How to Buy Multimeters on eBay

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How to Buy Multimeters on eBay

A multimeter is one of the most important devices in an electronic tool set. It is an instrument that is able to measure several aspects of electronic current. These usually include voltage, current, and resistance. Multimeters are used to detect problems in a variety of devices, including computers and other electronic equipment, domestic appliances, wiring systems, and power supplies. Multimeters come with a variety of functions and are available in a range of prices.

Whether buyers are looking for an inexpensive multimeter for field work or a more costly model for a workshop, eBay sellers have everything they require at competitive prices. Learn how to search effectively to find exactly the right product. Knowledge of the types of multimeters available and their features and functions simplifies the buying decision. Once buyers know what they want and how to find it, they should learn how to evaluate items and sellers on eBay and the benefit of eBay Shops.

Multimeter Capabilities

Most multimeters can measure current, voltage, and resistance, but advanced devices are able to provide more measurements. Ensure that the chosen meter can measure the required voltage range to avoid injury to the user and damaging the unit. Most can measure both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), but it is best to check this before buying. Some devices are also able to measure decibel (dB) ratings, temperature, and capacitance. Additional features include transistor testing, diode testing, and frequency counting. High-end devices often come with nice to have features, such as automatic ranging, adjustable sample rating, and removable data storage.

Digital vs. Analogue Multimeters

A digital multimeter displays values on a digital display; an analogue multimeter shows readings by moving a needle across a printed scale. It may be easier to read the exact value on a digital meter, but some users prefer analogue as it allows them to see changes in readings more easily. However, very few analogue models are being manufactured and most multimeters are digital. If buyers decide on an analogue model, they should ensure that the device's impedance is not low enough to interfere with the circuit being tested as this is a common fault with these kinds of devices.

Digital Multimeter Specifications

It is important to buy a multimeter with the right specifications to ensure that the device can do everything that it needs to do. The table below lists and describes the specifications and features to look for when buying a digital multimeter.

Digital Multimeter Specification



Indicates the value of a measurement

Usually LCD


Used to indicate the property being measured and the range of expected measurements

Range is indicated by the maximum amounts to be measured

Higher range allows measurements of higher values, but with less precision

On/Off switch

Not a standard feature on all meters

Can be a position on selector dial

Test leads

Two red and black wires with probes on ends

One end goes to meter and the other to circuits to be measured

Red is positive and black is negative


Defines how closely the reading reflects the true value of the property being measured

Always a slight error in measurement

Accuracy specifications give limits for an error margin


Smallest possible change that the device can detect

Using the lowest range possible gives the highest resolution

Accuracy may not be important to some users, especially those who simply want to see whether a circuit is working. More accurate devices can distinguish between circuits that are working and those that are working poorly. If accuracy is important, ensure that a multimeter is chosen that can be calibrated and have it recalibrated once a year.

Handheld vs. Bench Mounted Multimeters

Multimeters are mainly available in two designs: handheld or bench mounted. While bench mounted multimeters tend to be more accurate, handheld devices tend to be more practical and user-friendly as they are portable and can be used just about anywhere. Modern handheld multimeters are far more accurate than their older counterparts and, in some cases, may be more accurate than older bench mounted models. If the meter is used in a workshop and accuracy is crucial, consider investing in a bench mounted model. However, bear in mind that these tend to be expensive. Inexpensive models may be less accurate than good quality handheld meters. Consider the user's needs before shopping. An infrequent user needs a more basic model, while a professional requires a more advanced device.

Build Quality of Multimeters

The way the multimeter is built affects its functionality and durability. While this may not be particularly important to casual users who occasionally test an appliance, professional users may want to invest in high quality multimeters that are able to survive site visits and regular use. In a high quality meter, the finish and fit are better. Look for a device with a more robust build and ergonomic design. In higher end meters, probes are usually insulated with silicone instead of PVC, the tips are sharper, and the handles are bigger. Alternatively, consider buying two multimeters, one for the workshop and one for the toolbox. This allows the user to keep the higher quality device safe, while the less expensive one suffers the wear and tear associated with daily use.

How to Search for Multimeters on eBay

Finding a multimeter on eBay is easy. Simply type a phrase, for example "Fluke multimeter", into the search field, which can be found on every page or click on an autocomplete suggestion to see the items listed. Since this displays all items tagged with the keywords entered, refine the search by choosing the most appropriate item features. For more search options or to narrow or expand the search, use the advanced search option.

How to Evaluate an Item on eBay

Click on an individual listing to go to the item listing page. This is where you can find all the information that you need to make an informed buying decision. The information listed here includes the full item description and images of the product, buying options, the seller's accepted payment methods, terms of the seller's returns policy, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. If you have any questions about a listing, contact the seller by clicking the "Ask a question" link. Remember to add the postage and packaging costs to the item's final selling price to calculate the total cost.

How to Evaluate a Seller on eBay

eBay's seller feedback feature makes it easy for you to get to know the seller before you buy. On the item listing page, click on the number next to the seller's username to view this information. Buyers are encouraged to leave feedback for sellers about their products and customer service at the conclusion of each transaction. You can also view these individual comments left by previous buyers. This information allows you to form your own opinion of what can be expected from a particular seller. Detailed seller ratings provide additional information about aspects such as the accuracy of the item description in the listing and the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the postage and packaging costs.

eBay Shops

eBay Shops make buying from your favourite seller more convenient. Some sellers specialise in specific products or product types. If you find a seller whose products and customer service you like, visit his or her eBay shop to see what else is available. This way you can buy everything you need from someone you know and trust.


A multimeter is one of the most important pieces of equipment used in electronics. Basic models measure current, voltage, and resistance, while more advanced devices can measure additional properties, such as temperature and capacitance. The meter chosen should suit the user's needs; casual users often have more basic requirements than professional users. In addition to choosing the right features, decide on a digital or analogue device and a handheld or bench mounted model. The majority of multimeters available are handheld digital devices. Fluke is one of the most trusted brands available and produces a range of products suitable for casual and professional users. Look at the way the meter is constructed and choose one that is easy and convenient to use with probes and dials that are not awkwardly designed or too small to manipulate.

eBay sellers offer a wide range of multimeters at competitive prices and buying is simple. Make your keyword search more specific by including information about the desired item's features or use the advanced search option to find exactly what you are looking for. Always take a few moments to learn about the product and the seller before you buy to ensure that the item meets your expectations. Remember that you can ask the seller questions about the listing if you are unsure of anything or would like more information about the product. If you find a seller you like, do not forget to visit his or her eBay shop to see more great deals.

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