How to Buy Forklifts on eBay

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How to Buy Forklifts on eBay

Industries as diverse as manufacturers and distributors to lumberyards and warehouses all rely on the power of forklifts to get big lifting jobs done fast. But despite their undeniable use, forklifts are quite a large investment for any business to make. For this reason, it is quite common for business owners to seek out these important industrial tools on eBay, looking for both good prices and easy shopping experiences. However, there are still many decisions that buyers need to consider before that simple process can begin.

Buyers must take the time to learn about their options in terms of forklifts first. Therefore, before buying forklifts on eBay, buyers need to consider several factors such as the use of the forklifts, the type of engines and tyres they need, and whether it is best to buy forklifts used or new. After taking these factors into consideration and reviewing eBay buying basics, getting the right forklift for any business is a simple process.

Using Forklifts

As its name clearly implies, the purpose of a forklift in any environment is to move and lift heavy loads efficiently. However, each unit accomplishes these tasks in a different way. Therefore, before beginning the eBay buying process, buyers need to consider how and why they will use forklifts in their daily operations. There are four general types of forklifts that buyers should consider. They are defined in the table below.

Type of Forklift


Electric Forklift

More efficient, yet less powerful units are principally designed for indoor use

Narrow-Aisle Forklift

Designed to fit into narrow spaces, such as that of a warehouse or lumberyard, while still being able to manoeuvre and lift

Rough-Terrain Forklift

Designed for outdoor use, primarily over rough, unpaved surfaces, such as that of a construction site

Telescopic Forklift

Ideal unit for lifting loads into high places; basically a crane with a forklift arm on it

Each of the four basic forklift designs outlined above are made to accomplish certain tasks within specific environments. For those businesses with these concentrated tasks, such as high lifting, the choice of forklift type may be the only one that is necessary to make before beginning the eBay shopping process. For others, additional assessments of the main parts of those forklifts may reveal additional insight.

Considering Forklift Parts

Though all forklifts are designed to carry out the basic function of lifting, the parts they use to accomplish this goal vary somewhat. Aside from the generalised differences among the four types of forklifts outlined above, buyers must also consider the parts of forklifts within and among these categories alongside their needs and resources. In the most simple sense, this means considering the engine power that is most appropriate for a forklift, whether electric or combustion, as well as the tyres that it needs.

Considering Forklift Engines: Electric vs. Combustion

Many people choose to use electric-powered forklifts over internal combustion forklifts because of their work environments; the former type is typically employed for indoor use. However, there are several additional advantages and disadvantages to using each type of forklift that should also be taken into account. These are outlined in the table below.

Engine Type



Electrical Engine

Great for indoor use

Zero emissions

Lower maintenance cost

Lower centre of gravity; more stable; can lift higher

Controls are easier to understand and operate

Higher initial purchase price

Must be sealed and adapted for outdoor use, adding to initial costs

Batteries lose charge over time requiring additional units

Performance degrades as batteries age

Internal Combustion Engine

Lower purchase price on average

Higher load capacity

Suitable for outdoor use as is

Output remains constant as long as fuel is sufficiently available

Not suited for indoor use due to carbon monoxide emissions

Higher maintenance costs

Higher fuel costs

Choosing to buy an electrically powered forklift vs. an internal combustion forklift is clearly a choice which must take several factors into account other than initial price, which is what many people automatically look for when shopping on eBay. Rather, careful consideration of the lifetime performance of a forklift and its ability to withstand the conditions of a particular work area are also important.

Considering Forklift Tyres

There are three basic types of forklift tyres which contribute to the unit's ability to accomplish a certain task. These tyres are cushion tyres, pneumatic tyres, and polyurethane tyres. Which is most appropriate for each buyer depends highly upon the proposed use of the forklift.

