Smythe v Thomas (2008) Aust Contract R 90 – 271

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Facts
  • A plane is listed on eBay for a starting price of $150,000 though the owner thinks it is worth more like $250,000
  • A man buys the plane for $150,000
  • The original owner says that he should not have to give away the plane because it was an “invitation to treat” not a binding contract
  • He also says it would be ridiculous to think you could buy a plane off of eBay without inspecting it etc
Held
  • Rein AJ: He knew how eBay worked so he should have known it was binding!
  • He offered the plane at $150,000 and that was a disclosed reserve
  • There was nothing on the ad that said anything about it being an invitation to enter into further negotiations
  • Therefore the court ordered specific performance because the item was very unique

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