Presents, Paranoia and Panic - The life of a suspicious person

This morning my nice Postie brought me a package.

As with many of my stories, this one highlights my completely out of control state of paranoia and distrust.

I have spoken previously and elsewhere about my search for a new DJI AIR2S and was grateful to receive many helpful suggestions pointing to where I might find a good deal. One of these was on a popular auction site, which the thought of gave me,frankly, an attack of the vapors.

Having spent a couple of days realizing that there was no “deal” and that DJI capped their prices, I decided to wander through said auction site, just to see what was being offered. My specification was strict. A new, sealed and original (not refurbished) DJI AIR 2S Fly-more Combo. The list price of this is £1,169 and is fairly uniform across all retailers.

What caught my eye was the sale this machine in the configuration and condition aforementioned, for £999.00. My heart skipped a beat, then the warnings started to pop into my head. Old sayings like “If it looks too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true” and “buyer beware” etc.

I scoured every photo, looked at the seller rating (easily faked) and generally looked for patterns in the seller reviews. Interestingly the seller had included photos of the box and serial code and the seals on the box. Still, £999.00 is £1000.00 to me and I wondered, for a couple of days, how they could possibly be selling it for £169 off the capped price. I imagined receiving (a) A photo in a box, (b) A house brick in a box, (c) and empty box etc, etc, etc. My suspicion went into overdrive.

Now, I fully appreciate that this is most likely a classic marketing tactic, but just as I had convinced myself that I would rely on eBay’s Money Back Guarantee (whoops, actually said the name here) or various other safety nets, the sale ended and was removed. I stared in disbelief at my computer screen. A day later I went back on and started my search again, only to see that the sale had appeared again, from the same seller at the same price (can you say fish bait?). That just made me even more suspicious.

So I started looking for stories of cloned DJI products selling illegally in the UK. I looked for scams relating to certain eBay sellers and worried over the dates and reviewer names that gave this seller 100%.

It all came down to a choice. Take the risk (and understand how to remediate the risk if it went wrong), or go elsewhere and potentially pay £169 more than I needed to. You’ll have guessed this already, but I decided to take the plunge. I completed my purchase and watched the transaction go through, watched the dispatch process and tracking number. I should mention that the other reason I thought this might be trustworthy was because the seller provided all the tracking information and paid for a next day (before 1300) delivery. Not something, I figured, that a scam artist was going to trouble themselves with.

Today the package arrived.

Have any of you watched the BBC series “Silent Witness”?

Silent-Witness

Honestly, it was like a scene straight out of that program. I found myself photographing everything, from the appearance of the package, to how the DJI box appeared once the packaging (it was very well packaged) was removed (scalpel no less). I inspected and photographed the box seals and every aspect of removing the carry bag from the box, the contents of the box, the arrangement of the items in the carry bag, etc. I checked the box serial number against the photos provided by the seller (there was a difference in the manufacture date on the box, but it made the drone newer than the advertised manufacture date). That had me a little spooked so I decided that I’d probably had enough coffee for today.

I removed the drone and photographed the serial number and all the battery serial numbers. I inspected every arm and the gimbal / lens looking for something untoward. It all seems absolutely fine. The controller and the batteries are now taking their first charge.

So. The next thing I am worrying about is whether, once I connect it to the Fly app, a big message will appear informing me that this unit is from a know stolen batch.

I will get DJI Care Refresh for the first 12 months and am also concerned about purchasing that (you have to enter the unit serial number I believe) in case it also flags thievery :frowning:

It’s a hard life being this paranoid and always expecting the worst of your fellow Human, but what can I tell you. I have experience enough to be cautious.

Once it’s powered up and connected to the Fly app and once I successfully get Care Refresh in place I will be a very happy chappie, having just become a multi-drone owner.

Then of course, there’s the question of how they could sell this for so much less than the standard purchase price. I would love to find out how much these things cost direct to reseller from DJI, at cost so to speak.

My current working theory is that they have incorrectly advertised this with the DJI Air2 price, not realizing that this is the latest (S) model so should cost more.

Finally, if you are still reading this rather lengthy tome, THANKS! You have probably saved me some money with a therapist :slight_smile:

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I’d get it hooked up to care refresh etc. If there’s problems, let the forum know. I’d rather not poke your paranoia to be honest as to why it was sold for less than RRP. Just enjoy your purchase.

UPDATE:

DJI Care Refresh now applied without issue :grinning:. Currently redesigning the 3D printed iPad Mini clip to hold both the iPad Mini and a case in situ.

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Nothing wrong with being deeply suspicious! Looks like you and I are made from the same mould. We’re just curious sorts. Get your 2s up and out there! Can I have the number to that therapist…

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Thank God! I thought it was just me :crazy_face:

Drone now charged, labelled, IMU calibrated, Compass calibrated, gimbal calibrated. Latest firmware and all other databases updated. Everything is in the green. Now, if I could just get the damned weather to play along… :yawning_face:

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Haha, I bought my 2S at the the end of Oct 21,the day after, all the storms on planet Earth decided to come and play in the UK! I was deeply suspicious about that🤔. I’ve managed 3 decentish days, and decided to diversify into night flying. Mixed the footage with day footage on Prem Pro, wow I’m hooked! At, least you haven’t got long until spring, and flying days…whoooops,probably just jinxed you…

A lot of people who are unable to get good credit or cash loans from regular places (banks) are able to usually get something from the likes of Very or Argos.

As they use these ‘accounts’ a lot and pay off the debt often on interest free terms, they will be offered 10 some times 20% discount on next purchase.

So they use this , but something that they know they can sell easily with minimum loss, but it gives them cash a lot easier and cheaper than the payday loan people can offer.

You know, that’s actually a thing. I used to be into power kites and I could lay good money that the day after I bought a new kite it would be becalmed for at least two weeks, just so I couldn’t use the damned thing. Yesterday I warned everyone in the house that today would see the start of at least three weeks of crappy weather - because my new drone was arriving.

It was fairly clear today sky-wise, but it was blowing a gale so I could configure everything outside, but flying was a complete bust.

Oh, hadn’t thought of that. Well, I’m happy with my 169 quid off and it’s a clean and undamaged machine so I’m good. Don’t envy people having to live like that.

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