Buying Used Paintball Guns
When purchasing used paintball guns from classifieds, forums or eBay, there are several things to look for. There are many places to buy used paintball equipment, but since eBay is probably one of the most common, this article will be primarily based on buying from eBay.
Certainly, it's possible to get ripped off when buying used paintball guns and equipment, but approaching the purchase with an education as to what to look for can increase your chances of making a good, or even great, deal.
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To start with, understand what brands, models and options are available of the gear or equipment that you are looking for. That way you won't accidentally buy something that didn't fit your expectations. Like buying a Tippmann 98 pre ACT. Try to get to know the history and different possible configurations before you place your bid or make your purchase.
Be patient. Watch the prices of your particular piece of equipment for as long as you can. Is there a best time of the year, or week to buy an item? Is the market flooded with these products in Winter but bursting with bidders in Spring? Obviously, it would be worth it to buy in Winter. Also, when auctions end on Friday night vs Tuesday night, it's going to affect how many people are going to be there doing last minute(or second) bidding.
Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions.
Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions before bidding. If you are buying a used marker, ask if there are any stripped screws or any air leaks. Ask what problems you might notice that they didn't mention in their write up of the product. It's reasonable to ask for more pictures or a small video if they can provide it. If you know that make/model of gun is prone to have problems with a specific area, ask for close up photos or detailed operations of the problem area.
Some guns, like Tippmann's, tend to hold their value pretty strong. If the eBay listings seem to be too high for what you had in mind, check paintball fields with pro shops. They often get trade-ins and are looking to move used equipment at a very reasonable price.
Dangerous Power G3 Paintball Gun
Another great thing about buying from Pro Shops is that they often provide a warranty for the used marker. If it fails to perform, they may be willing to fix it for free or free labor with cheaper priced parts. Also, they have more to loose so they are more likely to disclose any problems with the used equipment up front.
When looking at the listings on eBay, read it several times completely and try to read the description in a neutral tone. When people want to sell their used paintball guns, they're talking like it's the most valuable paintball invention in brand new condition to ever see the field. Try to just look at the facts. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And, just because it says it was "Adult Maintained" doesn't mean it wasn't completely beat to crap and never cleaned or fixed.
Try to ignore the overpriced auctions where people are listing every upgrade and it's individual price. Just because they added $200 worth of junk to a paintball gun doesn't mean it's worth $200 more. And especially don't add value to an auction where somebody is including their junk paintballs as an add-in. Those paintballs are going to be completely useless by the time you get them.
Don't be afraid to look in other categories to find your equipment. Some people are selling something specific but add a few other things to the listing so it could be in a "packages" category. Just don't be willing to bend too far that you buy a bunch of stuff that you never really wanted.
If you're buying used paintball equipment that tends to wear out or expire, consider buying it new. In the long run new equipment could end up costing you a lot less. Paintball masks are a perfect example of this. Getting a mask and finding out the lens is scratched, the foam is disgusting or the strap is stretched out, will cost you more money to repair.
Air tanks are one of the most commonly purchased used items. If you need to hydro a tank, where will you get it done and how much will it cost. Do you realize that it could fail the hydro test? Maybe that person your buying it from already had it fail and that's why they sold it.
Don't ever, and I mean ever, buy used CO2 tanks. These tanks are very cheap brand new and saving a couple of dollars on a used one is a huge mistake. Your basic CO2 Paintball Tanks are under $20 and often you can buy 20oz tanks for under $15. There is no acceptable rehydro for CO2 tanks, they are disposable after 5 years or less.
Whenever you purchase used paintball guns and equipment you may find yourself feeling a little Buyers Remorse. Understand that you are buying used and it's not going to have the appearance or performance of a brand new product. But, if you get ripped off or mislead in a sale, don't be afraid to ask for a refund or some other compensation that would make the deal more fair. Be reasonable but don't be afraid to pursue buyer protection options through eBay and Paypal or your credit card company.
Buying used paintball guns and gear can save you money, just be sure to educate yourself and be patient. Ask questions and understand the specifics of the product your seeking. Sort through the fluff in peoples ads and ignore the unreasonable or too good to be true ads. Buying smart should keep your used shopping experience a good one.
Posted by Redwood on 08/04/2010