Best Places to Buy Used Solar Panels | Complete Guide

Solar power is not just environmentally friendly; it’s also a smart financial decision in the long run. Using solar energy can significantly reduce or even eliminate your electricity bills. However, the upfront cost of a new solar system can be daunting. This is where used solar panels offer a compelling solution.

Buying used solar panels can cut your initial investment by 50-80% compared to new panels. While they may have slightly lower efficiency due to age, the cost savings often outweigh this drawback. Before diving into the used solar panel market, it’s crucial to consider factors such as the panel’s age, overall condition, and any remaining warranty coverage.

Best Places to Buy Used Solar Panels

Where to Find Used Solar Panels

The market for used solar panels is diverse, offering various options to suit different needs and budgets. Let’s explore the main sources:

Online Marketplaces

Online Marketplaces

Online platforms have revolutionized the way we shop for used goods, and solar panels are no exception. Here are some of the top online marketplaces for used solar panels:

  1. eBay: This well-known platform offers a wide selection of used solar panels. When searching on eBay, use filters to narrow down your options by wattage, voltage, and location. For example, searching for “250W used solar panels” in your state can help you find local deals. Look for sellers with high ratings and detailed product descriptions.
  2. Sunhub: As a specialized solar e-commerce platform, Sunhub offers both new and used panels. Their user-friendly interface allows you to compare different options easily. They often provide detailed specifications and sometimes even performance history for used panels.
  3. SecondSol: This platform focuses on reputable brands and has a global reach. When using SecondSol, pay attention to the currency used in listings, as you may need to convert prices. They often have a good selection of high-quality used panels from well-known manufacturers.
  4. Alte Store: Known for selling tested used panels with guarantees, Alte Store offers nationwide shipping. While their prices might be slightly higher than individual sellers, the added peace of mind from their testing and guarantees can be worth it for many buyers.

Local Sources

While online marketplaces offer convenience, local sources can provide unique advantages:

  1. Solar Installers and Salvage Yards: Local installers often have used panels available from upgrades or overstocked inventory. These panels may come with the benefit of known history and sometimes even warranties. To find local installers, search for “solar installers near me” and call a few to inquire about used panels.
  2. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace: These platforms are popular for individual sellers. Prices can range from $0.10 to $0.75 per watt, significantly lower than new panels. However, be prepared to do your due diligence, as these platforms don’t offer guarantees on the condition of the panels.
  3. Local Solar Installation Companies: Some installers may resell used panels at low prices. While availability can be limited and guarantees are often absent, you might find great deals. Reach out to installation companies in your area and ask if they sell used panels.
  4. Solar Panel Recycling Centers: Many recycling centers in the US and Canada sell used panels that are still in good condition. To find a center near you, search for “solar panel recycling center [your location]”.
AspectOnline MarketplacesLocal Sources
Price Range$0.20 – $1.00 per watt$0.10 – $0.75 per watt
AvailabilityWide selectionLimited, varies by location
ShippingOften available, may be costlyUsually pick-up only
InspectionPhotos only, unless localIn-person possible
WarrantyVaries by sellerRare, but possible with installers

Comparison Table: Online vs. Local Sources

Evaluating Used Solar Panels

Evaluating Used Solar Panels

When buying used solar panels, thorough evaluation is crucial. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Solar panels typically degrade by about 0.5-1% per year. A 10-year-old panel might have 90-95% of its original efficiency. Ask for the panel’s age and, if possible, its performance history.
  2. Look for cracks, discoloration, or frame damage. Yellowing of the backsheet or bubbles under the glass are red flags. If buying online, ask for detailed, high-resolution photos.
  3. Some panels may still have warranty coverage. Ask for the original purchase documentation and check with the manufacturer about transferability.
  4. Professional testing is ideal but not always feasible. At minimum, ask for recent performance data. If buying locally, you can use a multimeter to check the panel’s voltage output on a sunny day.

Benefits and Considerations for Used Solar Panels

Used solar panels offer several advantages, but they also come with considerations:


  1. Cost Savings: Used panels can cost 50-80% less than new ones, significantly reducing your initial investment.
  2. Environmental Impact: Reusing panels reduces waste and extends the life of existing resources.
  3. Quicker ROI: Lower upfront costs mean you’ll recoup your investment faster.


  1. Lower Efficiency: Used panels may not perform as well as new ones, potentially requiring more panels to meet your energy needs.
  2. Unknown History: Unless buying from a reputable source, you may not know the panel’s full history or treatment.
  3. Installation Challenges: Older panels might not be compatible with the latest inverters or mounting systems.

Additional Buying Options for Secondhand Solar Panels

Beyond online marketplaces and local sources, consider these options:

  1. Government Auctions and Surplus Sales: Websites like sometimes list used solar equipment. Check your state and local government websites for surplus sales.
  2. Wholesale Suppliers: Companies like CivicSolar or BayWa r.e. Solar Systems sometimes offer used or refurbished panels in bulk. This option is best for larger projects or if you’re planning to resell.

Key Takeaways

  1. Used solar panels can offer significant cost savings, often 50-80% less than new panels.
  2. Online marketplaces like eBay and SecondSol, as well as local sources like installers and recycling centers, are good places to find used panels.
  3. Thoroughly inspect and test used panels before purchasing, considering factors like age, visual condition, and performance.
  4. Be aware of potential drawbacks, such as lower efficiency and possible compatibility issues with newer equipment.
  5. Check local regulations and permit requirements before installing used solar panels.
  6. While financing options may be more limited, personal loans or home equity loans could be used to fund a used solar panel purchase.

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