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 price,1 as by asking a rebate for damages previously caused by fire,2 does not complete the contract. An option for the purchase of certain water rights is rejected by a so-called acceptance on condition that the vendor would pay the costs of certain litigation against third persons who claimed a part of such water right; and would make an abatement from the purchase price for the part of such water right which was decided to belong to such third persons;3 an offer to sell to the person making "the highest net money tender," which the offeree attempts to accept by agreeing to pay "such sum as will exceed by two hundred pounds the amount today offered by the other proposing purchaser";4 or an offer to pay ten per cent. of a certain judgment which the offeree attempts to accept, agreeing to take "ten per cent. net,"5 do not amount to contracts. The addition of terms requiring payment of the expenses of the transfer and a year's insurance,6 or an offer to sell land at a certain price free from commissions and an attempted acceptance at such price, the commission to be paid by the vendor,7 or an acceptance if the purchaser pays the taxes and allows the vendor to reserve the rent, the purchaser to take possession as leases on the realty expire,8 or an acceptance of an offer to buy containing new terms as to preliminary deposit and the period for searching the title,9 or omitting a guaranty as to a street, and attempting to substitute a covenant to reduce incumbrances for an actual payment of them,10 are all ineffective. Acceptance of an offer to sell lumber at fixed price is not made by an indorsement on the 18th, "I accept the above price as quoted on Ashland dock. Will wire acceptance on balance contract on 20th," where the offer gave the purchaser a choice between paying cash and giving paper due in ninety days.11
11 Shaw v. Ingram-Dav Lumber Co., 152 Ky. 329, L. R. A. 1915D, 145, 153 S. W. 431.
12 Grande Ronde Lumber Co. v. Des Moines Casket Co., 177 la. 84, 158 N. W. 498.
13 Porter v. Gossell, 112 Ark. 380, 166 S. W. 533.
14 Four Oil Co. v. United Oil Producers, 145 Cal. 623, 68 L. R. A. 226, 79 Ac. 366.
15 Shady Hill Nursery Co. v. Waterer, 179 Mass. 318, 60 N. E. 789.
1 Hyde v. Wrench, 3 Beav. 334; Arthur v. Gordon, 37 Fed. 558 (a reply to an offer to sell for $1,000, "I am not willing to give more than $750"); Richardton Holler Mills v. Miller, 99 Wash. 654, 170 Ac. 357.
2 Griffin v. Lumber Co., 97 Mich. 557, 56 N. W. 1034.
3 Tilton v. Sterling Coal & Coke Co., 28 Utah 173, 107 Am. St. Rep. 689, 77 Ac. 758.
4 South Hetton Coal Co. v. Has well, Shotton and Easington Coal and Coke Co. (1898), 1 Ch. 465.