Actually now that you mention it Eric, that sort of thing does happen from time to time. I’ve never had anyone bail on me or not want the helmet after painting, but I have seen a few painters selling off pre-painted helmets for whatever reason.
I painted a few helmets for J3 Competition as display helmets for their shop a couple years ago and they ended up selling them to customers so stuff like that does happen from time to time. As Eric said, maybe get in contact with some painters and see if they have any pre-painted helmets sitting around they’re trying to get rid of. I know that Patrice at Smart sometimes has some. http://www.smartracepaint.com