How To Sell A Used Portable Generator – 6 Tips For Easy Selling

Hopefully this is not what you’re trying to sell.

There is no right or wrong way to sell a used portable generator.  How to sell a used generator is pretty straightforward.  But what you do before and after listing it for sale, can make a world of difference on how fast it will sell and the number of interested parties.  Yes you can slap a quick listing together and post it somewhere like Craigslist, but you may find that it’s not as easy as it may seem at first.


It really doesn’t matter why you are selling.  Maybe it’s time to upgrade?  Does it look like the picture above?  I hope not.  Maybe you want to change to an inverter from a standard, or vice versa.  You want to run a different fuel.  You need more power.  Whatever.  It doesn’t matter because in the back of your potential buyers mind is, you want to get rid of it because something’s wrong with it.  And you should be prepared to answer many questions.

To reduce the number of questions, you’ll want to list as much as possible in the listing itself.  Don’t be the person who lists nearly nothing so that people will call and ask questions.  Often, they just won’t call at all and will opt for a listing that is less work for them.  Don’t worry about listing features that the person is not interested in.  If they don’t need the features, you probably wouldn’t have gotten them to purchase anyway.

The control panel tells a lot.

So regardless of where you list your used generator for sale, try to include these tips for a quick and efficient sale.  You’ll find that by doing your homework, you’ll have a better chance of getting your asking price.

1. Take Photos of Your Generator

Listings without pictures get very little attention. Very few people will take the time to come see your generator if they don’t see a picture first.  You can post an image of a new unit, same model, but make sure to post an image of its current condition as well.  Don’t waste your or your buyer’s time.  And often the appearance of a new model has changed even in the same model.  Post as many photos as is logical or possible.  Make sure that you include pictures of the key features of your offering.

  • A full view of the unit that includes the switches, starting mechanism, outlets and control panel.
  • The engine ID tag.
  • The Hour Meter if it has one.
  • Any accessories that you might be including in the sale such as wheel kit, cart, cover, cords, transfer switch, etc.
  • A picture of the brand and model number.
  • Any other pictures of any “bells and whistles” that come with the unit.

Does it come with a cover?


What Should I Include In My Listing?

  • The kilowatts and maximum capacity load of the unit (running and surge watts rating).
  • How old is it?
  • Is it an inverter?
  • What type of fuel does it run on?
  • Did you make any modifications from its original condition?
  • Warranties are usually not transferable, especially because an owner may make modifications that would have voided the warranty anyway.
  • What was it primarily used for?  Periodic power outages is much more desirable than consistent daily use in dusty conditions.
  • Any after-market Accessories included.
  • Has it had more than one owner?
  • Repairs or problems you have experienced with the unit in the past (how honest do you want to be?)
  • The decibel level of the unit when it is running.
  • Where will it be picked up.  Remember shipping of engines because of the volatile components is prohibited.  And the cost is probably cost prohibitive.
  • Is the price negotiable?
Westinghouse extension cord

Are you including a cord?


2.  Show a Video

The best way to sell your used generator fast is to upload a video of the unit in action. Upload a video of it onto YouTube and put the URL up on your sales page, They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If so, the a video must be worth a million.
This is the “new school” approach to selling power equipment.

The buyer will see the condition, how easy it starts, how loud it is, etc.  It will give a world of confidence to your buyer and removes much of the apprehension that they are getting ripped off.


Only Used in Emergencies?



3.  Price it Right

Sometimes a seller has no idea what to charge and finding comparable units can be difficult.  If that’s you, find your best estimate.  Someone else may be selling a comparable unit way too expensive or way too cheap.  Yeah the buyer will score a good deal with the cheap one, but price fair and you can’t go wrong.

If you list your generator without a price it may get ignored. The buyer might assume price is too high and that’s why it’s being left out.

4.  Provide Service History

While this may not be 100% possible for all sellers, buyers do like knowing a bit about how the generator was used and cared for.

Was it recently serviced?

How often was it maintained?

A solid history of service indicates that the unit has been cared for and will help secure a premium price.

5.  Answer Inquiries Quickly

Most generator buyers have a rather immediate need. Your listing could be the first they are inquiring about or it could be the 5th. Either way, your chances of communicating professionalism and courtesy is to reply back to any inquiries ASAP.
Make sure you answer key questions they have and provide additional information where available.


6.  Include a URL to the Generator’s Manual

If you no longer have the owner’s manual that came with the unit, you can provide a URL online that might help them download or print off a manual that has all the information that your buyer needs to know about the machine you have for sale.


By following these steps, and some that  you might come up with, you have a good chance of selling your used generator quickly, and relatively hassle free.  Good luck.


Filed under: ArticlesSelling Used Generator