Invitation to offer
The offer should be distinguished from an invitation to offer. An offer is the final expression of willingness by the offeror to be bound by his offer should the party chooses to accept it. Where a party, without expressing his final willingness, proposes certain terms on which he is willing to negotiate, he does not make an offer, but invites only the other party to make an offer on those terms. This is the basic distinction between offer and invitation to offer.
The display of articles with a price in it in a self-service shop is merely an invitation to offer. It is in no sense an offer for sale, the acceptance of which constitutes a contract. In this case, Smt. Prakash in selecting some articles and approaching the cashier for payment simply made an offer to buy the articles selected by her. If the cashier does not accept the price, the interested buyer cannot compel him to sell.
2.Ramaswami proposed to sell his house to Ramanathan. Ramanathan sent his acceptance by post. Next day, Ramanathan sends a telegram withdrawing his acceptance. Examine the validity of the acceptance in the light of the following:
(i) The telegram of revocation of acceptance was received by Ramaswami before the letter of acceptance. (ii) The telegram of revocation and letter of acceptance both reached together. (May 2006)
The problem is related with the communication and time of acceptance and its revocation. As per Section 4 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, the communication of an acceptance is a complete as against the acceptor when it comes to the knowledge of the proposer.
An acceptance may be revoked at any time...