Buying options for your first radio controlled plane are rather simple, as in general, you have two options: Offline and Online.
Offline, the best option is your local RC hobby store, specialized in what you’re looking for. You might find these planes from the “toy-stores” too, but those are not the places for a true RC hobbyists, are they?
Online, you should look to make your purchase at
- the websites of the RC plane manufacturers
- can cost you a bit more, but you get
- direct contact and support from the people who designed and built the plane
- other trusted sellers
- Amazon, which many manufacturers use as a “web-store” and
- Well-ranked eBay sellers, who often sell the new planes with the most competitive prices
Buying Used or New Radio Controlled Plane (as Your First Aeroplane)?
As a beginner, do not buy an used RC plane. An used radio controlled plane might be perfectly fine, but to ensure you an enjoyable experience with your first radio controlled plane, we recommend that you look for a new model as your first radio controlled plane.
Buying Radio Controlled Plane Online
The links on the Radio Controlled Aeroplanes blog link to trusted sources, like Amazon.com (or your local Amazon) and eBay (UK, or a server closest to you) and other places where you can make shop for RC gear safely.
Big RC companies like HobbyZone, RCToys and Horizon Hobby sell their RC planes through Amazon and many re-sellers, both RC shops and individuals, offer wide variety of RC aeroplanes through eBay. This offers a great opportunity to find the best prices and the best service when shopping for RC aeroplanes, accessories and gear.
The most important factor with all online sellers, is the customer feedback and trust, so look for testimonials, ranking and feedback before deciding where to do your RC shopping.
By making your purchase through a big website, you are secured by their policies and security measures in addition to the insurance you get from your credit card company — which is why you should always make all your online purchases with a credit card, whether directly or through trusted services like PayPal.
With the credit card, you gain double insurance, one from the online shop itself and the other from the credit card company, as many credit cards have their own “insurances” for online shopping (of course, the different credit cards have different policies, but for example both AMEX and VISA have such online shopping safety included in their services).
Buying RC Aeroplanes and Accessories from eBay
eBay is a great place to buy, not only used planes and parts, but new radio controlled aeroplanes as well — and you don’t necessarily have to bid anything, but can “buy now”, getting the plane sent to you right away, as many re-sellers and individuals have their own eBay stores, offering RC planes on very competitive prices.
When buying radio controlled aeroplanes, or anything else, from eBay, here are couple of factors you should know:
- Make sure you know what you’re buying
- Read the details of the item listing carefully (whether it’s an auction or “buy now” listing)
- Check the delivery options and costs, make sure the seller ships to your location
- Complete the transaction at eBay site (bid, Buy it Now, or Best Offer)
- Research the seller for feedback and rating to make sure you feel positive and secure
- Check the feedback rating
- Check the percentage of positive responses
- What have the buyers said in their feedback (both negative and positive)
- Does the seller have a return policy? Check the terms and conditions.
- Do they offer money-back guarantee?
- Know that you are protected, if the unlikely happens and problems in the transactions occur
- Both eBay and PayPal (and possibly your credit card company) have you covered
- PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to $1,000
- Visit the eBay Security & Resolution Center to learn how to protect your account and use eBay’s quick and efficient resolution tools.
eBay has local stores in many countries, including UK, US, Canada, Australia and many others — this makes it easy to buy a RC plane from eBay anywhere in the world. By checking the item and seller out, you can feel secure and make a good choice when buying your first radio controlled plane from eBay.
Buying RC Planes from Your Local RC Hobby Store
The offline option is to find a RC hobby store near you and go get advice on buying your first radio controlled plane there. Your local RC store can also help you get connected with the local RC flying clubs, and getting into one will help you a great deal when getting started and sharing your new hobby with others will triple the fun too!
For a complete beginner, buying your first radio controlled aeroplanes, or any other RC vehicles, accessories and gear from your local RC hobby shop is a great option. In case you need help, you can always go back to the shop and get help there. Thus, the possible increase in the money spent is well compensated by the face-to-face service you get from your local shop.
Personally I like to do my shopping online because of the convenience and ease of finding whatever I need at any point, in addition to getting the items delivered to my door step.
What’s your take on this? Are you shopping your RC aeroplanes and accessories online or do you feel it’s important to keep supporting the local RC hobby shops?