cash instead of a, prui, credit card transaction) I printed off the record from ABEBooks and drove over there — only to find the copies on their shelf were something like three dollars higher than theprice they’d posted for the item. I grumped, clerk called manager, manager agreed to sell it to me for the online-posted price.

    Andréa: Mrs. Shrug and I prepaid our cremations some four or five years ago; from memory I think it was something like $1100 or 1200 apiece.

  11. “Pine box? Even cheaper is cardboard, used for cremations”

    Kind of pisses me off that they burn a box. I’d rather the ashes be unadulterated. Ultimately don’t care but still… cremation isn’t burial where you want the the casket to look nice. With the ashes it strikes me don’t most people want the ashes to be … the person… and not the clothes and casket? At least I always assumed so.

    Of course there’s the new trend of green funerals with a decompostable shroud. It’s a good option but illegal in California and many other states.

  12. Mr. Grumpy, I’ve never seen a store that offered the same items online at a cheaper price: that would be the worse imaginable business model.

    I’ve seen stores having online-only specials a number of times. And why is this a bad business model? It’s cheaper to run an online store than a brick-and-mortar one.

  13. Whoa, I had forgotten why I stopped using the blockquote tag: it’s crazy big.

  14. “Of course there’s the new trend of green funerals with a [de]compostable shroud.”
    Even better is a Body Farm.

    “Kind of pisses me off that they burn a box.”
    I don’t know; I wasn’t there. For all I know, his body went into the crematorium plain. Didn’t care; it all went into the Colorado River anyway.

  15. Wedding invitations are one item where ‘never tell them it’s for a wedding’ definitely won’t work!

  16. I’ve definitely seen stores that offer the same things cheaper online. Often of the perpetual sale variety. (Although they never actually call it a sale, just imply it.)

  17. In a cremation oven, cardboard burns away to carbon dioxide and water vapor, essentially. The remaining ashes are mineral remains of the human body. Or so I have read. I’ve burned cardboard in my life, it leaves only a very small amount of ash.

  18. That’s why I wasn’t really concerned. BTW, to read a wonderful book about what happens after death – physically, not theologically – read Mary Roach’s book, ‘Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers’.

  19. I have an uncle who was an undertaker (now retired). He once said that every few months, the police would show up with a load of confiscated marihuana to be incinerated. Apparently their cremation oven was more robust than the normal trash incinerator, but I think the primary concern for the police was security (making sure that all of the stuff was burnt).

  20. If there’s a concern about why the company would offer a 60% online discount and then tell customers about it, just imagine that the clerk made it up and is being sarcastic.

  21. I think Powers is correct; the clerk is shaming them for balking at the price but there isn’t any actual 60% off deal that involves entering that coupon code.

  22. woozy – Have you ever seen the original Ocean’s 11 – they burn the casket with a body in same. Also in one of the James Bond movies – I believe Diamonds are Forever they start to cremate James Bond – in a casket also.

    (If I said casket and either or both were coffins – my apologies.)

  23. I cannot think of what it was (and I buy such few things beyond necessities and bears), but I went into a some store probably a chain store) locally to purchase something based on their online price and the price was higher. I complained and I was given the online quoted price.

  24. Oh, and technically traditionally the groom being cheap would have no affect on the invitations as they would be paid be paid for by the bride’s family.

    When we got married in our later 20s we had to be careful how the invitations were worded – his 2 pairs of grandparents were still upset and barely talking from how the invitations were worded at his parent’s wedding some 30 years before.

  25. Meryl A – If my grandparents would stop talking to us based on the wording of our wedding invitation, I would have very carefully worded it to do so. (I mean, I find them slightly stressful anyhow, but…)

    And there are lots of couples who are not only paying for their own wedding receptions, but *hosting* them themselves these days. So the couples can cheap out easily, because they don’t make anyone else look tacky.

  26. Christine – this was 39 (soon to be 40) years ago. It was not that his grandparents would not talk to us – the 2 sets were generally not talking to each other based on the invitations from his parents wedding some 30 years before our wedding.

    My idea was not to have a wedding at all – but I was overruled by our two mothers and Robert. This led to things such as the caterer asking “What does the bride think?” when doing the planning, and the mothers and Robert and replying “no one cares what the bride thinks.” After our wedding his crazy parents (his comment on them) were upset with my parent for years – they were not all that happy with me to begin with until after his dad died and I helped him mom with a lot of financial related stuff and then she told my mom how great I was – despite not giving her any grandchildren.

    And yes, Robert admitted after the wedding – I was right with the idea of just getting married and having a lunch with immediate family and not having a wedding – if only we had done it.

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