I bought the shoes in question and he is not the seller. We ended up doing the deal here on styleforum. It reduced the sellers fees by a good amount and we came to a relatively fair deal.
Personally I'll never be in a situation where retailers consider me a big spender and throw rare shell my way. I don't have interest in enough stock models to ever get to that level. So while I did pay over retail for this pair ultimately it is cheaper than buying multiple shoes from one retailer in order to maybe have a shot at them years down the line.
I don't know the sellers exact motives but he didn't strike me as purely a flipper. And even if he was he has clearly spent a good amount of money with AOC at some point to get his hands on these. The supply and demand on Alden's is what it is at this point. I missed "the good old days" so now I try to get good deals when I can and occasionally over pay when necessary. I hope he ships them quick so I can get them on my feet.
Personally, I feel the same way. I have money to buy one or two pairs every so often but I don't think neither AoC nor AoM for Leffot will consider myself a big spender; therefore, I won't be considered on their rare shell listings. Given the oportunity I would really pay that amount of money for shoes like the whiskey tankers because that would be the only chance I would have at them.
I really love the way ShoeMart or ADC does it because I know I will eventually get the pair I like even when I have to wait 2 or 3 years.