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Whose offer should be accepted?

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    • Thread Starter

    A/. David is a University student. On Monday (1st) he advertised a computer for sale on the University notice board. The notice stated: “Second-hand Lap-top for sale”. Please leave your cheque in a sealed envelope on the notice board by mid-day next Monday (8th). I will sell the computer to the student whose cheque is nearest to £150”. Ann who is a BU accounting student leaves a cheque for £120. Jane who is a BU business studies student puts a note in an envelope saying she will pay him £130 but will give him a cheque when she meets him. Len, who works as a laboratory technician in the University leaves a cheque for £140 in an envelope. On the Saturday (6th), David agrees to accept a cash offer of £110 from Lucy, a BU finance student

    I initially thought:

    Although usually an advert is considered an initiation to treat, there are cases when it is considered a unilateral offer. Where an express contractual promise is made to accept the most competitive bid, that will be legally binding, such as the case Harvela Investments Ltd v Royal Trust Co. of Canada (C.I.) Ltd (1985), the bid should have done to the highest offeror. Consquently, Len’s offer should be accepted when he left the cheque for £140, which was the highest bid. Although the word ‘student’ was used in the notice, this would have not been intended by David to constitute a term and only amount to a mere puff, when intention would lie with getting the closest offer, not to sell to a student.

    However, because it's only an invitation to treat, and offers are made in ignorance of other offers, can david accept anyone's offer including Lucy's?Thanks

    I think the word 'student' could not be ignored, the law states that offer is to be interpreted by the standard of objective promisee ( Smith v Hughes)

    If you were Jane, you might think this word important.

    Further , the requirement of buyer to be a student may have relationship with the price and computing power of the laptop, I think significance has to be attached to it.
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