Sale of Goods Contract

Sale of Goods Contract

You can ask our solicitors for advice on sale of goods contract using the question box on the front of our website or the following article may answer your questions.

Under various consumer laws, when you buy something you have certain rights and protections, even if you enter into a contract to make the purchase known as a sale of goods contract. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 are just two of the most relevant Acts that safeguard you as a consumer. 

sale of goods

Statutory Safeguards

Statutory protection exists to protect vulnerable parties when entering sale of goods contract. That being said, statutory rules do not state that consumers don’t have any responsibilities or liabilities when they enter into a contract.

Both parties, the buyer and the seller must perform their respective parts of the agreement for it to be valid. Failure to do this could mean that the buyer is liable for loss or damages that the seller may incur. Furthermore, the seller would be within their rights to cancel the contract and request that you reimburse them for any additional expenses that they have had to pay as a result.

Buyer Obligations

Section 27 of the Sale of Goods Act states that one of the basic obligations between a buyer and a seller in relation to a sale of goods contract is that the seller should deliver the goods and the buyer should accept the goods under the terms of the contract. Buyers must accept the goods they have been sent by the seller provided that there is no reason to suggest otherwise.

If a buyer does not accept the goods within a reasonable amount of time, they are liable to the seller for any loss that they incur as a result of this. Sometimes within a contract, the seller may include terms that obliges the buyer to accept the items within a certain timeframe. Consequently, the buyer should make sure that they comply with these conditions.


The Sale of Goods Act 1979 states that the buyer has a duty to pay the price in line with the terms and conditions outlined in the sale of goods contract. In the majority of cases the price for the item(s) will be fixed in the contract when the sale of goods is agreed. If the price isn’t stated in the contract, the Sale of Goods Act states that the price must be reasonable and due for payment in cash at the buyer’s property upon delivery.

If a price isn’t fixed in a contract the full amount will need to be paid when the product(s) are delivered. Failing to pay would breach the contract and the buyer would be able to pursue the seller for any loss as a direct result of the breach.

Reservation Clauses and Buyer Rights

A reservation clause may appear in certain contracts for the sale of goods. A reservation clause is something that will state the seller retains the right and title to the goods until the goods are paid in full. The seller will be able to retain ownership of the goods until the buyer has paid for them perhaps through instalments. The seller can enforce these regulations usually if the buyer is insolvent and they wish to recover the goods that were provided under the contract.

Exclusion Clauses and Buyers Rights

As well as reservation clauses in contracts, there are also exclusion clauses which are incorporated by a seller. These clauses are there to reduce or eliminate liability for any loss as a result of their actions. As an example, an exclusion clause could limit damages if the seller defaults perhaps by not providing the goods that were promised.

If an exclusion clause is included in a contract, it should be evaluated carefully, and ideally by a legal professional. Where included in a contract, they must be reasonable for the consumer. While an exclusion clause cannot completely relieve a seller of liability for personal injury or loss of life, it can significantly limit the amount of liability the seller has in terms of loss suffered by the buyer.

In the majority of cases, a contract for the sale of goods is fair on all parties and they are issued and fulfilled with no problems, but if you do encounter issues either as a buyer or seller, it is important that you find out what your rights are, particularly if one party has breached the contract in some way.

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