Contracts: Offers and Types of Offers

A general offer that is ongoing

A broad offer can be accepted by several persons until it is retracted when it is of a continual nature, as it was in the carbolic smoke ball example. But, when a comparable offer calls for details on a missing item, it is withdrawn as soon as the first details are received.

Particular offer

A specific offer is one that is offered to a particular or known individual, and that individual is the only one who may accept it. This idea was briefly demonstrated in the Boulton v. Jones case, when the Plaintiff had appropriated one of Brocklehurst’s enterprises. The defendant used to do business with Brocklehurst and placed him an order for certain commodities without being aware of the change in ownership. The alteration was only made known to the defendant after he received an invoice, by which time he had already used the products. The plaintiff sued the defendant after he refused to pay the sum because he had a set-off against the original owner. In a unanimous ruling, the judges found the defendant not responsible. According to Pollock CB, the law is clear: if you plan to enter into a contract with A, B cannot represent A on your behalf without your permission and at your expense. Also, it was determined that no one has the right to assert that he is the party with whom a person has made a contract for the purpose of producing a book, painting a picture, providing personal services, or if any setoff is owed from a third party.

Reverse offer

Cross offers are made when two parties make similar offers to one another without being aware of one another’s offer. Cross offers are not considered to be offers. For instance, if A offers to sell his automobile to B for 7 lakhs, and B, unaware of it, offers to purchase the same car from A for 7 lakhs. And they are said to make a cross offer, and there is no acceptance in this case, hence it cannot be a mutual acceptance.

Crucial components of a cross offer:

the same offer to each other- The aim and the party remain the same when the offeror makes an offer to the offeree and the offeree, without the offeror’s knowledge, makes the identical offer to the offeror. Offers must be made in complete ignorance of one another. Both parties must be completely unaware of one another while making their offers.

The English case of Tinn v. Hoffman is significant in this regard. In that case, the defendant wrote to the complainant with an offer to sell him 800 tonnes of iron for 69 cents a tonne, and the complainant responded with an offer to buy the iron from the defendant at the same price. Was there a contract between the parties in this instance, and would simultaneous offers constitute a legal acceptance? The court determined that these cross offers were made concurrently without the parties’ knowledge and would not be binding. Here, it is crucial to draw the conclusion that a cross offer will not result in the creation of a contract since a legal contract requires both an offer and an acceptance, but a cross offer has simply simultaneous offers and no acceptance.


when the offeree makes a conditional acceptance of the offer that is open to changes and deviations from the conditions of the first offer. He allegedly sent a counter bid. An initial offer is rejected by a counteroffer. For instance, if A offers B a car for 10 lakhs and B agrees to buy it for 8 lakhs, this would be considered a counteroffer and the original offer would be rejected. Afterwards, A may decline if B offers to buy for 10 lakhs. In Haji Mohamed Haji Jiva v. Spinner, Sir Jenkins CJ concluded that any deviation from the initial offer renders acceptance invalid. To put it another way, an acceptance that includes a variation is not actually an acceptance; rather, it is merely a counterproposal that needs to be accepted by the original offeror in order to become a contract.

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