A recent New York Times article points to consumers who have resorted to haggling at big-box retailers, not because they can’t afford the product or service, but because they want to get a good deal.

I’d be surprised if you haven’t seen a few hagglers in the funeral home by now.  You know, the folks who ask for a discount, even though they can afford to pay full price?

In fact, our culture is beginning to encourage people to seek out the best price, especially on products/services where there’s little perceived difference in the end result.

I think this is driven by electronics and other gadgets.  Buying a 10-pixel camera from Ritz Cameras or Best Buy or an Internet retailer will yield huge price differences, even though they all sell the EXACT same camera.

Same with TV’s, new cars and designer clothes.

Pretty soon, Internet-savvy consumers with GPL’s in hand are going to start asking funeral homes why they should pay twice as much as the funeral home down the street charges for the same service. 

If you don’t want people thinking you provide the same service as the discount firm in town, make sure the difference is obvious.

Or, be prepared to haggle with a grieving family.