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Risks of buying a drone sold on Classified Ads?

generally speaking, what I've noticed in the majority of classified adds in this forum is people trying to sell used drones for a too-small a discount in my view

as an example, I've seen a Mavic 3 that will retail new for say for a little over $2000 advertised used for $1750. This when a refurbished Mavic 3 is around $1640. I've mentioned that to would-be sellers before on various used drones

If I can get a refurbished Mavic 3 from DJI or Drone Nerds for $1600-1700 there's no way I'm buying from anonymous person on the internet unless I get a substantial discount over the refurbished drone at a reputable seller. And by substantial I mean at least $200-300, at minimum. In other words, in order to tempt me there would be to be at least a 20% discount over refurbished
Yeah that's why this ad caught my attention and as opposed to other sellers that I have met, this one sent me proofs that he actually owns the drone
I guess there's nothing to worry about then if it's truly well known. It sounds like you're saying you can easily (and risk-free) return it to the seller if it does not arrive as expected.
That's how the platform attracts users but I have never been in that situation so I don't know how reliable it is. I will try to find more informations and I will contact the shop where the seller bought the drone to assure myself that it was a legit transaction
That's how the platform attracts users but I have never been in that situation so I don't know how reliable it is
Are you able to share this well known platform's name?
It seems you have it all figured out with sufficient assurances for yourself, so, what is the problem and why are you waiting to make the purchase? Is there some undisclosed issue?
It seems you have it all figured out with sufficient assurances for yourself, so, what is the problem and why are you waiting to make the purchase? Is there some undisclosed issue?
The only risk would be to be in the situation you described before, with a stolen drone in hands

I'm looking for a Mavic 3 Classic sold with the DJI RC and I came across various ads posted by individual persons who were selling it unopened at an incredible price.

I immediately discovered that some of them were probably stolen drones, Mavic 3's bought in China or ghost ads as the sellers were not able to provide me with an invoice and never accepted to meet me for an hand delivery.

I reported them all.

However, one of the sellers with perfect reviews caught my attention as he sent me an invoice that seemed legit but the low price still alerted me as he was offering a brand new unopened Mavic 3 with DJI RC for about 1350 euros instead of 1750 euros.

Knowing that he apparently bought it from a serious shop less than a week ago, I asked him why did he not exercise his right of withdrawal to be refunded instead of selling it at a low price on a classifieds website and he told me that he was buying drones in batches which was the reason why he was able to offer such a huge discount.

I checked his page and I saw multiple drones and high-tech equipment sold at a low price regarding their value on the market.

However, the invoice mentioned that he bought the drone for 1550 euros before selling it at 1350 euros which seems suspicious as I don't know where he would make any benefits.

How do you value the risk of buying the drone?

Is it possible that 1550 euros was not the price he paid knowing that he "apparently" bought drones in batches?

Is there a chance that the seller provided me with a fake invoice?

What if the drone's serial number visible in the invoice matches the serial number showed in the box?

Can DJI disable a drone from a distance if it appears to be stolen?

Thanks for your help
I too have looked hard at good drone deals on eBay and elsewhere. But after checking on the prices of refurbished and guaranteed drones from DJI and authorized resellers - I'm sure that I'm going to go that route for my next drone. The refurb prices were excellent - plus no worries about not getting the real thing.
It's getting interesting because I have investigated a bit and the more I dig, the more it looks like a scam. Let me explain you:

I have called the shop where the seller apparently bought the drone to know if the invoice that he provided me with was genuine and it was but it corresponded to the Mavic 3 Classic sold with the DJI RC-N1 and not with the DJI RC as it was supposed to be. First red flag.

I then asked the seller to send me the right invoice as he was selling both versions of the drone, which he did, but then I discovered that both drones were bought under a different name and a different adress. Second red flag.

To explain that, he told me that he bought both drones from different persons which contradicts his first version saying that he bought drones in lots. Third red flag.

So I decided to call the number on the invoice to confirm his statements with the previous owner and then I found out that the number mentioned was a temporary On-Off number that has been deactivated recently. Fourth red flag.

