How to Buy a Jet Ski on eBay

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How to Buy a Jet Ski on eBay

If looking to purchase a jet ski on eBay, it is important to understand the basic features of the watercraft and the various options available.

This guide talks through the basics of a jet ski and offers essential advice on how to make an informed purchase on eBay.

Types of Jet Ski

The term “jet ski” refers to the Kawasake brand name vehicle cut is also a generic term for the personal watercraft (PWC).  These come in a range of basic styles:

· Solo Stand-Up Craft

These are smaller jet skis on which a single rider stands up. They are usually highly manoeuvrable and are frequently used in competitive races and freestyle trick competitions. These craft are suitable for experienced users interested in more aggressive, competitive styles of jet skiing.

· Solo Sport Craft

With the inclusion of a seat, these single-rider jet skis allow the driver to vary between a seated and standing position. Although more stable than stand-up crafts, they can still corner aggressively and can be relatively tricky to control. As with all seated models, there are stationary steering controls similar to those on a motorcycle.

· 2-Seater

These are longer crafts, accommodating a driver and a passenger. They are generally powerful and agile enough for riders to corner well, whilst retaining stability at high speeds. Although they contain powerful engines, the top speed of 2-seater models will generally be lower than the single-rider models.

· 3- or 4-Seater

This type of craft allows two or three passengers to ride with the driver. There are numerous other features to choose from on these larger crafts, such as satellite navigation systems, cruiser seats, manual brakes and enhanced suspension. Due to their weight, these crafts are particularly stable and easy to control, but possess lower top speeds and reduced agility. These models can comfortably tow things such as inflatables or a water-skier.


Careful consideration of the watercraft’s intended purpose is needed. Stand-up models, for example, offer greater agility and performance levels suited for experienced riders, but only one rider can use it. If you want a jet ski that several family members can enjoy on a casual ride or longer journey, a 3- or 4-seater jet ski would be more appropriate.

Jet Ski Specifications

Jet skis can vary greatly in both their external and internal specifications. Important factors to consider include:

· Weight

Stand-up jet skis are light and agile, whilst seated jet skis are heavier and offer increased stability. Jet skis with bigger engines will naturally be heavier than less powerful craft.

The jet ski’s weight will affect transportation, as well as manoeuvrability both inside and outside of the water. Stand-up jet skis may fit in the back of an SUV, for example, whilst larger models will require a separate trailer.

· Engine

The engine is an important feature to consider. If planning on towing the jet ski, a larger engine with a decent amount of power will be required. If intending to ride with small children or nervous passengers, a model with slower acceleration and a lower top speed should be considered.

Engine sizes vary greatly, from around 700cc to 1800cc. As a general rule, larger engines will have greater power and higher top speeds. Sport craft with engine sizes of between 1100cc and 1200cc, for example, will have top speeds of 60+ mph.

Bear in mind, however, that smaller engines may still provide ample power. Many jet skis have smaller engines that are supercharged, making them able to compete with larger models in terms of acceleration, speed and performance.

· Budget

The cost of a jet ski will vary greatly depending upon its age, size, condition and specifications. Jet skis can retail anywhere between roughly $8,000 and $20,000. Whilst some sellers will be offering new jet skis on eBay, the majority will be listing used crafts at a cheaper cost.

Research the different prices that used jet skis sell for before setting a budget. On eBay, the advanced search options can be used to include completed listings in search results. This will give a better idea of the prices certain jet skis sell for.

Caring for a Jet Ski

As with any motor vehicle, ensure that your jet ski is adequately cared for:

· Insurance

Insurance will be needed to protect your watercraft from damage or theft.

· Servicing

As with any vehicle, a jet ski should be serviced from time to time in order to keep it in top condition.

· Storage & Cover

It is important to store the jet ski in a secure location, such as a locked garage or shed. Also use a specialist cover to protect the jet ski from additional wear or damage while it is in storage.

Other Important Considerations

Rider Experience: There is a steep learning curve associated with jet skis. First time users will benefit from a more stable machine with manageable power, whereas experienced riders might wish for a more powerful solo craft.

Operation and maintenance costs: Remember to factor in additional running costs, such as fuel, oil, sparkplugs, basic maintenance and servicing.

Safety Equipment: Jet skis should have lanyards that the driver wears at all times. This guarantees that the engine turns off if they fall from the craft. Each rider and passenger will also need to be equipped with a life jacket.

Inspect the Jet Ski: It is important to research jet skis as much as possible. Carefully read the item description and any accompanying photographs. If possible, arrange to view the jet ski and test it before finalising a purchase.

Ask Questions: If there is an aspect of the jet ski that is not covered by the item description, the seller should be contacted to enquire. For example, how many hours the jet ski has been used for, or if the jet ski has been modified in any way.

Finding a Jet Ski on eBay

You will find a range of jet skis on eBay from top manufacturers, such as Sea-Doo, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Honda.

In the Sporting Goods category, click on Boating, Water Sports and select Watercraft. From the list on the left-hand side of the page, click Jet Skis.

You will also find jet skis for sale in the Motors section of eBay. Select “Boats” from the menu at the top of the page, and then choose Jet Ski (PWC) from the “Boat Type” dropdown list.

You can then select from various manufacturers under the “Brands” heading.

You will find several other options available on the left-hand side of the page. Select from “New” or “Used” items, for example, or restrict results to jet skis originating in Australia. If you are on a strict budget, specify a price range using the “Price” slider.  Remember also to check out the Deals page.

Keyword Search

If you desire a specific model of jet ski, you may prefer to use the Keyword search bar. If you wish to purchase a Sea-Doo RXP, for example, simply type “Sea-Doo RXP” (without quotation marks) into the search box.

You can also select “Include Description” to expand your search results. Visit eBay's Searching Helppage for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you’re looking for, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay. eBay will then email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy a Jet Ski with Confidence

Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know Your Item

Read the details in the item listing carefully.

Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you’re buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.

If you want more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.

Know Your Seller

Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.

· What is the seller’s feedback rating?

· How many transactions have they completed?

· How many positive responses do they have?

· What do buyers say in their feedback?

· Do they offer a money-back guarantee?

· What are the terms and conditions?

· Are buyers positive about the seller?

· Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.


Weigh up the factors in this guide before starting your search for a jet ski on eBay. Remember to ask the seller a question if you are at all unsure of anything.

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