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.
Acceptance within the meaning of the statute consists of words or acts of the buyer sufficient to show his intention to assume exclusive dominion over the property purchased, thereby acquiring title thereto.1 It involves the intention on the part of the vendee to take the goods sold as the owner thereof.2 So where vendee, under a contract to buy vendor's accumulation of sawdust, received several loads of it and used it,3 or where a vendee of a dress made to order tried it on, declared that it fitted and asked the maker to change part of the trimming which had been selected originally,4 the statute was complied with. Ac-cordingly acceptance may be inferred from acts of the vendee which are rightful if he owns the goods, but wrongful if he does not.5 So where vendee of standing timber entered and cut down the trees, the contract being regarded as a contract for the sale of personalty,6 acceptance may be inferred. Mere change of possession is not sufficient. While it may amount to receipt, there must be something further to constitute an acceptance.7 Thus delivery to the vendee for the purpose of testing the chattel,8 or to enable him to determine whether it corresponds to the sample,9 or delivery of a small quantity of the property sold to be used by vendee as a sample in effecting a resale,10 none of them amount to an acceptance, since no intention to take as owner apears. Aceptance by an agent of vendee is in the contemplation of the law acceptance by the vendee.11 Without express authority, however, a carrier empowered to receive the goods does not thereby accept them.12 The acts of the agent relied on as acceptance must be unequivocal. Thus the act of the vendee's agent in marking the property sold, with the vendee's initials is not a receipt and acceptance within the statute.13
11 Chaplin v. Rogers, 1 East 192. Such as growing trees when treated as personalty. Leonard v. Medford. 85 Md. 666; 37 L. R. A. 449; 37 Atl. 365.
12 Such as curb-stones. Gorman v. Brossard, 120 Mich. 611; 79 N. W. 903.
13 Devine v. Warner, 75 Conn. 375 ; 96 Am. St. Rep. 211; 53 Atl. 782.
14 Brunswick Grocery Co. v. Lamar, 116 Ga. 1; 42 S. E. 366.
1 Remick v. Sandford, 120 Mass. 309; Gilman v. Hill. 36 N. H. 311; Mechanical Boiler Cleaner Co. v. Kellner, 62 N. J. L. 544; 43 Atl. 599; Stone v. Browning. 68 N. Y. 598; s. c. 51 N. Y. 211; Redington v. Roberts, 25 Vt. 686: Schmidt v.
Thomas, 75 Wis. 529; 44 N. W. 771. Acceptance consists of " acts of such character as to place the property unequivocally within the power and under the exclusive dominion of the buyer as absolute owner, discharged of all lien for the price." Mechanical Boiler Cleaner Co. v. Kellner, 62 N. J. L. 544, 559; 43 Atl. 599; Hinchman v. Lincoln. 124 U. S. 38. Acceptance consists of acts sufficient "to pass title." Kerhhof v. Paper Co.. 68 Wis. 674. 676; 32 N. W. 766.
2 Curtis v. Lumber Co., 114 N. C. 530; 19 S. E. 374; Galvin v. Mac-Kenzie. 21 Or. 184; 27 Pac. 1039.
3 Beyerstedt v. Mill Co., 49 Minn. 1; 51 N. W. 619.
4 Galvin v. MacKenzie, 21 Or. 184; 27 Pac. 1039.
5 "If the vendee does any act to the goods of wrong if he is not the owner of the goods,and of right if he is the owner of the goods, the doing of that act is evidence that he has accepted them." Parker v. Wallis. 5 E. & B. 21, 27; quoted in Leonard v. Medford, 85 Md. 666, 673; 37 L. R. A. 449; 37 Atl. 365.
6 Leonard v. Medford, 85 Md. 666; 37 L. R. A. 449; 37 Atl. 365; Wilson v. Fuller, 58 Minn. 149; 59 N. W. 988.
7 Sprankel v. Trulove, 22 Ind.
App. 577; 54 N. E. 461; Remick v. Sandford, 120 Mass. 309; Dinnie v. Johnson, 8 N. D. 153; 77 N. W. 612.
8 Mechanical Boiler-Cleaner Co. v. Kellner, 62 N. J. L. 544; 43 Atl. 599; Stone v. Browning, 68 N. Y. 598; s. c, 51 N. Y. 211.
9 Bacon v. Eccles, 43 Wis. 227.
10 Dierson v. Petersmeyer, 109 la. 233; 80 N. W. 389. See also Moore v. Love, 57 Miss. 765.
11 Schroder v. Hardware Co., 88 Ga. 578; 15 S. E. 327; Meyer v. Thompson, 16 Or. 194; 18 Pac. 16.
12 See Sec. 711.
13 Hart v. Anderson, 24 N. S. 157.