Unlike the myriad of businesses that sell drones on Amazon, at Best Buy, or through other third-party retailers, Skydio has historically ditched the middleman. To buy Skydio drones, you’ll have to shop directly through the Skydio website — that is, for most of Skydio’s drones.
For a few Skydio drones, you can actually buy them through other channel partners besides Skydio’s own website. That gives you more options of where to buy, and opens you up to more salespeople to consult with and support options.
To be clear, Skydio’s website is currently the only destination for regular consumers to make a purchase of consumer-grade. But for Enterprise verticals and law enforcement, Skydio has what are called “channel partners.” They’re not your typical retailer like Best Buy where you can walk in, check out and walk out with a drone, but they provide more options beyond purchasing directly from Skydio.
Buying Skydio drones through channel partners like Adorama
Online camera store Adorama announced in October 2022 that it had signed on as a channel partner with Skydio. Adorama is a channel partner for Skydio’s SLED and Enterprise verticals, but they are not selling to consumers.
For now, that means you’ll be able to purchase the Skydio X2E and Skydio 2+ for Enterprise through Adorama’s website. (Adorama also sells a number of other enterprise drone products from other companies, such as DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced Drone, Autel Robotics EVO II 8K Gimbal Drone Camera, and FLIR Vue TZ20 High Resolution Gimbalized Dual Thermal Camera.)
The Skydio X2E, optimized for enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies, provides situational awareness and inspection of infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, power plants, power stations and railyards. And with Skydio’s autonomous navigation technology, it’s relatively easy and safe to fly at close distances, capturing more accurate data than traditional manual drones.
Skydio has a handful of other channel partners, too.
Though, even buying through Skydio channel partners isn’t as simple as adding the drone you want to your virtual cart and checking out. Typically, you’ll still have to contact the channel partner directly. For example, to buy Skydio drones through Adorama, you’ll have to fill out an online form.
Upon purchasing, the drone is typically shipped to you directly from Skydio — usually within 4-6 weeks.
Why buy drones through a channel partner?
So what are the benefits of going through a middleman like Skydio? Turns out, there are plenty.
At the purchasing stage, you’ll have access to Adorama’s team of in-house experts, which can recommend and curate an optimal drone hardware and software package for your specific application. Adorama also provides options to buy and sell used, which can help money-conscious businesses save. There are also financing and leasing options available, which can be especially attractive for small business owners.
With an Adorama-purchased Skydio drone in your hand, you’re also eligible to participate in Adorama’s insurance plans, hands-on UAS training programs, drone repair services, and on-demand support for any size drone program. Consider it a complete ecosystem of solutions that is tailored to each customer (or client) and their needs.
That said, you can also still buy Skydio’s enterprise drones directly from Skydio, and still skip that middleman. The Skydio 2+ Enterprise Kit can be easily acquired with that simple virtual cart checkout system on Skydio’s website. For the Skydio X2, Skydio asks that you get in touch with them via an online form.
How consumers can buy Skydio drones
If you’re a consumer looking to buy a Skydio drone, you’ll still go through Skydio directly. But that’s not a bad thing. While many shop through big sites like Amazon, those third-parties take a big cut of profits. In 2021, Amazon generated approximately $103.4 billion in third-party seller services. In short, other companies give up a cut to Amazon for any sales made.
When companies like Skydio sell direct, that’s more money in their pockets — not Amazon’s — and is ideally more money they can reinvest in building better drones in the future.
Skydio’s online shop includes all versions of the Skydio 2+ kits. Those include the:
There are also tons of accessories to choose from including the unique Beacon, spare batteries, ND filters and more.
Upon purchasing through Skydio’s shop, you also have the option to add on Skydio Care, which is the company’s extended warranty program that entails either a One Year or Two Year plan.
For what it’s worth, shopping for consumer products directly through Skydio is an easy, seamless experience. The company offers free shipping. Items ship within 3-5 business days and order tracking is, and you’re granted a 30-day return policy.
The company also offers financing options, including the option to pay in monthly installments through ShopPay. A few of the payment options will incur interest charges, though there’s an option to make four biweekly, interest-free payments for purchases between $50 and $999.99.
The one problem for international markets: Skydio currently only sells and ships to the U.S. (excluding US territories) and Canada.
What is Skydio?
Beyond ditching the third-party sellers for consumer drones, Skydio has many other unique qualities that make it stand out in the drone industry. The company was founded in 2014 in Redwood City, Calif., bringing together AI, robotics and cameras to build arguably the best camera drone that’s also made in America. Its most famous product available now is the Skydio 2 drone, which is a basically crash-proof drone thank to its six, 200-degree color cameras that can see everything in every direction so it theoretically never crashes.
Then there’s the Skydio X2, which take the traditional Skydio 2 drone and turns it up — a lot. It adds a thermal camera on top of the existing six 4k navigation cameras for 360-degree obstacle avoidance. Then, there’s a dual sensor payload that includes 12MP color and 320×256 LWIR sensors.
Skydio is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreesen Horowitz, Linse Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA.
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