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Mini 3 shipped with no IOS Device Connectivity

I must say this is the very first time that I purchased a brand new drone, and the very least I expected was that the drone should ALREADY have been linked to its controller so I wouldn't have to perform the obscure linking procedure myself before flying the drone. Every single one of my older drones arrived already linked to its controller and ready to fly right out of the box, but this Mini 3 is different, very different.
You didn't buy a "brand new" drone. You bought open box, so other people have manipulated it, turned it on an off, played with the cables, and who knows what else.

All of this is uncontrolled, by people that have no vested interest in the preservation of its unused state.

So, you undoubtedly got a discount. I really understand the temptation. As the saying goes, though, you get what you pay for.

None of this is criticism. Simply acknowleging that problems like this are kind of unsurprising with an open box purchase.

It's because of experiences like yours that I never buy open box, the discount's not worth the risk.
 
You didn't buy a "brand new" drone. You bought open box, so other people have manipulated it, turned it on an off, played with the cables, and who knows what else.

All of this is uncontrolled, by people that have no vested interest in the preservation of its unused state.

So, you undoubtedly got a discount. I really understand the temptation. As the saying goes, though, you get what you pay for.

None of this is criticism. Simply acknowleging that problems like this are kind of unsurprising with an open box purchase.

It's because of experiences like yours that I never buy open box, the discount's not worth the risk.
I truly had no idea how great a gamble it would be to purchase an "open box" drone that purports to be "new". Previous to making this purchase, the hierarchy of reliability I assigned drones purchased online was that the least dependable drones would be used ones, while I perceived "open box" purchases as being comparable to brand new ones that served as display models in stores but were otherwise fully functional.

Having purchased a total of five used DJI drones on eBay, and finding them all to be fully operational without any flaws whatsoever, I was absolutely convinced that an "open box" online purchase would be even more dependable in all regards, at the moment of delivery. I now realize with 20-20 hindsight that the few dollars I saved buying this possibly defective Mini 3 may pale in comparison to losing outright my total expenditure squandered on this Mini 3 drone, AND two of the pricey "Plus Batteries" that I now profoundly regret buying.

I haven't thrown in the towel just yet and will tackle the many problems emerging with this recalcitrant drone later today. For the balance of my years aboard this spinning blue dot amid the cosmos, I will NEVER again consider buying anything labeled as an "open box" product, even if its assigned price is ridiculously low to serve as a lure to reel in penny-pinching misers like me.
 
I've contacted the seller on eBay and will give him a couple of days to respond, I am getting a tad suspicious about the true condition of this drone, but I do note that the seller has a really good track record with eBay. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt UNLESS he stays mute, in which case I'll be forced to report him to eBay for selling me a dud. eBay should then compel him to provide me with a postal address where I can send his flawed product for a refund.

Trying to remain positive, I will tackle the firmware mismatch issue today, and then of course the failure to link with the controller. In my message to the seller, I copied the link to this discussion topic so that he can read the full account, assuming he might be so inclined. This drone was indeed advertised as "New without the retail packaging", with no mention of any defects, so I cannot help wondering whether I fell for a classic bait-and-switch deal.

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This drone was indeed advertised as "New without the retail packaging", with no mention of any defects, so I cannot help wondering whether I fell for a classic bait-and-switch deal.

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eBay do list item conditions in the UK so would also assume this is available in the US, going off this, the seller should not have listed it as new as that is classed as unused and unopened here. Check to see how they listed it and what it means, that will be you claim against any issues.

If its the same as here, its the sellers fault for the incorrect listing. They should have listed it as Opened - never used (you then need to check the decription for missing items or issues that does not affect the operation of the drone).
 
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I truly had no idea how great a gamble it would be to purchase an "open box" drone that purports to be "new". Previous to making this purchase, the hierarchy of reliability I assigned drones purchased online was that the least dependable drones would be used ones, while I perceived "open box" purchases as being comparable to brand new ones that served as display models in stores but were otherwise fully functional.

Having purchased a total of five used DJI drones on eBay, and finding them all to be fully operational without any flaws whatsoever, I was absolutely convinced that an "open box" online purchase would be even more dependable in all regards, at the moment of delivery.
An understandable analysis, unfortunately wrong as you've learned. While "used" is a gamble too, the difference is its been owned and handled by ONE person with a vested interest in its proper function, overall maintenance, and cosmetic preservation. Most likely, not guaranteed of course.

Open box, as I mentioned, is far less predictable. It may have sat behind a glass case, but even then the box with the accessories, like cables, usually isn't handled with any sort of procedure or care, it's just tossed in the cabinet under the display.

I feel empathy for you, this is an especially hard lesson given your circumstances. I'm not at all surprised though.

As for the "inconsistent firmware" issue, I'm surprised you aren't familiar with it from your other drones... it happens when you've updated the drone firmware, it included an update to the battery module, and you've put a different battery in the drone.

In that case, just follow the prompts to update the battery firmware. No download needed – the firmware for the battery is on the drone.
 
The seller got back to me and it turns out that......drum roll,,,, the main culprit was my own profound ignorance about the steps required when a brand new drone is used for the first time since this is my first ever brand new drone purchase. It took the seller to remind me that an activation step is required, and with that completed, the controller's firmware went through the update process and the drone then linked to the controller.

At the very moment that I needed to print out the Mini 3 manual, my printer packed up so I wound up reading the instructions by scrolling up and down my desktop screen while slightly irritated, and as such I obviously did not find the instructions about first-time activation. I haven't flown the drone yet, but with it now having successfully linked to its controller, I am confident that the first flight will go smoothly tomorrow.

While slightly embarrassed at my failure to grasp basic fundamentals that all new drone owners should know, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for all the helpful advice offered by members of this forum. The seller too will get an apology note for my exasperated tone when I wrote him with my complaints while even suggesting that a refund might be in order. All's well that ends well, as the old adage goes, and I now look forward to my first ever Mini 3 test flight when dawn breaks tomorrow. Over and out for now.
 
Glad the seller seems honest, and is responsive. Also that success is on the horizon!

Just note, however, that a brand new, factory packaged opened by you DJI drone will only require Activation, essentially binding the drone to you, the person (in the form of a user account at DJI). Among the reasons for this is theft protection... It can't be bound to a different account until YOU unbind it.

The aircraft and RC are always linked at the factory, so the fact you had to take this step shows it was "messed with" in some way that may or may not have some impact – my guess is probably no issues.

Linking – Aircraft "knows" it's controller and will respond to it. The linking process is necessary if you want to use a different RC (let's say you decide to upgrade to the DJI RC or RC Pro in the future, not Open Box!! 😁😁)

Activation – Associate the drone system with an owner, for theft protection, and for DJI to track and monitor everything you do with it.
 
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