Harris v Nickerson, Facts, Issue, Decision, Important Point

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This case is concerned whether advertisements are offers or Invitation to treat (ITT) in the offer and acceptance chapter of Contract law

Facts of Harris v Nickerson

The Defendant held an auction. He advertised his auction in London papers in which he stated that Plants, machinery and furniture would be sold. This auction would happen over a course of three days.

The claimant came in the third day in which it was advertised that all the furniture would be sold today. However at the last moment the Defendant took out all the furniture from the auction.

The claimant sued the Defendant for the breach of contract, As he said that the advertisement he placed on the London papers was an offer and he made the acceptance by attending the auction


Whether the Advertisement was an offer or Invitation to treat (ITT)?


The courts gave the decision in the favour of the claimant, it was held that the advertisement placed on the London paper was just to inform the purchasers that an auction is taking place.

And the products listed were not a guarantee that these products will be advertised. As there was no offer and no acceptance take place. So there was no legal binding found.

Important Point of Harris v Nickerson

The case is authority for the rule that advertisements are Invitation to Treat (ITT) not an offer

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