He offered to negotiate as a response to the invitation to treat. In spite of James’ believing otherwise, that is that he is accepting an offer, and not actually offering something, his letter is to be regarded as an offer, because an invitation to treat may not be accepted, it may be negotiated by an offer coming from the respondent to the invitation to treat. According to Halsbury (2007) "An invitation to treat is a mere declaration of willingness to enter into negotiations; it is not an offer, and cannot be accepted so as to form a binding contract." Through his letter, James made an offer to the store, by which he offered to buy 10 pet toys at the total price of $50, which is the minimum stated in the advertisement: $5 per item.
The response of the shop manager– Mary – through which she indicates that James will need to provide an additional payment to purchase the toys is to be regarded as a counter offer. According to article 19 of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Good states that “A reply to an offer which purports to be an acceptance but contains additions, limitations or other modifications is a rejection of the offer and constitutes a counter-offer.” . Law of Contract - The Advertisement for the Pet Toys.
1. Andrew Burrows. (2007). Casebook on Contract. UK: Hart Publishing
2. Clashfern, Lord Mackay, Halsburys Laws of England (London: LexisNexis-Butterworths, 2007)
3. Janet Whittle (1997). Canada Business: The portable encyclopedia for doing business in Canada. USA: World Trade Press
4. Partridge v Crittenden  1 WLR 1204
5. Richards, Paul (2007). Law of Contract.8th Edition. England. Edinburgh Gate.
6. United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Good, article 19
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