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The court held unanimously that the advertisement did not constitute an offer, but rather was a mere declaration of intent. Blackburn, J. founded his judgment on public policy grounds, calling it a "startling proposition" that "anyone who advertises a sale by publishing an advertisement [would become] responsible to everybody who attends the sale for his cab hire or travelling expenses". Quain and Archibald, JJ. also drew public policy arguments, emphasizing that there existed no authority on which to base a decision that the Defendant be liable to indemnify all those who attended his auction. The court upheld the appeal.6.HEATHCOTE BALL V BARRY  EWCA CIV 235
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Auctions generally offers (without reserve)The claimant had submitted the highest (and only) bids at an auction stated to be without reserve.The items were two Alan Smart engine analysers which were worth £14,000. The claimant had submitted bids of £200 each. The auctioneer refused to sell them at that price. The claimant brought an action for breach of contract claiming damages of £27,600.Held:The claimant was entitled to damages. Where an auction takes place without reserve the auctioneer makes a unilateral offer which is accepted by submitting the highest bid. There was thus a binding contract and the claimant entitled to damages covering the loss of bargain.Similar approach vis-à-vis tenders – see generally7.SPENCER –V- HARDING8.The defendants advertised a sale by tender of the stock in trade belonging Eilbeck & co. The advertisement specified where the goods could be viewed, the time of opening for tenders and that the goods must be paid for in cash. No reserve was stated. The claimant submitted the highest tender but the defendant refused to sell to him.Held:Unless the advertisement specifies that the highest tender would be accepted there was no obligation to sell to the person submitting the highest tender. The advert amounted to an invitation to treat, the tender was an offer, the defendant could choose whether to accept the offeror not.9.HARVEY –V- FACEY (Quotations shall be generally construed as invitations to treat)Harvey sent a Telegram to Facey which stated: -"Will you sell us Bumper Hall Pen? Telegraph lowest cash price-answer paid;" Facey replied by telegram:-"Lowest price for Bumper Hall Pen £900."Harvey then replied:-"We agree to buy Bumper Hall Pen for the sum of nine hundred pounds asked by you. Please send us your title deed in order that we may get early possession." Held:
The Privy Council held that there was no contract concluded between the parties. Facey had not directly answered the first question as to whether they would sell and the lowest price stated was merely responding to a request for information not an offer. There was thus no evidence of an intention that the telegram sent by Facey was to be an offer.
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