Let's look at your options for where to buy urns for ashes.
Where to buy urns for ashes?
You can buy cremation urns at four types of locations:
- Funeral homes
- Mega online retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Costco)
- Specialty online retailers (Urns Northwest, Etsy, etc)
- Local artists and artisans
Let's take a look at each of these in turn.
Option 1: Funeral Homes
If you would like to look at an urn before you buy it, the local funeral homes in your area will be the best and really only option.
Most funeral homes have a small selection of cremation urns that they keep in stock or in a display area. They will also typically have a large catalog from a distributor, which you can look through. The funeral home will then order your selection from the manufacturer or distributor. The urn will then be made, personalized, or pulled from their warehouse and shipped to the funeral home.
So aside from the smaller selection of popular (and typically non-personalized) items that the funeral home has on hand, your urn will be ordered from a separate distributor or manufacturer.
It's really no different than purchasing online. The only difference is that, most often, the funeral home has a larger markup on their products so it will typically cost you a little more.
Each funeral home has different product and pricing policies; but almost always you'll find higher prices at the funeral home as opposed to shopping online. Read on for more information.
Option 2: Mega Retailers (Online)
We're separating out the mega retailers because you're probably familiar with them already. Chances are pretty good that you've heard of Amazon, Walmart, and Costco.
Chances are equally good that you haven't heard of the specialty retailers mentioned in the next section. So you're probably - at least initially - more apt to trust the mega retailers. After all, you probably have ordered dozens if not hundreds of items from them already!
So that's a plus - name brand recognition means trust. But let's talk about this a little bit more.
Do the mega retailers select the urns they sell?
None of the three mentioned (Amazon, Costco, Walmart) carry cremation urns in their retail stores. Amazon and Walmart sell urns offered by third party sellers (we actually sell a few of our products on Amazon) and Costco has exactly three urns available on their website at the time of this writing.
Costco does choose all of their products, but they are shipped either from warehouses or directly from the manufacturer.
Do the mega retailers know much about cremation urns or funerals?
Frankly, no. Their specialty is in providing a wide range of good products at affordable prices with quick shipping. Aside from that, they don't really know anything at all about the products.
They won't be able to help you much with how to use or care for the products, how to choose the right one, what size you'll need, TSA/travel compliance, and a host of other issues.
Can I get the urn personalized when ordering from a mega retailer?
No and yes. Costco and Walmart don't offer any sort of personalization (at least currently), and most of the items you'll find on Amazon aren't personalized or can have only very limited customization options.
Ok, so what can I expect from a mega retailer?
You can expect an inexpensive, attractive urn. This will be of medium quality - not great, but not terrible either. The urn will probably be made overseas and imported. It will ship quickly from a warehouse. You can return it if you don't like it.
You probably won't find many personalization options. If the urn can be personalized, it might add a few days to production time. You can find some great stuff on Amazon (again, we offer some urns there) but you'll have to search much harder for it.
Most people go with some of the best-sellers on these sites. You may find it comforting to know that hundreds or thousands of other people have ordered the same urn. But there's a difference between products mass produced by the thousands overseas and handcrafted products made by craftsmen here in the USA. You get what you pay for.
Which leads us to....
Option 3: Specialty Retailers (Online)
There are many retailers online who, like us at Urns Northwest, specialize in cremation urns. You've probably never heard of us, or of our competitors such as Urns.com, Memorials.com, In the Light Urns, One World Memorials, Mainely Urns, Evr Memories, Cremation Solutions, and many others.
Each of these companies varies in how they provide and supply their urn selection. But one advantage that each has over the big box retailers is that we all specialize in cremation urns.
Another advantage - this time in regards to funeral homes - is that we generally don't have a physical "storefront" and other facilities that the funeral home needs, so we can focus on urns and keep the costs down for you.
Specialty retailers will also often have a broader selection with more personalization options. So you can find the memorial urn you really want for your loved one.
But not all online specialty retailers are equal. Some focus on low-end urns, similar to Amazon, but with more personalization options. Others focus exclusively on high-end, niche items. And still others have many great items, but have poor communication or customer service.
One of our popular Inlay Art Urns
We hope that you'll entrust us with the privilege of providing your loved one's urn. We take great pride in providing the best urns with the best customer service, focusing on premium-quality urns that are made in the USA. If you have any questions, we'll take the time to answer them thoroughly, and if you need the urn by a specific date we'll work with you to make that happen.
Option 4: Local Artists & Artisans
Here's one last place you may find a beautiful, perfect urn for your loved one. Try looking for artists and artisans in your area who make cremation urns.
You may find an artist who specializes in glass, ceramic, stone, wood, or other materials. Depending on their abilities and style, and depending on what you want, they may be able to make something for you that is truly unique.
They may also have some items that they have in stock which you can pick up today. This is especially likely for ceramic artists and woodworkers who make pottery urns or wooden boxes, respectively.
If you can't find someone locally, we have some incredible glass urns which are hand blown individually in Oregon. These are made in just a few days and can ship anywhere in the USA.
What stores sell urns for ashes?
If you're asking this, you're probably wondering what stores near me sell urns for ashes. The answer is, pretty much just funeral homes.
There are only a very, very few retail "stores" in the United States that sell cremation urns out of a storefront. You may find
Does WalMart sell urns?
Yes. But only online.
As of the time of this writing, it looks like you can order most urns for in-store pickup. Most items will still take 3-5 days or longer.
Can I go into a funeral home to shop for an urn?
Yes. Most funeral homes sell cremation urns. You're welcome to shop around at different funeral homes to find the best urn at the best price; you don't have to buy the urn from the funeral home that is handling the cremation and other services unless you chose to do so in a packaged deal.
Do I have to buy an urn from the funeral home?
No. That's why our site exists - we offer a great selection of urns at great prices with great customer service, and we'll ship it to you pretty quickly.
The funeral home will often have (some) urns in stock (and more in a catalog). So if you need an urn today, the funeral home is your best option. Otherwise, we invite you to shop our selection!