Invitation to treat

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Contract Law
UK LAW

A invitation to open negations with a view to forming a Contract. In English law an invitation to treat is not an 'offer' in the contractual sense, and agreement to its terms, even if unqualified, does not constitute the formation of a contract. There are many instances where invitations to treat are misconstrued as offers. For example, if a shop displays goods for sale with a price label attached, they are not obligated to sell for the marked price. This is because displaying goods for sale is an invitation to treat, not an Offer (see: Fisher v bell (1961), Partridge v crittendon (1968)). In general, in a standard retail transaction the contract is made and concluded at the checkout. There have been attempts to construe the selecting of items for purchase as being an Acceptance of offer but these have generally failed (see: Pharmaceutical society of great britain v boots (1952)). Some kinds of request to Tender will also be construed as invitation to treat. According to Blackpool and fylde aero club v blackpool bc(1990) a request to tender may, however, constitute an offer to consider the tender; such that a person who submits a tender which is ignored may have a cause of action.

Contract Law