July 9, 2012

Battery Buying Guide: Are Cheap Laptop and Netbook Batteries a Good Buy?

Have you ever visited Amazon or eBay and wondered how certain laptop and netbook batteries can be so cheap? Some merchants offer aftermarket batteries for as little as $22 or even $17. When their original counterparts go for $85 - $130. The savings can be huge! Or can they?

We must first understand that 95% of aftermarket batteries are manufactured in China. As you may already know, there are good and bad things about this. The good thing is that China has some of the worlds leading manufacturing facilities. Some of the best products are manufactured there. The bad thing is that some Chinese factories are willing to cut corners and therefore offer merchants huge savings.

Cutting Corners
For a manufacturer, saving money is important, and because of this the idea to "cut corners" is quite alluring. This is the reason why you can find such low prices on otherwise expensive laptop and netbook replacement batteries.

The first thing that a factory can cut, to lower costs, is the quality assurance and control of its manufacturing process. For example, rather than testing every battery before leaving the warehouse, they may choose to test 1 out of 10,000. And these 10,000 are from different models. Testing multiple samples would require more time, resources, and effort. This lowers the cost of production so the merchant can offer you a $17 battery. Will the battery operate properly? Is the casing sealed on all sides? Are the battery cells attached correctly? Is it really compatible with your laptop?

Cheap materials
This one should be common sense. You cannot expect a $16-20* battery for a current laptop model to be composed of high quality materials.

*Unless its for a very old model or the company selling these batteries went out of business and they have to get rid of inventory and fast.

While the battery pictured has official certification logos, most cheap batteries are not certified. Gateway SQU-715 High Capacity 9-Cell Laptop Battery from Limewit
Lastly, a factory can choose to forge product certifications such as UL (product safety) and CE. They do this to save time and money. Getting certified by a safety or quality governing body can take several months and it does not come cheap.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Before making your purchase: 
  • Read the merchants return policy. 
  • Review their warranty.
  • Take a close look at their product images and descriptions.
  • Contact the merchant and ask questions.
You may think you are getting a great deal but if that battery damages your laptop, it does not work (returns can be a hassle!), or it only lasts you a year...was it really worth your time and money?

Where's a good place to shop for laptop and netbook batteries? If you want Standard and High Capacity batteries that are built to last, from a company with supportive and attentive customer service, manufactured with high quality materials, 30 day money back, 1 year warranty, free shipping on orders of $45 or more and all valid safety/quality certifications. Then Limewit is the place to start.

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