Nutshell; if you buy crap, you wind up wasting your cash on smething that is NOT worth it. Or on something that is so expensive to upgrade you'll wind up wasting even more cash.
Your choices; buy new and expect high costs, or get your age verified to access the deals in the Classifieds section. Even then, you're probably looking at close to $600 for the basics.
You should still go to a meet/game to see stuff before making an expensive mistake, but it's your money.