Depending on whether you are in a hurry or not, I advise keeping an eye on the private sale notice boards found in most music schools and local musical instrument shops. People are giving up learning instruments as fast as others are starting out. A bargain can be struck which cuts losses for one, and undercuts the price of buying new for the other. This is how I got my own two much beloved violins. The first, a fine instrument with strong tone (and a few scuffs) I bought for two pounds in eight weekly installments at school from an old boy who was giving up. The second, I bought twenty years later when I was taking evening classes at a local music school. I noticed a hand written card on a notice board saying 'old violin, probably needs attention, suit beginner, ten pounds.' It turned out to be 250 years old, made in what is now the Czech Republic, with beautiful wood and playing action. The seller was a middle aged lady whose father had bought it for her as a child, but she had never perservered. As her own children were now grown up and had shown no interest, she simply wanted to pass it one to somebody who would make use of it. Needless to say, I took advice and offered more than the asking price, within my limits. But I will never sell it. I promised the lady that I wouldn't consider it to be mine, should she ever decide she wanted it back. But that was another twenty years ago. So, keep your eyes peeled. You never know when it is your lucky day.