This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
An acceptance which attempts to modify the quantity offered for sale, is inoperative.1 If A offers to B to sell a certain quantity, "more or less," and B strikes out the words "or less" and attempts to accept the offer as thus modified,2 no contract is made. An attempted acceptance of an offer to sell land, which requires the vendor to convey more land than he had offered,3 is ineffectual. Where there were two maps of the property at Merced under consideration, a town plat and a map of a larger tract with the town marked off, and offer for the "balance of Merced town property" was not accepted by a reply agreeing to sell the "Merced property," though referred to as the property for which the offer was made.4 An acceptance which attempts to modify the quality of goods offered,5 is inoperative. An offer to sell ten carloads of potatoes, which is accepted with the added condition that the cars must average thirty thousand pounds;6 an offer to sell ten carloads of potatoes for winter use, which is accepted to the extent of eight carloads for winter storage;7 an offer to sell "nice white potatoes (peerless stock)," which is accepted by an order for "choice" potatoes,8 and which requires the seller to select them and to send no small ones;9 an offer by A, who had complained of the goods furnished by B under a former contract, except the last carload, to buy goods of the same grade and quality as the last carload, which is accepted by a promise to send "the same goods as we have been delivering";10 an offer to sell flooring, which by the trade usage means standard flooring, and which is accepted with a provision that certain special sizes must be furnished;11 an offer to sell a certain number of carloads which the offeree attempts to accept, subject to the approval of the first carload;12 an offer to sell goods according to the weights of certain scales, which the offeree attempts to accept, requiring that an affidavit of weight be furnished,13 do not amount to contracts. An offer to sell oil of a certain specific gravity which is accepted with an additional provision that such gravity is to exist at a certain temperature, does not amount to a contract.14 So where A asked B for the cost of a certain number each of certain sizes of rhododendrons and B gave the price for all but one size and suggested a cable code for ordering su6h sizes as he had, and A cabled, "Ship as ordered," no contract existed, as A was ordering one size on which B had declined to quote a price.15
6 Batie v. Allison, 77 la. 313, 42 N. W. 306.
1 Michigan Bolt Works v. Steel, 111 Mich. 153, 69 N. W. 241 (offer for a season's supply; acceptance for less amount); Allen v. Kirwan, 159 Pa. St. 612, 28 Atl. 495 (offer to sell a few jars; order for 500 gross; answer that vendor could sell only 250 gross).
2 W. C. Sterling & Son Co. v. Watson & Bennett Co., 193 Mich. 11, 159 N. W. 381.
3 Weadock v. Champe, 193 Mich. 553, 160 X. W. 564.
4 Breckenridge v. Crocker, 78 Cal. 529, 21 Ac. 179.
5 Melchers v. Springs, 33 S. Car. 279, 11 S. E. 788 (order for a given brand of flour refused, and counter-offer of a brand just as good, which was refused).
6 Brophy v. Idaho Produce & Provision Co., 31 Mont. 279, 78 Ac. 493.
7 Brophy v. Idaho Produce & Pro vision Co., 31 Mont. 279, 78 Ac. 493.
8 Brophy v. Idaho Produce & Provision Co., 31 Mont. 279, 78 Ac. 493.
9 Brophy v. Idaho Produce & Provision Co., 31 Mont. 279, 78 Ac. 493 l0 Gibney v. Arlington Brewing Co., 112 Va. 117, 70 S. E. 485.