Invitation to treat has been defined as an expression of willingness of a party to enter into negotiations with another with the hope that a contract would be reached at the end of such negotiations. (Fisher v Bell)1.
An offer on the other hand has been defined as an expression of willingness by a party to enter into a contract on stated terms (offeror) and provided that such terms would be accepted by the person to whom the offer is made (offeree) a contract would come into existence(Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.)2. An offer should be differentiated from a mere statement of price that is an enquiry as to the price. (Harvey v. Facey)3
In the current scenario it can be seen from the facts that Angela has shown her intent of selling the caravan and stated a price. Even though the term ‘offering’ has been used, it is generally not to be held conclusive and the overall facts of the situation are taken into account when deciding whether an offer or an invitation of treat was present. In the case of Angela it can be seen that she Angela has posted a letter and has stated a price of £2000 for which she would sell the caravan, therefore it can be deduced that an unequivocal willingness on her part was present.
The next issue that would be looked into is acceptance which is defined an unequivocal assent to the terms that has been proposed by the offeror. The acceptance of certain terms and conditions which had been stated by the offeror and which tend to introduce new terms would be treated as counter-offer, that is a new offer comes into existence which can either be rejected or accepted by the person who was originally the offeror (and now becomes the offeree). (Hyde v. Wrench)4.
Acceptance is generally held to be valid only when it has been validly communicated and the offeror comes to know of such acceptance. (illustration of the fact was made by Denning LJ in Entores v Miles Far East Corporation). However, there are a ...
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