In Death and in Love: Sacred Trade-Offs in the Death Care and Wedding Industries

A. Peter McGraw, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Derick Davis, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
When making funeral- or wedding-related purchases consumers put a price on products and services that represent sacred values. Consumers are frequently unwilling to engage in such (taboo) trade-offs between the secular (e.g., money) and the sacred (e.g., memories, love, or commitment. We demonstrate how a reluctance to make trade-offs between price and other attributes leads consumers to purchase premium offerings when making funeral or wedding purchases. We debias this spendthriftiness by downplaying the value-signaling role of money in the evaluation of these transactions, which in turn, encourages price-based trade-offs. We conclude with implications for consumer advocacy and public policy.
[ to cite ]:
A. Peter McGraw and Derick Davis (2009) ,"In Death and in Love: Sacred Trade-Offs in the Death Care and Wedding Industries", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 991-991.