If you plan on buying a marker online, from someone who is not a retailer then what could/should you do to avoid a bad experience?
First things first, find out everything you can about the seller. Ask for the person's name, address, phone number (both cell phone and landline if possible), email, Instant Messenger names, feedback and then search all the sites for information contrary to what you've been told. Search here, pbnation, automags.org, google, ebay, even paypal has user "ratings". Save all this information, you might need it all together down the road. If the person sends you a picture of what you should be getting, SAVE the smail and/or picture. This will be helpful against the old bait and switch scam
Second, it is customary for the buyer to pay first and the seller to ship after. If the person is really jumpy about selling and says he'll send you the marker then you pay.. it could be a stolen marker and he/she just wants to get rid of it. If it smells fishy, it probably is. If at all possible, pay with paypal because you have a good chance of getting some or all of your money back if it is a scam. If you are going to do moneyorder then for the love of God, use a third party service and pay for it. Would you rather be out 30 bucks and have what you paid for... or be out the $700 you sent for that timmy that never showed up?
Some reliable third party trading services:
Big Daddy's Paintball (Rome and Dalton, GA), 706-279-1731 Dalton, 706-235-1413 Rome, www.bigdaddyspaintball.net
Palmers Pursuit Shop http://www.palmer-pursuit.com/catalog/brokerage.htm
If you buy something from someone overseas, you are greatly increasing the risk that your money goes bye bye without any chance of seeing it again.
If the person is under the age of 18, get mom and dad's permission. If something goes really wrong, parents can (most of the time) be much more reasonable then the kid who is a gun whore.
Shipping: Make sure you get a tracking number as soon as humanly possible. Time is your friend, and the more you waste waiting for a tracking number, the longer it make take to resolve any issues. ALSO - Pay for insurance. Period. A few extra bucks can save you from expensive repairs from a mishap during delivery. Ask the person to send it delivery confirmation, if they are sketchy about it.. it may mean they aren't likely on sending you anything.
Lastly, save records of IM conversations. Save emails, save everything. There's a reason for documenting everything, it may save your rear and get you your money back should something go sour.