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Craft v. Elder & Johnson Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    E&J (defendant) advertised a Thursday only Special in newspaper to sell an electric sewing machine for $26. Craft (plaintiff) tendered $26 but E&J refused to sell her. Craft sued for breach of contract. The trial court dismissed Craft’s complaint. Craft appealed.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    In Ohio, a newspaper advertisement is not an offer but instead is an invitation to negotiate to enter a bargain.

    Facts.

    The Elder and Johnson Company (E&J) (defendant) publicized in a daily paper an offer to sell an electric sewing machine for $26 as a "Thursday Only Special." That Thursday, Craft (plaintiff) offered $26 for a sewing machine, however, E&J declined to offer her one. Craft documented suit for breach of agreement against E&J asserting the newspaper advertisement was an offer. The trial court dismissed Craft's complaint taking note of that the ad was not an offer which could be acknowledged by Craft to frame an agreement, yet rather was an invitation to negotiate. Craft appealed.

    Issue.

    Is a newspaper advertisement an offer in Ohio?

    Held.

    No. In Ohio, a newspaper advertisement is not an offer but instead is an invitation to negotiate to enter a bargain.

    Dissent.

    N/A

    Concurrence.

    N/A

    Discussion.

    Usually, a customary daily newspaper is not an offer, but rather is an offer to negotiate or receive an offer. Restatement of the Law of Contracts § 25. In this manner, no agreement can be shaped by an individual expressing that she intends to buy a thing at a publicized cost. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


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