ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. The buyer sent a request for a list of prices to a seller of Mason Jars. The seller responded to the request with a list of prices. The buyer responded and wanted the goods shipped pursuant to the quotation. The seller said they ran out of the goods.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Depending on the language parties use, a "price quote" can be treated as an offer.
Issue. Is a quotation of prices construed as an offer to sell?
Held. Sometimes, but it depends on the facts of the case. Here, the court examined the substance of the parties' correspondence. The court found that although the Appellant used the word "quote", the letter read as a whole, shows it was much more than a quote. The court observed that when the Appellant responded with a list of prices in his April 23, 1895 letter, he was responding to the Appellees request. Further, the use of the words "for immediate acceptance", can only be interpreted to mean the Appellant was willing to sell at the prices specified. As such, the court considered this to be an offer. The court additionally recognized that since the clause "jars and caps to be strictly top quality goods" was not in the Appellant's offer, they were not bound by it.
Discussion. This case offers an interesting pre-Uniform Commercial Code discussion of how contracts for the sale of goods are construed.