Monday, October 3, 2022
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6 locations to purchase drones that aren’t Amazon

Greater than 80% of American households have an Amazon Prime membership. However for these of you trying to give your enterprise to a different firm that’s not Amazon, the place do you go for tech merchandise like drones?

Look Amazon has loads of advantages: Amazon usually has one of the best worth, and it normally provides, fas free transport for Prime members (and sometimes free transport for hitting a low spending threshold even for non-Prime members. In case you’re an Amazon Prime member with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, purchasing on Amazon means one other 5% again in your buy. Returns are ultra-easy (I carry my undesirable objects to my native Entire Meals). Customer support tends to be fairly stable, because it’s sometimes straightforward to get in contact with and refunds are doled out promptly.

In the meantime — whereas there are some uncommon gems — brick-and-mortar drone or RC pastime outlets are powerful to come back by as of late. (In case your metropolis has one, positively assist it!) However even when you can’t discover a pastime store, there are many different digital camera retailers, startups, and generally even particular person sellers who’re worthy of your enterprise.

In case you’re searching for to provide your enterprise to an organization that’s not Amazon, listed here are another electronics and RC retailers to contemplate:

Autel (its Evo Lite drone is pictured right here) has North American places of work in Washington and, whereas you should buy its drones on Amazon, has its personal on-line retailer.

Direct from the producer

To greatest assist drone firms, it’s nearly greatest to chop out the intermediary and store direct. The truth is, American drone firm Skydio solely enables you to buy Skydio drones instantly from its web site (it doesn’t even checklist its drones on the market on Amazon!).

Oh, and when you store between now and the tip of September 2022, you’ll save $50 utilizing Skydio promo code DroneGirl on Skydio’s web site!

Autel, which is legendary for its X-Star, Evo and Nano drones, additionally has North American places of work in Washington — not removed from Amazon. However skip shopping for the drone via Amazon and store instantly via Autel to place extra money within the drone trade’s pockets, reasonably than giving a minimize to Amazon.

B&H Picture Video

B&H Picture provides many of the greatest advantages that Amazon provides — however with out the uber-giantness hooked up to it. B&H was based in 1973 with a single brick-and-mortar retailer in Manhattan. B&H proprietor Herman Schreiber — and lots of the retailer’s staff — are observant Satmar Hasidic Jews, and the bodily retailer is closed on Shabbat, most Jewish holidays, and Christmas.

Today, it’s extra of a giant, small enterprise and has expanded to principally on-line transactions. It has that small, household really feel, however nonetheless provides big-business advantages like quick, free transport on most orders of $49 or extra. Customer support is impeccable, and its choice is large. Offers are additionally ample, and infrequently similar to what you’ll discover on Amazon.

And whereas the Web is seemingly all the time open, B&H does nonetheless acknowledge Shabbat. The B&H web site is accessible on Shabbat, however checkout and processing of on-line orders are unavailable throughout Shabbat (from sunset Friday night until Saturday night) and a few Jewish holidays.


Adorama is one other digital camera retailer — and it began only one yr after B&H Picture, additionally in New York Metropolis. Adorama is greater than only a digital camera retailer although; it’s extra of an all-around useful resource for photographers.

Apart from simply the gross sales ground, it provides rental providers, a studying middle with in-store workshops and on-line how-to’s, a photo-printing service and even a enterprise arm that provides industrial providers like consultations, technical assist and procurement help.

It sometimes has many of the similar drones you’ll discover on the market on B&H, together with these from main drone makers like DJI, Parrot and Autel.

Zulily not Amazon


Zulily is a little bit of a cool one. It’s much less prone to have high-quality digital camera drones, however reasonably is extra prone to promote newbie and kid-focused observe or toy drones. And hey, nothing towards toy drones.

The Seattle-based e-commerce firm is most well-known for its flash gross sales, the place reductions sometimes solely final 72 hours earlier than the objects on the market are gone for good. And sure, drone gross sales exist.

So why do I like to recommend Zulily particularly? The web site provides offers which are fairly unparalleled. And there, you’ll discover low cost toy drones frequently.

I like to recommend most individuals get began of their piloting journey on an affordable, observe drone. Whereas they’re truly a lot tougher to fly than high-end digital camera drones, it’s higher to construct confidence on a tough-to-fly but low cost toy drone, reasonably than have nervousness about flying (and hopefully not crashing!) the costly one.

As of August 2022, Zulily now provides free transport on most orders of $89 or extra.


There are some small, on-line pastime outlets that concentrate on drones or different RC merchandise. GetFPV is certainly one of my favorites. Not like many of the different shops shared right here that concentrate on digital camera drones, FPV is all concerning the FPV and DIY life.

Right here, you’ll principally discover FPV merchandise in addition to components to construct your personal drones. Drone bundles make it straightforward to construct your personal drone FPV equipment. After all, GetFPV nonetheless sells commonplace drones like DJI drones, too.

In case you do store at GetFPV, don’t neglect to affix the GetFPV Crash Money loyalty program, which earns you one level per $2 spent. Some extent is value 6 cents, successfully getting you 3% in each buy within the type of Crash Money, redeemable towards future purchases.

Drone Dojo

In case you actually wish to assist a small enterprise, try Drone Dojo. The retailer is a small group, led by DIY-drone savant Caleb Berquist. Gadgets on the market are fairly restricted, however DIY fanatics, school rooms and anybody trying to study extra about drones will love Drone Dojo’s Raspberry Pi Drone Equipment. Every particular person half required to construct a Raspberry Pi drone (as described within the How you can construct a Raspberry Pi drone course) is included along with your drone equipment.

And right here’s a bonus supply instantly from Caleb for Drone Lady readers! The primary 30 readers who use promo code DRONEGIRL1 at checkout will get $50 off any Drone Dojo Drone or Rover Kits.

eBay not Amazon

In case you’re attempting to purchase a used drone…

Shopping for used drones is a little bit of a tough proposition, as is shopping for any used electronics. If it really works, then it really works nice — you gave an undesirable tech product new life, you gave cash to a different particular person reasonably than a giant company, and also you probably obtained an incredible deal. 

After all, the danger is that the product received’t work, and customer support generally is a toss-up, particularly when you purchased it instantly via the vendor, equivalent to through a Craigslist advert.

For getting used drones, I are likely to suggest both Mercari or eBay. Others embody Fb Market and Craigslist, although I don’t assume the protections or vetting they provide is as stable.

You may additionally look to drone-specific resellers like DroneTrader.

The underside line: Amazon could be nice, nevertheless it’s not the one web site for on-line drone purchasing

Amazon could be straightforward and handy. I’ll be candid, I’m even an Amazon affiliate, so when you store via my hyperlink, Amazon pays me a minimize. I’m grateful for that, because it retains my website alive and permits me to share drone information, product critiques and ideas with you.

However the actuality is, many individuals are searching for methods to assist companies that aren’t Amazon — and you are able to do that along with your drone purchases too. Contemplate purchasing instantly from the producer, or from smaller mom-and-pop electronics outlets.

And when you do store on Amazon, I wouldn’t thoughts when you shopped via my hyperlink. Whenever you do, you assist The Drone Lady, too.



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