Sale of Goods Act of 1979













Sale of Goods Act of 1979











Sale of Goods Act of 1979

The primary goal of business is to make profits. In this regard, buyers and sellers in the market place play a significant role in the realization of this goal. However, influx of fake business persons in the market has arguably led to the formation of laws that govern business transactions. This includes contracts that bide business parties to certain terms and conditions (Edlin and Harris, 2013).

This essay affirms that sections 13 to 15 of the Sale of goods Act offer sellers’ unnecessary conditions that alter the market environment as a result of their controversial conditions.

In the wake of globalization, business transactions have gone a notch higher through the incorporation of technological expertise. However, this has arguably transformed quality of products’ thus the need to put in place legal measures to regulate the business environment. In an example, fake products continue to find their way into the markets thus posing potential risks on clients. McKendrick (2004) argues that business transactions call for mutual understanding of both the seller and buyer. In essence, it is important for the parties involved to remain glued to the contractual agreements. This entails signing of contracts to secure the business transaction should irregularities surface.

Compare and contrast the relevant cases relating to section 13 to 15 of the Sale of Goods Act

The sale of goods Act of 1979 provides an avenue for ensuring business transparency within the United Kingdom and is practicable across the world. The 1979 Act was an amendment into the Sale of Goods Act 1893. Fundamentally, section 13 to 15 is convoluted thus making comprehension reasonably complex. For example, section 13 contradicts itself by offering condition for the seller subsequently giving opportunity for the buyer to decide on the viability of the contract. The section empowers the buyer at the sole expense of the seller. As a result, the seller is left in a dilemma as the probable solutions to making the buyer contented. In this regard, courts were and continue to be utilized as the ideal arbitrators of the contract deals. Sub section 4, for example, grants the buyer the opportunity to decide on the viability of the contract. Section 13 of the sale of goods Act of 1979 is convoluted to the extent that the seller is unable to meet the expectations of the buyer (Bridge, 1998). This is chiefly because of the vulnerability of the seller to vend his or her products by description whereas the goods are similar to buyer’s description they may vary in the intended use. For instance, a pig farmer may purchase cattle feed only because the description given by the seller resonates with the ingredients he or she requires only that the products serve diverse purposes. This creates a situation whereby the seller is unable to meet the demands of the buyer. According to this section, the seller only offers products that the buyer needs. This, as a result, implies that there is no room for complementary goods. In an example, a buyer is governed by the contract not to sell tea whereas the buyer needs coffee cognizant of the fact that both can be used as beverages to quench thirst. In the subsequent sub section, the seller under contract is required to offer samples of the products (Willis, 2005). Cognizant of the fact that research methodology dictates that a sample represents a substantial portion of the whole; the seller may enter into contract with the buyer using the sample only to realize that the sample was totally different with the actual products. However, this alienates the seller from blame thus the perception that the seller under this section of the Act may be unable to meet the buyer’s expectations. Ryder, Griffiths and Singh (2012) state that “if the sale is by sample as well as by description, it is not sufficient that the bulk of the goods correspond with the sample” (87). In a classical example, Judge Nourse offered a diverse interpretation in the Harlingdon and Leinster Enterprises Limited versus Christopher Hull Fine Art Limited that sale by description can be considered a breach of the contract in the event the buyer finds the products to be direct opposites of the required since the buyer relied heavily on the description. Notably, a case involving Harlingdon sale of German expressionist artist Munter had the defendant seller allege that the plaintiff buyer had been notified of the fact that the seller was not a professional but relied on descriptions present. In such instances, description is not purported to the party to the contract thus the inadequacy of the seller to meet buyer’s expectations. The section, for example, expects the seller to offer the goods or services identical to the description provided. In light of this, the description of the product may be insufficient thus putting at risk, the essentials of the agreement. A seller, for instance, may offer a snippet description of a product only for the buyer to insinuate that the product is dissimilar to the description. This as a result injures a prospective business engagement. Ervine (2004) argues that the wide interpretation of the word description narrows down the sellers’ ability to convince a potential customer. For this reason, the broad interpretation could easily injure the sellers’ intention to scale up his or her sales. For instance, color, measurement and date and place of shipment remain detrimental to sellers. This is because those specifications later the prices of the commodities notably second hand goods. The section in entirety galvanizes the buyers’ energy to be the sole determinant of the best products in the market thus watering down the rights of the seller to sell his or her products without keen scrutiny by the buyers (Furmston, 2001:117).

