Distinguish between an offer and an invitation to treat giving examples to illustrate the distinction
The distinction between and offer and invitation to treat can be hard to draw. This is because it will depend on the elusive criterion of intention. But it can be challenging to differentiate between the two in some cases, there are certain stereotyped situations that demarcate the distinction clearly based on the rules of law. Using case law examples, this free sample essay distinguishes the difference between an offer and an invitation to treat. With not less than five(5) cases, the essay explains what you understand by invitation to make offer and invitation to treat.
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Business Law Case Study
Key Learning Outcomes
- Understand what an offer is and how it differs from an invitation to treat
- Use case law examples to argue the differences between the two
- Make own conclusions based on case study example
Distinguish between an offer and an invitation to treat. Give examples to illustrate the distinction
The Distinction Between An Offer And An Invitation To Treat Is Often Hard To Draw As It Depends On The Elusive Criterion Of Intention. But There Are Certain Stereotyped Situations That the Distinction Is Determined by Rules of Law.
An offer is made when a person shows a willingness to enter into a legally binding contract. An invitation to treat (I.T.T) is merely a supply of information to tempt a person into making an offer. However the distinction between the two can often be misleading and ultimately misinterpreted. When misinterpretations and complications occur then it is down to the courts to decide and to distinguish between the two terms, so a person is not led into a binding contract of which he does not want to be a part of but is merely supplying information to which an offer is to be made (See Harvey V Facey  A.C 552).
Harvey V Facey  A.C 552
In this case, Facey (D) was in negotiations with the Mayor and Council of Kingston regarding the sale of his store. Harvey (P) sent Facey a telegram stating: “Will you sell us Bumper Hall Pen? Telegraph lowest cash price-answer paid.” On the same day, Facey sent Harvey a reply by telegram stating: “Lowest price for Bumper Hall Pen £900.” Harvey sent Facey another telegram agreeing to purchase the property at the asking price. D refused to sell and P sued for specific performance and an injunction to prevent Kingston from taking the property. The trial court dismissed on the grounds that an enforceable contract had not been formed and P appealed. The Supreme Court of Jamaica reversed and D appealed.
Issue: Is a statement of the minimum price at which a seller would sell an offer?
Holding and Rule: No. A mere statement of the minimum selling price is an invitation to treat and not an offer to sell. The court held that by replying to P’s question regarding the lowest price of the property, D did not make an affirmative answer to the first question regarding his willingness to sell. The court held that D had made an invitation to trade and not an offer.
An invitation to treat is an action inviting other parties to make an offer to form a contract. These actions may sometimes appear to be offers themselves, and the difference can sometimes be difficult to determine.
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