Glad it worked out for you! The JAB shoe trees are the same as AE, Woodlore, Nordstrom, etc. and JAB puts them on sale the most of everywhere I think.
Seconds are a crapshoot, quite honestly. You pay significantly less than full retail for first quality, and it seems a lot of the time, the "defects" are not noticeable at all. Seconds are simply shoes for which the manufacturer would not feel comfortable charging full retail price, due to any number of issues that might crop up in the raw materials or during the manufacturing process.
Sometimes, the defects do not matter (see comments above about discoloration on the tongue of a boot, or small creases on the vamp, where the shoes will crease anyway). One of my pair of seconds for example has the insole upside down (in other words, no "Allen Edmonds" on it - just blank). By the same token, I have seen or tried on other seconds where the defect was quite noticeable, and prevented me from buying the shoes. It seems with the Wolverine boots, most were in pretty good shape, with a couple of them having problems too large to warrant purchasing, even at the discount. Good luck with yours and let us know how you fare!
Good point - maybe I need to discuss that with them
On a related point, I trust my comments and few "heads-up" posts on this thread haven't been an issue with anyone here; as I hope you can see, I am a fan of the brand and of my favorite SAs and outlet; and have no ulterior motive other than to support them.
You know, I've often wondered if some of these "seconds" with unbelievably trivial defects are in fact firsts that are returned by new SF posters due to said defect that will ultimately polish out. As many posts as we've seen where new AE's are examined under the microscope and returned, I have to think this is part of the steady supply of seconds. So maybe we should stimulate the seconds market by encouraging more of the noobs to return their firsts with trivial defects?