I have a Maverick 88 (8-shot version) I bought at a gun show (new) for $125. From what I can tell it's functionally identical to the Mossberg 500 with the exception of the safety - on the Maverick 88 it's on the trigger guard. The main difference is that the Maverick 88 is hecho en mexico and made with lower quality parts. Which parts or to what degree of quality difference I am unsure - I've not pulled both apart side-by-side. I've put about 300 rounds of various stuff through the 88 and have had no issues (though I still need to pattern it). Only complaint is that it kicks pretty hard for a 12ga given it's lower weight from the lower quality parts used. It's the shotgun that stays loaded in my safe in case it's needed in a hurry... a hurry that can wait long enough for me to open my safe, that is.
I have one. Excellent shotgun for the price. Kicks like a mule. the nice thing about it, practilcally everything (accessory wise) for the 500's fit this shotgun. Low cost, a ton of fun. Good shotgun to turn into a home defense weapon as well.
since my freind got his 88 about 4 months ago, we have put at least 1000rds thru it mostly bird shot but heavy stuff too, mostly 12 gauge lumber jackin , no problems, it was kinda stiff at first and was a little greasy brand new, took it a part scrubbed all that $hit out with break free, 100 rounds the gun was smooth as hell, i had a mossberg 500 4 years until last year and shot the hell out of it, nuthing eve:thumb:r hiccupedWe have the 88 and it has not let us down and has taken anything we've fed it. For it's price it's really hard to beat.
I seriously doubt you'd be disappointed.