Home » Canceled Orders, Unknown Delivery Dates, Absurd Markups, Nobody Seems To Know When They’re Getting Their Honda Motocompacto

Canceled Orders, Unknown Delivery Dates, Absurd Markups, Nobody Seems To Know When They’re Getting Their Honda Motocompacto

Motocompacto When Ts
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Last month, Honda released an exciting new product. The Honda Motocompacto is the wonderful spiritual successor to the old Motocompo, but with modern technology, style, and a low price of just $995. Americans are lining up to get their own, but there are a few problems. Some people are experiencing strange card charges, high dealer markups, order cancelations, and estimated delivery dates as far into the future as March. Yet, some people, like myself, have been able to get multiple Motocompactos in November. I asked Honda for some help in explaining what’s going on here.

I am happy to say that, as of November 24, I am the owner of a Honda Motocompacto! Due to living in a tiny apartment plus Illinois’ awful weather, I have not been able to ride mine just yet. I’m not sure how soon I want to see how road salt impacts the little guy. However, I did get to ride a few Motocompactos at the Los Angeles Auto Show and the little scoots are exactly as fun as they look. You might just want to toss in an extra seat cushion because the factory seat is a hard one.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

Sadly, I appear to be one of the lucky people. My Motocompacto was the first example delivered by my local Honda dealership. A second Motocompacto that I thought was canceled then showed up at another dealership a few days later. So, I somehow got two Motocompactos in November. Others have been having trouble just getting one, keeping the order, and paying MSRP for it. Let’s dig into this.

General Confusion

David Tracy

I placed my first Motocompacto order on November 1, just hours after Honda’s DreamShop platform started accepting orders. It seemed simple enough. I chose a local dealership, Brilliance Honda of Crystal Lake, Illinois, chose a Motocompacto, and paid for it. I paid MSRP plus tax for a total of $1,072. All was well until I was waiting in line for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on November 7. I checked my bank account and, weirdly, I had exactly $1,072 more than I had the day prior. I received no communication from Brilliance. The returned money didn’t even appear as a reversal on my bank account.

I assumed my order was canceled and called Brilliance for an explanation. A parts department staffer told me the dealership wasn’t set up to sell from the Honda DreamShop yet, and as a result, my order was canceled. I wasn’t alone, check out these screenshots from our original story on the Motocompacto’s launch struggles. I redacted the names:

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Motocompacto Canceled Order 2 14
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The cancelations are still happening. Here’s a recent one:

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Making matters worse was an internal communication, confirmed by reader TheBarber, who works at a Honda dealer, that dealers were getting just 5 units at first. Honda did not place any limits on how many Motocompactos you could order at once. If someone wanted to scoop up all five, nothing was stopping them. From TheBarber:

“A message came on our internal system: “Preorder Fulfillment: units will be shipped on a rolling basis starting this month and will begin arriving in the coming days. To meet the high demand and ensure a smooth launch for all participants, we will be prioritizing allocations based on the following.
– Preorders placed during the early phase (before October 8th) first 5 units out of the total order quantity to be fulfilled starting October 30th.
– Remaining preorders are scheduled to be fulfilled by mid-December -Any additional normal orders through the system will be fulfilled upon preorder deployment completion. – Due to extremely high demand, we anticipate potential delays in fulfilling orders. AHM is actively working to increase production and inventory levels in early 2024 to address this demand.”

Based on this, I rushed to place a second order. Brilliance’s parts staffer told me it was unsure which Northern Illinois dealer was prepared for the Motocompacto, and they guessed that a larger nearby Honda chain was probably better prepared. I placed my order with that dealer, McGrath Honda of Elgin.

The confusion never really eased from there. McGrath had no idea when my Motocompacto would come in and estimated that maybe it would come in sometime in the middle of December or maybe even January. Other Motocompacto buyers told me they were given estimates as far forward as March. Now, none of this was outside of the scope of the communications TheBarber provided me with above. What was surprising is that the dealerships seemed to know just as much about when Motocompactos would show up as the customers. The scooter I purchased on November 7 showed up on November 24. Yet, some people who ordered scooters on November 1 still don’t have theirs.

