The posts have come from people who were quick to place a deposit and secure an early slot in the 450,000-plus queue.
This practice of ‘flipping’ is normally only seen with low or limited-volume sports and supercars, but it appears the Model 3’s unprecedented demand has encouraged it with a more mainstream model.
Other brands have been quick to condemn the flipping of their models. Aston Martin has said anyone caught trying to sell on their Valkyrie slot will lose their car. Tesla is yet to comment officially on the practice.
The terms and conditions listed on the page where customers can place an order for a Model 3 state that build slots are "non-transferable", suggesting the practice is not officially allowed. However, it seems unlikely that the brand will be able to keep track of such a large volume of deals.
Tesla has already told its employees, who are offered a discount on new purchases, that they cannot sell their car on for profit. In an email addressed to its employees, Tesla said: “Because employees are receiving special priority, all Model 3 cars prioritised to employees must be registered to you or your family member and may not be resold for more than the original price.”
The Model 3 broke records when it went on sale in March 2016, but more recently parts supply issues have created what company CEO Elon Musk described as “production hell”. The brand has been working to clear the order backlog, and the launch of the Tesla Semi truck and new Roadster helped to move the spotlight away from it.