I hear what you are saying. Pretty much every Viberg shell pre-sale has sold out in minutes if not seconds since the navy shell (Jan/Feb 2014 if I recall) ones they offered which took a few weeks, that seems to be when Alden shell hit a fever pitch and people realized there where other high end alternatives.
Totally agree the increased demand has been driven by the internet, instagram and the overall rise in menswear spending that has been happening the past few years.
But I suspect the premiums are capped so to speak by the overall price point. There seems to be alot of people willing to pay between $1000 - $1500 for a "grail" Alden Boot and I think that price point sort of stops out any any massive 2x premium for a Viberg shell that starts at $1100. There are certain Alden boots I might consider paying +$1000 before I would want a GYW Viberg natty shell for $1100, stitchdown that is another story and a chapter which appears to be closed.
And it is really only for shell cordovan, which I do not deny is a cool and unique leather, but is totally and absurdly overhyped across the internet which may to your final point eventually make them all go for a premium because the demand continues to grow ad supply seems to be fairly steady. But there is a pair of reverse shell that are on eBay which have not sold in the past few weeks and the seller lowered the starting price to $900 so he could potentially walk away with about a $300 loss after fees. So there is at least some measure of sanity in the market, although I feel sorry for the guy.
All excellent points. The reverse shell was not my cup of tea...though I've got nothing against it. It's certainly true that non shell Vibergs that are BNIB don't sell for retail price. Many Alden's don't either. Within the last year I bought Cigar Indy, Cigar LHS ne #8 LWB for a combined cost of about $1,000 off eBay. I doubt I'll ever repeat that deal!
However I've never seen anything Alden or Viberg in shell in my size in Color 4, Brandy or Natural shell that I could buy. I would pay over list for those if they became available. Missed out on the recent natty shell Vibergs because I was not logged into PayPal.