How to Buy a Used Rotary Lawnmower

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How to Buy a Used Rotary Lawnmower

An attractive lawn can improve the appeal of a home, and a good lawnmower is an indispensable part of yard maintenance. Buying a used lawnmower is an easy way to save money, and many items in quality condition can be found for purchase. Rotary lawnmowers are the most popular type of mower available, and are created in several different styles. They can be push mowers or ride-ons, powered by either gas or electricity, and may include a variety of different features. There are several things to keep in mind while buying a used lawnmower, including the mower’s condition, age, and any available warranties it may have.

Used rotary lawnmowers can be found at garage sales, pawn shops, and from online sellers like those on eBay. In some cases, they can also be purchased from lawnmower repair shops. These merchants purchase broken mowers, restore them, and resell them with new parts. Consider the full selection of products available, and follow these tips for finding the best used mower available.

Choosing Used Rotary Lawnmowers

The first choice to make while shopping for used rotary lawnmowers is between push and ride-on models. If a push mower is selected, buyers will then need to decide between electric and fuel-powered models.


Ride-on mowers can be driven like a small vehicle, and are built with either front or rear wheel drive. Front wheel drive is better for smaller mowing areas, as it gives the lawnmower a tighter turn radius, while rear wheel drive is better suited to large areas or ones with steep terrain. Ride-on mowers are powered by petrol or diesel fuel.


Push mowers are the most common type of rotary model. Though standard push mowers are propelled by the user, some modern mowers are designed with a self-propelled option. Many of these also have a variable speed setting. Older push mowers are started with a ripcord, while newer ones have an electric starter function that is activated with the press of a button. Push mowers can run on petrol, diesel, or they may be electric.

Petrol and Diesel

Rotary mowers are traditionally powered by a combustion engine, and use petrol or diesel, just like most road vehicles. Fuel-powered mowers are generally less expensive to purchase than electric models, though they can be more costly to run in the long term. They also produce some pollution.


Many modern lawnmowers are powered by electricity. These models are quieter than petrol or diesel-powered ones, and easier to start. Electric mowers can be either corded or battery-powered, and each design has its advantages and drawbacks.

Corded Lawnmowers

Corded lawnmowers rely on a long electric cable connected to a power outlet. The obvious drawback to these products is the potential for the cord to be run over by the mower. The upside to a corded mower is that it never needs to be refuelled or recharged. 

Battery Powered Electric Mowers

Battery powered electric mowers are free of the troubles associated with corded models. However, some do not maintain a long charge life on the battery, and may lose their power while in the act of mowing. Used mowers are more likely to have a short battery life than new ones.

Grass Disposal

There are three primary types of grass disposal available on lawn mowers, including side dischargers, baggers, and mulchers. The following chart offers a description of each of them. Decide which form of disposal is best for the needs of the user.

Disposal Type


Side Discharge

A side discharger spits its chopped grass out next to the mower as it cuts. This provides a rough fertiliser for the lawn, though it also cause loose grass to accumulate, which can make a yard less friendly for sports and play.


Bags collect grass cuttings, and are ideal for users who maintain a compost pile. Depending on the size of the user’s lawn, bags may need to be emptied two or three times while mowing.


Mulching mowers chop the grass into very fine pieces, which creates an healthy fertiliser for the lawn. Choose this option to save time on bagging and encourage green lawn growth.

Some mowers are capable of all three disposal methods, and can be adjusted by changing a setting on the mower and removing or adding a bag. Look for this option for a more versatile mower.

Buying Used

When possible, be sure the mower is fully operational before purchasing. The main thing to check for is functioning of the engine, as it is easily the most expensive part of the mower to repair or replace. If buying in person, ask the seller to start the mower, and even better, perform a demonstration with it. Notice how much effort is needed to start the mower. Several strokes on a ripcord may not be an indication of any mechanical trouble, but 10 tries or more could be a sign to look for another mower. Be sure that no smoke is produced by the machine, and no rattling or clanking noises can be heard.

Ask the seller about the mower. Find out how old it is, what kinds of repairs have been performed on it, and how recently the blades have been sharpened. It may also be worth asking why the mower is being sold.

Questions to Ask the Seller

With any high-price purchase it is best to ask more questions than you might if the item was just a few quid. The questions below should help the potential buyer received intelligence in regards to the quality of the used rotary lawnmower.

  • How often was it used?
  • When was it last used?
  • Was it maintained regularly? At what intervals?
  • Was it bought new or was it used?
  • Why is it being sold?
  • Can the seller provide a video of how it operates and works?
  • Does the seller have a users manual for the rotary lawnmower?

The questions above are just a cross sample of potential queries. The answers to any of the above can alter the conversation or line of questioning, so paying attention is key.

Lawnmower Safety

Rotary lawnmowers are capable of causing injury to operators and bystanders, as well as damage to nearby buildings and objects. The high speed of the rotary blade can propel small rocks and other debris from the mower at high velocities, and the blade itself can cause severe damage to objects it comes in contact with. To reduce the possibility of injury to operators and bystanders, be sure to wear footwear at all times while operating the mower. Steel-toed boots can provide additional protection from injury. It is also wise to wear eye protection, especially if the yard is lined with rocks, or if trees overhang the grass.

How to Buy Used Lawnmowers on eBay

All types of used lawnmowers can be purchased on eBay. These items can be found by entering keywords into the search field on the homepage. To see general listings, type "used lawnmower" into the search field. If you have a more specific idea of the type of mower you’d like, add additional keywords, such as "electric" or "mulching". Listings can also be refined by the category options that appear on each search results page. Use these categories to find push mowers, ride-on mowers, or choose fuel types.

Click on the name or primary image of an item to see its full listing. There, you can view its price, shipping charges, and the payment methods accepted by the seller. In many cases, sellers provide detailed descriptions of used lawnmowers, along with several photographs. Inspect this information to determine the condition of the mower, and contact the seller with any questions you might have.

It is also useful to review eBay user profiles before committing to a purchase. Click on the name of a seller in an item listing to see the full profile. There, you can view comments and ratings from previous buyers. Use this information, along with the seller’s positive feedback rating and number of completed transactions, to find reliable eBay users.


Used lawnmowers can save buyers money, and the availability of online listings provides many opportunities to find items that are still in excellent condition. Begin shopping by choosing between push and ride-on mowers. Push mowers can be powered by fuel or electricity, and there are two types of electric models, included those that require a cord, and those that use a battery. Consider the methods of grass disposal used by a mower, including side discharge, bagged, and mulching. Always wear foot protection, and consider protective eyewear, as well.

Used lawnmowers can be purchased from pawn shops, thrift stores, repair shops, garage sales, and online sellers. eBay has a high number of listings for used mowers of all types, making it an easy place to shop from the full selection of items. Inspect items closely before committing to a purchase. Once the type of mower has been selected, check for damages, and look for a return policy or warranty. With a bit of patience, buyers can find a quality used lawnmower to help them maintain and care for their lawn.

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