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Currently, the only way to figure out if you can buy a Motocompacto now or wait until next year is to call every dealership in your area and talk with the parts department.

Canceled, But Not

The bewilderment goes yet another layer deeper, as well. While some orders have been canceled by dealerships, some orders that aren’t canceled have appeared to be canceled. I’ll explain.

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Mercedes Streeter

As I said before, Brilliance Honda, the one I placed an order at on November 1, said my order was canceled. I bet you could imagine my surprise when on November 29, $1,072 got sucked out of my account. Sure enough, I also received an email saying my Honda Motocompacto was ready for pickup.

I called Brilliance and asked if there had been a mistake. This time, I got the parts manager, who told me that my order was never canceled. Apparently, the dealer did fix its DreamShop issues. Since I already had a Motocompacto, I asked the dealership to cancel that order. The dealership didn’t know why DreamShop charged my card, returned the money, and then charged me again.

I’m not the only one going through this, so it’s not a one-off situation.

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These weird charges also happened with McGrath as well. A few days after I placed that November 7 order, $1,077 (MSRP plus slightly higher tax) was returned to my account. Once again, I didn’t receive any notification. When I called in, McGrath gave me a different explanation. I was told that the DreamShop should not have charged me for the Motocompacto order. Only McGrath itself is supposed to charge me. The parts manager didn’t know why the DreamShop charged me. However, this time I was told not to worry because the order wasn’t canceled.

So, I crossed my fingers and figured a Motocompacto would appear with my name on it eventually. Thankfully, things worked out!

Scalpers And Markups

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Honda

Not long after the first Motocompactos started rolling in, scalpers began reselling units for a 50 percent to 100 percent markup. I saw one local person asking $3,000 for a Motocompacto. That’s three times its value! Now, scalpers aren’t new. When any popular product is launched, these people will scoop them up and resell them for a high markup to anyone willing to pay the price. It happens across all industries from cars and sports tickets to even these little e-scooters.

What makes this particular scalping situation aggravating for some is the aforementioned initial 5-unit delivery fulfillment. These scalpers are picking up some of the only Motocompactos that will be seen by some dealers until early next year. To be clear, it’s not Honda’s fault that scalpers have decided to ruin the fun. It’s just another layer into why this is unfortunate.

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Also disappointing is the persistent existence of dealership markups. When the Motocompacto launched, I wrote about how some dealers were charging as much as a 50 percent markup on the Motocompacto. When I called those dealers out, they explained that their respective DreamShops weren’t properly set up yet, and said they would correct the inflated price to MSRP.

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The two dealerships, Muller Honda of Gurnee, Illinois, and Folsom Lake Honda in Rancho Cordova, California both corrected prices to $995. Other dealers are still charging markups. I picked some dealers at random through DreamShop. Honda of Hollywood, California, is charging $1,194. Nearby Culver City Honda wants $1,850.70. Some scalpers are charging less than that! It somehow gets even worse. Honda of Downtown Los Angeles? That dealer wants $1,950.20, or more than a 100 percent markup.

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Honda

Just in case you thought it was some oddity with California dealers, I ran a search near home in Illinois. Autonation Honda of O’Hare wants $1,592 for a Motocompacto.

Honda Responds

A lot of folks, including Motocompacto buyers on forums, some of our readers, and also us here at the Autopian, wonder what is going on here. I reached out to Honda with a number of questions relating to this story.

 

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Here’s how a representative responded. My questions are in bold:

  • Is the DreamShop supposed to charge you at first, refund your money, and then charge you again at delivery time?

Still investigating question 1. Here are answers to remaining questions with answers-

  • Does Honda currently have a known delivery estimate? My dealer told me I would get it either mid-December or January, but I got mine in mid-November. Some readers claim that dealerships are telling them that the wait for delivery is as long as February and March.

Delivery dates for orders will vary by dealer, depending on whether a given dealer quickly sold their alottment, or has/had unsold units. For new orders, customers should expect delivery early next year.

  • Will production numbers be limited? Or will Honda essentially make as many Motocompactos as people will continue to buy?

