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Cybertruck Owners Flip Their New EV Like There's No Tomorrow, Despite No-Resale Clause

Tesla introduced a no-resale clause in the sales contract of the Foundation Series Cybertruck in a bid to discourage people from flipping it. However, this hasn't worked in the past and is not working now, with many Cybertruck owners trying to sell their pickups for a hefty profit.
Tesla Cybertruck 6 photos
Photo: Tesla
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Exotic car sales are usually protected by a no-resale clause in the sales contract to ensure people buying them are doing it for their own benefit, not to make a quick profit. However, such agreements are often difficult to enforce. Probably the most famous case was that of wrestler John Cena, who bought a $500K Ford GT in 2017 and sold it a few months later, despite Ford prohibiting the car's resale for two years after the purchase. Ford sued Cena, but the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court, with the proceeds going to a charity.

It's unclear what Cena risked by flipping its Ford GT because we don't know the clause, and the lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum. Another Ford GT owner who sold his car at auction before the two-year deadline also settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. We know such clauses are like a weak lock: they can only prevent honest people from entering, not the burglars.

Ford discovered this when it tried the same move with the F-150 Lightning in 2022. Dealers had no problem buying the Lightning trucks in bulk and reselling them with a huge markup on the used market. Still, this didn't prevent Tesla from trying a similar trick with the Cybertruck. Given the million-long reservation list and limited initial production, there is a strong chance scalpers would try to benefit from the situation.

And so they did, despite the no-resale clause Tesla put in the Cybertruck sales contract. This has been a controversial move by Tesla, and that's why the EV maker reversed it after initially announcing it. Still, when the Cybertruck eventually started deliveries, Tesla reinstated the no-resale clause, making it clear that it's not OK to take delivery of a Cybertruck only to sell it for profit months later.

The no-resale clause in Tesla Cybertruck's sales contract is pointless

This didn't prevent Cybertruck owners from trying to sell their trucks for profit. Considering the hype surrounding the electric pickup, the temptation is high. The Foundation Series Cybertruck may not be as rare as the Ford GT, but it's still in high demand. Although it didn't offer estimates about the number of Foundation Series Cybertrucks available, Tesla indicated that it intends to sell it at least until the end of 2024. So far, it's unclear whether it will extend the no-resale clause to regular versions of the Cybertruck.

According to the no-resale clause in the Foundation Series Cybertruck's sales contract, you cannot sell the Cybertruck for the first year after delivery. If you do it, you can only sell it to Tesla. Otherwise, you agree to pay the EV maker a $50,000 fine or as much as you made from the sale if it's more than that. Theoretically, this means the only party profiting from selling the Cybertruck is Tesla, which gets all the profits. In practice, people flip the Cybertruck like there's no tomorrow.

Earlier this week, we came across a Cybertruck owner in Germany who tried to sell his truck for 450,000 euros ($522,000). I'm sure he wasn't the original owner. Somebody must have already broken the sales contract so that this Cybertruck could land in Germany. The fact that people are willing to pay a premium to get a Cybertruck without an invitation from Tesla is well known. However, they must also be willing to pay whatever Tesla claims as part of the sales contract.

Plenty of Cybertrucks on offer, but there's a catch

And yet, this doesn't bother some Cybertruck owners in the slightest. They have tried to make a buck on the Cybertruck even before the deliveries began. Many who placed a reservation in the first days after the 2019 launch tried to sell it on e-commerce websites. Prices vary wildly, but many expect between $5,000 and $10,000 for their spots in line. Even now, you can find plenty of offers for early reservation spots if you search around.

Yet, the real deal is selling the Cybertruck itself, not a reservation that Tesla might honor who knows when. Popular car sales platforms are avoided, so you won't find a Cybertruck there. However, the Facebook Marketplace is ripe with Cybertruck offers. Many hover around $150,000 and are listed with 300 miles driven, which looks bizarre but has an explanation. These are not actual driven miles because most of these trucks haven't been delivered yet. This is likely what the original owner estimates they will drive before selling the Cybertruck. After all, it's hard to have a Cybertruck delivered and not take it for a spin.

Some of these offers are more cleverly packaged than others. People have figured out how to screw Tesla on the no-resale clause. Instead of a sales contract, they sell you a lease. In this case, the listed price covers the lease payments for one year, after which you can buy the truck for $0.01. One year is precisely how long the no-resale clause is in effect so that you can get it with no penalty at the end of the lease. You only need to write an air-tight sales contract to ensure the seller doesn't keep the Cybertruck at the end of the lease contract.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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