Courteen Seed Co. v. Abraham

129 Or. 427, 275 P. 684 (1929)

 

RULE:

Information or invitation to negotiate does not constitute an offer.

FACTS:

The parties entered into several negotiations regarding the sale of clover seeds to the corporation. The grain dealer sent the corporation a telegram which read: "I am asking 23 cents per pound for the car of red clover seed from which your sample was taken. No. 1 seed, practically no plantain whatever. Have an offer 22-3/4 per pound, f. o. b. Amity." The corporation responded with an acceptance. After the grain dealer refused to ship the seeds, the corporation filed an action for damages based on the alleged contract. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the corporation.

ISSUE:

Was there a perfected contract of sale?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court held that, giving due consideration to every word contained in the grain dealer's telegram to the corporation, it was not prepared to say that the telegram constituted an express offer to sell, as it asked for a price per pound, not offered one. The court reversed and remanded, holding that as there was no contract, the grain dealer's motion for nonsuit should have been granted. 

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