How to Buy Single Use Batteries

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How to Buy Single Use Batteries

Batteries are used in numerous aspects of modern life. They power remote controls, toys, phones, vehicles, and other items with electronic components. Single-use batteries are designed to be recycled, thrown out, or destroyed after use, and constitute a large percentage of the batteries purchased and used each year. These products are available in several varieties, and are used in a broad range of applications.

Single-use batteries can be separated by their type and chemical composition. The two primary types of batteries are standards and button cells, and the three most common material choices include lithium, alkaline, and silver oxide. The materials used to create a battery can have a significant effect on its longevity and performance, so it is useful for buyers to understand the distinctions between them. In addition, many single-use batteries contain toxic materials, and must be recycled. Learn which batteries are environmentally safe for the trash, and which require special disposal or recycling.

Single use batteries are available from many brick and mortar retailers, including department stores, convenience stores, and specialty battery outlets. They can also be purchased online. Marketplaces like eBay have listings for nearly all types of single use batteries, and are an easy way to shop from a broad selection of items. Determine which type of single-use battery is needed, and consider its lifespan and toxicity to choose the best items available.

Choose Single-Use Batteries

Buyers can find single use batteries for a variety of uses. They may be in a standard form like AAs, or they can be button-shaped. Most electronic items are designed to use a specific type of battery, and it is important to always use compatible products. What’s more, the materials used to create batteries also differ from one product to the next, even with a single type of battery. Begin shopping by selecting the appropriate type of battery.

Standard Batteries

Standard batteries are what most people think of when they picture a household battery. They are the most prevalent type of single-use battery and include AAs AAAs, and 9-volts. 


AA batteries are the most popular single use battery on the market. They are sold in packs that can range in quantity from two to 48. These batteries are cylindrical in shape and have contact points at either end. AAs are used in a variety of applications and products, though they are most commonly utilised in household electronics. Having said that, wireless video game controllers, television remotes, portable speakers, and children’s toys all make use of AA batteries.


AAAs are created in the same shape and design as AAs, but are smaller. They are primarily used for products that are too small for AAs. 


Like AAs and AAAs, 9-volt batteries are commonly found in household appliances and electronics. They are sometimes called transistor batteries, as they were originally used with transistor radios. Rectangular in shape, 9-volt batteries use a snap connector at one end, instead of the contact connections used in AAs and AAAs. Generally, they are used in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as electronics like guitar tuners, effects pedals, and radio controlled vehicles.

Button Cell Batteries

The second type of single use battery is the button cell, or sometimes coin batteries, which are named for their appearance. These thin, disc-like batteries are produced in a broad range of sizes and voltages, and are designated with a combination of letters and numbers. An example would be, a CR2032 battery. As a rule, button cells are used in small electronics that could not contain a standard battery, such as wrist watches, hearing aids, pocket calculators, and children’s toys like Tamagotchis. 

Chemical Composition

There are three primary types of chemical composition used to create single use batteries, including alkaline, lithium, and silver oxide. Each of these has different capabilities and performs better or worse in certain circumstances. Also, due to differences in their composition and levels of toxic materials they contain, they each come with a suggested or required method of disposal. Learn about each type of battery to choose items that will perform best for the buyer's needs.


Alkaline batteries tend to have a shorter lifespan than batteries with other compositions. However, they are the least expensive option available, and contain no toxic materials. They are safe for landfill, and can be thrown away with regular garbage. Choose alkaline batteries for convenience and low costs. Alkaline batteries are produced as both standard and button cell types.


Lithium batteries can be used as much as three times longer than alkaline ones. They are ideal for digital cameras and video game controllers that rapidly deplete the charge of a battery. Lithium batteries are more expensive to purchase than alkalines, but may be less expensive to use in the long run. However, lithium batteries contain toxic materials and must be disposed at dedicated locations. They should never be placed in the trash. Although standard lithium batteries are single use only, some products like lithium ion batteries are rechargeable.

Silver Oxide

Silver oxide batteries are high-powered and long-lasting products. Due to the use of silver, however, these products are expensive to manufacture, and are consequently only designed in button cell form. Like lithium, silver oxide batteries must be disposed of at dedicated centres.

Recycling and Disposing of Single Use Batteries

Proper disposal of batteries with toxic content is important for the safety of humans, animals, and plant life, and is often required by law. Chemicals released from the lining walls of the battery can cause damage to skin and eyes, contaminate water sources, and cause other complications. Battery recycling programmes are available nationwide, and although there are fewer places that accept single use batteries than rechargeables, many cities have a hazardous waste collection facility. Online resources are also available to help buyers locate centres that will accept single use batteries.

Hazards of Batteries

To avoid personal injury, always use batteries as specified by the manufacturer. Never attempt to recharge single use batteries, as this can cause their walls to disintegrate and their contents to be released. In some cases, they may even explode. Be sure to insert batteries into products properly before use, verifying that marked ends are matched with the indicators on an electronic device. It is also important to keep batteries away from high heat, as this can also cause their contents to be released.

Avoid piling batteries together, as remaining charges can activate them and create a reaction. Never open batteries for any reason, and make sure products are kept out of the reach of children. Ingested batteries can pose serious health risks.

How to Buy Single Use Batteries on eBay

All types of single use batteries are available for purchase on eBay. These products can be found by initiating a search from the homepage with either keywords or category options. Keywords can be as general or specific as you’d like. For example, you may enter "single use battery" into the field, or search for "AA duracell". Search results can be refined by clicking on category links. Beside each header is a number that reflects the number of relevant items the category contains. Use these options to browse listings by battery type, chemical composition, price, and more.

Once you have decided on a type of battery to purchase, review individual item listings. Click on the name or primary image of a listing to see information about shipping rates and shipping methods, as well as a description of the item being sold. Contact the seller with any questions you might have.

Before finalising your purchase, look for ratings and feedback about the seller. eBay profiles have a positive feedback rating that represents the satisfaction of buyers within the past 12 months. You may also view the number of transactions a user has completed, along with average ratings of the seller’s performance in certain areas. Once you have received your batteries, leave feedback about your experience.


Single use batteries are used in a high number of modern electronics, including toys, remote controls, watches, hearing aids, digital cameras, and many more. They are designed in two different types. Standard batteries include AAs and 9-volt batteries, and are most commonly used in commercial household electronics. Button cells are small, coin-like products that vary in size and power. They are mostly used in small electronics that cannot contain a standard battery.

Batteries can be made with alkaline, lithium, or silver oxide. Alkaline is the least expensive option, though these batteries also have a short lifespan. Lithium and silver oxide are more expensive, but can last several times longer. Alkalines are safe for landfill, while lithium and silver oxide batteries are toxic and must be taken to a recycling centre.

Single use batteries are available from department stores, convenience stores, and many other brick and mortar retail locations. They can also be purchased online from commercial websites, as well as marketplaces like eBay. Shop around to compare products and prices, and choose the most appropriate batteries for a user’s needs.

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