@terb, It’s not that I don’t believe that the instrument was properly set up, it’s that shipping can prove to be somewhat stressful to any wooden musical instrument from my experiences.
Also, maybe I’m just a bit anal, but The first thing I’ve always done to all of my instruments (no matter where I purchased them) was to go through a complete set up, and in the process, replace all of the strings with ones that I prefer to use. Sometimes I’ve gone ahead and replaced the bridges with ones that also prefer to use.
If the new owner of an instrument has no idea how the instrument ‘should’ actually play and has no idea how to make adjustments or set them up, they may not know when a fret wire is too high or that maybe the truss rod is out of adjustment or maybe the action is too high or low, or maybe the intonation is out of whack. Especially so when an instrument was purchased online by someone who has never played that type instrument before.
Trying to learn to play on any instrument that is not properly adjusted from the beginning can be pretty frustrating to any new musician from my perspective. Knowing that an instrument is in fact properly set up from the very beginning can only help any new musician learning a new instrument.