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 offer to sell at auction to be accepted by paying a ten per cent. deposit when a bid is accepted, which the highest bidder attempts to accept by tendering a check of another person on a bank in which the drawer of the check has no funds, even if the bidder would have provided funds, does not amount to a contract.1 An offer by the owner of a tug boat, "Go for three hundred for thirty days you pay expenses one way. Wire answer," to which the offeree replies, "Terms accepted. Engage Capt. Garland, writing," is not accepted; since the provision requiring a certain captain to be engaged adds a term not in the offer.2 If A made an offer to an insurance company to take insurance on his life for ten thousand dollars, to be written in two policies of five thousand dollars each, and the insurance company refused to issue both policies, but issued one and mailed it to the agent of the insurance company, such act was equivalent to a rejection of A's offer; and accordingly no contract could exist until the counter-proposition of the insurance company was accepted by A.3 If A makes an offer to B to appoint B to sell as A's agent, B's acceptance as a purchaser at the price fixed by A, does not complete the contract.4 An acceptance of an offer to purchase, conditioned on the seller's being able to purchase such goods from another,5 or adding a clause as to the disposition of the cases in which the eggs purchased were to be shipped,6 or an acceptance of an application for a loan on condition that everything should prove satisfactory and that certain specified security should be given,7 is, in each case, invalid. An offer which among other things provides that half of certain insurance is to be taken through the offeror as a broker, is not acceptance by a promise to take twenty thousand dollars of insurance through offeror.8
6 De Jonge v. Hunt, 103 Mich. 94, 61 N. W. 341.
7 Baird v. Pratt, 148 Fed. 825, 78 C. C. A. 515; Wilkin, etc., Co. v. Lumber Co., 94 Mich. 158, 53 N. W. 1045; Russell v. Mfg. Co., 106 Wis. 329, 82 N. W. 134.
8 Christian, etc., Co. v. Water Supply Co., 106 Ala. 124, 17 So. 352 (offer to have a three-year contract continued; acceptance; to continue it from month to month); Erickson v. Wallace, 45 Kan. 430, 25 Ac. 898 (offer; lease for five years, if security given for payment of taxes; acceptance; lease for three years; no security given).
9 United States Heater Co. v. Apple-baum, 126 Mich. 296, 85 N. W. 743
(here an offer was made to deliver iron during the year 1899, beginning April 1, and was accepted, requiring delivery between April 1, 1899, and April 1, 1900); Timmons v. Bostwick, 141 Ga. 713, 82 S. E. 29; Bastian Bros. Co. v. Wemett-Howard Co., 113 Minn. 196, 129 N. W. 369.
10 Rogers v. French, 122 la. 18, 96 N. W. 767.
11 Rogers v. French, 122 la. 18, 96 N. W. 767.
12 Joseph Joseph Bros. Co. v. Schon-thal Iron & Steel Co., 99 Md. 382, 58 Atl. 205.
13 William B. Scaife & Sons Co. v. Standard Ice Co., 46 Wash. 297, 89 Ac. 882.