WHAT IS AN OFFER?
A proposition or suggestion put by one or more personsto another person or persons. (An offer can be made to the whole world)
INVITATION TO TREAT
Things such as: Items in a shop window, Goods on shekves, Adverts in magazines/catalogues/ect..., Auctions. CASES: FISHER V BELL, PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN V BOOTS CHEMIST
The offer must be communicated: If a person is unaware of the offer they cannot later claim that they have accepted it.
Duration of offer: I the offeror sets a time limit, then the offer ceases to exist at the end of that time. If there is no set time, the offer will be open for a reasonable amount of time. CASE: RAMSGATE VICTORIA HOTEL CO LT V MONTEFIORE
Rejection of offer: An offer ceases to exist if it is rejected, it cannot later be accepted.
Revocation of offer: The offer ceases to exist when the revocation to the offer is communicated. CASE: BYRNE V VAN TIENHOVEN
Counter offer: if the offeree makes a counter offer, the original offer ceases to exist and the counter offer takes its place. CASE: HYDE V WRENCH
FISHER V BELL
A shopkeeper had a display of flick knives in his shop window with the prices shown. It was held that this was not an offer. This display was an invitation to treat. In this situation a customer who went into the shop and asked to buy a flick knife would be making an offer to buy one. The sales person in the shop could accept this offer and sell the customer a knife or refuse the offer and not sell the customer the knife.
PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN V BOOTS CHEMIST
In this case it was decided that drugs on shelves in a chemist shop were not an offer to sell those drugs. In contract law it was an invitation to treat and not to offer. This distinction is important as it means the offer is made by the customer at the checkout and can be accepted or refused by the cashier.
RAMSGATE VICTORIA HOTEL CO LT V MONTEFIORE
Montefiore offered in June to buy shares which a company was going to issue. The issue of the shares was not released until the November. It was held that Montefiore's offer to buy the shares had lapsed.
BYRNE V VAN TIENHOVEN
1st October: In this is case the defendants, who were in England offered to sell 1000 boxes of tinplate to the claimants, who were in New York.
8th October: The defendants then changed thier mind and wrote to the claimants revoking this offer.
11th October: The offer arrived at the claimants. The claimants telegraphed their acceptance of the offer.
20th October: The letter of revokation arrived at the claimants office in New York.
(THE REVOKATION WAS NOT EFFECTIVE BECAUSE THE OFFER HAD ALREADY BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE TIME THE REVOKATION LETTER ARRIVED AT THE CLAIMANTS OFFICE)
HYDE V WRENCH
6th June - Wrench's offer: Wrench offers to sell his farm for £1000
6th June - Hyde's counter-offer: Hyde says he will by the farm for £950 (THIS IS A COUNTER OFFER SO WRENCH'S OFFER CEASES TO EXIST)
9th June - Wrench rejects Hyde's counter-offer: Wrench refuses Hyde's offer of £950
21st June - Hyde attempts to accept Wrench's offer of £1000: Hyde then says he will buy the farm for the £1000 (BUT THERE IS NO OFFER IN EXISTANCE FOR HIM TO ACCEPT)
An agreement to the offer. It must agree to all terms of the offer if it doesn't then is is a counter offer. CASE: HYDE V WRENCH
A request for information is not accpetance and is not a counter offer, the offer remains in existance. CASE: STEVENSON V McLEAN
Method of acceptance: It can be made verbally, in writing or by conduct, but is MUST be communicated in some way. CASE: ELIASON V HENSHAW
Silence: It will never be possible to accept by doing nothing. Acceptance cannot be arbitrarily imposed by an offeror who says 'if i hear no more from you, i will asume you accept' CASE: FELTHOUSE V BINDLEY
The communication of acceptance is effective as soon as the correctly adressed and stamped letter is placed in the post box. CASE: ADAMS V LINDSELL
If the letter of acceptance is lost in the post the rule on acceptance will still apply the contract will still be made. CASE: HOUSEHOLD FIRE INSURANCE V GRANT