Used Tesla Cybertruck Markups Plummet As Hype Cycle Cools Down

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There is always a group of influencers, celebrities, and upper-class attention chasers who will do whatever it takes to become one of the first owners of a trendy new ride. For the past several months, that vehicle has been the Tesla Cybertruck.

They’re usually not super fans of the brand or model, so they’re unlikely to have a reservation for the vehicle ahead of time. Instead, they determine their next vehicle based on the current level of hype and excitement it garnered. Then turn to the secondary market where they pay top dollar for it. 

This has been a lucrative business opportunity for some early adopters. Reserve your car day one, enjoy having the hottest new toy on the block for a week or two. Then flip the car for a 100% to 200% markup and brag about the profit you made. The car purchasing equivalent of ticket scalping dozens of tickets to a Taylor Swift concert and selling them for 3 times their listed value. 

Tesla attempted to get ahead of these speculators looking to capitalize on the vehicle’s hype cycle. Tesla made buyers sign an agreement that states the Cybertruck cannot be sold within the first year of ownership unless the owner follows a strict set of procedures and Tesla approves the vin for the re-sale.

Any owner that didn’t adhere to this agreement would supposedly be compelled to pay “$50,000 or the value received as consideration for the sale or transfer, whichever is greater.” Tesla could also refuse to sell you any vehicles in the future.

Now, how often this was enforced is unknown. Despite the perceived risks, flippers were willing to call Tesla’s bluff. Not long after first deliveries were made, Cybertrucks were being listed for private sale or at dealerships for twice the original MSRP. 

For a while, these overpriced Cybertrucks were moving, netting large profits for the sellers. But those days now seem to be gone.

An increase in new vehicle production last quarter and an influx of used examples have put a damper on pricing. Used vehicles that were originally listed for nearly $200,000 have been recently dropping in price by $10,000, $13,000, and even as much as $30,000 in an attempt to unload the vehicle.

As of May 2024, the average list price for recent used listings seems to be between $130,000 and $140,000 for vehicles with only about 100 miles on the odometer. While this is slightly over MSRP, it is probably not the huge profit generator many flippers were hoping for. Especially after factoring in taxes and registration fees. Some outliers are still being listed at $160,000 and above, but it’s probably only a matter of time before they’re marked down.

We’ve seen this phenomenon a lot over the years. The electric truck market is just the most recent example. As members of this hot new EV segment, the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning and Hummer EV all went through an initial boom period where resale prices shot through the roof and stayed there for months.  

Like the Cybertruck, early buyers listed their trucks for sale just weeks or days after taking delivery. In the case of the Lightning and Hummer, dealers were just as guilty of price-gouging. Tens of thousands in “demand fees” were added to both new and used vehicles. Like Tesla’s buyer agreement, Ford and GM did what they could to clamp down on dealers and vehicle flippers to discourage exploitive pricing. 

It seems we’re exiting the Cybertruck’s furious hype cycle. So with production increasing and more trucks on the street, prices will continue to drop. Before you know it, you will be able to buy a used Cybertruck under MSRP.

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