Tesla Model S bidding wars are not supported by the company, as reservations are not transferrable

With all of the praise being heaped on the Tesla Model S by the automotive press, it’s not difficult to see why a long waiting list is forming for the forthcoming electric car. But Tesla is still quite a small company, and with a waiting list now 14,000 names long, it will take the better part of a year before they can deliver to all those eager customers, especially at current production capacity. But some people, people with money, don’t feel like waiting that long, and some of those a bit higher up on the list are seeing this as an opportunity to make a few bucks.

People are now selling their slots on eBay, and these are going for many thousands of dollars, but there is one little problem with this, the reservations aren’t transferable. As Green Car Reports tells it, the Tesla reservation agreement is very specific about this, saying in Paragraph 6 “If you do not wish to enter into a Purchase Agreement at the time that you are contacted by Tesla, you have the option to relinquish your reservation sequence position and defer to a later position to be determined by us (only one deferral is permitted). If you do not communicate your decision to us within ten (10) days of notification under paragraph 4, you will automatically be granted such a deferral. This Agreement is not transferable or assignable to another party without the prior written approval of a Tesla authorized representative.” Tesla is reportedly not giving out said written approval.

This makes those expensive reservation slots that people are buying somewhat complicated. Since you cannot transfer the reservation, these eBay sellers are instead offering to sell their Model S as soon as they receive it, most likely for the sticker price plus whatever the auction comes to. But this isn’t necessarily straightforward either, as some states don’t allow you sell a car as used when it only has a couple miles on the odometer. So not only are you not really bidding on what you think you are, but there is the potential for you to end up in a horribly complicated situation. Most sellers don’t to have any kind of plan for this at all, and even if it’s legally possible, it could be that Tesla won’t look too favorably on these kinds of actions. Ferrari, for example, is famous for discouraging buyers from flipping cars, and those that do are frequently banned from ever buying another Ferrari again. Tesla probably won’t do this to you, but for those who want a Model S, it’s probably best to just wait your turn.

By Jacob Joseph