When you start drone shopping there are a few different places to look, and there are some advantage and disadvantages depending on where you buy. There are a few different places we would recommend to shop for your drones. The three places I’d start would be Amazon, Banggood, and DJI. If you are into flying FPV then you need to check out Race Day Quads, GetFPV, and Good Venture Drones.
Amazon: The Place to Start Drone Shopping
Amazon is probably our favorite place to do drone shopping. The selection is one of the best and they have a wide variety of accessories as well. Amazon has an excellent selection of beginner drones, as well as aerial photography drones. If you are looking to get an aerial photography drone then Amazon is definitely the place to buy. Plus you can pick up things from your non-drone shopping list while you are at it. You get a drone for you and pick up something to keep everyone else happy. That is a win-win.
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Prime service adds extremely fast shipping, and you can often get what you want in a day or two. Amazon’s return policy is very good and their customer service is excellent. Buying from second party sellers can be a mixed bag, but Amazon typically does a nice job of making sure you are satisfied.
DJI.com: Buy Direct from the #1 Drone Manufacturer
DJI makes some of the best drones on the planet and you can buy directly from them. If you are looking for a Mavic, Phantom, or Inspire or even a Tello, then definitely check out DJI.com. Obviously, you are limited to only their drones, but if that is what you are looking for then it certainly is a good place to start. DJI makes the best photography drones on the planet, and their digital FPV system is fantastic. DJI often will have sales around the holidays, so if you are shopping around Christmas or Father’s Day then start here. It is definitely a good idea to check the Amazon price as well.
You can also get some DJI accessories from them that you might not be able to find elsewhere. The OEM accessories direct from DJI are expensive and you can often find good quality accessories from third-party vendors inexpensively on Amazon. One thing we love about DJI is their refurbished products. You can often get refurbished drones at quite a discount directly from DJI. We have had good experiences with refurbished DJI products. They look and fly just like new and come with the same DJI warranty. We have had a good experience with DJI customer service. They are willing to work with you, friendly, and easy to communicate with. New DJI drones are released on their website before they are sold elsewhere.
|Click here to start shopping at DJI
Banggood: Looking for a Deal on Inexpensive Drones/Accessories
Banggood is the second place we go when we are looking for a drone or accessories. Sure, it has an odd name, and we know a few guys that were questioned by their wives when she saw the credit card statement read “Bang good”. You can think of Banggood as an inexpensive Chinese version of Amazon. Banggood typically gets new drone releases before Amazon does. We like their FPV and micro FPV selections more than Amazon, especially when it comes to getting an all-in-one or BNF version of a drone. You can often find great deals on drone parts as well as toy and hobby-grade drones from Banggood.
Banggood is also typically more inexpensive than Amazon. The biggest drawback to Banggood is that shipping can take a while. These drones ship directly from China and that can take weeks. Bangood has a new upgraded shipping option that can speed up shipping, but that seems to be a mixed bag. The expedited service speeds up shipping from 7-25 business days to 7-12 business days. We have gotten some things quickly, but not others. The trick is to look for things that are at their US warehouse, you’ll save some shipping time that way for sure.
Banggood customer service is decent, but definitely not on par with Amazon. We have gotten refunds on poorly shipped items without issue, but when it came to returning a faulty drone we had to pay to ship it back to China and that wasn’t cheap. Another downside to Bangood is their less trustworthy reviews. Most products get 5 stars and that’s just hard to believe. You will need to rely on credible sources like Half Chrome to get the real picture of how a product will perform. Overall Banggood is a good source for drones and accessories, but we would recommend Amazon for large purchases.
|Click here to start shopping at Banggood
TomTop is becoming one of the better places for inexpensive drones. While we would probably go to DJI or Amazon for big quads like a Mavic or Anafi TomTop has an excellent selection of toy and hobby-grade drones and often times at lower prices than even Banggood. Like Banggood most of their drones will be shipping from China so don’t expect to get them the next day. We haven’t had issues dealing with TomTop customer service but there are plenty of people out there that have.
|Click here to start shopping at TomTop
For the FPV pilot
You can snag great deals on FPV gear from Amazon and Banggood, and if you want DJI’s digital FPV system you can certainly pick one up from DJI directly. There are a couple of other good places to check out. GetFPV, Race Day Quads, and Good Venture Drones are all excellent sources to buy FPV components, drones, and gear. Each one of them is US based and has excellent customer service. If you are looking for smaller quads then definitely check out Good Venture Drones. GVD has a micro flair to them.
What do we recommend?
These are the places we go to get our drones and drone accessories. There are a few other options out there. There are a few big box stores that carry drones, but their salespeople generally know little to nothing about the drones.
There are a handful of hobby stores that carry drones and brick-and-mortar stores that are dedicated to drones are a rarity. The 312UAV Drone Store was one example but it was a single Chicago-based store. Sadly Stan has closed the doors and is now focusing on videography.
You could search the newspaper or Craigslist, but you never know what you are going to get. Our recommendation is to start with Amazon and check the other online stores. Weigh your options and use PayPal when you can. Good luck shopping and happy flying.
The guys at Good Venture Drones are real pros.
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