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Friday, 14 December 2012

B/S/T: Thoughts on Buying Used Paintball Gear

How Much Paintball Gear is Too Much?

Something happens at the end of every season as paintball players settle down for the winter.  It seems like everywhere you look, somebody is trying to sell their used paintball gear.  This happens every year, as the new product lines come out, players buy into them.  You can only wear one set of gear at a time while playing paintball: one jersey, one pair of pants, one mask, etc. and as the newer gear gets put to use, players old gear begins to get neglected.  Eventually, we realize that we don't need our old gear anymore and put it up for sale, or adoption.

This isn't even all of my paintball gear, and it keeps adding up.

There are a few types of sales threads that go up from paintball players:

  • Testing Waters: Just looking for offers, seeing if they can bait a good price out of interested buyers
    • Example: Set price at $10,000obo and wait for people to offer.
  • Tournament Players: These are the kind of people that have more paintball gear than they could ever use, and are looking to clear out some space.  Many of these players will post up sales of whole gearbags loaded with everything you need to play paintball at the end of the season, as they are usually the first to buy the newest gear.  
    • Recent noted examples of this would be Thomas Taylor of XSV posting his entire gearbag up for sale including his custom XSV Axe, but it's not always the pros.  There are tons of local tournament players who would love the opportunity to pass on some of their extra gear to players in need, and will usually offer a good deal to buyers.

  • Just Wanna Get Rid of It: Whether they be players who decided to quit paintball, looking to get rid of a problematic marker, or have too much gear, they could offer you great prices to take this gear off of their hands.  You may end up getting high-end gear that is in great shape, or other times you could need to do some repairs that the seller didn't want to deal with.  These deals are usually great in favour of the buyer, and can help you get good paintball gear for a fraction of the retail price. 
    •  Recently, I found a local deal and picked up a leaking Proto PMR, an Empire Magna loader and an old Evil jersey all for $75.  By simply using the HPR from my backup marker on the PMR, I was able to get it working within minutes, and I now have another backup marker and loader to use or lend out to friends, picked up at a great price.
I picked up this leaking PMR for a cheap price and fixed it up quickly for a backup marker.
  • Non-Paintballer: The people who don't regularly play paintball who are posting ads to buy or sell gear.  Prices from them can either be ridiculously high or low, depending on the person and how much they know about paintball.  You may find some good deals here, but it's usually on low-end gear.  These ads are usually posted on general sales sites such as Kijiji or Craigslist.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of B/S/T

Wherever you look for used paintball gear, the condition of everything will depend on the seller.  You'll get gear in great condition, you'll get gear with a few scratches, or you can end up with gear that costs more to repair than you paid for it in the first place.

The absolute best practice when buying used gear is to make sure you know about any issues before buying, and even better is if you can meet up with the seller to test out the marker or gear in person before handing over your cash.  When buying online and not having the opportunity to meet the seller, just make sure to ask about any issues you should know about before buying.  Many paintball exchange sites such as PBNation and TDOTBallers have feedback systems in place, so you can check if the person you're dealing with has a good track record.

Websites and Groups to Buy and Sell Used Paintball Gear

Sometimes the hardest part about buying used gear is simply finding what you're looking for.  Here are a few resources for finding people to buy used paintball gear from or to post yours up for sale.

Good luck on your paintball B/S/T adventures!