Last Updated on January 21, 2021
When looking for cheap urns for ashes, there are many ways it can go wrong.
If you keep your expectations reasonable and do a little research, you can find an inexpensive urn of decent or even rather good quality that will help you honor your loved one.
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Cheap Urns vs Premium Urns
The reality is that urns cost more (or less) because of the quality of materials and the craftsmanship involved in making the memorial.
In other words, you get what you pay for.
So adjust your expectations accordingly! Anything in the range of $20-100 is going to be relatively low quality. The walls of the urn will probably be thin, the finish cheap and plastic-y, the cracks and gaps a little more noticeable.
Instead of a fine, premium finish, you might get something that flakes off or chips easily. Rather than permanent laser engraved personalization, you might get name and dates printed on a cheap plastic tag. You might prefer “made in USA” but need to settle for a less expensive import.
There are always some tradeoffs when your budget is limited, and that’s ok! The key is to find the best quality urn with a design that you like that also fits your finances.
Finding the Right Inexpensive Urn
Here are some tips as you look for the right urn for ashes.
1. A picture is worth a million bucks.
… to the company that’s selling the cheap urn. That’s because a nice picture of a terrible product will still sell. So, yes, look at the product photo. But if you’re trying to find a $300 artisan-crafted urn at a less-than-fifty-bucks price point, I can tell you right now that the photo is probably highly edited.
What you want to do is look at additional pictures, especially if there are customer-submitted images or non-white-background photos of the actual product sitting on a table or something. That will give you a little better “picture” of what you will actually receive.
2. Check the reviews, but be careful.
By now most of us have shopped online long enough to know that reviews are important. What do other people say about the product? If everyone hates it, you probably will too.
At the same time, there are plenty of fake reviews. Some companies offer free products or gift cards in exchange for a five-star review. This is so well known that there are even tools to help you spot inauthentic product reviews.
We recommend using Review Meta if you are browsing Amazon for a cheap urn. Just paste in the product’s url and they’ll analyze the reviews to see if they have the patterns that fake reviews typically exhibit. It’s not going to be 100% accurate, but tools like this can help you spot if anything dishonest is going on.
And along with that, use the basic smell test. Do the images and reviews seem… off? Then avoid it, and move on to the next product. You’ll find something!
3. Differentiate between discounts and sales vs cheap products.
Some of the urns that are available at discount prices may just be discontinued designs, but others are imported low quality urns. We will run specials on certain urns and have a few discontinued models that we decided not to produce anymore and I know some of the other companies will do the same.
My suggestion is to call or write the company and ask why the urn is being discounted. If it is much cheaper than what you can find at other urn sales sites, I would be very cautious.
There are companies who will copy a product, but made with much lower quality materials and workmanship, but will steal the image from us and sell their item as if it is the same.
4. A little time can make a big difference.
We know that time is not usually available when buying an urn. Most of our customers need an urn for a funeral or cremation, and so one of our main tasks is helping to arrange production and delivery in time! So we are very aware that you are not only short on time, but also have a ton of decisions to make while planning the funeral.
Still, if you don’t take a little time in asking questions you may find yourself repeating the process or being stuck and disappointed with an inferior product. So take the time to learn about what you want, what you need, how (and where) the product is made. Be careful and thorough in your search. The extra effort will really pay off. Your loved one is worth it!
How to Find Cheap Urns While Avoiding Disreputable Sellers
Some things to look at when ordering anything online:
- Contact info. Can you easily find the contact information for the company such as physical address and phone number? Never order if you only get an online contact form!
- Business info. How long has the company been in business? This won’t guarantee anything (for instance, one of our best suppliers for 5 straight years became our worst, and we had to sever ties with them as they are ‘celebrating’ 20 years in business), but if you are ordering an item such as an urn you don’t want to order from a fake company and find out too late that nothing will ever ship.
- Pick up the phone and call. I recommend calling the company before ordering – even if you just ask a couple of generic questions. If all you get is an answering machine and someone calls you at odd hours on a cell phone, you can probably bet that customer service will be lacking.
- Online review search. Do a search for the company name and words like problems, scam, issues, etc. Every company who has done business for some time may have a couple of customers they couldn’t satisfy. Just about every company or seller has a handful of one-star reviews; I think we all realize that businesses are made up of people, and people make mistakes. But look at how people were treated overall. Did the company respond, and make it right?
When ordering a cremation urn, chances are you are on a timeline. Make sure that you let the company know the date you need the urn in hands by. At Urns Northwest, we have an order comments box and we take every comment very seriously, especially if there is a need-by date.
If no note field is available when ordering be sure to call them. This will make sure they are able to handle your order in a timely fashion and you won’t be at a funeral without the urn. We recommend calling ahead to make sure the urn can be produced, personalized, and shipped in time for the service.
Over the last 20 years we have had a handful of instances where the shipping company failed to deliver within their guarantee. For example, overnight delivery taking two days. It can happen. Ordering with a faster service than you think you need may save you the headache.
The Best Cheap Urns for Ashes
Tree of Life Urn
Your Wings Were Ready But My Heart Was Not
Paw Prints Urn for Pet Ashes
Simple Blue Metal Urn
Angel Sculpture Urn
Please note that this urn has a small capacity; most customers reported that only about 1/2 of the remains of an adult would fit in. So this one is smaller than the standard 200 cubic inch adult urn size.