By Daniel – March 5, 2015
So you decided to make the big step and invest in your first drone. Or maybe you already had a beginner drone and are now ready to buy your second drone which tends to be better and more expensive for most people. And as with most products, it’s often cheaper to buy a drone online than it is in brick and mortar shops.
But what is the best place to buy a drone online?
Drones are for sale on most major online stores that you’re already familiar with. There, you can buy a new drone online knowing that you will generally have your new quad delivered to your home in just a couple of days.
We have put together three recommendations of online store to help you get a great deal and to help you find the right drone for you.
But, before we start with where to buy a drone, let’s first take a look at the best way to buy online.
How to buy a drone online :
1. Check the Reviews
At QuadHangar we strive to provide great reviews with useful information, to help you in the buying process, regardless of whether you buy new a drone offline or online. So check our drone reviews first.
But when you’re on the product page of an online shop, and you’re ready to buy a new drone, make sure you also check the user reviews on that page. They’re usually not as comprehensive as our reviews will be, but they will help you get an idea of what other users like you thought of their purchase. And you can usually find some more first hand experiences as well as tips and tricks from the other buyers.
These user reviews can also give you the most recent information about a product. Sometimes, product quality can change over time just like the content of the packages can. For instance, I just read a discussion about the recent Parrot Bebop with Skycontroller that comes with 3 batteries in some countries, and with 4 in others. Reading the user reviews can make you aware of these changes.
But there can be a problem with this. Popular products can have thousands of reviews. So here is how I filter the results to get the most out of my research:
- First, I check the most recent reviews as they often contain the most recent comparisons with other product’s features/price.
- Then I move to the worst reviews (0 or 1 star) to see what the pain points and complaints of fellow drone pilots are.
- Lastly, I check the best reviews because these, when properly done, highlight the strong points of the quad versus other models. I say ‘when properly done’, because there are plenty of comments that are just way too light (they offer no information) that offer no value.
2. Compare prices
Your favorite online shop can have your credit card & shipping address on file which makes ordering really simple – but what if that retailer is charging more than it should?
Prices change over time and all the major online stores are constantly competing with each other to gain more customers. This can be what saves you a few more bucks.
We’re working to introduce a price comparison tool to help you get the best deal out there, so join our newsletter and stay tuned!
3. Where to buy a drone online
The list we offer below is made up of trusted and well known sellers. Depending on the country you live in, you may find local stores that are more convenient or, although it’s unlikely, maybe they’re even cheaper. If you choose one of those just make sure the store is trustworthy!
And if you’re buying a DJI product in the US, make sure the vendor is an authorized DJI reseller. DJI has recently changed their warranty conditions for the United States and they now only provide warranty services to products bought from those authorized resellers.
With that said, here is the are the online platforms I recommend:
- Amazon.com*: uber-known brand, great service, excellent prices.
- Gearbest.com: Major online reseller. They had some problems with delivery when they started up but worked those out and are now one of the biggest online stores.
- Banggood.com: a great alternative when you want to buy a drone that generally carries a decent amount of items in stock. Shipping times are unfortunately not as consistent as the other 2.
My favorite out of these 3 is without doubt Amazon*. They often offer the best price, are incredibly reliability, and have great customer support. Especially if you’re a Prime member it’s hard to beat Amazon as the go-to place to buy a new drone online.
* Disclaimer: QuadHangar is part of the Amazon affiliate program. This means we make few bucks if our readers buy any product after clicking on our links without it costing the reader anything. They still get the best price. We think this is fair considering the value we deliver with our articles and we would never recommend a seller we don’t use and trust but we wanted you to be aware of this.
And last but not least…
4. Where NOT to buy a drone online
Now that you know my recommendations of convenient, reliable, online stores, let’s look at what I would definitely avoid.
Luckily this list is still very short. But, if you have had a bad experience somewhere please mention it in the comments below. That way we can help each other find the best deals and avoid rip-offs.
So where will I not buy:
- Craigslist.com: I know, most of the people there are pretty cool. But unfrtunately there are also quite a few non-serious sellers and those make me stay away. Particularly when buying something as expensive as a drone.
Another thing you might want to consider is this; you may also want to think twice about buying a new drone directly from the manufacturer’s websites. Depending on where you live there can be a pretty big price difference. At the time of writing the price of the DJI Phantom 2 is $679 USD on DJI.com, and $579 USD on Amazon. A difference that I think definitely makes it worth to shop around, like I suggested earlier.
If you decide to buy a drone from Craigslist after all I suggest you read buy a used drone and follow the tips in that post.
Last, and on a bit of an unrelated note, a warning: do not buy used batteries anywhere online!
You can’t know about the battery’s history and this is what happened to a dude that got a used battery from Amazon for his Phantom.
I know it’s unrelated but hey, I just saw this today and even if it would not have blown up, buying a used battery is never a good idea!
Happy flying and share your thoughts below!