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Model 3 buying is a unique experience

ponzu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
289
96
Southern California
The community of the Model 3 (I like how you guys write M3 so coolly; there is that momentary Pavlovian jolt of the memory of that M3 and every erection, sorry, I meant reaction you have ever had when a friend or a coworker gave you a ride in one; I really have to learn to use "M3" in reference to a Tesla as easily as you do) is growing daily. I wonder if you have compiled a statistic of how many have bought the car sight unseen.

I have watched every Larry Benjamin video. For the record, I think the guy is a prince among men and is doing God's work on YouTube. I feel like I have been in, around and under a M3 (nice, I am doing it already!). I feel like I know all there is to know. I have done the math every which way and convinced myself that a $44K EV I can buy now makes every bit as much sense as the $25K EV I thought I was signing up for two years ago. I am prepared to love the car.

But is is freaking weird to be buying a $44K car I have not laid my eyes on in person, much less sat in.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you, or if you ever in your wildest dreams thought it could happen to you when shopping for a new car. A salesman in a fancy Tesla showroom telling you to go on Turo to find someone renting out a Model 3 for $50/day (in reality, more like $160/day) and check the car out that day.

That's when the madness of the M3 buying process really hit home for me.

Fashion Island is the only showroom in Orange County, I was told, that has a physical M3 to touch and sit it. Not drive, God forbid, of course not! My wife got an appointment for us to sit in their M3 last Saturday. For one, I want to make sure that at 6'2" I will be comfortable, and the person behind me will be reasonably comfortable.

Guess what, their M3 went MIA just before we got there. According to the salesguy, some idiot (prospective buyer) ripped of a door handle by mistake. Another story I heard in the showroom is that it was being used in a "special event", and another -- that it is being detailed. They couldn't even get their story straight. The car will be back some time this week.

The guy then suggested we go down the street to the Delivery Center and ogle the cars they have there in plenitude. Only to be corrected by the manager who said they have all been moved inside and none are visible from the street.

So, three questions. How many (show of hands or percentage if known) bought the car sight unseen? If you did get to see and sit in the car prior to the purchase, what hoops did you have to jump through to get your butt in? And does anyone in OC with a Model 3 want to make friends and show me theirs? I'll buy lunch.
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,012
4,621
McKinney, TX
I reserved it sight unseen but by the time I actually took delivery I had seen the Model 3 in person a couple of times. The first time I drove one, however, was ours upon delivery.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,181
7,873
Visalia, CA
...Tell me if this has ever happened to you...

Well... Time might have changed but in 2009, I was desperate for an electric car so I made a deposit and bought the car by faith and I was well rewarded with a great Model S in 2012 finally.

I guess that's a definition of a Tesla cult member :)
 
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Rogue one

Member
Aug 6, 2017
144
184
Wisconsin
I hope to sit in a model 3 before I place my order but it’s highly doubtful I will have driven one until we pick ours up... just going to go by the hundreds of positive reviews and YouTube videos to base my $55k purchase decision on, you know saying it like that makes me feel like a crazy person! Lol ( :
 

PHd410

Member
Dec 9, 2017
29
15
Inman, South Carolina, USA
@ponzu I feel your agony. I was fortunate enough to recently sit in the M3 in the DC CityCenter showroom and was pleased with the fit for my 6’3” frame - much more to my liking compared to the MS ingress and egress difficulties I experienced. As far as the rear seat passenger room while I’m driving, on those rare occasions — which will probably be more often with those wanting to ride in the M3 — I can sacrifice some of my driving legroom to provide more for them if I really want to be nice to them!!

Last year I did fly to Long Island to buy a Q7 and drove it for the first time as I was ‘escaping’ the dealership. I’m accepting the fact that I won’t drive the M3 prior to delivery.
 

C141medic

Active Member
Apr 9, 2016
1,714
1,497
New Jersey
I will not buy any vehicle that I haven’t at least sat in and seen in person. Unfortunately I won’t be able to test drive one but that’s okay. I love how the car looks and the mostly positive reviews. I also love Tesla and support the mission. I’ve owned a Leaf before so I’m familiar with an EV. I would at least recommend going to see one and get a “feel” for it.
 

StaceyR

Member
Apr 23, 2018
80
103
Foothill Ranch, CA
We received our invite email on 4/18 and decided to visit the nearby Costa Mesa showroom/delivery center first to see our color finalists up close one more time before placing our order. We had already been to Fashion Island weeks before to see the (now MIA) M3 and sit, measure, poke, prod the car while peppering the "Customer Experience Specialist" with endless questions. In Costa Mesa we heard the same mysterious story about the MIA M3 at nearby Fashion Island. They were pumping out a new delivery every 15 minutes so we were able to get close-ups of our favorite colors as they rolled out of the delivery room (to applause). Since they were being driven by their new owners we didn't want to intrude on their special moment so we stayed hands-off. They would not let us go in the back lot to inspect the undelivered cars but we saw what we came for. The service center just down the block had mostly Model S & X out front but a few M3s as well and even a Roadster!
 
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StaceyR

Member
Apr 23, 2018
80
103
Foothill Ranch, CA
Full disclosure - We haven't driven a Model 3...or any Tesla...yet but based on my 3 years of driving our electric Fiat 500e I can't imagine we'll be disappointed in the least. Yes, there will be a learning curve going from the compliance Fiat to a Tesla (and probably some frustration) but we're looking forward to the experience! I'll be looking to find an Orange County Tesla club for support myself.

BTW...our 500e's custom license plate frame says "When I grow up I'm gonna be a Tesla!"
 
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octoad

Member
Apr 4, 2016
134
57
Southern California
The guy then suggested we go down the street to the Delivery Center and ogle the cars they have there in plenitude. Only to be corrected by the manager who said they have all been moved inside and none are visible from the street.

