I was checking prices on a well known mega internet music retailer's website (still baffled about why the Primavera cellos are not selling) and I found a Primavera 100 cello reduced from £536 to £479 because the box had been opened as part of a quality control check.
Just think about that for a minute. It means that the norm for this particular retailer is that cellos (and presumably everything else) are sent out with no checks at all. Which admittedly is not surprising in view of the low prices, checking takes time and time is money (and it's not a minimum wage job)
Now I realise we are all used to the idea that we buy things factory sealed and unchecked - DVDs, microwave ovens, phones, computers, the list is endless. BUT with a STRINGED instrument? Not wise. Why not?
Well, orchestral stringed instruments are made by hand (even the cheapest, the differences are in who makes them and what materials are used). They are sent from the factories in China either with the soundpost in place but the strings and bridge won, or with the soundpost down as well. In this case I can't tell you which because I have never bought in a Primavera cello exactly as it comes from the factory, but to be fair I think it most likely (from descriptions given by the wholesaler) that the soundpost is in place when it's sent out. The chances of the soundpost collapsing in transit, however, is significant. That is FAR more likely to happen when the bridge is down and most makers will not send bridge up (I have to ask Gliga specially if I want it sent like that, and I have to assure them that I will not hold them liable for any damage)
That's just the soundpost. What if a problem is found with anything else? Would you spot it in time to return it? Would you spot it at all? At best you would have to repack it all. It is clear that some do arrive faulty because the same mega retailer often has "B stock" on ebay - sometimes this B stock includes huge faults such as large cracks on the back of the cello!
If you go to a specialist bricks and mortar shop, of the type that does not mention prices on the website, the instrument WILL have been unpacked and WILL have been checked and the price goes UP for that. And so it should! If they do any more, the price goes up again. It's called added value.
Your money, your choice.