It is not necessary to buy new skates. Used skates can be a great bargain if you know what to look for. Some rinks and skating clubs occasionally hold skate re-sales--check the bulletin board at the rink for skates for sale. Look for clean, firm leather boots that are fully lined. Check the blades for deep nicks and scratches and make sure they still have enough "life" for future sharpenings. If you are unsure of the condition of a pair of skates, ask your skating instructor for tips. Many local shops also carry used skates that are in good condition.
If you decide to buy new skates, ask your instructor for the names of skate manufacturers and local skate shops that carry figure skates. Local shops carry many brands and models of beginner skates in their shop or can order them directly from the manufacturer.
Rental skates are always a good option, especially with young, beginner skaters who's feet grow fast! When renting skates, ask for a pair with firm boots and sharp blades. Local shops will often provide you with rental skates by the week or by the season.