How to Get a Cheap Portable Generator – 6 Tips For Success

If you ended up here, you must be looking to buy a decently priced portable generator, but where the hell should you start? All the specs, outlets, inverters, different types of fuels… and god, most of them are way too expensive anyways!

You obviously don’t want to compromise on quality, but you can’t just go blindly for the cheapest device out there, right?!

Don’t panic! We’re here for you.

In this post, we’ll be going step by step through the 6 best money-saving tips which can be applied to portable generator purchase and together, we can get you the best deal without going broke!

Let’s dive in!

Extra Tip

Don’t forget to check our page that lists current generator deals. These offers are limited-time and usually are a great bargain!

1. Be Prepared

temporarily out of stock signThere is often only one thing that people regret about buying a portable generator – That they haven’t done it sooner!

Don’t wait for a hurricane announcement before you run to your local hardware store to buy a back-up power source. You’ll be more likely to find an “out of stock” or “closed” sign than a sale event and cheap portable generators!

2. Choose Your Power Wisely

screenshot of our wattage calculator

Avoid undersizing or oversizing your generator with our generator sizing tool

While it may come off as obvious, we still must go through this tip as well – the output.

The most defining characteristic of a generator is its output, usually given in watts. You can’t go for anything below your power needs, because it simply won’t be enough to power your appliances. At the same time, you want to avoid an unnecessarily overpowered generator, as it will be more expensive, heavier and will consume more fuel.

When putting together the total required power, try thinking of just the most essential things you’ll need running non-stop and add a small “extra” for the occasional electric toothbrush or hairdryer.

This may be tricky for some, so we recommend using our generator sizer. It’s free and way easier than doing it on a piece of paper!

3. Find the Best Place to Buy

screenshot of our price comparison feature

We monitor top online sellers for you

While manufacturers have their recommended pricing and sometimes even sell the products through their own sites for the “best price”, you’ll be surprised to find much better deals all over the internet.

If buying a new device, be sure to utilize price comparison sites (such as ours).

To save even more money, you can opt for a second-hand purchase – eBay (opens in a new tab) is an excellent option for preloved products, though the real connoisseurs prefer going through garage sales, newspaper ads, or Craigslist, as they offer firsthand experience with the device.

4. Price Alerts

screenshot of our price tracking feature

We offer price tracking and alert features

Buying over the internet?

You may have noticed that prices tend to change over time, and not just due to occasional sales!

If you really want a particular generator, but you can’t afford it yet (or think that its price will drop), I recommend setting up a price alert (sometimes called watch dogs), which sends you a notice once the price has dropped to your target!

5. Use Coupons

We’re all familiar with the paper cut out coupons from newspapers – they can often get you a good deal in a grocery store and rarely, but sometimes, coupons for stores such as Walmart or Home Depot can get you a better deal on power equipment.

But did you know that you can find internet coupons as well? These are often given out as promotion deals to influencers or partnered sites. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go hunting for them like a lunatic though. Websites like CNN (opens in a new tab), Groupon (opens in a new tab) and Coupons.com (opens in a new tab) have most likely already done it for you.

6. Reconditioned portable generators

Refurbishing cars and houses is a mainstream practice, popularized in recent years by countless reality TV shows. On the other hand, renewing small consumer products has become ever less common, owing to the introduction of overseas mass production, chipboards and modern electronics, which all render most household items easier to replace than renew.

However, this is often not the case for portable generators. After all, they’re pretty much just an engine in a box. As such, buying a refurbished generator may be a viable option and will not only promote a more sustainable economy, but also save you some money. But where should you start looking for them?

Always take extra care which store you buy from when buying renewed products, as the quality doesn’t rely just on their brand, but also the mechanic who renewed them. Many online stores offer reconditioned portable generators, with the most popular being Amazon and eBay (opens in a new tab).

Reconditioned generators can be distinguished clearly by the tag “Reconditioned”, “Refurbished”, or in the case of Amazon, “Renewed”. These products come with a shorter warranty and will often be packed in unoriginal boxes. Most sellers include all the accessories that came in the original box or their compatible alternatives. Other conditions may apply and are seller-specific.

As for an example: In case of Amazon Renewed products (opens in a new tab), the buyer is protected by a 90-day warranty. The seller guarantees professional refurbishing and testing of each product. Minimal or no cosmetic wear should be visible. The product should also be fully functional and, when applicable, come with at least 80% of the original battery capacity.

In exchange, you may expect to save roughly 10-20% of the original price.

Wrapping Up on Ways to Find an Inexpensive Portable Generator

These were some of the best ways to save yourself money when buying a portable generator. A cheapskate’s 6 commandments, if you will. Use them wisely, combine them to save even more money and share them with your friends to spread the word of wisdom.

But beware! Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a reliable and powerful generator, there is always a rock-bottom price below which you can’t go without compromise. If you’re not sure what product is best for your needs, don’t forget to check our extensive guide to choosing the perfect portable generator.

In the case where you just can’t find a better price on a desired product even after applying all our tips, rather than trying to get around it, just save more money and make the investment. You’ll be happy that you did so later down the line.

And you? Do you have any tips to get a cheap portable generator? Let us know in the comments below!

What are the Cheapest Portable Generators?

Below is a list of the 5 least expensive portable generators we cover on our website.



Manager & Editor of generatorbible.com. Early retired from the OPE industry, living in South Carolina. He now mostly spends his time traveling and taking care of his wife and grand-children.

  1. Thanks so much for this site. It’s simply unbelievable how through it is.
    I have a question please. I want an inverter generator in cases of emergency only to keep on the frig and tv and lights in case of a multiday outage.
    I definitely want reliability so I’m thinking honda unless you can suggest as reliable but cheaper, but my real question is do I buy one 3000 inverter gen or two 2200 inverter gens and run them in parallel. I’m thinking each is lighter and together they put out more power than the 3000 and I also have a backup in case one fails. Your thoughts please?

  2. This is a very helpful Web site. I appreciate the depth and breadth of information. It helped me in my purchase.

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