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Craft v. Elder & Johnson Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    The Elder & Johnson Company (E&J) (defendant) posted a newspaper ad to sell a sewing machine for $26 as a “Thursday Only Special.” On Thursday, Craft (plaintiff) offered $26 but defendant refused to sell. Plaintiff sued Defendant claiming the ad was an offer. The court rejected plaintiff’s complaint stating that ad wasn't an offer that can be accepted by plaintiff to form a contract, but rather was an invitation. Plaintiff appealed.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

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

    Facts.

    The Elder and Johnson Company (E&J) (defendant) promoted in a daily newspaper an offer to offer 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 recorded suit for breach of contract against E&J asserting the daily paper ad was an offer. The trial court rejected Craft's dissension noticing that the notice was not an offer which could be acknowledged by Craft to frame an agreement, yet rather was an invitation to negotiate. Craft appealed

    Issue.

    In Ohio, is a newspaper advertisement an offer?

    Held.

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

    Discussion.

    Usually a basic newspaper advertisement is not an actual offer, but is an offer to discuss or communicate an offer. Restatement of the Law of Contracts § 25. Thus, no contract can be executed by someone stating she intends to buy an item for an advertised price. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.


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