Cushion Tyres

The most common types of tyres on electrically powered forklifts are cushion tyres, made of solid rubber. The tyres themselves are pressed directly into the wheels of the trucks, which makes them ideal for vehicles with smaller chassis that sit low to the ground. The result of this combination is that forklifts with cushion tyres enjoy improved manoeuvrability and a smaller turning radius, which makes them ideal for tight spaces.

Pneumatic Tyres

Pneumatic tyres are wider and longer than cushion tyres. They are typically found on internal combustion forklifts and closely resemble car tyres. Pneumatic tyres are filled with air or made solid. The latter option is the ideal situation for construction sites or other locations where the possibility of puncturing air-filled tyres is high. Air-filled pneumatic tyres, by contrast, are better suited for paved surfaces or uneven terrain without sharp objects. These tyres can go flat just like car tyres, so proper precaution is essential.

Polyurethane Tyres

The final type of tyres found on forklifts are polyurethane tyres. These tyres are pressed into the forklift's wheels similar to cushion tyres. They are known for their excellent traction, but are limited to use indoors, since they do not function properly on rough terrain. Polyurethane tyres are known for a low rolling resistance, which is said to increase their lifespan.

Buying New vs. Used Forklifts

Once buyers are confident regarding the type of forklifts they want to buy on eBay, the final consideration to make is whether or not it is best to buy forklifts new or used. One of the advantages of the eBay marketplace schematic is that both of these options are present, but there are particular pros and cons to each choice.

Why Buy a Forklift New

The principle advantages to buying a new forklift on eBay stem from the benefits, both physical and otherwise, that new items offer. Sellers of new items may be the manufacturers themselves or else authorised dealers who are agents trained in the sale of a particular brand of forklift. This can lead to additional insight into the product as well as reassurances that the forklift bought is the best available. For example, new units are generally devoid of both visible aesthetic issues as well as hidden mechanical issues that may cost more money down the road to fix than the savings offered up front.

Why Buy a Forklift Used

The main advantage to buying a used forklift on eBay is the price discounts that are offered by doing so. These discounts can be anywhere from 25 per cent to more than half off of the manufacturer price of a new forklift. The only issue is making sure that the used forklift being offered does not have any mechanical failings. Talking to the seller, asking questions, and viewing/inspecting the vehicle before purchase are all great ways to guard against this happening.

Buying Forklifts on eBay

Once buyers are ready to begin the eBay purchasing process for forklifts, there are still a few basic skills that they need to review. This includes proper search techniques as well as seller evaluation strategies.

Searching for Forklifts on eBay

Searching for forklifts on eBay is really simple. Buyers can begin this process by either entering the general term "forklift&" into the search bar and then narrowing the field manually, or by choosing to search for more specific keywords. Such keywords to consider are the brand, load capacity, type, and condition of the forklift you want. For example, try searching for "used Toyota forklift&".

Evaluating eBay Sellers

Once proper search results are returned, it is equally important for buyers to take the time to evaluate the sellers who are offering these items. To do this, look at a seller's track record on eBay through the feedback stars and detailed feedback provided by former buyers which are prominently displayed on each page. Also, take the time to read each product description carefully and ask questions before committing to purchase.


Learning how to buy forklifts on eBay is a great way for business owners and others responsible for the purchase of heavy equipment to save time and money in the purchase of forklifts. However, the process of doing this first involves knowing what to look for and how to look for it.

There are four main types of forklifts that are used for a variety of business and industrial purposes. These forklifts are electric forklifts, narrow-aisle forklifts, rough-terrain forklifts, and telescopic forklifts. For some jobs, such as warehouse stocking, this is all buyers need to know. However, other buyers also need to consider additional factors, such as the engine and tyres on the forklifts and where it is best suited to work as a result.

When ready to buy a forklift on eBay, consider whether a new or used forklift is the best option. Then use concentrated search strategies as well as seller evaluation techniques to ensure that the item bought is the right one. If done properly, buying a forklift on eBay is fast, easy, and a great way to save money.

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