Getting into the drone scene can be pretty daunting at first – especially when you start to realize just how expensive some drones can be. It’s not hard to drop a couple hundred dollars on a single drone (heck, it’s easy to find ones that cost thousands of dollars).
That’s why it’s not a bad idea to look into buying a used drone when you’re first getting into it. Why not save some money off of the retail price for a drone that doesn’t have much wear and tear? It’s a no brainer!
So, that brought up a question for our team here at Drone Reviewer. Where are some good spots to find used drones for sale?
1. Forget Craigslist, Try Drone Trader
While doing some research on Google trying to find some great spots to find cheap used drones, we quickly stumbled upon Drone Trader.
The very first thing you see when loading their home page are featured classified ads for pre-owned drones. As of the day writing this article, there’s a DJI Mavic Pro for $725 (retails for $999), a DJI Mavic Pro 2 for $1,099 (retails for $1,499), and a DJI Phantom 4 for $550 (retails for $1,199).
Those are still pretty expensive, especially if you’re just starting out, but if you look past their featured ads there are also much cheaper used drones listed on the site. For instance, we found a Vivitar Aeroview that was only used once for $100 (retails for $130) and a Protocol Dronium 3X for $145 (retails for $200).
Plus, if you’re on the opposite spectrum and you’re looking to get rid of one of your used drones (or even multiple), you can post free classified ads to sell your drones – just like Craigslist.
2. Drones On Your Local Facebook Marketplace
If you’ve ever spent any time on Facebook, then chances are you’ve spent a considerable amount of time browsing through all of the interesting items for sale in your local marketplace. Drones are something that are fairly commonly listed and sold within the Facebook Marketplace as well.
In fact, Facebook’s marketplace is the reason that we don’t have Craigslist listed in this article. We’ve found that the good deals have been migrating from Craigslist to Facebook, making it one of the best places to find good deals (and this goes for just about everything; not just drones).
So, what kind of deals did we find? For starters, there was a Merkury Avier Stealth Quadcopter Drone for $60 (retails for $100). There was also a Promark Shadow Drone with GPS for $85 (retails for $179), along with a bunch of various DJI models that were all significantly under the retail price.
Keep in mind that all postings on the Facebook Marketplace are strictly local. This means that you’ll likely have to meet with the seller in person and pay cash. There are no buyer safety nets in place to ensure there’s no fishy stuff going on, so make sure the drone is fully functional and you’re not dealing with a shady figure before finalizing the deal and handing over your cash.
You’ll also need to remember that since everything is local, you’ll only be able to see postings that are within 100 miles of your location. This means that the deals I found will be completely different from what you find (they could be much worse or the deals could be way better than what I saw; it’ll just depend on where you’re at).
3. Used & Clearance Drones On Adorama
Adorama is a large online electronic retailer who sells things like DSLR cameras, professional video equipment, laptop & desktop computers, studio lighting equipment, professional audio equipment, and more. On top of all of that, they also have a department specifically for used & clearance sale drones.
This department features a bunch of different drone manufacturers including DJI, Hover Pass, Parrot, Polaroid, and more. One of our favorite features of their store is they have a condition grading system for each of the drones that’s prominently displayed with each listing so you know what you’re looking at. Their grading system consists of ten levels:
- New (N) – Product is brand new and was never used. Includes full manufacturer’s warranty.
- Demo (D) – Little or no signs of wear.
- Excellent+ (E+) – May have slight wear but only visible under close inspection.
- Excellent (E) – May show signs of light wear and/or usage. May have slight blemishes.
- Excellent- (E-) – Shows signs of moderate wear and/or usage. Unit body may have surface scratches.
- Very Good (V) – Appears well used and may include dings and scrapes/scratches. Unit is in fully functional condition.
- Good (G) – Appears to have been used heavily, showing multiple dings, scrapes/scratches, or cracks but functions correctly.
- Fair (F) – Item works with certain malfunctions. Read comments for exact details.
