With the soaring popularity of drones those thinking of buying a drone on eBay this Christmas might have to hurry according to sellers as drone sales take off.
What may once have been seen as a novelty purchase for hobbyists or niche products tailored to a specific UAV market, drones are no longer the preserve of a select few and have become very much a mainstream product. So forget the latest Apple technology as it looks like this holiday shopping season the most in demand gadgets will be drones on eBay.
With a recent prediction that in the US about a million drones may be sold as Christmas presents this year alone - an estimate given by an administrator with the Federal Aviation Administration - sellers are scrambling to ensure they have enough stock to satisfy eager buyers. Whilst eBay is just one of several places to buy a drone they have certainly seen a massive surge in demand in recent years with sellers working hard to keep up and this Christmas is predicted to be record breaking. Following on from last year where drones accounted for the majority of sales among all flying RC vehicles between Thanksgiving and Christmas there are concerns beginning to be voiced about stock availability. Last year during that period in the run up to Christmas an average of 7,600 drones were sold on eBay US each week – more than five-times the selling rate six months previous to that.
With a price point for higher-end drones hovering around $1,000, demand for the gadgets has been such that cheaper and smaller versions have been introduced and can be seen retailing for as little as $20. Understandably the lower price and wider availability are sure to make drones popular additions to Christmas lists this year and not only in the US.
John Strega who operates a store selling drones on eBay together with a variety of accessories confirmed to Live Drone News that sales were definitely up on last year especially in the lower priced toy/leisure drones. "We have already had to place additional orders for certain lines as buyers have been getting purchases in early - probably in anticipation of a rush nearer Christmas."
Recent publicity in the US surrounding the possibility of future registration of drones doesn't appear as yet to have dampened demand with Strega adding that "the last two weeks have seen sales steadily increase to a level that if it continues will see us beat last years record sales by the end of October."
His advice for those wanting to ensure that their loved ones have a drone to fly come Christmas morning is to "Buy early so that you are sure that there is plenty of choice, availability & delivery options. Buying early also usually means lower prices as increased demand and reduced availability inevitably leads to many sellers increasing prices to reflect the conditions."
If the predictions of nearing a million extra drones sold this Christmas proves to be incorrect then quite a few shopping analysts and people at the FAA will be keeping their heads down. If it proves to be correct and we see anywhere near that number of drones in operation in the skies above us then we'll all be keeping our heads down.