What’s the best place to buy a drone from? There are oodles of places you can go to buy a new drone. There are the big online retailers like Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama. You could always patronize your local mom and pop shop. But in most cases, I always buy my DJI drone gear directly from the DJI online store.
Major retailers have big benefits. You’ll likely find coupons and free shipping, which can make your purchase a little (and sometimes a lot) cheaper. They tend to have the best systems in place in terms of making returns and order tracking.
Small mom and pop shops can be great both in terms of supporting local, small businesses which supports your community. But they also tend to have better customer support, especially great for newbies who might want a little extra help getting started.
But if you’re looking to buy a DJI drone online, the best place is directly from the DJI online store, and here are six reasons why:
1. DJI Select
DJI Select is an annual membership program that provides cardholders benefits like coupons, priority shipping, a birthday gift, 30-day returns and replacements, faster repairs, and more.
Membership costs just $49 a year, and DJI estimates the savings amounts to $294 annually. We think that’s a bit optimistic — our calculations predict most customers will get an average value of $200 off of it. Still, it’s worth the price for most people.
But here’s the kicker: In order to be able to join DJI Select, you must have purchased a product directly from the DJI online store and opt-in within 15 days after your new DJI product is delivered.
You won’t get an invite if you buy your drone from anywhere else.
2. Free shipping on orders over $159
Make a purchase of $160 or more, and you’ll get free shipping through the DJI online store. Items are shipped by FedEx and DHL.
The only real downfall of ordering with DJI: it’s hard to predict when exactly your item will arrive. While sites like Amazon can promise free, 2-day shipping, DJI isn’t that good. DJI says shipment times for each product vary depending on availability and where it’s being shipped to and from.
The estimated shipping time for your purchase won’t be shown until you make that order. That can be annoying, especially if you need the item on a deadline, whether you’re buying a drone birthday gift for a loved one, or you need it for your next big commercial gig.
3. DJI Referral Program
For repeat DJI customers, the next three reasons to buy directly from the DJI online store can save you money on your next purchase.
First up? The DJI Referral Program. As long as you have an account with DJI — you can send a referral link to a friend.
Your friend has incentive to use your link, as they’ll get $10 off their DJI purchase, as long as the purchase is made within 30 days of receiving the link and they’re a first-time DJI customer.
After they successfully make a purchase with your coupon, you will get $10 of DJI Credit as a reward.
DJI Credits are exactly what they sound like: a virtual currency that only works at the DJI store. DJI Credits are non-transferable, cannot be exchanged for cash, and cannot be used outside of the Official DJI Online Store.
To use them, make a purchase from the DJI Online Store and choose “use your DJI Credit” during checkout. If your available DJI Credit is less than the cost of your order, you’ll have to pay for the difference on your own (like through a credit or debit card).
4. DJI Credit
DJI offers a program called DJI Credit, which earns you those namesake DJI credits. Create a free DJI Credit account, and you’ll earn 1% back on every purchase you make directly through DJI in the form of those DJI Credits.
The DJI Credit program does have some pitfalls. Credits expire anywhere between 12-24 months after they were accrued (they expire on the last day of the calendar year following the year in which they were accrued).
5. DJI Trade Up
The DJI Trade Up program allows you to ship your used electronics (they’ll take drones, of course, but they’ll also accept non-DJI gear including Apple iPhones and Google Pixels). In exchange, DJI will give you the value of those used items in the form of a DJI store credit.
According to the estimator on DJI’s site, a Mavic Pro in “new condition” with an extra battery could net you about $275. For DJI customers who want to come back again, that $275 could take a huge sting out of the cost of your next purchase.
See my DJI Trade Up program review here.
6. Educational discounts for students and teachers
If you have a “.edu” email address, you can save even more — typically around 10% on most items. Thanks to the DJI Educational Discount program, customers with a “.edu” email address and who also fill out DJI’s online form, will be eligible to receive a coupon code on most items from the DJI online store.
In your opinion, what’s the best place to buy a DJI drone from? Prefer a small business? Have a big online store you love? Share your favorite spot in the comments below!