Bad experience with used DJI drones

I recently purchased a “Like New” DJI Air 2S from Amazon, advertised as an open box item with no damage. However, upon receiving it, I encountered an unexpected issue—the drone was bound to another account. Despite attempting various solutions such as factory resets and inputting the serial number, I was informed by DJI support that only the original account holder could unbind it. This presents a significant problem for buyers who acquire drones from third-party resellers like Amazon, eBay, or Facebook, as contacting the original owner may be impossible or impractical.

I find this situation concerning, especially in this day and age. There should be a streamlined process for buyers to prove their purchase from reputable retailers like Amazon and have the device unbound. Unfortunately, DJI does not offer such a solution.

In light of this experience, I urge others to exercise caution when purchasing drones that are not brand new. Unless you can verify that the original owner is present and able to unbind the device, it’s best to avoid such transactions.

Consider this my Public Service Announcement for the day, and I hope it serves as a reminder to others navigating similar circumstances.

I was super excited to get a used DJI drone for a steal,

but it turned into a major headache. Here’s why I’m now a cautious convert when it comes to buying pre-owned DJI drones:

Hidden Problems, Hidden Costs

The biggest issue? You never really know what you’re getting with a used drone. Sure, the seller might say it’s “like new,” but there could be hidden problems lurking beneath the surface. Maybe it’s been in a crash and the flight performance is compromised, or perhaps the battery health is severely degraded, meaning shorter flight times. These issues might not be immediately obvious, but they can seriously impact your enjoyment and safety.

Warranty Woes

Most DJI warranties aren’t transferable, so if you buy a used drone with a remaining warranty, you might be out of luck. This means you’re on the hook for any repairs or replacements if something goes wrong.

The Battery Blues

DJI batteries are expensive, and their health deteriorates over time. A used drone might come with batteries that don’t hold a charge for very long, significantly limiting your flight time. Replacing them can add a hefty chunk of change to your initial “good deal.”

DJI Refurbished vs. Used

Here’s a tempting alternative: DJI sells refurbished drones on their website. These drones have been inspected, and repaired if necessary, and come with a full warranty.
While they might not be brand new, you get peace of mind knowing they’ve been gone through by DJI technicians and are backed by a warranty.

The Exceptions: Proceed with Caution

While I wouldn’t generally recommend buying a used DJI drone, there are some exceptions:

Buying from a trusted source: If you know the seller personally and can verify the drone’s history, it might be less risky.
A very good deal on a newer model: If it’s a recent model with a good price and you’re comfortable taking a chance, it could work out. Just be extra cautious and do your due diligence.

My Advice: New or Refurbished

For most people, especially beginners, buying a new DJI drone with a full warranty is the safest option.
It gives you peace of mind knowing you’re getting a reliable drone that’s covered in case of any issues.
The alternative is a DJI refurbished drone, which offers a good balance between price and warranty coverage.

Used drones can be tempting, but the potential for hidden problems and lack of warranty can turn a bargain into a big headache.
Do your research and consider all the risks before taking the plunge.

Sounds like a nightmare. Maybe new is the way to go until DJI fixes this. Thanks for the warning! @WindWeaver4