According to Sun Life Direct, funeral costs and the cost of dying rose to an average of 7,248 in 2011. Prices are continuing to rise. Dying is a very expensive business.
Mitchell started Comparethecoffin.com after his first involvement with organising a funeral made him think, there had to be a better way.
He took three main lessons from the experience:
- Unless you have a definite plan, the funeral director takes over and you end up with their plan, instead of yours;
- The coffins are expensive. He reckons mark-up is between 300 and 600 per cent on wholesale prices;
- How do you choose a funeral director anyway !
ComparetheCoffin.com makes a price promise – “If you find the same coffin or casket of the same quality for less we will refund the difference” as well as providing free planning tools.
Your plan then gets sent to more than 400 registered funeral directors. Those who wish to, contact the customer directly offering their services; the user can decide which one to use, thus creating an e-bidding platform.
It hasnt been an easy first year, admits Mitchell. This is a closed, traditional industry that hasnt responded well to such innovation.
There are approximately 500,000 funerals in the UK alone. Mitchells target is one per cent of that market – 10,000 coffins and a similar number of future plans p.a.