Buying discontinued water guns
Written by Ben
Last updated on 2008-08-15
As you probably know if you're reading this guide, water guns sold today are not as good as older discontinued ones. Buying discontinued water guns is one way to get better water guns. Most newbies aren't familiar with places to buy older water guns and techniques used to get them, and that's what this guide will explain.
Before I detail anything, let me say something important. Discontinued water guns are becoming rarer as they age, and with age comes potential problems in need of repair. There also are a very limited number of these water guns and the ones for sale typically sell for high prices. Buying discontinued water guns is not a sustainable or universally successful solution to the quality problem (i.e. these water guns will not be available forever and not everyone looking will get one) so I suggest using or modifying currently available water guns and building homemade water guns. Homemade water guns are the only way to meet or beat the power of older water guns too, so if you're after power, you should look into building.
The question I know many of you have
No, there are no websites, secret or not, that have old discontinued water guns for sale. There are no known stores that have them for sale. This article will detail some places to find old water guns of differing reliability. Like it or not, there is no guaranteed way to do this. Most everything in this article involves chance.
eBay works differently from true auctions however. If you win an auction and you didn't use Buy it now (BIN) or were the only bidder, you pay second place's bid plus one dollar. Your bid is only your maximum bid. If you bid $300 for a water gun but the second place bids $150, you pay $151.
The main problem with eBay is that the prices are extremely high. As the most commonly used place to buy discontinued water guns, it has the most competition. I did some research into average prices on eBay during summer and winter. Use that page to determine the approximate price of a water gun on eBay. Note that water guns cost about half as much in winter than in summer on eBay. You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of that fact.
What's available on eBay also involves much more chance and luck than buying new water guns or building your own. Even when a water gun is found, only one of the bidders wins the water gun, so the success rate isn't the highest unless you're willing to offer a lot of money, as some bidders are.
One common tactic on eBay is "sniping." To snipe you bid your amount at the last minute in an attempt to reduce the response time someone else looking at the auction will have in winning it. While I have only bought one water gun on eBay, I have used eBay to buy other items and the only tactic I use is sniping. Typically this tactic is defeated by people outbidding you at the last minute. For that reason you should be careful about your maximum bid. If you put it too high as to beat other snipers, you risk having to pay more than you want. If you put it too low, you risk not winning the auction.
Another tactic that can be used with water guns is checking out other keywords. Search for a specific water gun's name. Instead of searching for only super soaker, search for water gun, supersoaker, watergun, squirt gun, squirtgun, and any other naming variation. Sometimes you get lucky and find a water gun that shows up on only a less used keyword and you will get a much better deal.
Watch out for broken water guns too. Most bidders will stay away from them even if the repair is rather basic. Because you're here, you should know that we have the most comprehensive repairs section of any water gun website so most problems are perfectly fine. Be sure to ask the seller about the problem if it is not detailed in depth because it might truly be unrepairable and you wouldn't want that.
If you live in Europe, know that German and UK eBay typically have the most water guns.
Ask local stores to check old stock for discontinued water guns. People have had success in finding old new-in-box condition water guns at stores hidden in the back.
Thrift stores, yard/garage sales, flea markets, car boot sales, and other places where old toys might be sold are all good places to look for water guns. Again, there is some element of chance here but generally these places sell water guns for much less than eBay. Stories of people buying CPS 2000s or Monster XLs for only a few dollars aren't uncommon.
Check the trash in front of people's houses. Be sure that you can take trash first by checking local laws. On trash days you often will find water guns in the trash. Many times they'll be broken, but you can repair most problems without issues.
Craigslist often has water guns for sale by its members so check them out.
Freecycle is a network used by people who want free or cheap anything. Go on a local Freecycle group and post about water guns. People have and continue to get free water guns from others in Freecycle.
Watch out for fake Super Soakers
Often manufacturers make intentionally misleading water guns designed to look like Super Soakers. If there's anything that doesn't seem quite right about the water gun, compare it against iSoaker.com's reviews and our reviews. If you're unsure about anything, don't hesitate to ask at our forums.
This page on iSoaker.com shows some known fake water guns to watch out for.
International Package Forwarding
Some businesses offer package forwarding from the US to anywhere else in the world for relatively cheap. This will allow people outside of the US to buy water guns from US eBay.