Re: used equipment?
It depends on the dojo, but in most cases the only equipment a beginner needs is a gi, and in some dojos it's acceptable to train in sweats for a little while at least. The dojo where I train often has some very lightly used gis for sale at a reduced rate. The only other "equipment" is weapons, and there it depends on the dojo: not all dojos have beginners train with weapons, and many that do also have weapons that can be borrowed for use while you're in the dojo. I'd say it's probably unusual for a beginner to need to buy their own weapons right away.