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 isn’t Amazon, the place do you go for tech merchandise like drones?

Look Amazon has loads of advantages: Amazon typically has the perfect worth, and it often gives, fas free transport for Prime members (and usually free transport for hitting a low spending threshold even for non-Prime members. If you happen to’re an Amazon Prime member with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, procuring on Amazon means one other 5% again in your buy. Returns are ultra-easy (I deliver my undesirable objects to my native Complete Meals). Customer support tends to be fairly stable, because it’s usually simple 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 retailers are robust to return by lately. (In case your metropolis has one, undoubtedly help it!) However even in the event you can’t discover a pastime store, there are many different digicam retailers, startups, and typically even particular person sellers who’re worthy of your enterprise.

If you happen to’re looking for to present 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 finest help drone firms, it’s virtually finest to chop out the intermediary and store direct. Actually, American drone firm Skydio solely allows you to buy Skydio drones straight from its web site (it doesn’t even listing its drones on the market on Amazon!).

Oh, and in the event 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 known 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 by Amazon and store straight by Autel to place extra money within the drone business’s pockets, moderately than giving a reduce to Amazon.

B&H Picture Video

B&H Picture gives many of the finest advantages that Amazon gives — however with out the uber-giantness connected 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 workers — are observant Satmar Hasidic Jews, and the bodily retailer is closed on Shabbat, most Jewish holidays, and Christmas.

As of late, it’s extra of an enormous, small enterprise and has expanded to largely on-line transactions. It has that small, household really feel, however nonetheless gives big-business advantages like quick, free transport on most orders of $49 or extra. Customer support is impeccable, and its choice is big. Offers are additionally plentiful, and sometimes 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 digicam retailer — and it began only one 12 months after B&H Picture, additionally in New York Metropolis. Adorama is greater than only a digicam retailer although; it’s extra of an all-around useful resource for photographers.

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

It usually 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 more likely to have high-quality digicam drones, however moderately is extra more likely to promote newbie and kid-focused apply 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 usually 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 specifically? The web site gives offers which might be fairly unparalleled. And there, you’ll discover low cost toy drones regularly.

I like to recommend most individuals get began of their piloting journey on an affordable, apply drone. Whereas they’re really a lot more durable to fly than high-end digicam drones, it’s higher to construct confidence on a tough-to-fly but low cost toy drone, moderately than have anxiousness about flying (and hopefully not crashing!) the costly one.

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


There are some small, on-line pastime retailers that concentrate on drones or different RC merchandise. GetFPV is considered one of my favorites. In contrast to many of the different shops shared right here that concentrate on digicam drones, FPV is all concerning the FPV and DIY life.

Right here, you’ll largely discover FPV merchandise in addition to components to construct your individual drones. Drone bundles make it simple to construct your individual drone FPV package. In fact, GetFPV nonetheless sells normal drones like DJI drones, too.

If you happen to do store at GetFPV, don’t neglect to hitch the GetFPV Crash Money loyalty program, which earns you one level per $2 spent. A degree is price 6 cents, successfully getting you 3% in each buy within the type of Crash Money, redeemable towards future purchases.

Drone Dojo

If you happen to actually need to help a small enterprise, take a look at Drone Dojo. The retailer is a small workforce, led by DIY-drone savant Caleb Berquist. Objects on the market are fairly restricted, however DIY fans, school rooms and anybody trying to study extra about drones will love Drone Dojo’s Raspberry Pi Drone Package. Every particular person half required to construct a Raspberry Pi drone (as described within the The best way to construct a Raspberry Pi drone course) is included along with your drone package.

And right here’s a bonus provide straight 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

If you happen to’re making an attempt 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 moderately than an enormous company, and also you seemingly bought an important deal. 

In fact, the chance is that the product gained’t work, and customer support could be a toss-up, particularly in the event you purchased it straight by the vendor, equivalent to by way of a Craigslist advert.

For getting used drones, I are inclined to advocate both Mercari or eBay. Others embrace 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 may be nice, but it surely’s not the one web site for on-line drone procuring

Amazon may be simple and handy. I’ll be candid, I’m even an Amazon affiliate, so in the event you store by my hyperlink, Amazon pays me a reduce. I’m grateful for that, because it retains my web site alive and permits me to share drone information, product evaluations and ideas with you.

However the actuality is, many individuals are looking for methods to help companies that aren’t Amazon — and you are able to do that along with your drone purchases too. Take into account procuring straight from the producer, or from smaller mom-and-pop electronics retailers.

And in the event you do store on Amazon, I wouldn’t thoughts in the event you shopped by my hyperlink. While you do, you help The Drone Lady, too.

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