We’re not providing a volume estimate, but our goal is always to meet the needs of our customers. Early demand has been very strong and we are working diligently to satisfy demand with increased production.

  • Is Honda doing anything about some of the reported dealer markups out there?

While it’s exciting when the demand for one of our products is so high, we always strongly discourage such mark ups. That said, dealerships are independent businesses that and ultimately set the market price. If customers encounter mark ups, we encourage them to shop around.

In short, if you’ve already placed an order for a Motocompacto, sit tight. Your new ride is coming, but there may not be a known delivery date. If you want to buy one right now, you’ll either have to deal with a reseller or find a dealership with some Motocompactos. Otherwise, you will be waiting until next year.

Honda

I asked another dealership about the strange card charges. I was told this is by design. The DreamShop places a 7-day hold on your card. Payments through PayPal are subject to a 30-day hold. Then the funds are released until the scooter arrives, then you’re charged again. That’s still bizarre. Why does DreamShop need to hold your money for 7 to 30 days for a scooter you might not even receive until March?

As for those pesky markups, Honda’s dealerships have the autonomy to charge these markups, so you’ll have to shop around to find a dealer selling these scooters at MSRP. But there you have it. If you’re sitting on a Motocompacto order, you have to wait until your dealer gets it, which may be next year. The good news is that Honda is working hard to meet demand, so I would expect all of these reported issues to ease as time goes on. It also means that, should you order a Motocompacto, you should get one! This isn’t a limited production item that will disappear as soon as the first batch is sold.

Things may be confusing right now, but I’d say hold out. If you really want a Honda Motocompacto, you’ll be glad when you get it

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Masa
Masa
1 month ago

Picked one up at the local dealership this weekend (Jan 27) – ordered mine around the holidays, maybe early December, so not too long of a wait. The dealership was definitely confused…they first had me go to the service center and then to a separate parts counter at the back of the building. Didn’t run into any major issues – the dealership sent me an email once in a while to keep me updated. Got it for MSRP + tax.

Sampson Jackson
Sampson Jackson
1 month ago

January 5th Update – I called my local dealer today and I was able to get the date and quantity for their next allotment. They expect 5 units in the second or third week of February. I’m #7 so I likely won’t take delivery in this batch – but they were able to confirm my place in line. I’m in Austin Texas and I’m the degenerate that reported the security issues with the order site to TheAutopian.com – It was confirmed that this development did NOT impact the availability situation 🙂

They said they hope to have the next delivery in early March and expect be able to provide a more firm update in late February, per corporate.

They provided some other details about information communicated from Honda corporate – Honda said that demand was much higher than expected and that they have been in talks with the manufacturer to increase production capacity.

With regard to payments – they are using a third party payment provider that is different from the normal processor used for all/most of the other Honda sites/products. I’m guessing it has to do with the fact this product is totally outsourced. The final payment/debit occurs once the Honda dealer marks the item as delivered/picked-up. I was told to expect for the final/official debit/charge to occur at the time of pickup at the dealer.

Hopefully this helps and isn’t a redundant post. Take care

Scott
Scott
2 months ago

Wish Honda had just sold them directly to consumers… after all, Motocompactos aren’t cars, so just selling them to buyers via a website and shipping them out oughtn’t run afoul of any legacy legislation protecting dealers. It would also put an immediate end to markups, and probably to many private flippers too, provided Honda limited sales to one per person initially.

Seems stupid for them to besmirch their own reputation by fumbling the rollout of this niche-but-appealing product, and then the whole thing with dealers not ‘set up’ to sell them and/or marking up prices only makes it worse.

Elvis Olivares
Elvis Olivares
2 months ago

Hello, I ordered my motocompacto on November 1, 2023 and yesterday I received the email copied below that stated my estimated time for delivery is February 2024. Do not expect to receive the motocompacto anytime soon.

