Zakbelieving that the price was too high he offered Ben and Perry £6,000. Thequestion here is has Zak at this instant made Ben and Perry a definite offerfor his Gold necklace? An offer, capable of being converted into an agreementby acceptance, must consist of a definite promise to be bound, provided thatcertain terms are accepted. The offeror must have completed his share in theformation of a contract by finally declaring his readiness to undertake anobligation upon certain conditions, leaving to the offeree the option ofacceptance or refusal.
It is clear in this instant that by Zak offering £6,000for Ben and Perry’s necklace he has made a definite offer for his necklace. Benand Perry discussed the offer and decided they would sell for £6,500. It is apparent Ben and Perry sought £7,000for his necklace, so refused Zak’s offer but clearly states he will sell herthe necklace for £6,500. Perry agreed andleft a voice-mail for Zak accordingly, stating that this offer would be leftopen until 5.00pm that day.
At thisinstant in English law, Ben and Perry’s new offer becomes a counter offer, as Zak’soffer has destroyed the original offer, that is, it operates as a rejection ofthe original offer. A counter offer is an offer made in response to a previousoffer by the other party during negotiations for a final contract. Making acounter offer automatically rejects the prior offer, and requires an acceptanceunder the terms of the counter offer or there is no contract.
The acceptancemust be unconditional otherwise it is not an acceptance at all, thereforemaking your offer at present void. It is treated as if it had never been made,so a void contract can have no effect, this theory is demonstrated in Hydev Wrench. Fromwhat is apparent, Zak sees Ben and Perry’s gold necklace advertised on their websiteand makes an offer for the necklace. Ben and Perry’s advertisement on thewebsite to sell the necklace for £7,000 cannot be understood as being an offer,as the general rule related to advertisements is that, at least in the case ofbilateral contracts; an advertisement constitutes an invitation to treat. Aninvitation to treat is to be distinguished from an offer as it merely indicatesa willingness to deal but does not display an intention to be bound.
Thus, totake a standard example, imagine that a vendor of goods advertises them forsale in a local newspaper. The advertisement will generally be regarded as aninvitation to treat and not an offer. This principle is demonstrated in thecase of Partridge v. Crittenden (The defendant set anadvert in a charaterised area of a magazine offering some bramble finches availableto be purchased.
S.6 of the Protection of Birds Act 1954 made it an offense tooffer such feathered creatures available to be purchased. He was charged andsentenced the offense and advanced against his conviction. The defendant’sconviction was suppressed. The advert was an invitation to treat not an offer.).