New to drones - need information


#1

Hi all,

I’m investigating the idea of importing and selling drones. I was thinking about this at the beginning of the year (after being given a cheap one as a present) but that got put on the back-burner as I was informed that there were lots of rules and regulations with regards to selling these.

Anyway, I’ve decided to look back into this area and was wondering if anyone had any good links to not only any regulations I’d need to be aware of but also what people look for when purchasing a drone.


#2

The first thing I ask is What sort of drones are intending to import. Toy ones from £30 to £100+ or higher end such as Mavic, Autel etc.
If it’s the smaller end, then you need to register with Ali Baba (google it) who will put you in touch with the myriad of manufacturers in China and you can then negotiate your deal as to how many cartons you are importing, and that affects the price. There are new drone laws coming in on Nov 30th 2019 which requires all drone operators to take an online test/exam to make sure they are ok to fly and ALL drones will have to be registered with the civil aviation authority. How that will affect the market we can only guess at the moment because nobody knows how much the costs will be.
If it’s the higher end, you will need to ask Dji or Autel to become an official agent/distributor of their products, this may entail you having to buy a minimum order of a selection of drones to stock, plus spares etc. However it’s something you will need to ask/negotiate.
What about warranty/returns? you will be liable under the ‘sale of goods act’ for faulty goods, so you need to have a stock of replacements ready.
For the regulations, you can go on the CAA website, they will keep it updated as the time draws nearer. As for import/export, you will need to consult the business world because you may be liable for import tax on goods coming into the country. A friend of mine was jailed many years ago because he didn’t pay VAT on the goods he sold after he imported from the USA.
Sooo plenty to think about if you are going to do this properly, as a business.


#3

Thank you Brian. I’ll look into the new drone laws first, that would probably be the best place to start. I was looking at the lower end of the market rather than the £500+ models.

I import from the far east anyway (CCTV equipment) so have had several companies contact myself with regards to supplying different products, one of which was drones.


#4

If your looking for something with a bit of quality and does not cost too much you should think about micro whoop style drones.

They are becoming very popular in the USA as under 250g so do not need to be registered and I think this will also be the case here going forward.

Its a bit of a specialist drone and do not come with controller or FPV gear, some don’t even come with a receiver.

There’s quite a few on the market in UK but most of the good ones need to be purchased from China.

An example of ones available in UK would be BetaFPV 65s, 75s 75pro etc which sell on Amazon.

I’d do some research and see what is popular at the moment and see if it’s worth importing.

Here’s a list of the popular brushless models.

You also have 3" mini racing drones which with battery are under the 250g mark.
Examples would be Emax babyhawkR

If it’s something you’d be interested in let me know what you find and I’ll take a look.


#5

Thanks for the info callum. Looks like there’s a lot more research to be done on my part but between your reply and Brian’s I think I’m going to be even busier this christmas :slight_smile:


#6

I’d look at some Hubsan drones. They range from £40 to around £350. I don’t think many people hold stock of them here.