When people make expensive purchases, like buying a car or paying for holiday, they usually shop around for the best option. But despite the cost of a funeral commonly being upwards of $10,000, a whopping 81% either accept the first quote they are given, or don't get one at all. And eight out of 10 go with the first funeral director they come across, according to a recent study on funeral costs.

A death of a loved one leaves families at their most vulnerable, resulting in just 4% of people shopping around to compare three or more funeral quotes, the report found.

Without considering other options, grieving families risk receiving poor customer service at their most vulnerable time, and being coerced to pay for add-ons that they don’t want or need.

A staggering 81% of people in the UK who made funeral arrangements either got no quote, or just a single quote from one funeral director before handing over thousands of dollars, the 2021 SunLife Cost of Dying Report found. Many others say they were not told how much the funeral would cost until after all the arrangements have been made.

The lack of transparency with funeral prices is a major issue many vulnerable Australian families have experienced here, too. According to an article by the Australian Associated Press, the Australian funeral industry “has long been a concentrated sector where some companies have considerable market power”.

The Australian funeral industry is so problematic that our consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched a crackdown on the sector in mid-March, 2021, after widespread reports of anti-competitive conduct.

“Issues include hidden fees and unfair contract terms, with operators taking advantage of consumers at a vulnerable time,” the AAP reported.

We didn’t like that funeral homes were generally opaque with their prices and hidden fees. That’s one of the reasons we built Bare - to provide Australians with a simple and affordable funeral service option (with no hidden fees) without compromising on the level of service.

Funerals leave families in financial hardship

The average price of a funeral in Australia is around $7,499, according to price comparison website Finder. But in some cities, a burial can cost upwards of $20,000. You can read our article on the average cost of a funeral in Australia here.

Financial hardship after paying for a loved one’s funeral is a problem about a third (32%) of Australians faced, according to a 2020 Cost of Dying study by Australian Seniors. And of those people in hardship, it took 68% of them about six months or longer to financially recover from the debt.

Families in UK also experienced similar issues with hardship after a death. Of those who had put money aside to pay for their farewell, only 66% had left enough to cover the entire cost, putting many families in hardship, the SunLife study found.

At Bare, we don’t believe that dying should cost you or your family a fortune, that's why we offer a simple, affordable cremation service. There’s even the option to plan ahead and pay off your cremation in small instalments over two years.

"Historically what funeral directors have done is to combine the actual cremation with the memorial in a much more expensive package, layered with things that people really don't need or want," said Bare co-founder, Cale Donovan.

"What Bare does is pull those two things apart. We focus on precisely what matters and offer that in an affordable and high-quality package, and allow the family to focus on the memorial that's fitting, unique and personalised." Click the button below to get a quote and instalment breakdown for a Bare prepaid funeral.

7 ways to say goodbye on a budget

  1. If it’s not too late, consider planning ahead and prepaying your funeral with a provider like Bare.
  2. Opt for an eco-friendly bio-board or ‘cardboard’ coffin instead of an expensive casket.
  3. Shop around at other funeral homes for more affordable quotes.
  4. Cut out the traditional funeral home altogether. Our dedicated Bare arrangers can take care of everything including transport, cremation, paperwork and return of ashes.
  5. Choose a non-attended, direct cremation service instead of a funeral ceremony. Then plan a family-led memorial service later on. Read our Ultimate Guide to Planning a Memorial for some ideas.
  6. Share the death notice on social media instead of taking out a newspaper advertisement.
  7. Find out if you’re eligible for government assistance. Our article How to get financial assistance to pay for a funeral might help.

Let us help you say goodbye on your terms, by providing a high-quality cremation service at an affordable price.

To arrange a cremation, call 1800 202 901 for a prepaid arrangement, or 1800 071 176 for immediate need, or click the button below.