Used drones for sale: The Ultimate step by step Guide

used drones for sale near meAre you ready to buy a used drone, but not sure about the quality you’ll get? Well, in this article we will cover everything from finding to choosing your next used drone. Sit tight! Our ultimate “used drones for sale” buying guide proceeds.

But, is it really worth it to buy a used drone?

This particular question is probably the question that keeps popping into your head everytime you think about buying a used drone. Don’t worry, though. If bought after checking certain factors, it surely is worth your money.

The idea of buying a used drone could be overwhelming due to the fact that they are a lot cheaper in price. But, it is wise to consider the risks involved too.

Some risks of buying used drones

1. The drone might be stolen.

2. Batteries may not be properly taken care off and may drain faster.

3. There could be hidden internal issues that may not be visible.

4. The drone might be nearing the end of its service life.

Before purchasing used items online, it is common to be restless with these kinds of questions. Why do people sell this? Is it because it is broken? Where do I buy a good-quality used item? You don’t need to be worried. This article will guide you step-by-step. 

Where to buy used drones?

So, Why do people sell their drone?

There can be various reasons to sell your drone. One may sell it to get a quick cash. Others may lose their hobbies. Some may upgrade their drone for a newer release.

The point is – all people don’t sell their drone because it is broken or not functioning well.

Where to find used drones for sale?

There are lots of places to buy used drones online. The famous places to find a used drone for sale are:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Quadcopter Forums
  • eBay
  • Craigslist

Sometimes buying used items from facebook groups or forums might end in unpleasing experience. The person may scam you. They may provide you with a low-quality item. That’s why I think buying a used drone from big retailers like Amazon is the safest way. 

Guide for buying used drones on Amazon

Amazon is by far the safest place to buy a used drone online and we highly recommend it. You have to be careful though. Just because it is Amazon, you don’t just give your money without checking some certain specs. Of course a majority of sellers out there are trustworthy, but there are also some bad sellers who sell low-quality drones.

The good news is that you can spot the bad ones easily. Amazon has a review system that makes it easier. Always buy drones from sellers with 4 or 5-star reviews.

4 Steps to follow when buying used drones on Amazon

1. Make sure the drone is certified refurbished.

Certified refurbished drones are drones that undergo and qualify multiple tests to reach standards of a new drone. I recommend buying used drones that are only certified refurbished. 

used drones near me

2. It is better if the seller is a well-known drone manufacturing company.

Buying a used drone from well-known companies like DJI, Parrot, 3D Robotics, Holystone, Force 1, Go Pro and so on is the safest way when looking for drones that are available for sale.

drones with camera for sale

3. Check for customer reviews and complaints.

You have to make sure that the seller has more than 4-star reviews.

used dji drones for sale

4. Compare its price with the original(new) price.

Price of used drones must be less than the new ones. Don’t forget to check the original price. There are scammers who sell used drones more than its original price.

used Dji drones for sale

Top 5 used drones for sale that are certified refurbished

After doing some research, we came across to our list of top 5 refurbished drones on Amazon. We hand-picked these drones after through and careful process. 

Drone Name Product Image  Camera Range Flight time Check Price on Amazon

DJI Mavic Pro 

  12 MP 4K 4.4 miles 27 Min Buy drone now

Yuneec Q500

12MP 4K 0.5 miles 25 min Buy drone now

DJI Phantom 3

12MP 4K 0.8 miles 25 min Buy drone now

Force 1

1080p 6 miles 30 min Buy drone now

Force1 U49W


720p 15 min Buy drone now

Guide for buying Used drones from Facebook groups and forums

Facebook groups and drone forums are popular places to buy a used drone online. There, you can get some hard to believe insane deals that are too good to reject. If you find yourself in that position, our 10 must-read checklists may help you to land a fruitful and risk-free deal.

Below is a list of 10 things you must check before purchasing a used drone from Facebook groups and forums

1. Battery Cycle & Condition used drones for sale


Used drones for sale

The first check you need to perform when searching into used drones for sale is a battery cycle and condition check.

Drone manufacturers like DJI have a specific number of charge and discharge cycle before a performance decrease is noticed. DJI drones can reach a battery cycle of 200.

If you decide to buy a DJI used drone, you have to make sure that the number of charge and discharge cycle is way below 200. You can check this number using the DJI Go app (which is available on iTunes and play store). You can see the exact charge and discharge number under the “Battery” section of the app. If the number is above 150, consider buying a new battery for your drone.

There are also some batteries that don’t have a feature that allows you to check the charge and discharge cycle. In such cases, you have to manually check for damages or scratches.

Make sure all sides of the battery appears nice and flat. If any of its sides appeared puffed or rounded, bounce back! It is a sign of a dying battery. 

2. Remaining warranty used drones for sale

Buying a used drone with some remaining warranty can be handy when it comes to saving money. It can save a good amount of money at the time you repair your drone.

You have to ask the seller for a proof of purchase alongside the warranty, as a warranty without purchase proof will likely be rejected by most drone repair shops.

