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What's Used Paintball Gear Really Worth?

By October 15, 2008

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One of my regular hobbies is to peruse through Craigslist, eBay or online forums and follow the market for paintball guns. While some sellers have a good idea what their used gun is actually worth, I have found that most people simply have no idea how to price their used paintball gun.

Take Craigslist, for example. On a normal day I could find a listing for a "Complete Paintball Set" that comes with a Viewloader Orion, a hopper, basic mask and 12oz CO2 tank. That's a fine little package, but the price of $120 is really out of the ballpark. While the seller is probably basing the sale on the fact that he paid $150 for the package three years ago and only used it once, it doesn't mean anyone is ever going to pay that. In the last few years the price of new guns has dropped considerably and an equivalent or better new package today would cost less than $100. The truth is that a package like that really isn't worth more than $40-$50, and that's if the gun is really in like-new condition.

The other kind of seller is the one who invests too much money in a gun and then realizes that the $500+ in upgrades really hasn't made his Tippmann A-5 into a better paintball gun. Since he's invested around $700 in the gun and done all the work of ordering and installing the upgrades, the seller figures he can sell the gun for $600 and whoever buys it is getting a steal. Unfortunately, things don't really work like that. A well-used gun, even with lots of upgrades, is still a well-used gun. Selling an upgraded gun for half of what you put into it still might be too much.

The final area where people really get off on the wrong foot when they price their gear is when they think a high-end gun from a few years ago is still worth quite a bit. If, for example, you spent $1000 on an upgraded Impulse in 2003, you may think that this gun is still worth something. That, though, really isn't the case. While the Impulse is still a fine gun, it's no longer top-of-the-line and it shows its age. An older tournament gun is rarely worth more than $150-$200 and often much less. They still are fun to play with but they just don't warrant a high price. As it is, I'd rather buy a brand new Proto SLG than spend $200 on a five-year old Impulse, and I'm sure that most players would agree.

The general rule that I've found is that used paintball guns simply aren't worth what you wish they were. If you want to make a good investment, buy real estate. Don't figure that you'll be able to get anything near what you paid new when you sell your paintball gear used.

Before you sell, do yourself a favor - take a look on eBay or browse through the forums and find out what things are actually going for. Maybe that way you'll actually be able to make a sale.


January 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm
(1) Silverslicer says:

I found this to be mostly true. when I went to find my first paintball gun I went straight to CL. I like to take my time looking for stuff though and got a good deal I think. have to find someone who doesn’t play anymore, and just want to get rid of their stuff. I also found it worth while to buy just paint on craigslist. I look for people selling a lot of stuff at once, and ask for just their paint. I got an stock Ion XE(box w/wrenches and o rings) with drop forward, 42/3000 air tank, e-vents mask($60 on ebay), vlocity jr hopper for $150. pretty happy with that. a lot of people put a higher price than they should because they know people are going to go down on the price.

August 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm
(2) Joe Garrison says:

Well i think this is idiotic. Like the example of the A-5. I have that exact gun and i have about 1000 bucks rapped up in all my gear and everything. So it is worth at least 500 bucks. If you can get a gun for half its resale plus all the upgrades then either the guy selling it knows its about to shoot **** or it doesn’t really have those upgrades and you’re a dumb *** for buying in.

March 2, 2010 at 9:30 am
(3) Thomas Frank says:

I doubt you could get 500 out of any A-5 upgrades or not. Maybe 100 if you’re lucky. Sorry dude, an A-5 is a heavy piece of junk that only people who wanna go commando buy. I’m sorry you wasted so much money on it.

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