I agree with person who sd. to buy locally. You always need to it check out. The sound of the violin is the most important as it will tell you how well the instrument has been cared for as the wood is the most imporatnt thing of a stringed instrument. The label will tell you the mfg., the date, the region , the copy. All these things are the main factors. I happen to have a couple of nice student instruments. I am in the Las Vegas, NV area, don't know if that is of use to you.
In American common sense, the Violin beginers do not need an expensive violin to practice with.
Generally, a beginner need a violin below a hundred dollars if it is new, and about 40 dollars if it is used.
If a student practice it for 2 semesters, the lessons are paid of, for the rent for a violin a semester is more than 20 dollars. After that the violin student may give up and throw the violin in the garbage bin, or resell it for nearly 40 dollars on eBay.
Violins are different from Piano or keyboard, that they have no typing-machine-like inside themselves.
That makes Violins the most simplest instrument in the whole wide world, that the requirement for a violin is staying a whole without breaking in parts. Piano and keyboard need to have a good machenic function, a good set of keys, and hundreds of strings to be turned every 6 months. In short, most of cheap violins are qualified for lessons and performance while most of acoustic Pianos are not. I can say, no qualified violin teachers says that a certain violin is not qualified for violin lessons. I myself, the first time buying a violin after entering the US, bought a used and cracked violin below a hundred dollars, and I play it for more than 10 years before I buy better one at $500 dollars. I play them better than other violinists who have violins beyound a thousand dollars or even thousands of dollars.
Practically, please, go to eBay, and place a bid to a violin at about $50 dollars. If it cracked or broken, you can claim your money back. If not, the violin is more than worth for your first few years of practicing Violin. Sara Chang, a famous violinist, played cheap violins for many years before she got the current one at million dollars.
I can sell you one . I have pearl river violins. They have a very good sound for a bigner violin. One other thing that was not said yet. If you get a cheep violin from something like ebay. It may not be set up right. you would have to take it to a violin shop to have it set up right for you. The set up is importent for a good sound and playabillity.
I have been selling violins as a hobby for about 8 years now. some of my cheeper violins sound as good or better that the most expensive ones. Most of the higher cost is because the wood is better . Like more framed maple and real ebbony wood for the fingerboard,chinrest,and peggs. I got a pearl river violin for my daughter for about $350.00 ( the better ones) Her teacher told me that it had just as good a sound as her $7,000.00 violin. An other one I sold for $150.00 The guy told me it sounded better than his brothers $2,000.00 violin.
write me an email if you like to know more . Mr_violin@msn.com
I agree with most Mr_Violin said. However, I do not agree with him on:
1- eBay sells cheap merchandises and also expensive ones as well.
2- Violins on eBay need setup, and Violins from street stores need setup, too. I setup all violins I purchased, and I setup all violins my friends' kids play. If a person does not know how to setup a violin, it is costly to have it setup by a store. Most of violin teachers setup students' violins for free.