Buying Bulk Batteries: 3 Reasons To Approach Online Auctions With Caution

Batteries are always in high demand, especially among businesses, tech geeks and the parents of small children. Online auctions and discount venues often offer massive savings on bulk batteries. These batteries may be available in boxes of 20, 50, 100 or even more batteries at a time, including all common sizes of both disposable and rechargeable batteries. These packages cost as little as half the price you’d expect to pay in a battery store or known brick-and-mortar retailer. Seem like a no-brainer? While you can save some money, always be careful when buying batteries from obscure sources.

You don’t know how old they are

Any seller can label their batteries “new” or “fresh” in their auction listings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. Batteries can lose anywhere from 2% to 30% of their charge every month that they sit on a shelf. Older batteries may be removed from store shelves and offered in bulk at a discounted rate to reflect their diminished usefulness. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to keep an unscrupulous buyer from scooping up the cut-rate batteries, then offering them for sale at a higher price without disclosing their age. Before you buy, always know the manufacture date and the estimated self-discharge rate for that type of battery.

They may not be the brand you think

Knockoff batteries are quickly becoming a problem throughout the world, with millions of them finding their way into North America. When buying batteries in bulk through online auctions or other such formats, there’s no guarantee that you’re getting exactly what you think. Though illegal, it’s relatively simple to create replicas of big-brand batteries, but with inferior materials. A battery store that’s authorized to carry big brands has a known legitimate supply, and are virtually guaranteed to carry the real thing.

Quality control varies in off-brand batteries

Unknown or generic brands of batteries are usually easy to find in bulk, and often at extremely low prices compared to the big names. Do some research on these before you buy. Some off-brand batteries are actually very high quality, but without the pricing power of products that have brand recognition going for them. Others may come from multiple manufacturers, or may have lax quality standards that can lead to irregularities in the quality and performance of their batteries.

The need for large quantities of batteries at a great price doesn’t have to drive you to these online auctions with completely unknown sellers. An established store has a known reputation, and may have customer reviews available for the more obscure brands they carry. Many well-established battery stores offer discounted rates for high-volume sales, or for sale to customers who need batteries for business use. If you really want a great deal, check with your trusted providers, such as Shelton Battery, Inc., first.

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