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Buy it and they will come business model?

Ohmie

Member
Sep 8, 2019
52
21
San Diego, CA
I’m a new Tesla customer... Former business professor turned entrepreneur. Car guy. Reasonably green and reasonably tech savvy. I think I fit squarely into the middle of Tesla’s target market at this stage of the business.

My first impression is that the company has great products but they don’t really know how to sell their own products. In fact, I’d say the company borders on “hard to buy from.” :)

I’m not complaining mind you. My experience hasn’t been bad at all. It’s been more a cross between confusing and amusing.

My first experience was with Tesla Solar. I contacted the company online. The robo rep got back to me super fast and set up an appt with a telephone rep. His pitch was decent. And he sent me a copy of the proposal on request. But then he seems to have lost his mojo. After getting competing bids I decided to add more capacity to the proposal. The only problem is that, in two weeks time, he lost the original proposal. And rather than start from scratch with a new one, he just disappeared. So I went with a competitor.

My second experience, not yet complete, is for the purchase of a Model S LR. I started the old fashioned way by test driving and ordering in the store. Since that time the process has largely been a mystery. I have trouble reaching the rep by phone. The computer rarely seems to update with new information. I receive texts asking me to do things that have already been done (like completing the “profile”) and things that can’t be done (like applying for insurance through Tesla).

Delivery day is set for Thursday. The only problem is the details of my purchase have totally disappeared from the website. The only thing there is a picture of my car. I don’t know the final purchase price as the last I looked there were some missing credits and the purchase agreement hadn’t been updated.

All I can say is I hope my car is there when I get there... and that the sales rep’s claim that I can pay by personal check is accurate. I’m sure it will work out one way or another. But I can’t help but wonder what Tesla could do with a more focused sales effort... o_O
 
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ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
615
742
Walpole, NH
You can, in fact, pay by personal check. This part has always baffled me, but I've tested it twice now. I guess having remote control over vital functions of the car means they can be less skittish about bounced checks. They'll also allow you to put up to 6k total on a credit card - although this isn't widely advertised, I've now done it twice too. As to the rest of it...it's mostly par for the course at the moment. The company is behind on both hiring/training and meeting the existing organic demand, with predictable effects.
 
  • Informative
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Ohmie

Member
Sep 8, 2019
52
21
San Diego, CA
You can, in fact, pay by personal check. This part has always baffled me, but I've tested it twice now. I guess having remote control over vital functions of the car means they can be less skittish about bounced checks. They'll also allow you to put up to 6k total on a credit card - although this isn't widely advertised, I've now done it twice too. As to the rest of it...it's mostly par for the course at the moment. The company is behind on both hiring/training and meeting the existing organic demand, with predictable effects.

Good to know re the check.

I feel for them. I remember how hard it is to try to stay ahead of demand when rolling out new products, increasing capacity, etc. It was hard enough with 50 employees. I can only imagine how hard it is at this scale.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2014
13,105
11,382
Connecticut
When I bought my first P85+ in 2014, the online payment/xfer wasn't working on my account, so they said just bring a check, and I paid the entire amount with a personal check. When I asked about this interesting policy, they said "we know where to find you". :)
 

ilyak

Member
Mar 16, 2019
615
742
Walpole, NH
Good to know re the check.

I feel for them. I remember how hard it is to try to stay ahead of demand when rolling out new products, increasing capacity, etc. It was hard enough with 50 employees. I can only imagine how hard it is at this scale.

Funny, I once had to set up support and service teams for a company of 30 that went from ~1000 to ~35000 clients over the course of 12 months, and I had the same exact though - I pity the operations guy in charge. But Tesla's always been like this.
 
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Dithermaster

Member
Dec 27, 2015
580
395
Madison, WI
Who knows. It could be because they are production constrained so only do "good enough" in sales and support? They occasionally pull demand levers, but that's nothing compared to if they really got into marketing and backed it up with great sales techniques.
 
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,279
Buford, GA
I’m a new Tesla customer... Former business professor turned entrepreneur. Car guy. Reasonably green and reasonably tech savvy. I think I fit squarely into the middle of Tesla’s target market at this stage of the business.

My first impression is that the company has great products but they don’t really know how to sell their own products. In fact, I’d say the company borders on “hard to buy from.” :)



Delivery day is set for Thursday. The only problem is the details of my purchase have totally disappeared from the website. The only thing there is a picture of my car. I don’t know the final purchase price as the last I looked there were some missing credits and the purchase agreement hadn’t been updated.

All I can say is I hope my car is there when I get there... and that the sales rep’s claim that I can pay by personal check is accurate. I’m sure it will work out one way or another. But I can’t help but wonder what Tesla could do with a more focused sales effort... o_O

In response to your title, it's "Build it and they will come" Tesla evidently knows how to sell cars, because it sells all the cars it can make.

As to buying a car, it is a new paradigm. It's VERY easy to order a car, it works just about exactly like Amazon. Go configure, hot the buy, wait for it to arrive.
A few days before pickup, you will get notification of what to do. No need to pester Tesla until then, because no one really knows. Yes, you can pay with personal check. You just can't pay with credit card.

It's not like buying other cars, it may be you that is making the process a lot harder than it is.
 
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Ohmie

Member
Sep 8, 2019
52
21
San Diego, CA
It's not like buying other cars, it may be you that is making the process a lot harder than it is.

In my case it’s super easy because I’m a cash buyer purchasing a car I don’t need. If the car is there tomorrow then great, I’ll take it home.

But I do think it would be a bigger issue for someone who has to finance their car through a third party. I still don’t know the price of my car and don’t have a purchase contract. I don’t think any third party lender would be able to be to lend me the funds by lunch tomorrow without a purchase contract.
 

Ohmie

Member
Sep 8, 2019
52
21
San Diego, CA
In my case it’s super easy because I’m a cash buyer purchasing a car I don’t need. If the car is there tomorrow then great, I’ll take it home.

Well there was another minor glitch. The car hasn’t actually been transported to the local delivery center where I was supposed to take delivery today. Oof!

I’m still excited to get it and I feel reasonably confident that it will be there by Saturday. It is end of quarter after all. :rolleyes:

P.S. The corrected purchase contract finally showed up and I received two calls and one text to work out the logistics. So that’s progress!
 

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