Phoenix man sells gravesites on Craigslist


by Sybil Hoffman

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 11 at 4:28 PM

PHOENIX -- From antiques to appliances, you can find just about anything for sale on Craigslist. But gravesites? One Valley man who's hit hard times financially is selling several plots and making a profit.

At Lauderdale Memorial Park in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the grounds are immaculate. The flowers are always fresh and for many people, it's a picturesque final resting place.

John Banas manages Lauderdale Memorial Park.

"Our veterans section is unique in that it's made for the veterans, those who have served our country, and they can accommodate their family members, as well," Banas said.

That reason is why John Kane purchased several plots for his family.

"I've always been a little overzealous with things, just a little bit, so around '97, '96, I decided to purchase some plots," Kane said. "They were having a sale, so to speak, they were $500 each so I bought 10."

Afterall, Lauderdale Memorial Park is where many of Kane's relatives were laid to rest. But when he told his family about his plot purchases, "I got ... that's morbid response or that's crazy, why are you buying so many, but within a couple years I had them paid off."

Unfortunately, after Kane moved to Phoenix, "things started changing for me financially."

So in July 2009, Kane did something unique. He posted several plots in an ad on Craigslist.

"I didn't get too many hits on it, not too many people calling me on it, but I kept the ad up anyway," he said. "I guess people are used to it now, you can find just about anything on Craigslist, even things you don't want to find."

"It doesn't surprise me that they're choosing the Internet as their venue because that has become the venue for most things these days," Banas said.

Kane has done pretty well, selling six gravesites. He was able to charge $2,000 for some of them. While Kane hasn't kept track of his total profit, he feels he's come out ahead.

"I'm down to two that I want to keep for myself and three that I'm still trying to sell," he said.