Just after The Drone Girl reported that Skydio — which historically has only sold drones directly through its website — would begin selling its enterprise drones on Adorama, the California-based drone maker just announced something even bigger: Skydio drones can now be purchased on Amazon.
The Skydio 2+ Pro Kit is one of the companies more-powerful consumer drone setups, including a range of accessories including the Skydio 2+ Beacon, three spare batteries, the Skydio Dual Charger, a microSD card, among other add-on items. Purchases also include a two-year Skydio Care Plan, which is a supplement to the existing Skydio 2+ Limited Warranty, which comes with your drone.
For now, not all Skydio drones are available on Amazon. For some of the lower-cost kits, including the, Skydio 2+ Starter Kit, Skydio 2+ Sports Kit and Skydio 2+ Cinema Kit, you’ll have to stick to purchasing those directly from Skydio’s website. But, you’ll likely want to seriously consider that Skydio 2 Pro Kit upgrade anyway.
Why you should buy Skydio drones through Amazon
The news that Skydio drones are now sold on Amazon could be a big win for people in the market for the famous, follow-me drone. Shopping through Amazon has plenty of benefits, including:
Potentially better shipping options: Amazon offers free and ultra-fast shipping for most orders, which includes Skydio drones. While purchases made through Skydio’s own site also offer free shipping, Skydio drones ship within 3-5 business days, which is typically slower than Amazon’s pace.
Easier (and free) returns: When you shop through Skydio’s website, you have 30 days to make a return. But, the return process is a bit onerous. The returned drone must be in the original packaging, and Skydio has strict terms that it must come back to them in the same condition that you received it in — and you likely need proof of purchase too. What’s more, is that you are responsible for paying for the return shipping costs when returning an item for a refund (and you’ll likely want to purchase shipping insurance).
Amazon’s return process is far easier. When you return a product through Amazon, they will send you a shipping label to cover the shipping cost; you just have to print it out. And if you live near a Whole Foods, you don’t even have to print a label and go to the post office. At most Whole Foods locations, you can drop off your item to return to the in-store Customer Service desk, and Whole Foods employees will handle the rest.
Faster refunds in the event of a return: If Skydio approves your return for purchases through its site, then it’ll take some time for Skydio to process your refund and send you a credit to your original method of payment. Even that takes as long as ten days.
With Amazon, you’ll likely get your money back faster. Most refunds are fully refunded in 3-5 days after Amazon receives and process your return.
Returns are ultra-easy (I bring my unwanted items to my local Whole Foods). Purchase, say, the $2,400 Skydio 2+ Pro Kit on Amazon, and you’ll get an incredible $120 back for your drone purchase. Had you charged that to another cash-back credit card that earns just 1% back on purchases, likely the rewards rate you would earn through shopping directly with Skydio, and you would only get a measly $24 back. Although you do need an Amazon Prime membership in order to hold that card, which costs $139 per year, you’re close to making back the annual fee through that single discount alone.
Potential concerns of shopping for drones through Amazon
Beyond general concerns of making a big business even bigger and wanting to shop small, there may be some broader issues with shopping through Amazon.
Up until now, Skydio’s consumer drones could only be purchased through Skydio’s website, which eliminates any middleman, and theoretically puts more money in Skydio’s pocket.
While Skydio would not say how much money Amazon makes off of every purchase, Amazon does take a cut of the sale. Fees range based on many factors including specific seller and product type, but reports indicate that Amazon often takes anywhere from 6% to 45% of each product’s selling price. If Amazon takes a big cut, Skydio might end up raising prices to retain the same level of profit that it’s used to getting when you shop directly through its website.
Then again, Skydio’s new spot on Amazon could be a good thing in bringing its drones to wider audiences and make it easier to purchase a drone. What Skydio loses on the cut it pays to Amazon, it could make up on increased sales volume.