But it's not finished. In both invoices, I discovered that the billing address was different that the delivery address. The billing address was the address of a shop that I suppose was not related in any way with the name mentionned on the invoice / the real owner / seller ( I will confirm that by calling them). And the delivery address was a pick up partner. So i guess that the seller was able to receive orders without ever mentioning his real identity (I suppose he uses fake IDs), number or address.

So be really careful when buying second hand drones.
What I don't understand is his business plan: If it's really him buying these orders, it means that he paid them full price so why then selling them which a huge discount on Classified website?

And if the people behind these orders are real, why mentioning an on off number in the invoice and a shop as an adress?

If he really bought these drones from different persons, it means that they probably sold them below the price he is offering now which I find even harder to believe.

The drones are apparently not stolen since they were sold from authorized resellers.

By the way the guy must be selling something since he was willing to accept an hand delivery.
And I guess you can share the link now since you're no longer going to buy it?
There are a slew of Mavic 3 classics that have been sold on e-bay at various prices and no complaints. Right now
seller (52Silvertbird) has two up for auction and one sold for $1575.00 buyer is happy. If your looking to save a buck
go the e-bay route if not go with a authorized seller and pay the going price,end of case.
The seller just told me more about his process: he buys lots from suppliers (Don't know how they were able to receive drones bought by different users on legit websites but however... Are they drones returned under the withdrawal period?) and these suppliers send him individual invoices for each item, which would explain why they are all under a different name.

Don't know how true this can be but that's what he said.

He's going to send me a picture of his nickname written on a piece of paper next to the box, while making sure to highlight the serial number that matches the one on the invoice. At least I will be able to see if he's in possession of the correct version of the drone right now.
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If it’s toooo good to be true, then it’s toooo good to be true. Buy from reliable sources with a good track record only. Or, from a local private seller where you can visually verify the goods and documentation. Otherwise, buyer beware.

I’m still trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge I bought a few months back. 😁

When you do strike up a great purchase…have fun and safe flying. 🛩️

I buy and sell about 10 a year(for tha past 6 years_) for test in my business. I do everything through eBay and allow them to control transaction. I ask the customer for a serial number and/or invoice. So far I have not had a problem.
It would be nice to test it first however, that normally does not work out easily.

Its is nice if they accept retruns however, not necessay. Just make sure thay have a good record with ebay (more then 10 transactions over a year or more and that the price isnt TO GOOD A DEAL
I guess you could move the odds toward your favor by asking the seller to send you a photo of them holding their license with a name that matches the name on the invoice. But even then, I guess one could easily fake an invoice too.
Off topic a bit (again) but was buying a classic porsche from seattle dealer offering 7 day trial holding my $7000 till I agreed. 30 pics of car on website. Sent a copy of pink slip. Serial was to a car in texas, address he had never lived at, dealership address was a marijuana growing warehouse. They can falsify anything!!
When using PayPal select Goods and Services so that you have recourse. Cash transfers do not have recourse.
If you’re making a purchase, there are 2 payment types:
  • Goods - Select this payment type when you’re paying for something that you didn’t buy on eBay.
  • Services - Use this payment type when your purchase is not a product but a service (for example, work performed for you by someone else)
I just purchased a used drone from the Classifieds and it worked great for me.
the only real way to know what you are getting, is to purchase it from a genuine DJI dealer or directly from DJI themselves,with something so expensive, trying to save some money could in the long run be a costly mistake
If something seems too good to be true...................
I bought a DJI Air 2 on OfferUp, the guy waited til after I bought it then said he changed the camera and that it has an error every time it turns on. The gimbal is not Calibrated but it works good. The camera is slightly blurry like the glass is dirty. Really made me mad that he did that. I guess that’s the chance we take. I ended up crashing my mini 2 and then I got another one from OfferUp and it was a guy that also bought an air 2 from the first guy. Totally ripped him off and everything. Just be smart and try to buy one that’s brand new in the box. My first mini 2 was from OfferUp as well but it was new in box. Still had the wrapper on it. Be smart about it and good luck.
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