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The pros and cons of buying flowers from a funeral director.

by Peter McBride Posted Jun 9, 2014 Categories: Florist Secrets 
JUNe 12, 2014

I've had the joy of being in the floral industry for 22 years (30 if you count my childhood) and I feel have a unique perspective on this sometimes, controversial topic.

The reality is that everyone needs to get paid when they invest their time and knowledge in any transaction. When you buy from the funeral home, either by phone or website, they are absolutely making a commission. They are obviously not the florist, so that means the florist designing your flowers faces two challenges; how to account for that commission cost and how do I know what the customer truly wants. Knowing a customers needs can be a challenge when a third-party is involved in the sale.

The Benefits of Buying Flowers with the Funeral Home

As the owner of funerslflowers.com, I have worked alongside many funeral homes over years I believe they can play an important role. They streamline the process of designing a funeral by making the consultation with the funeral director a one-stop shopping experience. Some people are uncomfortable with the concept of "selling" at a time of significant grief but the reality is that families truly need these products. Flowers, caskets, cemetery plots and stones, etc are real needs families have. What the families do not need in the immediate day or two following a loss is to run all over buying these items a la carte. It's exhausting. Walking out of the funeral home with everything taken care of is a big relief for many families.

The Consequences of Buying through the Funeral Home

The down side with buying flowers this way is the designers do not have an opportunity to get to know the deceased through the eyes of the survivors. I believe this changes the final product significantly. Only a consultation directly with a professional florist will result in a true floral memorial worthy of the deceased. Also, the florist in many cases is paying 20-30% in fees to the funeral homes for this service. That represents the bulk of the profit from these designs. Since the florist has to make a living, the end result inevitably is higher costs. That is just a fact.

My Opinion

I believe that if you are armed with the knowledge I laid out here today you will be in a position to make the right decision for your family. While I know the current commission model is hurting florists in a very real way, I am also not ego-centric enough to think the families are not getting value by streamlining the process. So take inventory of the energy you have. If you have the energy and desire to speak directly with the florist then I believe you absolutely should. But if the current situation requires that you find a way to "get though this somehow", then you should feel comfortable putting your faith in the funeral director and their relationship with their preferred florist.

I hope this helped. If you have any questions that we can help with at FuneralFlowers.com, we would love to be of service.

Pete McBride