Considering buying a used or refurbished drone? It can be a great way to get a quality piece of technology without breaking the bank. But there are always risks involved when buying used. Here are a few things to consider:
Source: Where Are You Buying a Refurbished Drone From?
There is no shortage of sources for refurbished drones, but when buying from online marketplaces such as Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace and other online forums, you are likely dealing with strangers. Some online marketplaces offer some buyer protection, but there are no such guarantees on most platforms. Ask questions and trust your gut. Additionally, use online payment methods, such as PayPal, for a bit more buyer protection.
Further, if you’re buying from an individual who is in close proximity to you, are they willing to let you inspect and fly the drone before purchasing? If it has a camera, can you take a few test photos?
Risks: Every Refurbished Drone is Unique
When buying a used or refurbished drone from an individual or marketplace, you run the risk of problems. For instance, the drone could be stolen or have hidden issues that aren’t easily detected. It could be operating fine now, but nearing the end of its service life. It may not have been properly maintained and could have unexpected issues. Look for descriptive language such as “minor damage” or “cosmetic flaws” that could indicate that the seller is minimizing a bigger issue. Ask for pictures of the damage if it is not disclosed.
Online drone retailers that sell used or refurbished drones, VeryDrone included, put them through rigorous expert testing beforehand. As part of this process, many retailers:
- Clean and inspect the drone
- Conduct a full functionality test and replace any defective modules
- Fly the drone to detect problems and fix or replace anything that needs repair
- Update firmware
- Repackage the drone with appropriate manual and parts
Ask Questions: Does the refurbished drone come with a warranty? What does the warranty cover? How long is it good for? Some refurbished items have a rote description: Might have slight signs of wear or minor scratches. What does that mean exactly? How much wear? How minor are the scratches?
Additionally, what comes with it? New in the box drones come complete with propellers, remote control, batteries, cable, instruction manual, charger, camera. Does your refurbished drone have any or all of these items? Can you return it if you aren’t satisfied, or if the drone doesn’t function properly?
Read reviews from other customers. Were they satisfied with their purchase? Would the recommend the retailer?
Price: Is Your Refurbished Drone Worth It?
What’s a good deal? Do your homework before shopping. Drone prices, like other technology, start high and then drop relatively quickly. A cutting edge drone that initially retailed for $1,200 might sell for $299 after being on the market for a few months. So, if you see that same drone being sold as used or refurbished for $500, you should question it. Always base your decision on how much to pay on the current market price of the drone you’re considering and not its original retail price.
The bottom line is with some precautions and a lot of common sense, you can get a good deal on a used or refurbished drone.
Still not sure about that refurbished drone? Contact us today, we’re happy to put you at ease!