My experience pre-ordering the Tesla Model 3

Introduction

I had written earlier in the week that I wanted to preorder a Tesla model 3.  A reader told me he planned on showing up at 3AM to wait.  That was a bit too ridiculous for me.  I really didn’t want the car first thing since I was wanted to draw out my Audi ownership a bit longer, I figured I’ll go at 9:30AM when the store opened.

 

9AM

Before I headed over to the mall, I figure I’ll check Twitter to see if anyone posted about the wait.  That’s when i saw this – https://twitter.com/eugene_lin/status/715566884133801984/video/1.  It’s only 15 seconds.  Go watch it.  Anyway, once I saw that, I decided NOPE!  I’ll wait until lunch.

 

12:35PM

As the hours passed, I kept checking Twitter and sure enough, the line was not letting up.  People were commenting that they had just gotten to the “mall’s second level,” which is the end of the video.  From where they were to the Tesla store would have been 2+ hours.  That’s when I decided to wait until lunch to go.  I got there at about 12:30PM and posted this photo.

tesla10

I was about at the mid way point of the video.  I was talking to the lady in the picture there, and she had came earlier and saw the massive line and decide to wait until the line died down.  I told her, “Yeah, you saved 3 hours now, but that’ll probably push back your car 3 months.”  Hey sorry, the truth hurts.

Also, while we were waiting, this nice old lady said her friend bought a model S and returned it 3 weeks later.  She said, “We’re old.  We don’t like all that technology like you young people.”  Haha.  She was also amazed at the number of people waiting for a car that they’ve never seen.

 

1:18PM

Forty minutes in line and I was here:

tesla11

 

1:32PM

An hour in and oh so close.

tesla12

 

1:45PM?

tesla13

Finally!  The thing that irked me was how slow the line was moving at the beginning.  I had read it should take 2 minutes per person to fill out their name, address, and credit card number.  By the time we got to the front, the line was moving fast.  There were 6-7 employees taking preorders.  I don’t know if half of these people were on their lunch break, or if people were asking stupid questions like, “What does the car look like?”  Either way, I think that line should have moved at twice the speed.

When I walked out, the line ended where I was at the 1:32PM mark.

 

“Do you want 2 or 1?”

When the employee was filling out the preorder, I saw a drop down box for a quantity of 1 or 2.  He asked me if I wanted 1 or 2.  I asked him, “If I do 2, can I cancel 1 down the road?”  “YES.”  “Okay then, I’ll do 2!.”  I tried to put it on my Discover Miles card, but I ran out of credit and so the card got rejected.  The employee said it was probably his mistake.  It wasn’t.  I begrudgingly used my Discover It instead.

 

Conclusion

Now the wait begins.  My guess on when I’ll get the car…. late 2018… 2.5 years from now.

  • Wesley Murray

    Haha, I saw that video posted and thanked god that wasn’t where I was. I went to Charlotte, NC, about 10 miles from the house. I got there around 7:45-50 for a 10AM opening time. I was roughly 57th in line according to the Tesla associate that came down the line to talk to everyone and just chat and count people. I’d say by the time the doors actually opened at 10 about 200 people were in line. It took until roughly 11:20 or so for me to get to the computer and put my reservation in. I only reserved 1, didn’t feel like having to call and go through all the cancelling and hassle just to MS 1K, I can do nearly 10x’s that in 5 minutes at Simon. I’m honestly glad I went. I think I stand a reasonably decent chance of getting the $7,500 since I was probably in the first 10K or so US pre-orders. We will just have to wait and see. I think I’ll end up seeing my car Q1 of 18, so right at 2 years. As of now I have jumped back and fourth on the leasing or buying as well. I think it will depend on what the options are, the pricing on them, and my thoughts on if I’m going to get the $7500 when the time comes. If it comes down to a 3 year lease at 12K being roughly the same price as say a 6 year purchase, I think I will just buy the thing and trade it in for an upgrade if I have that desire in a few years. I think depreciation at least for the first 2-2.5 years will be minor, due to the back log of orders they will have. They were near 300K Saturday evening, and I figure it will grow to over a half mil by the time the car actually comes. All that coupled with the fact that at the end of the 3 years the tax credit will certainly be gone means I don’t know what to do now. One thing is certain, I gotta tackle reducing some debt between now and then if I want to get the PXX(X?)D version and all the bells and whistles.

    • Miles per Day

      Hate to break it to you Wesley, but they are going to ship to West coast buyers before East coast ones. Meaning POTENTIALLY online West Coast ppl may get theirs before your in store reservation. My late in store rsvp will probably come before your early in-store rsvp I think.

      • Wesley Murray

        The latest speculation I’ve read is that the intitial batch of cars will go west coast and then they will start batches moving east. Honestly nobody that could tell us anything really knows, we will just have to wait and see until much closer to the launch date. I will however agree that I’m at a disadvantage being on the East coast.

  • Jordan

    Very cool,

  • Ken

    Could you have reserved online? They’re taking reservations right now, but I don’t know when the online reservations opened.

    I was thinking of grabbing 2 of them and then selling my spot in line as the cars started to be released. Or just cancel the reservation.

    • Miles per Day

      If I had waited for online preorders, I’d be #100,000 or so. By doing it in store, I may be #90,000. That means I may get the car 6 months or so earlier than the online preorders. Right now, I think they are up to 200K preorders, so that’ll be 2020 or so. Haha.

  • juanbeny

    People say when you cancel, you will get a check. Decent option for MS…