“Hello, 
     I want to start out by apologizing on behalf of Honda. I realize that most or our customers ordered it for Christmas and the original expected ship date was the first of December. We have just been informed that the date has been has been push back by Honda to February due to the over whelming response. While Honda of … nor I have any control over this I am sorry this has happened and I will keep you updated if there are any further changes. 
   I am sure you have or soon will notice that the hold/payment that you made on your credit card has been reversed. The original authorization and hold for the amount on your credit card has expired. Once your Motocompacto has arrived you will be getting an email asking you to resubmit your payment with links and instructions on how to do so. We will not be able to release your new Motocompacto unless you follow those steps, and we receive conformation of payment from Honda Dreamshop. 
 
Thank you for your business and patience,”

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
2 months ago

this whole thing feels like no-one wants to deal with selling these. Car dealers have nothing to do with them, the dirtbike dealers don’t seem to want to deal with them. Selling it as a part available online kind of makes sense, if that is how other parts are handled, but there seems to have been no prep done.
Is this a symptom of franchised dealers getting to do what they want with little to no repercussions from Honda so they ignored any sort of new product bulletins?

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
2 months ago

Someone said in the last article, that because it’s sold through parts there is automatic markup in their order system. (because parts don’t have a MSRP)

Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago

I feel like this thing is going to sell quick, then never, and Honda knows this. I bet they are not making much profit on each of these. I think Their approach is one of caution.

ProudLuddite
ProudLuddite
2 months ago

I was all hyped up to order one…then my wife took me up on the new couch conversation we had a few month’s back. Being as I have one car for daily driving and two for fun, my “need another vehicle” argument was left in my back pocket for some other day.

The couch is going to be about as much as a well marked up Motocompacto, but you can’t ride a couch, I guess I could sleep on it if I order a Motocompacto anyway.

This article makes me feel a little better about not having to deal with the hassle of ordering one and having it cancelled.

The after hours bot on my local dealer’s site didn’t seem to know what I was talking about when asked.

Last edited 2 months ago by ProudLuddite
Parsko
Parsko
2 months ago
Reply to  ProudLuddite

There are a LOT of fun things you can do with your wife on that new couch, and some of them involve riding something. 😉

Last edited 2 months ago by Parsko
Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
2 months ago

I’m avoiding all these problems by being in Canada, where they’re just not available at all.

RE: the seat
Real missed opportunity by Honda to use a standard bicycle seat post. Is there an obvious design reason I’m missing?

B3n
B3n
2 months ago

I don’t get why Honda allows this. I think these type of shenanigans are incredibly damaging to a brand. This is also why I didn’t get an XR150L this year, even though I was very happy they started selling them.
The dealerships ruined it, I’m not paying $4k+ for a sub $3k MSRP bike. They ship 95% assembled in a crate with the front wheel out and the handlebar removed, and most dealers charge close to $1k to do that.
It’s no more than 30 minutes if you know what you’re doing, and that’s being generous.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago

JEEEEEZ. This thing costs $995? That’s more than I paid for the Porschelump.

I guess it makes sense given the price of e-bikes, but I don’t know why I expected it to be at least a tad less than a turdcan parsh.

Anyway, the price of everything is too damn high.

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
2 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Right? I considered one, cuz they look super cool and I could use it to commute via bike paths to work. Then I realized it cost more than my car and would be less comfortable than any of my bicycles.
Nope.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
2 months ago

I find the Motocompacto intriguing and I have a valid use case for it. Then I found the Hiboy S2 (with seat) for $329 that pretty much does the exact same thing for 1/3 the money.

https://www.hiboy.com/products/s2-electric-scooter-with-seat?variant=36040856633511

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
2 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

What is someone supposed to do with a Hiboy? It’s not some overhyped unavailable product that people can show off on Instagram or shove in their closets hoping to get rich in 10 or 20 years. What are people supposed to do with it? Ride it? Lame.

KYFire
KYFire
2 months ago

A bit of a fiasco but way better than all the people completely screwed on by Sondors for the Metacycle. At least I expect Honda to be able to follow through.

10001010
10001010
2 months ago

The way that red Honda logo popped on the white box makes me think they should have filled in the Honda logo on the body of the actual scoot instead of leaving it white.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
2 months ago

To be clear, it’s not Honda’s fault that scalpers have decided to ruin the fun.

