How to Sell Your Paintball Gear
Every so often, and even more often for some, the time comes to put your favorite toy on the block to finance the purchase of a new love of your life, or to just try something different. There are several ways for you to dispose of your used gear, and for you to buy your next dream marker, pack, hopper or whatever.
So you’ve made the decision that you’re going to sell something, whatever the reason. The first thing you’re going to notice is that the going rate for your gear is nowhere near what you paid for it. That unfortunate fact is common in many industries, including paintball. Normally the value of something goes down over time. The term for this phenomenon is “Depreciation”. Depreciation takes into account age, use, and the fact that companies normally release a new model of a given product every year.
For instance, your car normally depreciates at least 20% in the first year. Recreational items like dirt bikes, ATV’s, and yes, paintball markers depreciate at even higher rates. It’s not uncommon for the going rate of a paintball marker to drop 50% over the course of a year.
Some markers depreciate more than others, but a good rule of thumb is to not expect more than half of your investment to be returned to you when you sell it.
Where to Go
With the explosion of the internet, there are so many options besides the traditional options, such as selling to friends or associates at your local field, or at your local paintball shop.
If you choose to stay local to move your gear, you can sell to friends at your local field. This is a great way to show off gear that you want to sell. Your potential buyer can see your stuff in action and use it himself to try it out. More often than not, the buyer feels most comfortable with this arrangement and even in the age of the internet a large number of transactions still take place this way.
Your local shop can help out too, either by buying your gear outright or by offering to their customers by selling it for you on consignment. Having a shop buy your gear outright is normally the worst deal for you, since a general rule of thumb is to offer half of the wholesale price for your now-used gear. This amounts to a tiny fraction of your initial investment, and it’s not recommended unless you’re in dire financial straits.
Consignment is another way your local shop can help out. For either a fixed charge or for a percentage of the final selling price, your local shop will display and sell your gear for you, only getting paid when it sells. Consignment is a great way to sell equipment, especially if your local shop is a popular one and have a lot of foot traffic coming through their doors. It’s a no cost way for your shop to have inventory sitting on their walls to wow customers with, and since the gear is still yours, you have more control over asking price, and you have the option to come and pick your gear up if you end up changing your mind or sell it some other way.
If you decide that the way to go is to use the power of the internet to sell your gear, you have several options.
There are literally hundreds of forums out on the internet that deal with the sport of paintball, some of which are amongst the largest sites on the internet itself. There are also several different owners group websites, with the largest and best known amongst them being Automags.Org, Angel-Owners.Com, and Intimidatorowners.com. These sites are dedicated to the respective markers their named for, and the great majority of the gear offered for sale there are the markers the sites are dedicated to, as well as marker-specific accessories, like barrels.
Finally, there’s eBay, which is an online auction website. Users have to register to be able to bid on products for sale in the online auctions, and to sell on the site. eBay has been around for several years, and more often than not there are bargains to be had. The popularity and desirability of your gear has a direct bearing on how much you’ll get at auction’s end, because people are bidding in a competitive fashion to buy your gear.
The paintball section of eBay is one of their largest categories, with literally thousands of items up for grabs at any given time. For buying, eBay is great because of the huge variety of gear available. A buyer can often buy top-notch gear at bargain basement prices. Obviously for the seller this is a bit of an issue, since your goal as a seller is to get as much as possible for your stuff. Setting a reserve price, which ensures that you get your minimum asking price before the auction becomes binding legally.
After The Deal is Done
However you buy or sell your equipment, there are several choices available on how you pay for and ship your equipment. Paying for your equipment is one of the most important decisions you have to make. It’s never advisable to send cash through the mail, for obvious reasons. Many sellers prefer money orders, while others will take a check and still others prefer Pay Pal, an online service that allows users to transfer funds from their bank accounts or credit cards. All that’s really required with Pay Pal is an email address and a bank account. With a check, many sellers won’t ship the item until the check clears, which is reasonable on their part. With Money Orders and Pay Pal shipping of the item should take place immediately, since the money is instantly available to the seller.
Shipping the item can be done via UPS, FedEx, and other shipping services, like DHL. USPS can be used as well, but it should be noted that per USPS regulations, it's not permitted to send paintball markers via USPS. If the postmaster discovers that a paintball marker is in a package, it's possible that it could be seized with no recourse to the marker's owner. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get tracking numbers to prove that the item has bee n shipped and to provide the buyer with a way to keep tabs on the package as it makes its way through the shipping system. Once the item is received, make sure to check it over to make sure that everything is there and as advertised. If there are any problems, contact the seller to get them resolved.
While it’s a very rare occurrence, there are instances where the seller never ships, or if he does, it’s not what the buyer paid for. It’s not well known, but when this occurs, it’s a Federal Offense (in the U.S.) and the FBI investigates and if necessary arrests the person who’s committing the offense. The best way to avoid being taken advantage of is to use your common sense. If the deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is!
So long as you use your common sense and act in an honorable fashion, it’s perfectly safe to buy and sell your gear on- and off-line. Happy shopping!