How to Buy Used Drones — Tips, Tricks, and Tales

By | January 18, 2023

So you’re thinking of buying a drone? Buying a used drone can get you a great deal, but no one wants to get scammed. Let me walk you through how to buy a drone online, what to check, how to verify flight time and what questions to ask!

00:00 Introduction
00:13 First Questions to Consider
01:41 Research the Drone
02:12 What to Look For
03:03 What to Inspect
04:11 What's Included with Drones

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Before we even discuss inspecting a drone in person, let’s talk about some questions you should ask yourself about a specific drone model. Is that model still available for sale new? Or is the model shown as “end of life” and no longer supported. If it’s not, can you still buy new batteries for it? For example, the Inspire 1 is a great platform that is now available for cheap, but finding batteries for it might be very difficult. This could be a very limiting factor if you lose a few batteries!
Buying online sight unseen can be dangerous and we don’t recommend it unless you can verify the person via an acquaintance. To better illustrate this, let me tell you about how we purchased our Inspire 2 several years ago. I saw a post from someone in a Facebook group. I first checked their activity in the group to make sure they were trustworthy, then I found out we had a friend in common so I reached out for a second opinion.
The seller provided me with records from AirData, tons of pictures, which made me feel comfortable with how the aircraft was taken care of. We agreed to use an escrow for the transaction. The money wouldn’t be released until I confirmed the drone was received and as advertised.
With all that said, you should be leery when buying from Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist unless the drone can be seen in person.
If buying in person, be sure to meet in a public place where you will be able to test fly.
Before meeting, find out more about how the drone has been used. Was it used for commercial purposes or recreationally.
A drone flown commercially means it may have more flight hours and may have more wear and tear.
In all cases, remember that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
Once you decide to meet in person, check the overall condition of the drone and ask if the drone was crashed. Look for scratches (suggesting a crash), missing screws (suggesting it may have been opened up), make sure all the parts match. Check the transmitter for stick and switch movement. Look to see if the seams in the plastic show signs the transmitter may have been dropped or opened up. Gently shake both drone and transmitter to hear loose pieces inside.
As the owner how many flights the drones has. Turn on the drone and controller and if the drone allows it, check for the number of flights, total flight time. This is typically found in the “about” section for most drones. While this is a difficult claim to verify, ask if the drone received major or minor repairs.
flight hours, ask if it was a refreshed unit from the manufacturer.
Checking the batteries is also very important. Ask how many cycles the batteries have and verify in the “about” section, if available.
Verify that the batteries are not puffy. If they are, you should not buy them. If batteries have a high cycle count, your flight time may be affected. Keep in mind, 100 cycles is a fairly high number.
Be sure to also check the camera. Look for scratches on the lens, dust or fog inside the lens, the gimbal not moving freely.
including gimbal movement. Check that image transmission is working well. Find the oldest battery and see if it holds charge while flying or if it drains immediately.
And lastly, see what accessories are included. A lot of used drones are offered with additional.
If you decide to pull the trigger, don’t forget to register your new drone on the FAA DroneZone. It’s o


So you're thinking of buying a drone Well getting a used drone can actually Get you a great deal but no one likes to Get scammed let's walk through how to Buy your drone online what to check and How to verify the flight time and then All the questions that you should be Asking before we even discuss inspecting A drone in person let's talk about some Questions that you should ask yourself About a specific drone model is that Model still available for sale on the Manufacturer's website or Is the model Shown as end of life and no longer Supported if it's not then can you still Get batteries new batteries for it for Example the Inspire one is a great Platform that is now available for cheap But finding batteries for it is going to Make it very difficult this could be Also very limiting factors if you lose One of the batteries buying online sight Unseen can be dangerous and we don't Recommend it unless you can verify the Person is trustworthy to better Illustrate this let me tell you about How we purchase our Inspire 2 several Years ago I saw a post from someone in The Facebook group I first checked their Activity in the group to make sure that They were actually trustworthy and then I found out that we had a friend in Common so I reached out for a second Opinion the seller provided me with

Records from Air data tons of pictures Which made me feel comfortable with how The aircraft was taken care of we agreed That we were going to use an escrow for The transaction the money would not be Released until I confirmed that the Drone was received and as advertised now With all that being said you should be Leery when you're buying from Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or anything Like that unless the Drone can be seen In person if you're buying in person be Sure to meet in a public place where you Can actually test fly the Drone this is Important and before meeting find out as Much as you can about the drum how was It used was it used for commercial Purposes or recreationally was it a Backup drone or was it a primary drone Is the Drone being sold because someone Is upgrading to a more expensive model Or because the Drone is out of date in The new model is available a drone that Was flown commercially means that it Probably has more flight hours but it Also means that it probably was taken Care a little bit better but in all Cases remember that if it's too good to Be true well it probably is once you Meet in person check the overall Condition of the Drone and ask if the Drone was crashed you're going to be Looking for scratches suggesting a crash Missing screws suggesting that maybe it

Was opened up and then you're going to Make sure that all the parts are Matching otherwise it means that one of The part was actually changed check the Transmitter for stick and switch Movement make sure everything is Operational look to see if there are any Seams in the plastic which may indicate That it was dropped or maybe even opened Up gently shake the Drone be careful and Then also the transmitter and see if you Hear any kind of loose pieces on the Inside also you should ask the owner how Many flights the Drone has while this is A difficult claim to verify ask if the Drone received any major or minor repair And then if the new claims no flight Hours make sure to ask if this is a Refreshed unit that came from the Manufacturer checking the battery is Also extremely important ask how many Cycles are on the battery and then go Ahead and verify that in the about Section if it is available you want to Verify that the batteries are not puffy And if they are then you should not buy Them tell them that you want a better Deal and they can keep it if the Batteries have a high cycle count your Flight time is more than likely going to Be affected now keep in mind 100 Cycles Is a pretty high number although that Really depends on the Drone in a lot of Different factors also be sure to take a

Look at the camera you're going to be Looking for scratches on the lens you're Going to be looking for dust or even fog Inside of the lens and then make sure That the gimbal is moving freely and That there is nothing blocking it along The way if you can fly the Drone which We highly recommend check that all the Controls are working correctly including The gimbal movement on the controller Check that the image his mission is also Working well and that you can do Everything inside of the software and That there is no warnings inside of the Software find the oldest battery in the Kit and then see if it holds the charge When you're flying or if it drains Immediately after you take off and then Lastly you want to make sure that you Look at what accessories are being Included a lot of used drones are being Offered with additional accessories that Did not come with the Drone initially Make sure to have at a minimum a battery And a transmitter charger and the cables To connect your phone to the controller Unless you have a smart controller the ND filters are a great added bonus Because they're actually pretty Expensive to buy new now if you decide To pull the trigger don't forget to Register your drone on the fa drone zone It's only five dollars it's good for Three years and no you don't have to

Worry about the previous owner Deregistering the Drone if they did that If you enjoyed this video give us a like And subscribe for more awesome content Foreign