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vigi

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offer o r not .......
« on: November 22, 2004, 11:44:09 AM »
  Allan wrote a letter to Bob asking "Will you sell me your
Rolls-Royce? Please
reply indicating your lowest price. "  Bob replied in a short note
"Lowest price for my
Rolls $24,000.00. " Allan immediately replied "I agree to buy your
Rolls for
$24,000.00."
Do you think Bob should be obliged to sell his Rolls to Allan? Would it
make a difference to you if Bob's letter had read "Lowest price
acceptable for my Rolls would be $24,000.00" or had read "I am prepared to
sell you my Rolls for $24,000.00?"

zemog

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2004, 11:54:57 AM »
I think Allan's is the offer and is waiting for an acceptance from bob. 

The language of all of Bob's statements (even the hypo modified ones you said at the end)sounds more like negotiations or pre-offer stage stuff. 

That's what I would argue on the exam.

jeffjoe

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2004, 12:03:42 PM »
Allan is making the offer, because he has shown a willingness to be bound without further negotiaton.  Bob has not.
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slacker

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2004, 12:42:20 PM »
I'm with the Allan made the offer.

An offer needs to be clear, definite, explicit. It cannot reserve assent. It must be definite as to the material terms.

Bob doesn't seem to be at that point, but Allan is.

As for the alternatives, the "lowest price acceptable" version again doesn't appear to be an offer. The "I am prepared to sell you..." does appear to be an offer.

joshdelight

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2004, 09:11:29 PM »
I am going to be a contrarian and say that the first offer was Bob's response to Allan's quote.

Bob's first note was not an offer because it did not create a power of acceptance in Allan. Bob did not indicate anything other than an interest to commence negotiations, as he asked for a quote, which indicates that he could reject Allan's price.

Allan did not make an offer to sell, as he merely stated the price in response to Bob's query without indicating that he would absolutely sell the vehicle for that price.

Bob clearly intended his response to be an acceptance.  However, a reasonable person would not believe Allan's note to be an offer, but a mere quote, as it did not create a power of acceptance in Bob.  Therefore, Bob agreeing to buy Allan's car for $24,000 was an offer, and the power of acceptance lays in Allan.

"Lowest price acceptable" does not indicate a power of acceptance, but merely an intention to seek an offer. 

"I am prepared to sell..." creates a power of acceptance in the other party, as Allan indicates an intention to be legally bound. If someone accepted either by a promise to pay $24000 or by tendering $24000, a contract is formed and Allan would breach if he refused to keep to his duty to transfer title and possession of the car to the purchaser.

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slacker

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2004, 11:39:32 PM »
You can be a contrarian, but are you certain you're not confusing Bob and Allen in the response.

For example, you wrote
Bob's first note was not an offer because it did not create a power of acceptance in Allan. Bob did not indicate anything other than an interest to commence negotiations, as he asked for a quote, which indicates that he could reject Allan's price.

Which appears to correspond to the following in the original hypo
Allan wrote a letter to Bob asking "Will you sell me your
Rolls-Royce? Please
reply indicating your lowest price. "

squarre

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2004, 12:51:28 AM »
I believe he is confusing the two and actually agrees with everybody else.

jen2262

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2004, 01:32:00 AM »
Here’s what I think:
Allen first statement “Will you sell me your Rolls- Royce was clearly not an offer. It was a question of inquiry. A question is not an offer because it seeks information and does not amount to commitment.

Bob’s statement “Lowest price for my Rolls $24,000.00” has a resemblance of an offer because it is exact, and gives a definite price. However, most courts would consider this statement as non-committal language. You have to ask yourself would a reasonable man expect to be legally bound by this statement. Bob’s statement seems more like an invitation to offer because it is not clear that he intends to be bound. It seems more like he just stated what his lowest price was. Normally, a statement like this means that,” although the lowest price is $24,000,  the salesperson is open to more offers.” Therefore, I think this was an invitation to offer, not an actual offer.

Allen’s statement “I agree to buy your Rolls for 24,000.00” seems more like the first offer. It is definite, in giving a price and it is also seems promissory in nature. This statement clearly shows Allen’s “willingness to enter into a bargain”.

It would not make much difference if Bob had said “lowest price acceptable for my Rolls etc” because this sounds like it is only Bob’s statement of intention. A statement of intention is not an offer.

If Bob said, “I am prepared to sell you etc…” This is clearly language of commitment, and it would be an offer.

jeffjoe

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2004, 06:30:23 PM »
I agree.  Our contracts prof emphasizes an expressoin of a willingness to be committed.  "Will you sell..."  definitely no commitment.  "mininum price..." not a willingness to commit, but a willingness to negotiate.

"I will pay... " first commitment to be bound, hence the offer.
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law543

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Re: offer o r not .......
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2004, 10:03:35 PM »
  Allan wrote a letter to Bob asking "Will you sell me your
Rolls-Royce? Please
reply indicating your lowest price. "  Bob replied in a short note
"Lowest price for my
Rolls $24,000.00. " Allan immediately replied "I agree to buy your
Rolls for
$24,000.00."
Do you think Bob should be obliged to sell his Rolls to Allan? Would it
make a difference to you if Bob's letter had read "Lowest price
acceptable for my Rolls would be $24,000.00" or had read "I am prepared to
sell you my Rolls for $24,000.00?"


In Allan v. Bob, Allan will argue that his initial statement was an offer. However,Bob will argue there was no offer because it had no definite terms...and it did not create any power of acceptance in him. There was nothing to agree to except an agreement to start talking about a price. It was an offer to negotiate.

When Bob responded to his offer to negotiate, Allan will argue that Bob's response was a valid offer because it creates in Allan a power of acceptance. When Allan accepted, the contract became binding.

Bob will then argue that he made no definite offer and was mereley negotitating. He will argue that the language of his negotiation lacked the attributes usually associated with a willingness to be bound.

I think the court will find for Bob.

Law543