Good points made. Keep in mind there are all sorts of sources for tripods and other video equipment - one of the best is government surplus stores - I'm not talking about going to some survival store, I'm talking about the stores most medium to large governments run to get rid of their extra and/or surplus gear.
I bought a 'pod nearly 20 years ago for $12 that I'm still using today for much of my work, and found when I bought a 19" rack from the county store that it had a $20,000 video non-linear editor mounted in it. Like a dummy, I brought it to the attention of the folks who run the store, and they apologized for the fact they didn't have the instruction manual, still selling me the rack and editor for $44.00! Incidentally, I got the manual and the doors for the rack by calling the county TV station and asking if they were using them. Cost me a couple of hours to pick them up on MetroRail.
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