Written by Nicole Clark
Drones have risen in popularity over the years. The availability and wide range of drones to choose from make it easier for consumers to have their own unmanned aerial vehicles, but buying a drone isn’t that simple.
Here, we discuss the things you need to consider, as well as the common drone-buying mistakes consumers make, to help you come up with a wise, informed decision on your drone purchase. Let’s get started!
Drones that are easier to fly are more expensive.
Not all drones are easy to control. What keeps a drone stable is its onboard flight controller, and how this is set up determines how a drone flies. A flight controller may be configured for more stable flying, while another may be set up for agility. If a flight controller has greater functionality and more advanced sensors, it follows that the drone commands a higher price compared to other models whose flight controllers have a limited functionality.
There are plenty of inexpensive drones out there, but be prepared to have difficulty keeping them up in the air and controlling their flight path. Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners when it comes to choosing the right drone for your needs because you may end up ultimately not being able to do what you need to do.
Not all drones are ready to fly out of the box.
It’s a common mistake to assume that any drone you buy can be flown right away.
If you’re looking to buy a drone, you need to know that there are different types: RTF, BNF, and ARF. RTF drones are the ones that are ready to fly – no setup and assembly required, aside from the basics like charging the battery, installing the propellers, and binding the controller to the drone.
BNF or bind-and-fly drones come assembled but without a controller. You will have to buy a controller sold separately or any compatible controller. You need to make sure that the transmitter and receiver are not only on the same frequency or channel but also use the same manufacture protocol so they can “talk” to each other. You absolutely need to make sure that the controller you have works with the drone you’re interested in.
When a drone is marked ARF, it means it’s almost ready to fly – “almost” because ARF drones usually don’t come with a receiver or transmitter and also require some assembly. There are different ARF drone kits, each with different sets of components. Always read what’s included in the kit.
If you’re serious about flying drones, you need to invest time and money wisely.
If you just want something to play with in your yard for your dog to bark at, then don’t let us stop you from buying a small, inexpensive drone. But if you’re thinking of eventually using your drone for business (or having a really serious hobby), then you need to invest time and money on finding good gear and doing your homework.
Top mistake to avoid: not doing research or not reading reviews and buying guides on drones. Knowledge is power – the more you know about drone models, components, and accessories, the lower your chances of making bad purchase decisions.
You’re not limited to one store.
Choosing the right drone involves shopping around for the best models, parts, and accessories at good prices. One of the most common mistakes consumers make is buying the first drone kit that’s offered at a discounted price. While you’ll probably get a decent kit, there’s still a case to be made for being able to choose from a wider variety of full drone setups and components when you visit different online retailers. Check out manufacturer sites first before heading over to the classifieds section of drone websites. Again, don’t make the mistake of simply getting whatever’s on sale!
Being a part of a drone community will help you – a lot.
Online drone forums are great platforms for getting the knowledge you need about certain models or parts. Being part of a drone community can help you to know which model would be good for your needs, and participating in the discussions will broaden your knowledge about industry trends and innovations, local laws about flying drones, new applications, and anything related to drones.
When joining a forum or two, make sure to read and follow the posting guidelines. You should also read existing discussions – don’t be that annoying member who only checks in to ask a question that has already been answered before.
Those are the things to consider and mistakes to avoid when it comes to buying a drone. We hope these can help guide you when choosing the right drone for your needs.