I've purchased AE seconds by just blindly calling and ordering, and had success. Recently, I tried calling to order a pair, and I asked the sales associate to check it for any visible defects, and they all had defects. I spent over an hour and came away empty-handed; maybe it was just a popular one with few seconds. In the end, I decided that the exchange rate plus $50 shipping to Canada, plus duties and taxes, plus the time, wasn't worth it. So I'll just keep looking for them on sale.
And maybe sometime I'll try Meermin, it's just that I'm worried about the sizing.