Good question Tracye! Really it is all about finding a company that specializes in stringed instruments, and have confidence that they do a good job of quality of control. 75% of violins out there are made in China, so it is important that the company only ships out the best Chinese instruments that come there way. I’m an advocate of Chinese instruments, but you have to find ones that are good quality. Check out my article I wrote at violinist.com about Chinese vs. European violins to learn more.