Posted February 1, 2014 by advocateguru in Learning Centre

How offer is made ?

An offer can be made by

(a) Any act or

(b) Omission of the party proposing by which he intends to communicate such proposal or which has the effect of communicating it to the other (Section 3).


An offer can be made by An Act in the following ways:

ü  By words (whether written or oral).

The written offer can be made by letters, telegrams, telex messages, advertisements, etc. The oral offer can be made either in person or over telephone.

ü  By conduct.

The offer may be made by positive acts or signs so that the person acting or making signs mean to say or convey. However silence of a party can in no case amount to offer by conduct.


An offer can also be made by a party by omission (to do something). This includes such conduct or forbearance on one’s part that the other person takes it as his willingness or assent.

An offer implied from the conduct of the parties or from the circumstances of the case is known as implied offer.

Example– A proposes, by letter, to sell a house to B at a certain price. This is an offer by an act by written words (i.e., letter). This is also an express offer.

But when A owns a motor boat for taking people from Bombay to Goa and the boat is in the waters at the Gateway of India. This is an offer by conduct to take passengers from Bombay to Goa. He need not speak or call the passengers. The very fact that his motor boat is in the waters near Gateway of India signifies his willingness to do an act with a view to obtaining the assent of the other. This is an example of an implied offer.


Also, an offer can be made either:

1. To a definite person or a group of persons, or

2. to the public at large.


The first mode of making offer is known as Specific Offer and the second is known as a General Offer. In case of the specific offer, it may be accepted by that person or group of persons to whom the same has been made. The general offer may be accepted by any one by complying with the terms of the offer.

The celebrated case of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co., (1813) 1 Q.B. 256 is an excellent example of a general offer and is explained below.


In Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.’s case (supra), the patent-medicine company advertised that it would give a reward of £100 to anyone who contracted influenza after using the smoke balls of the company for a certain period according to the printed directions. Mrs. Carlill purchased the advertised smoke ball and contracted influenza in spite of using the smoke ball according to the printed instructions. She claimed the reward of £100. The claim was resisted by the company on the ground that offer was not made to her and that in any case she had not communicated her acceptance of the offer. She filed a suit for the recovery of the reward.

Held: She could recover the reward as she had accepted the offer by complying with the terms of the offer.


The general offer creates for the offeror liability in favor of any person who happens to fulfill the conditions of the offer. It is not at all necessary for the offeree to be known to the offeror at the time when the offer is made. He may be a stranger, but by complying with the conditions of the offer, he is deemed to have accepted the offer.