I actually figured it out haha, I think I just put in the wrong last. Now are seconds still in good quality and do they just have minor defects?You're certainly welcome over at the AE thread, but it moves fast!
Seconds are from AE directly; there's a group of outlet stores called shoe bank. http://shoebank.com I personally use Kristen at the Paramus store, but Ashley at the Charleston store is excellent as well. You can't buy directly through the website, but you can contact one of them and they can look over the shoes before you purchase to make sure they're good. I've gotten some better quality seconds from Kristen than some firsts. They both know me by my screen name here as well.
And of course, there is almost always a sale for calf firsts that knocks them down to $249 or $299 or something if you'd prefer working with the sales associate you've been talking with.