Yea...dont. Or actually...Well, yea. Dont.
Lets face it. If you need a generator bad enough, and its important enough for you to be looking around for one, do yourself a favor, and go to the nearest powertool dealer and look at them in person. How heavy is it, are the controls easy to operate? Is it easy to pull start? DONT, but DONT, fall for the cheep Chinese knock offs that are all over ebay. The ones for 200 bucks or less new. I did this and it was apiece o junk. I mean, realistically, how good could it be for 200 bucks? 200 bucks just dont buy much any more, and here is a time where you get what you pay for! Mine was loud, peices fell off, and the power output was subpar. Give China a few years, and the stuff they make for resale will be as good as Japans is now. Meantime, stick with Honda, Coleman, ect. Go to the generator store, and ok, if you think you can get it cheeper on eBay, then come back once you know exactly what you want. If you are looking for new units, I doubt you will save very much. I paid 50 bucks over typical ebay prices for my 2000 watt portable, and I got it THAT day, plus, the dealer knows me now, so if I need service, hes going to be all like, oh yea, you bought it here, cool, we can help you out. (just like outboard motors. buy local if you can, unless the prices are wayyyyy out of line. They seldom if ever are)
So, in summary: If its really important, and you are going to be using this thing for more then a camping trip once every five years, spend the money, save yourself A LOT of aggravation (The eBay vendor really isnt responsible for your satisfaction if the unit is new in the box. Once it gets to you, his obligation is done. If there are issues with the product afterward, you have to go to the manufacturer, whos in hellooooow CHINA and even though they might have a service center in Tiauana or some place it wont do YOU much good cause your in Maine and you need the thing to work NOW else you would not have bought it.) so now you have to box it all up and send it to TJ and wait a minute! its more cost effective to just toss the thing when you factor in your time and agrivation factor, and just do what you ought to have done in the first place, and thats buy from a local dealership, where IF you have problems they will be able to help you.
-tailfluffs- Hope this helps you ^_^
As a followup: My honda portable 2000 watt works well, is quiet, is very easy to pull start and is fairly light. Ive had it for a year. No this is not an advertisment from honda...just from a satified user. Starts right up even if left sit for months. I have also recently seen a small two stroke (gas-oil MIX) 1000 watt generator sold by a popular autoparts store that also sells scooters, tools ect. This unit sounds like a bumble-bee. I have no clue to its longevity, but it looks cheaply made, esp with a metal fueltank that appears to be a rust magnet. I was told it will run for 8 hours with a light dc load on it (battery charging). Thats wayyyyy better then the honda that will only runs about 5 tops.(Update on these, avoid them unless your arm, the one that you use to pull-start small engines, needs exercise.)
Yamaha makes a small generator in line with the Honda EI 2000 except they claim it is even quieter. I would definetly check this one out if was able to do so. We have a brand new yamaha dealer in town that was not there a year ago. I had to go the next town over to buy the Honda.
-tailfluffs again- Hope this helps you ^_^
More generator follow up! (hey these things are important to me!)
I have a friend who just purchased the Yamaha brand inverter 1000 watt generator. It looks very nice. The weight seems close to that of the comparable Honda. It is VERY quiet. It is something I would consider. He says it does not start as easily as my Honda that I loaned him before I told him he had to get his own freaking unit!!!
There are several other no name imported inverter type generators being sold on Ebay these days...one is a red Honda 1000 EU look a like. Avoid them. They sell for around 350 dollars. Avoid them. If you HAVE to buy the thing off of eBay just on principle or something, stick with the Honda or Yamaha.
The Kipor and Subaru brands are both yellow. I have not had any experience with them, but they sell for a comparible amount as the Honda. I would still call around local...as I have said, if you want a brand new unit. you probably wont save that much just by getting it off eBay with the shipping charges and all.
yes, I STILL love my Honda EU 2000. It has not been run for 3 weeks, but it will start by the forth pull. Thats what you want if you want a generator. I recently had someone give me a small 2 stroke (where you mix the gas and the oil) because he had difficulty starting it. I also had difficulty starting it. No good. I have seen these here on ebay for about 250 bucks. The carborators seem to be the weak spot on these.
Avoid the cheap imports sold on eBay and extreme discount tool importers. Not allowed to say who but they have a direction in their names :p I had one and it was Bahhhhd. Neighbor had one it quit making ax power after four tankfuls of gas. I purchased a smaller Honda. It's great. Light and starts and runs quiet.
If you are tailgating don't screw around.
Camping don't screw around.
Using it on a job don't screw around.
Using it for emergencies doubly don't screw around.
Buy a recognized name and buy it local.
Hope this saves you some headache.