Any experience with knock-off laptop batteries?

Dell no longer makes the 9 cell battery my laptop uses. I can buy a compatible 6 cell battery from them for $130. Or I can buy a mystery no-name 9 cell battery off ebay for $20.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

I have done this before more than once. As long as the seller has a good seller rating and claims to be selling newly manufactured batteries, you are good to go. The true cost of each cell, freshly manufactured from a plant in China, is about $2. There is supposed to be some protection circuitry and manufacturing quality is somewhat of an issue because poorly made batteries do have a greater chance of catching fire.

But I’ve gotten lucky so far, and even a knock off aftermarket battery results in a huge boost in battery life the moment it is plugged in.

Few years back I has a Sony netbook. It had a large capacity battery with a pronounced hump, and Sony didn’t make the smaller standard cap battery anymore. Got one from a seller on Amazon, and it wouldn’t charge. Apparently the manufacturer had a “BIOS update” which was supposed to let the system recognize the battery, but it wouldn’t work on mine (even though my system was on the compatible list) because it had EFI firmware instead of a legacy BIOS. Not to mention I’m not going to let some knockoff battery seller mess with the firmware of my system. Chucked the battery in the recycling bin and took it as a lesson learned.

Along with USB flash drives and SD cards, laptop batteries are something you should never buy on eBay.

Had at least one and worked perfectly till laptop end of useful life (which was not caused by the battery). I would not hesitate to consider another if I needed one.

Also replaced my iPhone battery with a $8 knockoff battery + tools to change it, works just as well as the original.

Have an older HP, one of the 9000 series. The original 6-cell stopped taking a full charge, so I bought a highly rated 9-cell. It worked for about three months, then, after being run completely flat, stopped taking any charge at all.

Unit is still limping along for occasional use on the original batt, which will keep it going for four or five minutes off AC power.

My luck with most aftermarket or no name batteries had been much the same.

Fully discharging lithium ion batteries is never a good idea

It requires alot more power to recharge from 0%-1% than it does to go from 1%-2% sometimes more than a typical laptop charger can provide.

A buddy of mine with a huge hard on for recycling is set up to force charge these battery packs and has a fairly high success rate at recovering them. He also occasionally has one start smoking and or catch on fire, so its not something to do lightly.

Don’t get the very cheapest ones, at least. I was going to buy a $95 battery from the website I ordered my laptop from (system76.com), but opted instead to buy two Chinese knockoffs from Amazon for $24 each. Within a month I noticed my laptop overheating, so I stopped using them. But when my laptop died the next week, I opened it up and saw that a copper trace had come off the motherboard from the heat and my laptop was irreparably broken.

I got a knock off for a Dell laptop. The first one I received didn’t work, the second did and a year later still does. It was $20 compared to $100 if I got it from Dell.

You’re probably better off finding cheap, not-quite-no-name batteries somewhere like Amazon where there is a good return policy.

With ebay you’re pretty much completely out of luck if anything goes bad. If you’re lucky, after weeks of attempting to contact the seller, you’ll find that they’ll replace your battery only if you ship it back at your expense.

I had one such no-name ebay laptop battery die immediately after passing the 6-month warranty for defects…

I don’t buy them for my own use (I have a Toshiba), but for work I buy laptop batteries for a lot of dell computers. I don’t hear if they do well, but if they were bad, I’d have someone in here hopping up and down to get a replacement or fix it. Discount Electronics is here in Austin, but has a website.
http://www.discountelectronics.com/home
They’re good at knowing exactly what’s in inventory. I’ll cross using Newegg or CDW. I plug that number into Amazon and see what shows up. With some of Amazon’s third party resellers, though, you’ve got a real crap shoot and god knows when you’re going to see it. YMMV, but I don’t like screwing around with cheapo power supplies of any kind.