I recently joined the world of AE. And the entry was through ebay (1 pair of Black Delray - used, 1 pair of Brown Delray - new with defects [mismatch size and some scuffs] and 1 pair of Black Park Avenues - new with defects [mismatch size and some scuffs]). All 3 cost less than $180 (Canadian) a pair, which includes delivery!
Previously, in terms of Goodyear welt shoes, I've only had British (Dacks, Barker, Hawkins, Doc Martens) and Indian (Charles Tyrwhitt) models. The British/Indian shoes are generally heavier and scuff very easily.
The AE ones are lighter in weight, and a lot more stylish. I suspect the Brown Delray and Park Avenues were seconds to begin with, and returned.
The Black Delrays were really comfortable, and I am on my feet all day (a lot of walking). This pair was lightly worn, as the insoles, and soles showed little use.
I honestly believe that these is nothing wrong with buying second hand shoes - as long as the soles and insoles show little wear and tear. Remember, AE can be recrafted by AE themselves, or other reputable services like Nucraft.
Try the second hand route. Good luck on finding deals!