I am actively considering a sample batch of cellos from the Chinese maker of the violins described in the New Chinese Collection. These have to be brought in by sea and in my experience this means a month at sea plus a few days loading and unloading each side. The cellos I am interested in include one that will not even be made until February so this is not an option for anyone needing to buy now. However I am willing to take expressions of interest as long as they are serious and as long as you promise to let me know if you change your mind (I will not be bringing in anything unusual specially for you without a firm commitment including a deposit, sorry but too many customers have let me down in the past and that is with much shorter lead times than we are talking about here!)
OK that's the negatives, so what abut the positives? Well there is no wholesaler margin and that is a huge factor in the price. Also for sample orders I invariably put my own prices down through the floor. So the quality for price factor is going to be very high.
Expected long term prices: solid wood student outfit, ebony fittings, prelude strings, sizes down to 1/8 IRO £500; cello corresponding to "superior Chinese violin" IRO £900, Jargar strings, sizes down to 1/16; next model up IRO £1200, Larsen strings, sizes down to 1/4. A bit less for the first order.