Whether it is via our Facebook page or via email, we tend to get this question from sellers a lot. The market for second hand drones is quite new, and not everyone knows how to properly price their used drones.
It is a bit of a tricky question, but after seeing many UAVs being bought and sold on the DroneTrader platform over the past few months, we have compiled some tips on how to best price your drone when listing on sites like DroneTrader.
(Please note, this is NOT a guide for how to price your second hand drone on sites like eBay etc. as they will often take a hefty portion of the proceeds in commision fees).
One of the top listings by volume on DroneTrader is for used DJI Mavics so we’ll use the Mavic as an example for the purposes of this post…
Tip #1: Check What the Manufacturer is Currently Selling Them For (don’t forget to check the refurbished models!)
Since launching, the Mavics have had a upgrade/refresh cycle by manufacturer DJI of around 8-12 months.
Some upgrades have been incremental (eg. Mavic Pro to Mavic Pro Platinum) and others have been complete redesigns (eg. Mavic Pro to Mavic Pro 2).
After every release DJI has offered significant price drops on the outgoing model, and this is what many people forget to factor into their listing prices on DroneTrader.
For example: a Mavic Pro sold for $999 USD back when it was first released late in 2016. It was revolutionary, and was (and probably still is) one of the most popular drones DJI has ever sold.
Now that the Mavic Pro 2 is released, folks are looking to upgrade and sell off their old drones.
Any savvy shopper looking to pick up a Mavic for cheap will likely gravitate towards paying maybe $50-100 more for a refurbished unit with full warranty and all the original packaging than a used one with no warranty for almost the same price. People are typically looking for a good deal when purchasing used, and usually need around at least a 20% price differential vs. the new/refurbished price to be interested in a previously owned drone.
So remember: don’t just check what the manufacturer is selling a new model for, be sure to check their refurbished section and price your drone accordingly.
Tip #2: Your Accessories May Not Be Worth As Much As You Think…
Just like in the used automotive market, used accessories rarely fetch anywhere near as much money as you paid for them new.
Batteries are one of the more expensive accessories for your drone. A Mavic battery runs around $90 new.
The problem with used lithium batteries is that it is difficult to tell what kind of condition they are in (and therefore how much residual value they have for a potential buyer).
For example, a Mavic battery with 50 cycles that has been correctly charged and stored at proper voltages would be worth more to a knowledgeable buyer than one that was charged twice and left completely drained for a few months (leaving a lithium battery completely discharged or full charged is quite hard on the battery chemistry and they can fail prematurely).
Sure, apps like AirData can give you a pretty good indication about battery health, but not all sellers will have this data available or be willing to go through the steps needed to get this data for a potential buyer.
Therefore most buyers are rarely willing to pay more than 50% of new value for accessories such as batteries where there are too many variables to guarantee a good purchase.
THAT BEING SAID: If you properly build your listing and can show potential buyers that you know what you are talking about when it comes to drones (tell them how you maintained your batteries and/or include AirData screenshots) you will typically be able to ask more for your items than the average seller on DroneTrader.
Tip #3: Be Sure To Itemize EVERYTHING In Your Listing and Include Current Market Prices.
Take the two listings below as an example. Which one would you be more interested in purchasing if you were a buyer shopping for a second hand drone?
Itemizing everything and comparing to current market pricing gives you, the seller, an overview of what you can realistically charge for your used equipment (remember, the average buyer needs about a 20%-30% price differential vs new pricing to consider a used drone purchase).
It also gives potential buyers confidence that you have done your homework regarding the real value of your used drone.
One of the biggest mistakes we see is people simply having expectations that are too high when it comes to the value of their used drone (mostly because they don’t realize how quickly the value drops when a newer model is released).
Be sure to research what your current drone is selling for (by checking out the manufacturer’s site, eBay or current DroneTrader listings) and price accordingly.
If you price your drone too high it is much less likely for people to engage with your ad and therefore much less likely that you will sell your drone.
If you do price your drone on the high side be sure to state in your listing that your are open to negotiations. People are much more likely to engage with ads where the seller is willing to deal…
Having a used drone on the market for too long means you also run the risk of the manufacturer releasing an upgraded model which could further reduce the price of your drone.
For more tips on listing used drones visit https://blog.dronetrader.com/sell-your-used-broken-drone-things-you-should-consider/