We are often asked to price match some cheap "AGM Battery", typically sold from a shed or "direct".
The battery might say its "AGM, Deep Cycle, High Power" or whatever but its not likely to last long. We only sell genuine brands, all are well known & tested in Australia. When shipping is included we are often cheaper anyway, and our brands won't ruin your trip away! Ask yourself the following if you are tempted!
Is it proven in Australia?
(like Ritar, Full River, Remco, Century, Trojan, Lifeline...etc.)
- Not all "AGM" batteries are the same quality. Many of the cheapies we see are not designed for cycling, and won't hold up well in Australian conditions.
- If it has not been proven in Australia then that may be a good indication why you have never heard of it! Its easy to import cheap Sealed Lead Acid Standby batteries & sell them as Deep Cycle batteries. They won't last well for typical cyclic use.
Can you believe the ratings printed on the battery?
- We have computerised load testers (and a good saw..) and we load test and internally inspect the good brands versus the rest.
- Cheapies often deliver well below their rated capacity (in Amp hours) after a small number of cycles.
- Good quality AGM batteries tend to come very close to their rated capacity levels when cycled, and this is down to the purity of the lead, grade & mixing of the Acid paste, design of the plates and the quality and quantity of the plate materials (i.e. both the grid design, the metal quality and thickness of the plates).
Are customers happy to buy replacements of the same type?
- Many of our customers are replacing batteries they bought many years ago (typically 4 - 7 years) with the same make.
- If they do come in with a no-name cheapie they are usually looking to have it tested ("..it didn't last very long") as it does not seem to be holding its charge...
Some other things to consider if it seems too good to be true...
- What is the freight cost? Often $30 - $80 depending on destination. Add that to our cost and we are often cheaper!
- Does the buyer take the risk of the battery going missing or being damaged in transit? Surprisingly when you look at the online sellers many have clauses thay put all the risk on the purchaser unless extra insurance is paid for.
- Will you be able to find the seller again if you need a warranty claim? Most have no Stores you can go to, or are closed on the weekends.
- What is the returns policy? Many offer bare legal minimum and 7 days maximum!
Other clues to look for....
- Is the battery rated higher than usual for its size? Many use the 100 hour discharge rate (instead of the 20 hour rate) to "pump up" the claimed capacity.
- Does the seller quote CCA ratings (cold cranking amps) for their deep cycle batteries, when even a glance shows the screw in terminals are not designed for engine starting of 100's of amps!
- Does the seller quote "10 Year Design Life" or similar (which is meaningless for Deep Cycle, and is really for Standby use) but not the number of cycles at say 50% Depth of Discharge?