This summer you may have noticed a new arrangement being pitched by PrecisionHawk wherein you can inquire about becoming a dealer of “The Smarter Farming Package by PrecisionHawk and DJI.” PrecisionHawk is relatively well funded to the tune of $30M according to CrunchBase. As such you would think they have their sh*t together in terms of a sustainable business model. However, if we take a second to think about this bizarre reseller arrangement, we realize that even “bigger” drone companies still have no clue what they’re doing. I guess we’re all just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. A reseller dealer of PrecisionHawk+DJI is one thing that will not stick.
Individuals that have been in the drone industry for a hot minute understand that retailing DJI hardware is much like walking through a field of landmines. I’m not a retailer, but multiple friends who are tell me it is a challenging endeavor. This dynamic is logical considering the hardware landscape continues a fast race to the bottom price wise, which we’ll explore more below.
A Phantom 2 Vision+ was my first piece of DJI hardware, and it was purchased less than two years ago for roughly $1,250. At the time it was the best available (of this size / class consumer UAV) and it was the coolest thing ever. Today that aircraft is effectively obsolete and DJI doesn’t support it anymore. Additionally, that same amount of money will more or less purchase a Phantom 4 today. To go from a P2V+ to a P4 in a matter of two years is crazy because the list of legitimate improvements is quite long / powerful.
So getting back to the topic at hand – The Smarter Farming Package – on a basic level this reseller arrangement has me rolling on the floor laughing. Original DJI dealers themselves have a hard enough time wading through random price-war daggers flying out of China. This RESELLER deal implies that there is enough margin in the sell of DJI hardware to allow for not one but TWO MIDDLEMEN?!
All things considered, margins on DJI hardware are already thin, say roughly 10-15%. Maybe closer to 20% on a good day when DJI is playing nicely. Regarding this ludicrous ‘Smarter Farming Package’ – it doesn’t really matter how you split up the margin between PrecisionHawk and the proposed reseller…the point is you’re introducing another mouth to feed in the transaction.
If you ask a PrecisionHawk representative about the deal I imagine that they’ll claim this is a value added package coupling their ‘software’ and assembly with the aircraft blah blah blah. The truth is their software and assembly do not add enough value to a DJI package to feed two mouths from the hardware sale. What a strange offering by PrecisionHawk. Hopefully in the future you present real solutions for agricultural producers. It won’t take many burned bridges with agronomists before the cat is out of the rural bag that reselling DJI hardware is a losing game.
*Editor’s Note: Viewpoints of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Drone Coalition nor its editorial staff.