Regardingthree-seater sofas there is no much clarity of language in the advert and it isnot certain which discount is attached to each particular item. The wording “upto 70% discount” does not mean that there is unambiguous intention to be boundby the promise.
However, reference to the price of GBP 750 applicable to thethree-seat sofas may lead to an assumption that this price should be applicableat least to some available three-seat sofas until 31 August 2009. Promise of adiscount is in place may be understood by public as an offer with intention tocreate binding legal relations (Bowerman v Association of British Travel AgentsLtd 1996). the other hand, the statement of price is normally not an offerbut merely an invitation to treat and there is not guarantee in the advert thateach three-seater sofa will be sold at GBP 750 until 31 August 2009 (Clifton vPalumbo 1944), therefore this part of the advertisement, if seen separatelyfrom part about two-seaters, is more likely to be an invitation to treat. Itadvertises bilateral contract for sale and purchase of sofas at a price reducedup to 70%, but such advertisements normally may lead to further bargaining andthe sellers are not obliged to sell to anyone who is willing to buy (Elliott& Quinn, 2007, p.14).The offer of rewardin exchange for the act of purchasing three-seater at a reduced price of GBP750 may correspond to the scenario of Carlill v Carbolic SmokeBall Co 1893with unilateral offer. for two-seater sofas, despite of the clear promise togive them for free provided that three- seater one is purchased at a reducedprice of GBP 750, the issue of two-seater sofas’ availability may be raised bythe seller since Bigstore does not seem to be a manufacturer of them (Grainger v Gough 1896), and with notices in the store advising that thosewere subject to availability this part of the advert could still be a mereinvitation to treat, although it is arguable that intention to be bound isthere and the act requested from the purchaser is clear. Still, if performanceof the act becomes impossible, i.
e. if it is not realistic to buy athree-seater sofa for GBP 750, then Susan cannot accept unilateral offer.Nevertheless, by accepting GBP 100 from her Bigstore may act similarly to thedefendant in Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co 1893 depositing GBP 1000with the bank, this way expressing the intention to be bound by the main offer.Moreover, once the performance of the requested act started (i.e.
purchasingthree-seater) Bigstore cannot prevent this action from being completed (Dauliav Four Mill Bank Nominees Ltd 1978), therefore Susan should be allowed tocomplete the intended act of purchasing three seaters for GBP 750 if her paymentof GBP 100 is seen as start of performance which once completed makes herentitled to free two-seater. Therefore, there is likely to be a unilateraloffer of two-seater sofa here.