I've done over 90 flights and never lost a payload (OK there have been a couple of close calls). I put this down to using radio-tracking as the primary location system.
Obviously check system over before launch - fresh/fully charged batteries, make sure the batteries cannot dislodge on landing. Check the radiated power if possible - to find any antenna problems. Then Test,Test & Test.
The close calls I've had have been down to temperature problems - where the transmitter has packed up in flight - but recovered during the descent when it warms up.
Use a backup tracking method (SMS/Spot/InReach) when you have an expensive payload. Having said that I've never had to rely on the backup to locate on of my payloads.
Personally I think an off the shelf tracker would spoil things - its so much fun making electronics & radio trackers. A view might be off he shelf trackers might dissuade people from the rewarding electronics and software experience of building a flight computer and radio-tracker.