Buy newer model year gear. Kites makes 'technological' advances every few years and most kites made after 2010 are "beginner friendly", meaning easy relaunch, good amount of depower, and advancements in materials/ manufacturing processes means more durable gear. Make sure to research what you are actually buying- For a beginner, buying the wrong gear can make progressing much more difficult. Beginner kiters should steer away from buying "C" kites for their first kite, as they are designed for more advanced riders. C Kites generally are harder to relaunch and have less depower than other kite types. If you're getting a smokin' deal on a piece of equipment, there's probably a reason why. Make sure to not be distracted during the purchasing process by having visions of greatness on your "new" piece of gear (we all do it). You are making a big ticket purchase from someone whom you don't know. Take your time and don't get burned.
We encourage you to know who you're buying from (or selling to!) and that you closely inspect any used gear purchase for signs of wear, damage, or things that might break. We recommend replacing kite lines at least every 2 seasons, so figure on buying a new lineset on most used kite/bar purchases.