For those who want to know what the luthier said:
The luthier said it was well made and a good value, but would need buffing, refinished fingerboard, new pegs, new bridge, strings and sound post (he did not see the latter three items). The first thing he did was look at the lable, so I don't know how much of this a brand judgment vs a true assessment. I was actually confused if he was trying to talk me in or out of doing business with him, as he focused on the negatives and the expense (I had told him money is an issue for me) but said it wasn't one he would outright turn away. He said the bow was OK and not what he calls a disposable bow. He said it would be 400 just to get it to be playable, but it would sound good, and he would only do it all at once, not a bit at a time so I could manage the expense better.
At this point, I'm going to someone affordable to get it set up to see how it sounds and if it's worth keeping. My main question is about the varnish. I bought it with the understanding I would have to pay for the set up and new strings as well as the fact it would be my student cello, not my end cello. Nothing local was in my price range.