Its not? Why not? We’re well past the point where corporations should know that scalpers exist, and should be taking steps to ensure they don’t piss in people’s cereal. Allowing one person to buy all orders at a dealership sure doesn’t sound like they’re taking any steps to deter that.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

With these hype drops I’m always torn between whether the companies or consumers are more gross. Seeing people whine about not being treated fairly by Rolex dealers 1 – 2 years ago was interesting.

The way for Honda to deal with scalpers would have been to produce this in large volumes, but then people would not see it as special and would not want it.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
2 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Why does everyone expect corporations to care about scalpers? They’re a for-profit business – they don’t really care who buys it, aside for some tiny side optics that barely even register.

Maybe unpopular but I could care less about scalpers for entertainment products like Playstations or hype products. It’s not baby formula or toilet paper. You don’t need them. Play with the toys you have.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
2 months ago

I agree that limited orders aren’t necessarily a deterrent, but it seems to be a better option than than what Honda chose to go with.


This morning, I’ve learned that some of the people drying up dealership stock aren’t even scalpers, but dealership employees. 

Ugh. That’s even more gross.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

What is so bad about a company rewarding its employees?
-Sell it first come, first serve – Those people flip it and people whine about flippers.
-Sell it at market price instead of MSRP – People whine about greedy dealer markups.
-Say screw you guys and reward loyal employees – Seems like the best option.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
2 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Do you have proof that they are rewarding their employees, or is this a strawman argument?

Cause from what I’m reading, there’s no rewarding loyal employees, its employees taking advantage of the situation and lack of limitations that Honda put on this to get their scooters.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

I guess I am assuming Honda dealers have any kind of management structure and inventory control, and you are assuming they are anarchies?

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
2 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

I’m an engineer. You’re gonna have to quantify what you mean by management structure and inventory control. Cause I guarantee they have them in what form I know them. However I highly doubt they have them in a form that would allow them to regulate who gets these items.
And I say that because… everything above this post.

MrLM002
MrLM002
2 months ago

I think a Motocompacto with a polished aluminum body would be really cool. The plastic body it comes with looks very flimsy.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
2 months ago

I ordered the day the shop opened their website. Credit card transaction disappeared like the article mention. My local dealer has no idea when they are going to arrive. I am not in a rush since I am in Michigan and the weather sucks this time of the year.

I will worry around April lol

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
2 months ago

11/8 order from an Acura dealership. I was that dealers first order, and when I checked in with them 2 weeks later, when online tracking died, I was 1 of 2 orders they had. It does not appear that Acura dealers are getting the 5 allocated units Honda dealers were getting. Even though Dream shop lets you pick Acura for delivery it seems like they are being handled entirely as a secondary sales point, and orders are all being routed to Honda dealers. Thanks for digging into this again, and getting some answers Mercedes!

Isis
Isis
2 months ago

I ordered mine the day after Mercedes did. Got a confirmation email with an estimated ship time of 7-10 days. Last week I got an email saying the Acura dealer I chose was not a participating dealership. I contacted my local Honda dealer and they said they don’t sell them and made sure to emphasize that they sell cars. Thanks dummy.

I don’t know what to do next.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago

Mercedes, I am SO disappointed in you.

You could have had two of these! Then started your own racing series!!

Tsk tsk…

Shadeux
Shadeux
2 months ago

I ordered on the 3rd of November. The nearest dealer that sold at MSRP was 90 miles away, so I paid for shipping. The latest I’ve read is that there is a stop sale because (somehow) the frames are being installed backwards and the seat will not fold down once up. Whatever.

At this point I don’t care if it shows up or not. The thrill has been stomped out of it for me by this borked launch.

Mr. Frick
Mr. Frick
2 months ago
Reply to  Shadeux

I’m with you. Too much damn drama. No way this should be so complicated.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
2 months ago

This thing is a silly gimmick. A $170 Razor dirt bike switched to a drill batter has roughly the same performance and bigger wheels.

I am excited that the Chinese minibike that looks like a 1980s superbike is finally at US dealers.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
2 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Yea it’s basically a cheap e-scooter with a plastic shroud.

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