Must a seller honor an incorrect but advertised price?

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Must a seller honor an incorrect but advertised price?

There is a car dealership advertising a brand new car for $1,061 on their website. Obviously this is a mistake and apparently this amount is the discount, nevertheless, it says the selling price for this vehicle is $1,061. Will this dealership be obligated to sell the car to me for this price? If so and they refuse, am I able to sue them?

Asked on July 20, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A contract requires an offer and acceptance.  Merely advertising a price is not by itself an offer because it lacks definite terms such as time for delivery, method of payment, etc.

Even if it had satisfied the requirements for an offer, since you knew or should have known of the mistake, you would not be able to enforce it against the other party upon your acceptance pf the offer.  There is a fundamental principle of contracts that a party who knew or should have known of a mistake cannot enforce it against the other party to a contract.  You would not prevail in a lawsuit against the auto dealer.


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