Crappy phone pic, but you get the idea:
Non crappy camera pic:
Massdrop is obviously not taking the typical retailer cut. Pricing has been discussed many times before. I have no problem with a retailer's markup to handle all of the issues, costs, etc. to stock a full line of shoes. Sale prices usually aren't that far off, and we do get some unique designs. I wish there were more retailers (won't be with deals like this), but Vass must be doing well with its current policies.
Comparing to the RTW price sheet, $495 doesn't seem that low, but you're lucky to find a boot stocked in your size in the Vass shop. There is almost always the MTO and shipping charge/potential customs to add.