In addition, sub section 2 is complex as it details the sample requirements. According to the sub section, the seller is not at liberty to provide his or her services. The sub section infers on the seller to produce identical samples to meet the buyer’s preference. However, it does not offer credible oversight on to the extent into which the samples should be identical. For instance, two radios can be similar in shape and company that manufactured them but be different in internal composition. This as a result leaves the seller with the dilemma on the best interpretation of this sub section. In essence, the sub section guarantees the buyer protection with minimal attention leveled towards the seller. In particular, the samples section is widely construed to broaden the buyers’ expectations. As explained herein, similarity in samples is generally addressed leaving the seller with minute discretion to comprehend the actual essence. For instance, in pharmaceutical practice there are genetic and original drugs. In this case, such an Act may fail to address pharmaceutical drugs since genetic and original drugs are similar in composition but diverse in companies that manufacture the same. This therefore fails to address the sellers’ requirements that will eventually meet the clients’ expectations. In a nutshell, the section is overprotective to the buyers thus leaving the sellers with minimal options in the business environment (Dorfman, 2012).

Furthermore, sub section 4 is not analytical in composition. This implies that the sub section is heavily convoluted to the extent that the seller is unable to meet the buyers’ expectations. For instance, the wording is so much that comprehension is hard. The section in entirety plays the buyers’ advocate since the seller is left with minute strategies to meet the demands of the buyer. This is in cognition of the diversity in products that a seller has in possession. As a result, the section requires extensive amendment to weaken the stringent conditions present between the buyer and seller. Acquiescence with section 14 is a diverse interpretation that creates huge discrepancies in service delivery (Andrews, 2011). This implies that the seller may concentrate on one particular aspect of description notably quantity and therefore fail to take into consideration color and measurements. In this regard, the seller will be breaching the contract in the event that the description lacks merit in the basis of the buyer. According to Ryder, Griffiths and Singh (2012) dissatisfaction arises when the seller and buyer undermine the de minimus rule. In a case involving Re Moore and Company Limited versus Landauer Company Limited, the buyer was compensated over 3,000 cans of fruit purely because of inconsistent packaging. In light of this example, it is imperative to note that the seller cements the perception that satisfaction is unachievable in business transactions. On the other hand, section 14 cements the value of quality upon purchase of a product. In light of this, buyers in accordance to the sale of goods Act of 1979 were granted the leeway to purchase and refund goods that they deemed to have compromised on quality. It is apparent that businesses engage in low quality products thus the Act in section 14 provided reprieve for buyers. However, this is injurious to the seller whose input in terms of quality should be blamed. The section is fallacious both in writing and application. This is because the seller is not in most cases the manufacturer of the products thus putting such conditions lacks merit in an economic perspective. Section 14 entails the presumption that the buyer’s expectations are unmet by sellers because the latter are not able to effectively come up with an idea on the shelf life of the product (Baatz, 2014:104). According to Hoskins (2012), section 14 bolsters an assumption that the buyer has to engage the seller in diverse explanations about the products he or she wants thus the seller may not meet the expectations of the buyer. Liability in this section is extensively leveled towards the seller. For instance, a buyer holds the privilege to return already bought products in the event the goods do not pass the satisfactory mark required. In light of this, the section does not in any way provide solutions to the seller to defend his or her products (Whittington, 1980). In an example, a person purchasing a television set has the liberty to synchronize the hold the seller responsible for unsatisfactory demands. However, the section alienates the seller from blame in the case whereby the buyer uses the product in other ways. For example, a pig feeds seller will not be deemed to have breached a contract in the event the buyer uses the pigs feed for cattle products. According to this school of thought therefore, sellers are unable to meet the expectations of the buyers who convincingly purchase products without prior investigations of indeed receiving treatment. In essence, the seller is unlikely to meet the buyer’s expectations notably because the buyer in reference to this section has no legal and moral authority to seek the clear usage of the product. However, in the event of a contract that points out the intention of the purchased product, the seller is mean to admit liability (Fuller, 2010).