3. Number of flights

Most quadcopters likely have an app that lets you know the exact number of lifetime flights.

DJI drone manufacturer company has a mobile app called Go app that helps you to read the exact amount of lifetime flights of a drone.

Some other drone manufacturers show the number of flights on their controller. 

With that being said, it is obvious that a drone with thousands of flight number is a kind of drone to avoid.

4. Accessories included? used drones for sale

buying a used drone

When searching for used drones for sale, make sure the most important accessories are included.

Tell me what you would choose. A purchase that includes $100-$400 worth pelican-style hard case, $50-$200 worth extra batteries, lens filters, and extra propellers or just a purchase of used drone without all mentioned accessories. 

Checking the quality of accessories is also important. You may need to resell your drone in the future. Quality accessories tend to have higher resell values. You can even resell the accessories separately. 

Don’t forget to ask for accessories at the time of purchase. They may simply offer it to you just to close the deal.

5. Color Mismatch?

Again, when searching for used drones for sale, you may encounter color mismatch of body parts.

A color mismatch likely means the drone has been damaged and repaired before. This doesn’t necessarily make it a bad purchase though. But, you have to ask questions about its current standings. 

A repaired drone raises a red flag. At the time of your purchase, you have to check the following parameters to know if a drone has been repaired before. 

  • Mismatch of body parts
  • When one side is faded and worn, but the other side is new and shiny
  • Different carbon fiber pattern on the arms
  • glue marks on the airframe

Just to be clear, a repaired used drone doesn’t necessarily mean a bad purchase, but you have to make sure it is repaired well and according to the manufacturer’s specs. 

6. Lens scratches used drones for sale

Your reason to buy a used drone could probably be to take beautiful aerial photographs or to make high-quality videos. Consider buying a drone with a scratched camera lens. That would be awful. right? This is why it is important to check if the lens is scratched or not. 

7. Humidity and liquid damage

Most quadcopters have a white sticker that checks a liquid damage. These stickers turn to pink when a drone exposes to water damage.

Alternatively, you can check if a drone is exposed to water damage by checking its motor mounts and screws for rust. 

A drone that is exposed to water and humidity will likely face electrical gremlins. This scenario can lead to a negative impact on the lifetime of a drone.

Let’s keep it simple. The whiter the sticker the better life it will have!

The white humidity indicator sticker can be found on mainboards, inside compartments or near speed controls.

8. Control range check used drones for sale

drones for sale cheap

Control range is simply the answer for “how far a drone can be controlled just before losing its signal.”

The longer the control range, the better it is. 

It is simple to know the control range of a drone.

  1. Turn both your drone and controller on.
  2. Start to walk away from your drone with your controller in hand.
  3. Stop where you start to lose signals.

There you have it. The distance from you to your controller is your control range. 

An average drone has a control range of 0.2-1.5 miles. You need to make sure if the distance between you and your drone is above that. If you start to lose signal just after moving few steps, that is a red flag. Find another drone to buy.

9. FAA registered? 

You have to make sure that the drone you are about to purchase is not registered for commercial purpose on FAA’s registry.

If so, cooperate with the seller to delist it from FAA’s directory. Then you are good to go.

10. Serial number/Barcode still visible? used drones for sale

used drones for sale near me

When purchasing a used drone, you have to make sure whether it contains a barcode or serial number.

Don’t think about buying a used drone without a barcode. I am saying this for these 4 reasons below:

  1. Some drones use serial numbers to connect to their controller or LAN 
  2. In most cases, no Serial number equals no warranty. 
  3. At times you want an upgrade or aftermarket, it is impossible to get it without your serial number – even if you have a proof of purchase. 
  4. Stolen drones are more likely to have their serial number or barcodes scratched and removed. You don’t want to get your hands dirty. 
  • Always be hesitate when buying a machine with no serial number or barcode.

Claiming Ownership

used drones near meIf you make it this far, congrats on having the drone of your dreams! Now that you have your drone on hand, the next task you should do is claiming ownership of your drone.  

If the drone you bought is a nano drone that weighs less than 8.8 ounces, relax! No paperwork needed. But if your drone weighs above that, you need to re-register it under your own name. 

N.B. If the seller was a hobbyist drone pilot who only used it for recreation, you can just simply register the drone under your name. But if the seller was a commercial drone pilot who used to earn money with it, they need to unregister their drone from their online FAA account. Only after you can register it under your name. 

Advanced drone companies like DJI lets you change your ownership details using their DJI Go app. This will make the whole name transfer process as simple as counting one to ten. 

Mission accomplished! The sky is waiting for you. Enjoy your flight! 

A little piece of advice 🙂

It is better to wait for holidays before purchasing used drones. Most companies release new models at that period. This is the time drone owners tend to upgrade their existing drone to a newer model. Not only you get lots of available drones to choose from but also you can get extremely cheaper prices as sellers rage to toss their drone asap before the holiday ends.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading our guide on used drones for sale. Subscribe to our newsletter to get drone news, guides, and new releases.

Have a nice day!


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