The act assists buyers to obtain legal redress when they encounter problems with their purchases. The act requires that the supplier should sell goods that fit their description, serve their intended purpose and are of satisfactory quality. The act benefits suppliers, who comply, as they can use their conformity to their advantage, as they use it to boost their consumer relationships.
The act essentially aims to protect individual customers from defected or unsafe goods. The Act covers traded contracts made on or after 1 January 1894. Prior before the passing of the 1995 Act, the sale of goods act 1979, (c 54) was applied. This Act of Parliament regulated English contract law as well as the UK commercial law regarding goods traded. The m1979 act merged the original act of 1893 as well as subsequent legislation that consecutively codified and joined the law. Before the 1995 Act, section 16 barred transferring of ownership in goods to the buyer from the seller until the goods were established. Under s.20A of the 1979 Act, as buyer becomes the owner in common bulk2 of property, in an undivided share, in the bulk transferred to him. S.16 of the 1979 act provides that where there is a contract for selling unascertained goods, the property cannot be passed to the buyer unless or until the goods are identified. The buyer acquires no aptness interest in the goods he paid for since he was regarded as an unsecured creditor for the return in price in the occurrence of insolvency. This rendered for the sellers creditors benefitting with an undeserved windfall 3 as they will claim both goods and money paid for them. When all the requirements have been met, the property ownership of the undivided share is given to the purchaser unless both parties agree. The purchased share is a fraction of the bulk goods as an equal owner. Section 61 (1) of the 1979 Act describes the bulk as a collection of goods of the same type contained in the same area or space and is such that goods in the mass are interchangeable with other goods of the same quantity or number. The goods can be ascertained by separation from the bulk through either exhaustion3 or consolidation4. This act was biased to extents that, even if the seller sold all his goods to different clients, thereby divesting himself all interest in the bulk, no property will be passed to the clients until the quantities have been ascertained. The same applied if the seller became insolvent while the goods were still in bulk or the seller’s creditor arrested the bulk. This entails that the buyers or buyer will have no claim even if they had paid for the goods fully or partly. The buyer will only claim for damages, breach of contract or return of price only as an unsecured creditor 5but will have no equitable interest in the goods. Furthermore, traders who purchased goods either on land or in the course of the sea were concerned of this problem. In addition, suing carriers of goods by sea was covered on agreement in a bill of lading6 was under the Bills of lading Act1855, covering the transfer of property in the goods by the bill. Therefore, the buyer of part of the bulk had no right of suing the transporter in contract if the goods in transit were missing or damaged. In addition, Section 16 stressed the Lading Bills did not convey the intended meaning by the parties as outlined by the known Law commission. The parties’