Drone return policies stricter than expected

Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 26, 2016

The day after Christmas is one of the biggest days for returns and exchanges. But not every gift is easy to take back to the store. Drones and gift cards are right at the top of that list.

The return policy for Drones is limited. If you crash it, you're most likely out of luck. But even if it isn't and you just want to take it back, you need to act fast.

The return window can be as short as 14 days, and that's not exactly something retailers advertise.

"No, I had no idea," exclaimed Carmen Peterson outside of the Best Buy on Dale Mabry.

"I don’t think anybody knows it, I mean once you actually think about it you understand the policy," said Jennifer Rae. 

Drones get damaged very frequently and that's why retails keep that return window short. We checked policies on major retailers.

Amazon offers no returns on drones or quadcopters. 

At Best Buy, if it was purchased after November 1st you have until January 15th to return it.  However, if it's not in "like-new" condition they won't take it back.

Wal-Mart will take back damaged drones, but you only have 15 days after buying it to do so. 

We checked in with Tim Hileman, who runs the Fix N' Fly drone repair shop. His advice is to look into buying protection plans direct from the manufacturer. Hileman also says never pay more than a quarter of the original purchase price on repairs. In those situations keep the damaged drone for parts and buy a new one.

Gift cards are tough to return too. You can try selling them on websites like, but Gift Card Kings in Tampa will give you cash on the spot.

They run under a pawn shop license, so the transaction will be very similar.

'When you come in you are going to be finger printed and need a valid ID and all of that," Stephen McIntyre, found of Tampa Gift Card Kings, explained.

You will get more for your gift card by going online, because that's where this shop is selling them. However, there is a convenience factor and many of those sites require you to input billing information which leaves some people uncomfortable.

"If you just plain out want the cash instead of waiting and getting a check or something then come here," McIntyre said.

I sold gift cards from Subway, Burger King and Starbucks and received between 60 and 75 percent for what was on them.

Gift Card Kings calls it a very risky business because of how many people attempt to sell fraudulent cards. It's something they tell me they always look out for, and is the reason they need a valid ID and require you to be finger printed.