Should I buy this Phantom 3 Advanced?

Evening all

Looking at purchasing a P3 Advanced from FB. It’s coming in at a really good price as he is selling it spares/repairs, he says he bought it a year ago but never really had chance to fly it and it’s sat in the garage for a year. He claims to have charged the batteries on a monthly basis and turned it all on but that’s it.

I all ready fly a spark so I know I can pull the battery health from the app. I was hoping for a test flight but it’s going to be dark on collection so not sure how that would go.

Anyone got any tips on what to look out for with the phantoms to say if it’s good or bad?

That means it’s faulty.

Do you know what’s wrong with it?

General visual condition. Does it look like it’s had a hard life
I’d look for things like:
Stress cracks especially around the motor mounts, and where the legs attach to the body. Look for signs of chips and scuffs on the propellers and green grass stains. General scuff marks on the body indicating rough treatment.
Check that all the screws holding the body together are present and original, and that they are in good condition. If not then this will indicate that someone has been playing inside it.
The gimbal moves freely and smoothly. Phantom 3 gimbals are sensitive creatures and very often the ribbon cables fail after one or more unscheduled landings.
Turning the motors by hand, do they turn smoothly and have no play.

If you are able to it might be a good idea to take a laptop with the DJI Assistant software. Doing this will allow you to plug in and ensure all the vital internals are in order.

When they claim they’re selling it as spares or repairs “because they haven’t checked it” or “unable to check for (insert superstitious reason)”, that rings my alarm bells. This is usually done to justify a higher price to give the prospective buyer hope that there’s actually nothing wrong and they’re getting a bargain. It’s a frequently used tactic in the world of used amateur radio equipment. The seller will say something along the lines of:

“It worked fine the last time I used it, but I don’t have an antenna to test it on, so sold as spares or repairs”. The price will be a small percentage less than the going rate as a lure.

I had one chap bring me a radio that the seller had told him it needed a new internal fuse, and that was why it didn’t turn on. When I removed the top panel the box was empty except for some strategical placed pieces of heavy metal :metal:to give the false impression of weight. He had no comeback as it was sold anonymously at a radio rally bring and buy stall. It ended up as an expensive empty box.

I’ve bought many “spares or repair” drones but only if there’s an honest explanation of the fault and/or if I can visibly see the fault itself.

Whenever I see that on any advert (not just drone stuff) I just assume its a non-working product, hence no come back on the seller etc.

I thought this was quite common? :thinking:

1 Like

Thanks for the replies. I’ve got some things to think about. Sellers response when questioned on why it is spares and repairs -

“Bought it over a year ago but in garage and never used
Every month charge the batteries and control pad up all switches on and starts up
Might need upgrading but don’t know”.

Also picking it up at just north of £150, so half price on rough Facebook market place value.

Definitely spares :man_shrugging: they’ve obviously priced how much it is to get flying again. If they sell it as spares or repair then you’ve no comeback if it’s worthless. I’d pay the extra to get one that can fly :+1:t2:

1 Like

Agreed, unless you’re looking for a DIY repair project, in which case it might be ideal.

Otherwise, walk away.

Now :slight_smile:

1 Like

Probably worth a £100 punt

I doubt he charged it every month.
Maybe, he “forgot” about it, and when he was clearing the garage out, as he was bored due to lockdown, he “found” it again. Hmmmmm I’ll flog that on ebay.

You’ll easy sell a working gimbal and camera for £100. So that would be a good place to start. If the drone fires up and sends a good image to phone or tablet that’s the major part taken care of. You can pick up most parts for the P3A easy 2nd hand. Shells, motors, boards etc all available. But the gimbal is really expensive and harder to get. I would offer £100 if you can’t see it fly. That way you can flog the parts on and not be out of pocket if doesn’t work out.
I’ve got a P3A and it’s a monster to lug about compared to the new Mini2. Something to think about.

you have to see it fly … no flight no buy …imho