Although drones are becoming safer all the time crashes are almost inevitable, especially for first time flyers.
The obstacle avoidance technology is getting better and better, however experienced users are still crashing as they often turn off the obstacle avoidance sensors to increase the agility and speed of their UAV or RPAS (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or Remotely Piloted Air System).
With the consumer market for drones rapidly growing year over year, so also the number of crashed and broken drones continues to grow.
If you crash your drone, DO NOT simply throw it out!
There are lots of people looking to buy broken drones for parts or to salvage their own damaged UAVs. Even drone dealers are occasionally looking to snag some cheap parts where they can in turn offer more affordable repairs to their customers.
So, if you crash your UAV and want to sell the broken drone and recoup some of the original cost, where can you sell it?
4 Sites Where You Can Buy & Sell Broken Drones (plus some Pros/Cons of each)
eBay is one of the world’s biggest marketplaces for selling off used equipment and is one of the largest online marketplaces in existence. With close to 200 million visits a month, there is a LOT of traffic going through the site.
Pros: With a huge volume of online visitors comes a greater chance of selling your drone. With an almost global reach you have a large audience that has the potential to see your drone listing.
Cons: When selling, eBay charges a hefty commision on sales (10-15%) which can really add up, especially if you are selling a high value drone. eBay is also a general marketplace and has listings for everything from used doll clothes to monkey wrenches. Although the site gets a lot of traffic, a small percentage of visitors are looking for drones. Those that are searching for broken drones don’t have a great way to search for them as there is not much of a drone-specific categorical system available.
DroneTrader.com is basically the AutoTrader.com for used, broken and salvaged drones.
The site is built specifically as a central hub for buyers and sellers of second hand drones and accessories to be able to accurately and efficiently search or post drone listings by make, model, location, etc. For example, if you are looking specifically for used DJI drones for sale you will find a wide variety of DJI listings for you to browse.
New listings are moderated prior to going live on the site in order to weed out much of the spam that seems to plague other classifieds sites.
Pros: The DroneTrader network is optimized to bring second hand drone buyers and sellers together. It is completely free to list your broken drone on DroneTrader.com (although premium listing options are available). For sellers it is a great site as it does not cost them anything to list a drone on the site. Unlike eBay, DroneTrader does not charge a commission for selling on the site which is again great for the seller. For buyers the DroneTrader network is an excellent tool as they can quickly and easily search for the exact drone makes and models they are looking for.
Cons: The DroneTrader network is relatively new (launched around August of 2018) and therefore does not have nearly the traffic that eBay or Craigslist has (at the time of this writing only around 40,000-45,000 visitors/month instead of millions). The visitors that do however visit the DroneTrader network are there for one reason alone: the buying and selling of second hand drones.
Craigslist is one of the largest classifieds sites of our time and is the go-to for many people looking to sell used items. Like DroneTrader, it is free to list on the site and your items are typically seen by a lot of people.
Pros: Huge website traffic numbers means increased exposure for your damaged drone equipment.
Cons: The low barrier to entry for posting ads on Craigslist means it is also a breeding ground for spammers and scammers. Also does not have an organized listing system specifically for drones.
The Sellbroke site was designed for people looking to sell off broken phones and tablets and it appears they recently added a broken drone category. At the time of this writing we were unable to get an instant quote using their “Instant Quote” system for drones (it only appeared to be working for phones/tablets) and so we can’t tell you what kind of value they are giving for broken drone equipment.
Pros: They are focussed specifically on buying broken and used electronics, including drones.
Cons: The “broken drones” portion of the site did not appear to be working correctly at the time of this writing. As they repair and sell the electronics Sellbroke does take a commision on sales which decreases the amount you may receive from the sale. Sellbroke does not currently have a marketplace on their site for buyers to shop for secondhand electronics.
Broken drones still can retain significant value for the right buyer, especially if most of the damage is cosmetic.
Sites like eBay and Craigslist will typically give your items a lot of exposure due to the volume of traffic that goes through those sites daily. You may however have more success listing your broken drone equipment on sites like DroneTrader.com which have much more focussed user base.
Have you used any of the above sites to list your second hand or broken drones? Let us know what you think in the comments below!