Types of an Offer

Express Offer:

  • When the offer is made by express communication then the offer is said to be an express offer.
  • The express offer can be made face to face or via telephone. The written offer can be made via text messages, advertisements, letters or e-mail.
  • A written application by a candidate for a post of manager in a written form is an express offer. Confirmation of his appointment with the explanation of terms of employment by the vice president of a company who is authorized to do so by telephone is also an express offer.

Implied Offer:

  • when the offer is not communicated expressly but communicated by conduct or by the circumstances of the case, then offer is called an implied offer.
  • When we are waiting for a bus to go to a certain place, the bus which can take us to the place where we desire to go arrives and halts at the bus stop. We enter the bus and pay requisite fair. A ticket is given to us. When destination comes we board down the bus. The bus halts at the stop. By this conduct, he is giving an offer to us. By entering the bus we accept the offer. Thus acceptance is also by conduct. Such offers are implied offers.

Specific Offer:

  • It means an offer made to (a) a particular person or (b) a group of person.
  • It can be accepted only by that person to whom it is made. communication of acceptance is necessary in case of a specific offer.
  • A offers to buy a car from B for Rs 10 Lakh. Thus, a specific offer is made to a specific person, and only B can accept the offer. Communication from B for acceptance or rejection is necessary.

General Offer:

  • It means an offer which is made to the public in general. A General offer can be accepted by anyone. If offeree fulfills the terms and conditions which are given in offer then offer is accepted.
  • Communication of acceptance is not necessary is the case of a general offer
  • In Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. 1893 case the defendant company advertised that a reward would be given to any person who would suffer from influenza after using the medicine (Smoke balls) made by the company according to the printed directions. One lady, Mrs, Carlill (the plaintiff), purchased and used the medicine according to the printed directions of the company but suffered from influenza, She filed a suit to recover the reward. The defendant’s contention was that the plaintiff has not accepted the offer by communicated a consent to the offer. The court held that there was a contract as she had accepted a general offer by using the medicine in the prescribed manner. Still, she suffered from influenza, hence she is liable for getting the reward from the company.

Cross Offer:

  • When two parties exchange identical offers in ignorance at the time of
    each other’s offer the offer’s are called cross offer. Two cross offer does not constitute a contract.
  • In the cross offer, the offers are made by the same parties to one another, each party not knowing about the offer made by the other party.  The terms and conditions contained in cross offers are the same.
  • Note that in this case, both are offeror and same time offerree. There is no specific acceptance. Hence it cannot become an agreement.
  • In such cases, a contract comes into existence when any of the
    parties, accept the cross offer made by the other party.
  • Example: A offers by a letter to sell 100 cycles at Rs.1,000 per cycle. On the same day, B also writes to A offering to buy 1100 cycles at Rs.1,000 per cycle. In both, the cases offer is there but another main ingredient acceptance of agreement is missing. If A accepts offer of B then it leads to a contract.

Counter offer:

  • When the offeree gives a qualified acceptance of the offer subject to
    modified and variations in the terms of the original offer, then the offer made by the original offeree is called counter-offer.
  • The counter-offer amounts to the rejection of the original offer.
  • By the counter-offer following legal effects come into existence (a) Rejection of original offer, (b) The original offer lapses, and (c) A counter offer result is a new offer.
  • Example: A offered to sell his old car to B for Rs.1,00,000. B replied, “I am ready to pay Rs.90.000”. On A’s refusal to sell at this price, B agreed to pay Rs.1,00,0000. Now A is not bound to sell his car to B at Rs. 1,00,000. Initial offer to sell the car for Rs, 1,00,000 was made by A. B rejected the offer by giving a counter-offer to buy the car at Rs. 90,000. A refused this counter-offer. Now again B is giving a new offer to A to buy the car at Rs. 10,000. Thus as offeree, he has right to accept or reject the new offer by B. Note that a counter-offer amounts to a rejection of the original offer.
  • In Harvey v.  Facey, ((1893) A. C. 552) case the plaintiffs telegraphed to the defendants, writing, “Will you sell us Bumper Hall Pen? Telegraph lowest cash price”. The defendants replied, also by a telegram, “Lowest price for Pen, £ 900”. The plaintiffs immediately sent their last telegram stating, “We agree to buy Pen for £ 900 asked by you”. The defendants, however, refused to sell the plot of land at that price. The court held that the defendants gave only the lowest price and did not expressed their willingness to sell the plot of the land. The offer was made by the plaintiff in his last telegram to the defendant which was never accepted by the defendant.
  •  In Philip & Co. v. Knoblanch ((1907) S. C. 994) case A merchant (the plaintiff) wrote to a firm of oil millers (the defendant), “I am offering today plate linseed for January-February shipmentTo Litth and have pleasure in quoting you 100 tons at usual plate terms. I shall glad to hear if you will buy and await reply”. The oil miller telegraphed the next day: “Accept”, and confirmed it by letter. It was held that the letter by the plaintiff has all the characteristics of a valid offer and contract was concluded by the defendant by the telegram.

Standing or Open or Continuous offer:

  • An offer is allowed to remain open for acceptance over a period of time is known as standing, open or continually offer.
  • Example: A contract for the supply of goods for a big canteen is a kind of standing offer. In such a case we specify terms, goods to be supplied, the quantity of each good, the period of supply of goods in the contract once. Then we do not repeat our offer daily and the supplier supplies the goods to us periodically. Such types of offer are called Standing Offer. They are open for a period of the contract.

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