Another company with connections to the Seattle area is getting involved in the business of making afterlife decisions and purchases more easily through the use of technology.
Titan Coffin Is a new startup that brings direct-to-consumer convenience, savings, and customer service to the often puzzling task of buying coffins. The company’s co-founders include a husband and wife team in Bellevue, Washington, and a long-term coffin manufacturer and supplier on the East Coast.
Titan’s mission is to use its own market and Even on Amazon, It is the best-selling coffin seller. The goal is to educate consumers and save them money when grief is usually better than shopping around and higher funeral home prices are considered acceptable.
“Most customers went to the funeral home, they bought the coffin, but the price was too high,” said the co-founder of Titan Josh SiegelSiegel has a technical background working at Amazon for more than eight years and is currently the chief product officer of RealSelf, a Seattle beauty treatment review startup.He served as an advisor to the Titans during his wife Liz Segal And Massachusetts Scott Ginsberg Serve as the co-CEO and manage the daily operations of Titan.
According to Titan, the reason for the high price of funeral homes is because the two large manufacturers control most of the coffin market and they only sell to funeral homes. “It all depends on the funeral home fees,” Josh Siegel said.
Ginsberg said that the price of the $1,000 coffin charged by Titan ranges from $1,800 to $3,300, depending on the funeral home.
“The directors know that people don’t shop,” Ginsberg said. “You will go to the same funeral home you always go to. It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just what people do. The director kind of knows he has you.”
This is the process that Ginsberg began to find a solution five years ago. Ginsberg, who has been in the coffin industry for more than 20 years, was put on hold after a ski accident in 2016. He said he bought a “lively new laptop” and began to research how to sell it online, first on Amazon.
“I sold one, then two, then three, and it started to snowball,” Ginsberg said. “But this is not my wax ball,” he said of operating an online marketplace. “I’m more of a product person. I have a vision that I know where it should be.”
He found Josh Segal through the alumni directory of Columbia Business School. They started thinking wildly. But Ginsberg’s visit to the glasses retailer Warby Parker established what he believes they should strive for-to become the “Warby Parker in the coffin world.”
“I have always liked their website,” Ginsberg said. “I called Josh and I said,’Directly to consumers. I think it’s time. The market is there and people’s mindset is more important than ever.'”
More and more startups are innovating to change $20 billion funeral industryIn Seattle, Recompose provided an alternative to traditional burial and cremation methods by turning human remains into soil, which attracted people’s attention. Solace, based in Portland, Oregon, has added digital convenience to the process of planning and facilitating cremation services. In May, a team from the University of Washington named AfterLife Listings won a $25,000 grand prize in a student entrepreneurship competition for its idea of simplifying graveyard planning and trading.
“The entire industry, especially this business, is very mission-based, and everyone who is engaged in death technology has a similar spirit,” Siegel said. “It is very beneficial to build this and help the family.”
Siegel used to run the home entertainment store of the tech giant at Amazon, so he was used to shipping large items such as TVs. But more importantly, he and his co-founders learned Amazon’s customer service principles.
“Part of the reason is that I was there, but part of the reason is that you now see the same principles in many direct-to-consumer companies, who first take care of the customer and build it through word of mouth,” Siegel said. “If any industry is important, it is this industry, because it is the right approach, and because it is not a refrigerator that can be delayed or replaced.”
Titan was launched as a fully realized business in January 2020, profitable and the founders have not raised venture capital or any external funds to date. If this means that they can expand faster in terms of inventory or invest it back into technology, then they are open to this choice. Titan has increased five times over last year. They have warehouses in the Northeast and Los Angeles to better inventory and reach their transportation goals across the country. Liz Siegel and Ginsburg are responsible for most of the customer service and sales work, which is achieved through online chat or phone calls with customers, and two employees are responsible for operations.
The plan is to increase and hire more customer service representatives and maintain high standards.
“This is the company’s core competence. This is not something you want to outsource,” Siegel said. “A lot of the magic lies not in technology, but in Scott’s deep product expertise and Liz’s customer service and operational strength.”
With her retail experience, Liz Siegel went from cradle to grave. She was a lawyer before having three children with her husband, and she ran her own baby products company.
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“This is a way to get into the retail industry and see how things work, especially in areas such as Amazon and website building,” she said. “I held on for a while, and then once the Titans really started to take off, Seattle’s baby products had to take a back seat, because now it has always been a coffin.”
Titans can be transported to funeral homes, and customers can bring their own coffins due to a federal law called “Funeral Rules” Implemented by the Federal Trade Commission. It states in part: “Funeral service providers cannot refuse to process the coffins or urns you bought online, local coffin shops or other places-or charge you a fee.”
“In all fairness, many funeral homes are very suitable for cooperation,” Liz Siegel said. “Occasionally there will be bad people, but we like to build good relationships with funeral homes and work closely with them.”