So, three questions. How many (show of hands or percentage if known) bought the car sight unseen? If you did get to see and sit in the car prior to the purchase, what hoops did you have to jump through to get your butt in? And does anyone in OC with a Model 3 want to make friends and show me theirs? I'll buy lunch.

I went to the delivery center 2 weeks ago to try and spy M3 colors. I was promptly greeted by somebody at the door to see what my business was. He was friendly, but wasn't interested in somebody snooping around. There happened to be a truck unloading 6-8 M3's, so I was able to see them be unloaded and quickly driven behind the delivery center.

Last Saturday, there was an OC Tesla meetup in Costa Mesa. That was the perfect chance to see maybe 8 M3's and talk to owners. I was able to see aero wheels without the covers in person, and sit in a M3. It sealed the deal for me.

OC Tesla Club on Twitter
 
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StaceyR

Member
Apr 23, 2018
80
103
Foothill Ranch, CA
I went to the delivery center 2 weeks ago to try and spy M3 colors. I was promptly greeted by somebody at the door to see what my business was. He was friendly, but wasn't interested in somebody snooping around. There happened to be a truck unloading 6-8 M3's, so I was able to see them be unloaded and quickly driven behind the delivery center.

Last Saturday, there was an OC Tesla meetup in Costa Mesa. That was the perfect chance to see 10-12 M3's and talk to owners. I was able to see aero wheels without the covers in person, and sealed the deal for me.

That many Model 3's already? I'd like to drop in on one of those club meet-ups. I'll look them up but do you know often do they get together?
 

North75

Member
Mar 28, 2017
608
739
MA
The community of the Model 3 (I like how you guys write M3 so coolly; there is that momentary Pavlovian jolt of the memory of that M3 and every erection, sorry, I meant reaction you have ever had when a friend or a coworker gave you a ride in one; I really have to learn to use "M3" in reference to a Tesla as easily as you do) is growing daily.
As a former owner of an actual M3 (E36) I will also continue to write Model 3 when referring to the Tesla.
Hopefully I will receive my Model 3 soon so I can make a comparison. (Configured on 4/14, waiting for Vin)
 

ponzu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
289
96
Southern California
Well, I did it. It was all very well to act incredulous and all, but deep down I knew I was going to do it.

The results (so far) of my poll are very illuminating. 28% of you share my experience of ordering the Model 3 on the basis of little more than YouTube videos and reviews.
 

drawfour

Member
Mar 10, 2018
774
709
Seattle, WA
In 2003, I bought a Nissan 350Z without test drive. It was just released, and a friend and I had been looking at them, and out of all the dealerships in our area, we could only find one that had more than 1 or 2 in stock (this place had 5), and that were selling for MSRP (the others all raised prices above MSRP, because of supply/demand). So we drove there, got to sit in the cars that met our criteria, and then worked out the financing details. We never got to test drive them, so my first time driving it was after all the paperwork was signed and it was in my name and I was zipping in and out of traffic like an idiot. Found a brand new Infiniti G35 on the way down the highway and we had fun leading/following and zipping all around the highway before we finally parted ways.

No regrets.

Granted, it was only $35k (but in 2003 dollars, which is the equivalent of $47k today).

I put in a reservation the day after the reveal (I couldn't watch it online that evening, and didn't want to put a reservation in without seeing something), and while I've seen them and sat in them at the Showroom, I doubt I'll be able to drive one before I finally get to order one. I'm OK with that. I can't wait!
 

StaceyR

Member
Apr 23, 2018
80
103
Foothill Ranch, CA
Well, I did it. It was all very well to act incredulous and all, but deep down I knew I was going to do it.

The results (so far) of my poll are very illuminating. 28% of you share my experience of ordering the Model 3 on the basis of little more than YouTube videos and reviews.
When did you place your order? Did you have any problems?

I tried to place our order three times yesterday and only got three error messages. Now I have two "pending" charges for $2,500 each on my credit card and no confirmed order. Called Tesla twice yesterday and again this morning and each time they said they were updating the ordering system and it wasn't working correctly yet...Duh...and try again later! They couldn't find my order or charges to my card and suggested I check back later to see if the update problems had been resolved. I'm not comfortable attempting another online order until I see the two pending charges removed and I'm assured it will be successful. Not the first "Tesla experience" I was expecting! Hopefully I was the exception and others haven't encountered similar problems but I'm bummed to keep falling back in line when I'm finally close to actually getting a Model 3.
 

ponzu

Member
Apr 19, 2018
289
96
Southern California
When did you place your order? Did you have any problems?

I tried to place our order three times yesterday and only got three error messages. Now I have two "pending" charges for $2,500 each on my credit card and no confirmed order. Called Tesla twice yesterday and again this morning and each time they said they were updating the ordering system and it wasn't working correctly yet...Duh...and try again later! They couldn't find my order or charges to my card and suggested I check back later to see if the update problems had been resolved. I'm not comfortable attempting another online order until I see the two pending charges removed and I'm assured it will be successful. Not the first "Tesla experience" I was expecting! Hopefully I was the exception and others haven't encountered similar problems but I'm bummed to keep falling back in line when I'm finally close to actually getting a Model 3.
Around 10 PM yesterday. Problems? It was confusing to a point, and I did have to enter a lot of info and images of documents. While I was doing it, sections of the order were marked with a red or yellow exclamation, red for incomplete and yellow for "pending". Eventually, I got it to the point where the only non-green item was the financing info. It said (and still does) that they will contact me when it gets closer to delivery. 10 minutes later or so the pending credit card charge showed up, one.

I thought the process was lengthy and somewhat convoluted, sorry your experience was even worse.
 

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