wow, thanks for the synopsis, answered my questions!Here's a few of the factors.
1) Pips is arguably the most popular/hottest/most desired meadery at the moment.
2) At this point Pips production is extremely small compared to Schramm's, Superstition, etc. Most bottlings are only a few hundred bottles. Most releases are 1pp, or sometimes 2-3pp for their top tier membership.
3) Pips does not distribute
4) Pips does not typically even have public sale of most of their bottles. The majority of Pips bottle (guessing 90%) are purchased by their club members. The 10% or so that does get sold to the public often requires lining up hours before the release. Sometimes even the night before
5) Because let's say a few hundred people own 90% of the supply, they can shift the market.
6) Most of Pips' meads nail exactly what the modern craft beer drinker wants these days. Big, bold, sweet, fruited, lots of barrel aged and adjunct laden, etc.
7) Arguably most important, it's just really damn tasty mead.