The seconds bit: some trivial cosmetic issues (some varnish has come off on some edges) - pictures available. It really is very trivial. The upgraded bit: Prelude strings (list price £71.74), a genuine Wittner Ultra tailpiece (list price £26.17) and a professionally fitted bridge (just price that up at any specialist shop!) and professional set up. You know, the sort you would get in a bricks and mortar specialist shop of the type that won't tell you the prices on the website. Also a block of A&B rosin (list price £5.13), and a Hidersine gig bag which is better padded than the standard Primavera bag. This is a very sensible buy in this price range for any parent who realises that cellos pick up cosmetic damage very easily indeed!
The Primavera 100 is a respected quality beginner's outfit from The Soundpost. The cello has solid wood and ebony fittings.
Changes: Hidersine gig bag supplied instead of the usual Primavera one (the Hidersine one has more padding). O yes, you get a block of A&B rosin too.
Upgrades: Prelude strings. Professionally fitted bridge and soundpost. Just price that lot up!
Don't forget my price includes UK postage and the instrument is sent ready to play. List price is £610 (1/2 size with no set up work).
The Soundpost offers three levels of set up to its retailers, bronze silver and gold. This one is well above the gold set up and is of the level you would get from one of the posh shops that doesn't tell you the price until you go in.
If you are in the market for a 1/2 size beginner's cello of good quality, you won't beat this one for the price. As for the cosmetic damage, what on earth does that matter? It's trivial! Mail me for pictures.