How To Get Around Tesla’s Months-Long Waitlist

Find out how to skip Tesla's long waitlist lines and get your car months before you would have.

By Charlene Badasie | Published


Like every prospective Tesla owner, Kansas City resident Brett Alcox placed an order for his brand new electric vehicle last year. Through the company’s website, he chose the exact specifications and features he wanted. And the 28-year-old’s confirmation email said the car would be delivered in about eight to 14 weeks. None of this is unusual for buyers.

Due to their popularity, increasing demand, and supply chain shortages, the waitlist for a Tesla (or any type of electric vehicle) is really long. Some folks even place their orders years in advance. Sadly, the estimated wait time is usually a lot longer with delays on orders taking months. While most folks patiently wait for their cars, Brett Alcox found a way around the inconvenience.

The software engineer had existing knowledge about Tesla that most customers don’t. And he had the programming skills to use it to his advantage. Alcox figured out a way to jump the line by developing a tool that would notify him when an electric vehicle was available for purchase. To understand how he did it, Vice created the perfect analogy. The Texas-based company runs its manufacturing operation like a fast-food restaurant where specific menu items are built in advance. This is done in response to projected demand which aims to align the mass production system with customer requirements as closely as possible.

However, the biggest difference between these eateries and Telsa is that food that isn’t sold gets thrown out – the cars still get sold. Tesla sells every vehicle they build. But there are a few EVs that remain unclaimed because they don’t have a matching buyer or a customer canceled their order. These are listed on Tesla’s website as existing inventory. The price is the same as a brand new car but if it needs to be shipped to a buyer, that fee is added to the price tag. That’s where Alcox’s skills come in. He created an alert to notify him about new EV listings on the site.


The tech genius built himself a tool similar to other Discord communities and bots for notifying and automatically buying things like sneakers, PlayStations, and other hard-to-find items. Two weeks after placing his order, Alcox had his new Tesla in his driveway. Over time he worked out all the kinks, made it more user-friendly, and gave it a home inside a Docker container on a Raspberry Pi in his living room. And since it worked so well, he decided to share the tool on various Tesla forums. The program runs in a Discord server which also has a community to discuss other aspects of EV ownership, Vice reports.

Now that his program is available to the public, Alcox says about 4,000 to 5,000 people have passed through his server during the months it’s been active. While he doesn’t know how many cars have been bought because of his tracker, he estimates it’s somewhere between 250 and 500. And the happy customers are very grateful to the Kansas-based Alcox. He says folks often send him thank you notes or tips via PayPal and Venmo. “Everyone leaves a note like, ‘Thank you I got a Model Y six months early,’” he told the publication.