The Ways to Save Money on Portable Power Generators
Power isn’t cheap, especially if you want it out in the wilderness! If you have done any sort of research into portable power supplies, perhaps for your next camping trip or for living the vanlife, you have probably realised that getting a reliable portable power supply is quite the investment! Nevertheless, there are ways to make sure you get the best deal on a portable power station, whether it’s finding a great sale or saving money in the long run by thinking about its long-term uses. We go over it all in this guide on the ways to save money on a portable power station.
5 Ways to Save Money on a Portable Power Station
While this guide on how to get the best deal on a portable power station goes in-depth, here’s a quick summary of how to save money on a portable power station:
- Head to the sales! – Reputable power station brands like BLUETTI have regular sales that are well worth holding out for
- Get only what you need – Don’t pay five times the price for a huge power capacity and rating you don’t need
- Choose a brand with accessories – Should you need to upgrade, it will be cheaper to buy accessories like battery expansion packs than to buy a new unit from scratch
- Buy local – Due to the weight and import restrictions on lithium batteries, buying power stations from overseas is incredibly expensive
- Think long-term – Not only will you save money by buying a more versatile unit, but buying a resellable product will save you money in the long run.
Now let’s dive into these five different ways to get the best deal on a portable power station!
Head to the Sales
It’s no secret that purchasing a high-quality power station is an investment, but we would always recommend choosing a brand that’s known to have regular sales. Why pay full price when you don’t need to?
BLUETTI Power Week Sale!
One such brand that hosts regular sales with significant price cuts is BLUETTI. For example, their Power Week Sale is on right now with up to A$1,200 off all sorts of power accessories, such as their powerful expansion battery packs that increase power capacity or they can be used as independent power sources with multiple outputs. So head to the BLUETTI Power Week Sale for some great deals on power stations.
BLUETTI has regular sales on their highly rated power stations, so keep tabs on their website to get the best deal on a portable power station.
Get Only What You Need
It sounds pretty obvious, but there are a lot of power stations out there ranging from super-powered home backup generators to smaller units ideal for running small appliances when camping. In general, the bigger the power rating of a power station, the more expensive it is. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to really assess your needs (and your long-term needs – more on that later) to make sure you’re not paying too much.
Our guide on How to Choose a Generator for Your Motorhome, Campervan or Tent goes through the factors you need to consider when buying a portable power station quite nicely, but in short…
The four things you need to compare when choosing a portable power station (other than price) are power rating, battery capacity, output capabilities and portability.
Power Rating (Watts)
Power rating refers to the maximum power output of the power station and is typically displayed in watts. Most portable power stations put out between 1,000 to 4,000+ watts of electricity. To no surprise, the higher the wattage, the more expensive the power station tends to be. So what power capacity is right for you?
- 1,000 to 2,000W for charging small devices more than 50 times, powering small appliances like a mini fridge for around 4-6 hours, lighting for 30+ hours, and for general use perhaps for camping or staying in a small campervan
- 3,000W+ for running higher-wattage appliances, such as air conditioning/heater/microwave, etc.
- 4,000W+ for workshops or perhaps running a motorhome or off-the-grid accommodation for long periods.
If you want to curate your research more specifically to your needs, you can check what wattage each of your appliances uses. Better yet, if you plan to run several appliances or charge multiple devices at the same time, combine their wattage to make sure this wouldn’t exceed the power capacity of the power station you are considering. Note that some appliances require more start-up power than their running power, so be sure to double-check that your chosen power station can handle your appliance’s start-up wattage.
Battery Capacity (Watt Hours)
Battery capacity refers to how much power your unit can hold/how much power you can get out of it. This is usually measured in Watt Hours (Wh). Watt Hours are easy to find in the specifications of the power stations if it is not already stated in the name of the product. Again, the higher the Watt Hours, the more expensive the power station tends to be. So consider factors such as whether you will be able to access an electricity supply regularly to recharge your power station and whether you are powering appliances for long durations.
What kind of power outlet do your appliances and devices need? Does the power station you are considering have all those outlets available?
The standard power station has at least a couple of AC outlets (the same that you find in buildings to connect to mains power) and a couple of USB outlets. However, you may have some motorhome/campervan appliances with a 12V/10A DC car port or a 12V/25A DC outlet, so check for power stations with these outlets if needed.
Also, consider a generator with enough outlets, if planning on powering multiple appliances and charging devices at the same time.
This is important to consider. While some of us might only need a power station to run appliances in our back garden, others may need to consider something more lightweight to take camping or to store in a campervan with limited space. Generally, power stations with a higher battery capacity and power rating are heavy and less portable, which also makes them more expensive to buy. Again, buy for your needs.
Choose a Brand with Compatible Accessories
You don’t want to buy a portable power station only to get a new device or appliance that is non-compatible or that your circumstances change and perhaps you do need more power than you realised. Instead of wasting money on buying a new power station from scratch, choose a power station brand that has the ability to “upgrade” the unit, should you need it.
Power station brands like BLUETTI have a whole range of battery expansion packs that not only increase battery capacity but can also be used as an independent power source should you need to “split” your portable power, so to speak. Just team them up with a DC Charging Enhancer (D050S) and you’ll have access to more charging methods, such as solar, car and lead-acid battery charging. What’s more, all of these accessories are on sale now at the BLUETTI Power Week Sale, so check them out!
Despite being “portable”, portable power stations are still pretty darn heavy. Even the smallest power stations usually weigh in at around 18kg (40lbs). Therefore, shipping can be very expensive on portable power stations. With this in mind, it’s best to buy your portable power station from as local a company as possible to save a great deal on shipping.
Furthermore, you’ll find that purchasing power stations from overseas is very challenging due to restrictions on shipping lithium batteries overseas. Those companies that do get past this hurdle usually pay an added tax that they pass onto the customer.
In short, buying a portable power station from overseas is usually a bad idea that, in general, will lead you to paying much more for a portable power station than buying from a local company.
Ok, so no one can predict the future. Thinking long-term in terms of the power supply you may need in the future might feel impossible, but at least you can consider the most versatile power supply to cater to those unpredictable needs. So, instead of buying a portable power station for that “one camping trip”, think about other uses of your power station and how else you can use it in the future. That way, you won’t feel compelled to buy a new or upgraded power station and therefore spend more money than necessary; get it right the first time!
Consider the Power Station’s Resell Value
Finally, there may be a time when you realise that you don’t need a power station anymore. You had a good run, but it’s time to say goodbye! This is where going too “cheap” might lose you money, as cheap low-quality power stations tend to lose their power capacity much quicker. Therefore, you’ll struggle to sell a used low-quality power station. If you resell a high-quality power station from a reputable brand, you’re likely to get a good price for it. In the long run, you will find that you have probably spent a lot less on that “more expensive” power station.
More About How to Get the Best Deal on a Portable Power Station
Need more advice on getting the best deal on a portable power station? Check out our other power station guides:
- 6 Best Power Stations for Camping
- 10 Ways to Make Your Generator Quieter When Camping
- How to Get Electricity When Camping in New Zealand
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in How to Choose a Generator for Your Motorhome, Campervan or Tent.