2. The offer must be distinguished from mere statement of intention:
The terms of an offer should be clear so that there is no confusion whether; it is a valid offer or a mere statement of intention.
Sometimes, a person declares that he has the intention to do something, this does not amount to an offer.
Such statements merely indicate the intentions that an offer will be made in future or an offer will be invited in future.
3. The offer must be distinguished from an invitation to receive offer:
The terms of an offer should be clear so that there is no confusion whether it is a valid offer or invitations to receive offer. Sometimes, a party does not make an offer but simply proposes certain terms and invites the other party to make an offer on proposed terms.
When a person advertises that he has got a stock of books to sell or houses to let out, there is no offer to be bound by any contract. In fact, such advertisements are ‘offer to receive offer’ and not an offer to sell in itself.
Similarly, a shopkeeper’s catalogue of price is not an offer. It is only an invitation to receive offer from his customers. Display of goods in a shop, with price chits attached, is not an offer even if there is self-service system in a shop. The buyer cannot compel the seller to sell the goods at those prices.
4. An offer may be express or implied:
An express offer is made by words of mouth or it is written, while an implied offer means an offer made by conduct.
5. An offer may be general or specific:
A specific offer is one which is made to an ascertained person. And a general offer is one which is not made to a specific person, but to the public at large. It may be noted that in case of a general offer, the contract is not made with the entire world.
But it is made only with the person, who having the knowledge of the offer, comes forward and acts according to the conditions of the offer.
6. An offer may be conditional:
An offer to be valid may contain a condition and in that case it has to be accepted along with the condition stated therein. However, no offer can contain a term or condition the non compliance of which would amount to acceptance.
7. The terms of an offer must be certain, definite and not vague:
The terms of an offer must be definite, clear and certain. If the terms of the offer are vague and uncertain, no contract will come into existence. The reason for the same is that when the offer is vague or uncertain, it cannot be said what exactly the parties intended to do.
8. An offer must be communicated to the other party:
It is an important and essential element of a valid offer. The first part of the definition of the offer emphasises this requirement. According to this, the willingness to make offer should be ‘signified’ (i.e. indicated or declared).
In other words, the offer is completed only when it has been communicated to the offered. It may be noted that until the offer is communicated, it cannot be accepted.
Thus, an offer accepted without its knowledge, does not confer any legal rights on the acceptor.
9. The offer must be made with a view to obtain the consent of the offered:
The second part of the definition of offer emphasises the requirement that an offer must be made with a view to obtain the consent of the offered to the proposed act or abstinence.
Thus, when a person is making an offer it means that he is making it with a view to obtain the consent of the offered. As soon as the offered accepts it, the offer or is bound by it.