- Parts Only (X) – For parts only. Final Sale, Sold As-is
- Open Box (OB) – Fully backed by the manufacturer’s warranty, refers to items that may have been displayed in the retail store, used occasionally for training, or returned without original packaging, accessories, and manuals.
Some of the deals we found on Adorama were surprisingly good for being such a large online retailer. For starters, we found a Polaroid PL2000 in E+ condition for $59 (retails for $130) and a Syma X25PRO in E condition for $59 (retails for $93). Both of these would make good starter drones at a cheap price.
4. Find New & Used Drones On OfferUp
In case you’ve never heard of OfferUp, they’re another local marketplace where you can sell just about anything. However, unlike Facebook they have an option for the seller to ship whatever he/she is selling. That means you’re not limited to seeing items within a 100 mile radius like Facebook, and if the seller offers shipping you won’t have to spend an afternoon driving out to get your drone, either.
Another great thing about shopping for a used drone on OfferUp is they have something for just about every price range. We’ve seen drones up for sale that cost anywhere from a measly $25 up to $1,000+. It just depends on the make and model (obviously) of what you’re looking at.
Just like on Facebook, we found some pretty good deals which searching through our local drone section. The first interesting drone we found was a Sharper Image DX-4 for $25 (retails for $100) that looked to be in pretty good shape. The next nice (and slightly more expensive) drone we found was a Contixo F22 for $130 with a $5 shipping charge (retails for $170).
Be careful when searching for your drones and always do your homework before purchasing. We saw a couple people trying to sell their used drones for more than the retail price. Make sure you’re actually getting a good deal before forking over any cash!
Also keep in mind that not all items up on this website will be shipped by the seller, as it’s up to the seller to decide whether he/she wants to deal with that. As a result, the majority of items are local pick up only. So, if you don’t want to drive around to pick up your used drones, something like Adorama or eBay may be a better website for you to shop at.
5. Bid To Get The Cheapest Drones On eBay
One of the best places to get a deal on the internet is still eBay. With their auction-style listings, you’re able to snag up deals for the lowest price possible. Plus, if you get lucky and you’re one of the only bidders on an item that slipped through the cracks, sometimes you can get items for half price or less of what they’re worth.
Within the drone section of eBay, you’re able to shop between a bunch of different brands (some of which include DJI, GoPro, Parrot, Yuneec, and more), and you’re able to easily access the current limited time deals.
As of the day writing this article, they have a couple different deals on DJI drones including a new DJI Mavic Pro (Fly More Combo) for $875 (retails for $1,299), a new DJI Phantom 4 Professional for $1,249 (retails for $1,999), a new DJI Mavic Pro 2 for $1,499 (retails for $1,800), and more.
On the cheaper side of things, we found some pretty awesome buy-it-now and best offer deals. The first one we stumbled across was a Promark P70 GPS Shadow drone for $24.90 or best offer (retails for $100). We also found a pretty nice Polaroid PL-300 for a mere $30 or best offer (retails for $149). That’s one heck of a great deal!
Unfortunately we can’t share the real time price of auction drones (which is typically where the deals are at on eBay) since the price continually changes – even in the last seconds of the auction. We highly recommend you go check out eBay for yourself and see what cheap auction drones have fell through the cracks for yourself!
Wrapping It Up
If you’re just getting into drones, then you should definitely consider looking into a cheap, used drone. Not only will you save a bunch of money over the retail costs, but in the event of crashing your drone, a broken part or two won’t hurt as much since you didn’t just dump hundreds (or thousands) into your new purchase.
Through some diligent research, we definitely have found Drone Trader, the Facebook Marketplace, Adorama, OfferUp, and eBay to be the best places to find cheap, used drones. What’s better than saving a ton of money over the retail price and still getting the same drone? Not much!
So, what do you think about our list? Have you found somewhere better to get used drones for sale? Leave us a comment down below and give us your thoughts!