A Buyer's Guide for Batteries and Chargers

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A Buyer's Guide for Batteries and Chargers

Batteries are used for powering many different devices. From cellular phones to laptops, batteries make it easy to take devices on the go. When batteries get old, the device runs out of power quickly and the batteries must constantly be recharged or replaced. Constantly recharging or replacing batteries is both costly and inconvenient. Replacing the battery usually fixes the problem by extending the life of the device. Aside from battery packs used to power electronic devices, batteries help to power many different objects throughout the home, such as flashlights, remote controls, and watches. Many battery powered devices are rechargeable, and come with electric chargers to recharge the battery.

There are three main types of batteries: primary cells, secondary cells, and battery packs. Primary cells are basic, non-rechargeable batteries, and secondary cells are rechargeable. Battery packs are used for long term use, such as cellular phones and laptop computers. Before purchasing batteries or chargers, it is important to check which type of battery the device requires. Batteries are purchased in brick and mortar stores, directly from the manufacturer, or online using eBay. eBay has a huge selection of batteries, making it easy for the buyer to find the exact type of battery he or she needs. Before purchasing batteries, it is important to understand the different types of batteries and their uses to find the right battery for any device.

Primary Cell Batteries

Primary cells, or non-rechargeable batteries, are the most commonly used batteries around the household. Primary cells include alkaline and lithium primary batteries and are the most powerful type of batteries. Primary cells power everything from remote controls to fire alarms. Non-rechargeable batteries are usually the most affordable type of batteries, but the downside is that they are only single use. Constant use of a device with non-rechargeable batteries may get expensive, since the user has to constantly purchase replacement batteries. Also, primary cell batteries are harmful to the environment if they are not properly disposed of. Unlike some types of batteries, primary cell batteries are not fully recyclable. Many people opt for rechargeable batteries, which do not have to be thrown out after a single use, and cause less harm to the environment.

Every battery operated device requires a specific size of battery in order to function. There are different types of primary cell batteries that include different battery sizes. Before purchasing batteries for a battery operated device, it is important to check the size of battery that the device requires.

Type of Battery

Battery Size

Alkaline Batteries

AA, AAA, 9V, C, D

Miniature Alkaline Batteries

AAAA, A23, A27, A76, 625G, A544, E90

Watch and Electronic Batteries

1025, 1216, 1220, 1616, 1620, 1632, 2016, 2025, 2032, 2430, 2450, 319, 357/303, 362, 364, 371, 377, 379, 386, 389, 391, 392, 395, 397, EPX76

Many watch and electric batteries are physically the same size so it is important to check the battery size before making a purchase to ensure the battery is compatible with the watch or device.

Secondary Cell Batteries

Secondary cell batteries, or rechargeable batteries, are batteries that users are able to recharge and use multiple times. Secondary cell batteries are a bit more of an initial investment, but they help users save money and reduce waste. Rechargeable batteries are made to fit into an electric charger, which electrically reverses the battery's electrochemical reaction. The types of rechargeable batteries include Lead Acid, NiMH, and Li-ion.

Some secondary cell batteries are the same size as disposable batteries, making them compatible with many battery operated devices. Secondary batteries are available for all standard alkaline batteries, so secondary cell batteries are able to easily power most household battery operated items. Recharging batteries reduces both waste and cost, especially in items that run out of batteries fairly quickly. Secondary cell battery chargers must be purchased in addition to the batteries. There are different sizes of chargers, so it is important to make sure that the batteries and charger are compatible before making a purchase. Some electronic devices come with both the charger and battery so an additional charger does not need to be purchased if the battery is replaced.

Battery Packs

Battery packs are different types of batteries intended for long term use. They are most commonly used in cellular phones and laptops. Battery packs are usually the first thing that needs to be replaced on a laptop. When the battery gets old, it does not hold a charge for very long, making it hard to work on the computer without being close to a power source. Aside from laptops, battery packs are used in other devices intended for long term use such as cellular phones and hospital equipment. There are different types of battery packs made for different battery operated devices, and buyers should understand the differences of each before making a purchase.

Nickel Cadmium Battery

Nickel Cadmium is the most affordable type of battery pack, but they are rarely used in new technology. It is one of the heaviest types of batteries, and is susceptible to memory effect, which may permanently ruin the battery. Memory effect is when the battery 'remembers' an old charge and continues there the next time the device is turned on. Letting the battery fully charge and drain is the best way to avoid ruining the battery with the memory effect. Nickel Cadmium also contains toxic materials and do not easily break down which is harmful to the environment.

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery

Nickel metal hydride battery packs replaced many nickel cadmium batteries, since they are less susceptible to the memory effect. The life cycle of nickel metal hydride battery packs are a bit shorter than those made with Nickel cadmium, but it contains no hazardous materials. Although it is a much better option for the environment, it cannot be fully recycled. Nickel metal hydride battery packs are most commonly used in laptops and cellular phones.

Lithium Ion Battery

Lithium ion battery packs are the most common type of battery pack used in technology today. Lithium ion batteries are just as efficient as nickel metal hydride, but they weigh 25 to 35 per cent less. Most newer models of laptops and cellular phones use lithium ion because of its weight and efficiency. In addition, lithium ion batteries contain no toxic materials and they are fully recyclable. Lithium ion polymer is a thin, sleek version of a lithium ion battery pack, most commonly used for cellular phone batteries, or other small electronic devices.

Lead Acid Battery

Lead acid battery packs are one of the heaviest types of battery pack, and are intended for large high powered devices where weight is not a factor. They are also the oldest type of rechargeable battery packs. Lead acid batteries are most commonly used in hospital equipment, emergency lighting systems, and wheelchairs.

Smart Batteries

Smart batteries are unique types of battery packs made primarily for laptop computer batteries. Smart batteries contain a circuit board and internal chips that allow the battery to communicate with the laptop. Smart batteries monitor battery power, temperature, and voltage and increase the battery life by up to 15 per cent.

How to Purchase Batteries and Chargers on eBay

After determining which type of batteries your device requires, you are ready to shop for batteries. eBay offers every different type of battery, often for much lower than retail price. To begin your search on eBay, you can start by typing a keyword into the keyword search bar. If you are searching for a specific type of battery or battery pack, you can use a specific term, such as, "rechargeable battery''. To browse different types of batteries and chargers and the prices of each, you can use a broader search term, such as 'battery pack'.

When searching for a replacement laptop or cellular phone battery or charger, it is important to determine if the computer or phone requires a specific type of battery and charger. Many computers only work with the specific computer model's unique charger and battery. eBay offers many different brands of computers and phones, making it easy to find a replacement battery or charger at an affordable price. When purchasing large or heavy chargers or batteries, you can look for a local seller and arrange to pick up the item so you do not have to pay additional shipping costs.


Batteries and chargers help power the devices we use on a daily basis, such as laptops, cellular phones, and children's toys. All battery operated devices require a specific size or type of battery in order to function. Many people choose to use rechargeable batteries for things they use commonly, such as toys or video game controllers. Rechargeable batteries eliminate the need to constantly buy batteries, and are less harmful for the environment.

eBay offers thousands of batteries and chargers making it easy to purchase batteries for any and every device. Because of the large selection, eBay offers many batteries and chargers under retail price, which makes it affordable to purchase batteries in bulk for an office or small business. Also, when shopping on eBay, users are able to set their price maximum so they do not waste time searching through batteries or chargers outside of their price range. With the help of eBay, purchasing batteries and chargers is made both easy and affordable.

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