In addition, linkage is inevitable between the two sections namely section 13 and 14. This is because liability discussed in section 14 occurs under similar circumstances laid out in section 13. For instance, a livestock farmer may require the services of a bull to produce pure breed, however, the seller offers the bull under description but the bull fails to conduct the presumed job. In such situations, the seller does not admit liability. In a case pitting Ashington Piggeries versus Christopher Hill whereby animal feed was purely described but lacked the quality that was required (Rowan, 2012). The court interpreted the seller to have done his part but the buyer misrepresented what ideally was important. On the other hand, the sections are proficient to be independent without relying on each other. Section 15, alternatively, seeks to address sale by sample. This creates a similarity with section 14 that regulates sale through quantity among other variables. In this case, the section creates more discrepancies. Nevertheless, sellers are unable to meet the demands of buyers since buyers largely take into consideration all conditions pre-set in the Sale of Goods Act section 13 to 15. Blythe (2005, p.77) argues that the Sale of Goods Act of 1979 remained incredibly sophisticated whereby the seller was bound by influential conditions.


            The paper has extensively shown that contractual agreements are bound by numerous conditions that may limit the realization of a healthy business environment. This is because as sections 13 to 15 have shown, excessive privileges leveled towards the buyer makes it hard for the seller to make considerable growth. For instance, a seller is highly likely to report stagnated growth in the event that any negligible defect on goods sold is considered a breach of the contracts. In addition, as the sections have shown the diverse conditions put in place notably; quality, color, measurement and sample as influential ingredients, it is difficult for the seller to have in his or her possession all the ingredients. In an example, a livestock farmer may have a cow that fits a considerable percentage of the description by the buyer only for minute inconsistencies to breach contract. In conclusion, future amendments into the Sale of Goods Act of 1979 will go an extra mile in ensuring business consistency that is imperative for the growth of the economy within and beyond borders.













Andrews, Neil. Contract Law. (Cambridge UP, 2011).

Baatz, Yvonne.Maritime Law. (3rd Ed: Routledge, 2014).

Blythe, Stephen. (2005). Contractual Liability of Suppliers of Defective Software: A Comparison of the Law of the United Kingdom and United States. Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. 26 (1), 77-96.

Bridge, Sam. The Sale of Goods Act. (Oxford UP, 1998).

Dorfman, Rosalee. The Regulation of Fairness and Duty of Good Faith in English Contract Law: A Relational Contract Theory Assessment. (Leeds Journal of Law and Criminology, 1 (1), 91-117, 2012).

Edlin, Azran, and Harris, Robert. The Roles of Switching Costs in Antitrust Analysis: A Comparison of Microsoft and Google. Yale Journal of Law and Technology, 15 (2), 2013.

Ervine, W. (2004). Satisfactory Quality: What does it mean? (Journal of Business Law. 1-14, 2004.)

Fuller, Graham. Purchasing Contracts: A Practical Guide. (2nd Ed: Spiramus Press, 2010).

Furmston, Michael. Principles of Commercial Law, (2nd Ed, Cavendish, 2001).

Hoskins, Quin. Understanding your rights under the sale of goods Act 1979. Retrieved on February 4, 2015. Available from, 2012.

McKendrick, Ewan. (2004). Contract Law: Text, Cases and Materials. (3rd Ed: Oxford UP, 2004).

Rowan, Solene. Remedies for breach of contract: A Comparative Analysis of the Protection of Performance. (Oxford UP, 2012).

Ryder, Nicholas, Griffiths, Margaret, and Singh, Lachmi. Commercial Law: Principles and Policy (Cambridge UP, 2012).

Whittington, Nicholas. Reconsidering Domestic Sale of Goods Remedies in Light of the CISG. VUWLR, 2006 (37), 421-452, 1980.

Willis, Katie. Theories and Practices of Development. (2nd Ed. Routledge, 2005).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: