Before you buy, decide what you want to do.
Do you; want to look at stuff or take photos of stuff? Or do you want to do both, but not as well as you could do if you dedicated yourself to one field. I decided i wanted to be able to do both reasonably ok and accepted that with my first scope (WO 91 FLT) that I wouldn't be able to view the planets as close up as perhaps I would have like to, but that i would be able to take clear images and move on to astrophotography (as is my goal).
Have an idea of your initial budget (good luck sticking to it) and what you want to buy, make a list and price everything up, make sure you run this by someone who is experienced for a second opinion, I 100% guarantee that you will have not thought of at least 2-4 useful items (Skywatcher polar alignment 90-degree eyepiece, for instance or perhaps a laser finder, or some cleaning equipment).
Ask lots of questions on forums, YouTube the hell out of it and then speak to a couple of dealers, once you have decided what you want to buy, go to a physical shop to buy it if you can, especially if it's not all from the same manufacturer or as part of a pre-packaged kit. This way you'll be able to actually put it all together in the shop as you buy it and make sure it all works, this is defo important when buying eyepieces, you need to ensue you can achieve focus, and if you can't you'll need the correct extension, or perhaps a different brand of eyepiece.
When you're ready to buy your equipment: Buy a fair-sized storage tub, something at least about 45cm long /30cm wide /20cm tall will get you going, if you want to you can splash out on a foam lined one for additional protection, but maybe wait while as those as expensive. This tub is for your loose items: power cables, lens cleaners, tape, cable straps, tools, USB cables etc, you'll have a lot of these cables (you'll likely progress through a weird cable fetish), ESPECIALLY if you have a powered mount / tripod or are getting into photography.
Edited by Kevin17