The Complete Guide to Buying Batteries on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying Batteries on eBay

Batteries are the lifeblood of many electrical items that are used both indoors and out. They are used to provide power to a whole host of general products, from watches and cameras to television remote controls. Because of this, the size and shape of batteries will vary significantly.

Although some batteries are rechargeable, for single-use versions will need to be completed on a regular basis. Because of this, using the internet and eBay in particular can save the hassle of buying batteries in store and provide some additional savings too.

This guide will review some of the different types of battery that are available on the market, and how to use eBay to search out the correct kind for your needs.

What Are Batteries?

Batteries are a power source that converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Without this energy, electrical devices will not work unless they can be connected to a mains power supply. In this sense, batteries make using smaller or hand-held items much simpler, as they can be operated freely.

Because of their necessity in the modern world, numerous types of battery have been developed to suit the various products they are powering. Their size can range from miniscule versions, which power such items as hearing aids, up to those that work in vehicles and large computer systems.

For the general consumer, however, buying batteries will be needed for such products as wristwatches, clocks, mobile phones, torches, laptops and other domestic appliances.

Types of Battery

There are two main categories that batteries can fall into; they can only be used once until their power diminishes, or alternatively, they can be recharged.

  • Primary Batteries: Primary batteries or single-use batteries have a finite electrical power supply. Once exhausted, it can no longer convert its cells into electrical energy, meaning it cannot be recharged. When they are inserted properly into a device, they will work instantly until they need replacing. Their energy capacity is not necessarily high, so they are better suited to low-drain electrical applications. Replaceable batteries will come in different size formats for which general household appliances need, such as TV remotes or alarm clocks.
  • Secondary Batteries: The alternatives to primary batteries are rechargeable versions. Their chemical reactions are reversible, meaning that a suitable charger can restore its original current. They are initially more expensive than single-use batteries to buy, but can be recharged many times.

They come in different sizes and can be used to power numerous items, from cameras to laptop computers. Although they can be recharged many times, this process cannot be used infinitely.

Battery Sizes

As we all know from looking in stores for batteries, there are many different sizes and shapes in which they appear. This is mainly because certain appliances will require more power than others to run efficiently.

The table below details some of the most commonly found cylindrical batteries on the market:



Size in mm (diameter x height)



10.5 x 44.5

A smaller type, used in many household appliances. They have a low level of current running through them.


14.5 x 50.5

AA batteries are slightly bigger, but again have a recognisable and cylindrical battery shape.


26.2 x 50

For bigger products, C batteries are used for such items as musical keyboards that need power for extended use.


34.2 x 61.5

The largest cylindrical batteries on the market are D versions that are used within high-drain electrical devices.

There are many other types of battery on the market that are used for particular reasons. The AAAA battery is very small, for example, so will only be needed for thinner and less powerful products. Other, non-round batteries are not as common, but are sometimes required for older products. 

Also look out for specific sizes of batteries that are designed solely to power such items as cameras and miniature lights, etc. For example, some types have longer alphanumerical names, such as CR2032 or CR123A, which again are used in certain applications. Remember that some formats of battery have the same size dimensions and voltage specifications as others.

Buying Considerations for Buying Batteries 

Before making a purchase of batteries on eBay, consider some basic aspects that can become the difference between a good and bad purchase. These include:

What Type Is Needed?
The most obvious place to begin a search on eBay is by knowing exactly what size and type of batteries are needed for the respective appliance. For example, if looking for batteries for a flashlight, then look closely to see which size fits into the model, or read the instruction manual before committing to buy.

Buy Brands

There are various manufacturers of battery that can be found on the market. These brands, including the recognisable Duracell, Energizer and Panasonic, will all offer a degree of quality with their battery product, and thus will last for longer. Some low-cost or no-frill brands may be less expensive, but the battery will run out quicker.

Buying Rechargeable or Not?

There is no right or wrong answer to the category of battery that is needed. For example, a children’s drum machine may require D size batteries, which may be expensive to keep on replacing, but charging them will reduce the ongoing cost. However, a home flashlight used for emergencies only will not require constant use. Think of the device that it will be placed in and how regularly that device is used.

Find the Correct Charger

If secondary batteries are the preferred choice, then make sure to acquire the correct charger that they will be used in. Some chargers are designed specifically for certain sizes and brands of batteries, whilst other ‘smart chargers’ are more flexible. They will perform differently depending on their price and quality also.

Buy in Bulk

As batteries are generally inexpensive items and are needed on a regular basis, buying them in multipacks is advisable, as this can save money and hassle at a later date. Also consider that many electric items will require multiple amounts of single batteries also in order to work.


For much larger batteries with high voltage capabilities then the price can reach up to limits of around $1000. Generally, however, batteries can be found for very small amounts. Buying on eBay and using the auction facility in particular can offer the chance to reduce the outlay even further. For any further presentable offers then check out eBay Deals section of the site too.

Using eBay to Find Batteries

To search on eBay, enter in specific battery types if known. For example, typing in ‘AAA battery’ will bring up the relevant results.

Alternatively, ‘Search By Category’ by clicking on the Electronics link on the eBay home page. From here, simply click on Batteries, Chargers and then use the refinements menu on the left-hand side of the page to reduce the results.

Remember to be careful to make sure the battery being looked at is the correct size and type for the electronic device in question. 


Batteries need to be inserted into a whole host of electrical items in order for them to operate. They come in various shapes and sizes, depending on certain devices. Rechargeable batteries are a good way to maintain power in a product if the correct charging facility is purchased.

eBay has thousands of batteries that are listed on its website on a daily basis, and from all the leading brands. Visit the site to find some good deals, but remember to stay safe when completing transactions online; carefully reviewing the seller in question and using PayPal is recommended.

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