In Partridge v Crittenden, an advertisement had been placed in a magazine by the defendant. It stated that there were bramble finches for sale. The sale of these birds was an offence under the provisions of Section 6 of the Protection of Birds Act 1954. Thereafter, the defendant was convicted for this offence, which he appealed. The appellate court set aside the conviction, on the grounds that the advertisement was nothing more than an invitation to treat, and not an offer. Similarly, in our problem, Mary had placed an advertisement in a magazine, regarding the sale of the antique bakery cutters.
This advertisement was merely an invitation to treat, as per the ruling in the above case. Consequently, the advertisement placed by Mary does not constitute an offer. Nevertheless, when the advertisement can be construed to contain an offer, any individual who accepts it will be entitled to a claim. This was the ruling in Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. In Warlow v Harrison, the advertisement stated that an auction would be held without reserve. The court held that these terms of the auctioneer constituted an independent personal offer to the highest bidder in the auction.
Consequently, the advertisement was deemed to be enforceable by the bidder. Furthermore, in Barry v Davis, the auctioneer withdrew the sale in an auction that did not have a reserve price. The court held that the auction could not be withdrawn, merely on the grounds that the price was too low. It also ruled that there was a contract between the highest bidder and the auctioneer. Moreover, in Hyde v Wrench, a farm was offered to the claimant for sale by the defendant.
The amount cited was £ 1,000 and to this, the claimant consented to pay just £ 960. This was rejected by the defendant. Subsequently, the claimant attempted to accept the initial offer. The court held that there was no contract, as the counteroffer of the claimant had extinguished the original offer of the defendant.
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