DJI is the uncrowned king of the Drone world. It makes amazing products that last long and have great after-sale service with warranties and special programs like DJI Care Refresh. However, all good things come with a good price, which is true with DJI. There are no cheap DJI drones. The most affordable DJI Mini 2 starts at 449 USD.
If you are just starting out and are a little constrained on your budget, the next best thing to a DJI drone is a Refurbished DJI drone. But what is a Refurbished drone means, and how good are DJI refurbished drones compared to the new one? Let’s explore.
What are Refurbished DJI drones?
DJI has a 15-day return and replacement policy under which a faulty drone can be returned and replaced with a new unit. All these malfunctioning drones go through a repair process where DJI repair all the faults and repackage the drone for sale again. All such drones are marked as refurbished drones.
Some people equate the term ‘refurbished’ to the used product. This is not always the case. All DJI drones are returned within 15 days of purchase, the units are barely used. Except for a few scratch marks here and there on the body, you won’t be able to tell if it is refurbished or not.
The DJI Refurbished drones are simply faulty units that have been returned to DJI for replacement. DJI then repair, recertifies and repackage these drones for sale at a lower price. They are as good as a new drone.
DJI Refurbished drones are not the same as buying a second hand used to drone on eBay. The refurbished drones are essentially new from almost every aspect.
How cheap are DJI Refurbished drones?
The only reason you will buy a refurbished unit from DJI is to save some money. But how much is that saving really? The table below lists all DJI latest offerings and their refurbished unit prices. You can see that the dollar saving is quite significant.
|DJI Drone Model||New Unit||Refurbished Unit||Saving|
|DJI Mini 2||$449||$359||$90|
|DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo||$599||$479||$120|
|Mavic Air 2||$799||$679||$120|
|Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo||$988||$849||$139|
|Mavic Mini Fly More Combo||$499||$399||$100|
The above table is not definitive as DJI keeps adding and removing products to their refurbished collection based on their availability. You can see all the currently available refurbished products HERE
Where to buy Refurbished drones?
DJI Refurbished drone can be directly ordered from the official DJI store (Direct link to refurbished product page). Although the DJI refurbished drones are also available from various online platforms and retailers, it’s always better to get them directly from DJI. The reason?
- You will get the best and lowest possible price.
- You will be certain that the product has been corrected by DJI and not a third party repair service.
- You will receive all the accessories and perks of after sale service.
It is important that I mention here that some people confuse Amazon Renewed drones with DJI Certified Refurbished units. They are not the same.
While the DJI refurbished units are guaranteed to be less than 15 days used and in perfect new condition (except for the repaired parts), the Amazon Renewed drones are just old drones repaired by a third party and sold on Amazon without any official DJI warranty or backing.
To ensure you are not getting an old used drone as a refurbished unit, always try buying from the official DJI website and no other place. That’s the only way you can be certain.
How do you tell if a DJI drone is refurbished?
As discussed above, DJI refurbished drones are also available in retail stores. To ensure you are not duped into buying a refurbished unit for a full price, always check and ensure you are getting the right unit.
All DJI refurbished drones have special serial numbers through which you can identify them. Check the fifth letter from last. If it is “S” or “R” that means the unit is refurbished.
DJI serial number is a 14 digit alpha-numeric number printed on the box as well as on the drone. On the box, it is usually found on the side of the box while on the drone, you can find it inside the battery compartment. For example, Mavic Air 2 serial number can be found on the sticker inside the battery compartment.
Warranty & DJI Care Refresh on Refurbished drones
DJI has great after-sale support for all its products. If you are planning to buy a refurbished drone, you might be wondering if the same after-sale coverage extends to the refurbished units or not.
All DJI refurbished drones have the exact same after-sale support and warranties as a new one. All parts are covered under the standard 12-month warranty (except propellers) and can be claimed within the warranty period.
You can also get DJI Care Refresh for your refurbished drone just like you do for a new unit. Under the Care Refresh program, you can get up to 2 replacements in a year or 3 replacements within 2 years (extended program) for a fixed insurance amount.
However, there is one caveat about buying a refurbished drone. If you need to replace your refurbished unit, it will only be replaced with another refurbished unit. You cannot turn in your refurbished unit for a new one.
Do DJI refurbished drones have new battries?
Since you are getting a refurbished product, it’s natural to think if the batteries in your refurbished unit are new or used. Well, you won’t be getting brand new batteries. The batteries you are getting with the refurbished unit are the same as the first owner received.
As we discussed, the DJI refurbished drones are used by the first owner for no longer than 15 days. Most returned drones are not even used once as the owner identify a fault and send the unit back immediately.
So you can be sure that even if the batteries are used, there are very fewer charge cycles, and the battery ageing is negligible. Once you get your refurbished drone, you can actually see the battery cycles inside the DJI Fly App.
Accessories with a refurbished drone
All DJI refurbished drones come with standard accessories, packaging and documentation. Without looking at the serial number, you will not be able to tell if you have received a new unit or refurbished one.
Are DJI drones worth the money?
From the above discussion you see that all the DJI refurbished drones are:
- Less than 15 days used by previous owner before returning
- Have gone through complete quality assurance and checks before shipping
- Have the same after sale guarantees and support
- DJI Care Refresh eligible
- Significantly cheaper than a new unit
So, if you are buying a DJI certified refurbished drone, you are essentially getting a unit that is as new as a new unit except for the fact that it was shipping to the previous owner before and came back with a fault that DJI fixed.
It might have a few surface scratches here and there, but apart from that, it’s a new product for a significantly lower price. So if you ask me, I would say that DJI refurbished drones are worth every penny you pay for them.