Roger now seeks your advice on whether he is contractually bound to sell his car to Archie

An Invitation To Treat is an offer to negotiate or an offer to receive offers. Unlike an offer, it is not an indication by the person making it that he is willing to be bound should the other party be interested in proceeding further.

In the case of Pattridge Vs Crittenden, it was held that an advertisement in the newspapers only amounts to an invitation to treat. The Advertisement is an invitation for people to make offers to purchase, and is not an offer for sale.

Applying the case of Pattridge Vs Crittenden, on 1st of February 2003, Roger had merely advertise in the newspapers to sell his car and that advertisement only amounts to an invitation to treat.

As such, following the case of Pattridge Vs Crittenden, on 1st of February 2003, Roger’s advertisement in the newspaper is only an invitation to treat and he is only inviting people to make offers for his car. Therefore on 2nd February, Archie’s letter is an offer in response to Roger’s advertisement and on 3rd February, Ben’s message on Roger’s answering machine is also an offer in response to Roger’s advertisement. Therefore, there isn’t any contract formed, as there isn’t any acceptance in Roger’s part.

Definition: An offer is an intimation of willingness by an offeror to enter into a legally binding contract. Its term either expressly or impliedly must indicate that it is to be become binding on the offeror as soon as It has been accepted by the offeree.

On the other hand, in the case of Carlill Vs Carbolic Smokeball, it was held that an advertisement can amount to an offer when the advertiser commits himself by showing seriousness to the advertisement

Applying the case of Carlill Vs Carbolic Smokeball, on 1st February 2003, Roger had advertised in the newspaper that his car is for sale. Assuming he had fulfilled the requirement of a valid offer by firstly, giving specific term such as “Toyota Car 1300 CC 1995 Model” and also stating his address and telephone number in the advertisement. Secondly, Roger not merely giving information was shown by advertising in the “For Sale” column in the newspapers. And Thirdly, Roger had advertise the offer for people who had intention of buying the car and not for everybody.

As such, following the case of Carlill VS Carbolic Smokeball, on 1st of February 2003, Roger’s advertisement in the newspapers had became an offer as Roger had expressed his seriousness to the advertisement by stating specific terms in the offer and he was not merely giving information and had shown serious commitment in the advertisement.

An Acceptance must be on the same term as the Offer, if the acceptance is introducing new terms or conditions, it will not be deem as a valid acceptance. Instead it will be deem as a counter-offer. Acceptance can be made by some positive act such as in conduct, orally and in writing but not by mere silence. The general rule of all Acceptances must be communicated and therefore the Acceptance must reach the offeror in order to be valid.

Once an Offer is Accepted, then there will be an agreement given that there are intention to Create Legal Relations and Consideration.

On 2nd of February 2003, Archie had posted a letter of acceptance to Roger and Roger only received the letter at 9.00a.m. on 4th of February 2003.

In the case of Dickinson Vs Dodds, it was held that the acceptance is not valid until it reaches the offeror.

Applying the case of Dickinson Vs Dodds, on 2nd of February 2003, Archie posted the letter of acceptance to Roger, however, the letter only reaches Roger at 9.00a.m. on 4th February 2003. Applying the general rule of Acceptance, the letter must reach the Roger before it is considered accepted.

Following the case of Dickinson Vs Dodds, although Archie posted the letter of acceptance to Roger on 2nd of February 2003, Roger only received the letter of acceptance on 4th February 2003 at 9.00a.m., therefore the contract is only formed on 4th February 2003 at 9.00a.m.

However, in the case of Adams Vs Lindsell, it was held that the letter of acceptance is valid when it was posted (Postal Rule). It is not necessary to wait for the letter of acceptance to reach the offeror before it is valid.

Applying the case of Adams Vs Lindsell, on the 2nd February 2003, Archie posted the letter of acceptance in response to Roger’s offer. As such, the contract is formed on the very day of 2nd of February 2003. It is not necessary for Roger to read the letter of acceptance for it to be valid.

As such, following the case of Adams Vs Lindsell, Archie had formed a contract with Roger on 2nd of February 2003 when he posted the letter of acceptance to Roger. Therefore, it doesn’t matter that Roger read the letter of acceptance on the 4th of February 2003 as the contract is already formed.

However, in order for Postal Rule to apply, the following conditions must apply. Firstly, the Offer must come in the form of letter or by Post. Secondly, the offeror must state that acceptance must be by post. As such, applying the conditions of postal rule to the case, postal rule does not apply.

On the 3rd of February 2003, Ben telephoned Roger and left a message on Roger’s answering machine stating his acceptance. Roger subsequently received the message in the evening of the same day. However, Roger was unable to make contact with Ben until 10a.m. on 4th of February 2003.

In the case of Dickinson Vs Dodds, it was held that the acceptance must reach the offeror in order to be valid.

Applying the case of Dickinson Vs Dodds, on 3rd of February 2003, Ben left a message on Roger’s answering machine, stating his acceptance. Roger subsequently received the message on the evening of 3rd of February.

Following the case of Dickinson Vs Dodds, on 3rd of February 2003, Ben left a message of acceptance in Roger’s answering machine and Roger received the message in the evening of 3rd of February. Following the general rule of acceptance, the contract is formed on the evening of 3rd of February 2003 when Roger received the message. Therefore, it is irrelevant when Roger make contact with Ben as the contract is already formed.