Does the great increase in the sale of goods over the internet have any implications for the perfect tender rule?

In recent years, the development of e-commerce stimulated a considerable growth in the sale of goods via Internet.

In actuality, this trend has both positive and negative implications, but it is important to remember about its influence on the perfect tender rule, because online sales are consistently different from traditional sales (Mohrman, 1998). Therefore, the sale of goods over Internet raise a number of issues related to the perfect tender rule, which may prevent buyers from adequate fulfillment of this rule.

In fact, traditionally, the perfect tender rule implies that a buyer can have a possibility to insist on “perfect tender”¯.

To put it more precisely, specialists argue:

The perfect tender rule refers to the legal right for a buyer of goods to insist upon “perfect tender” by the seller. In a contract for the sale of goods, if the goods fail to conform exactly to the description in the contract (whether as to quality, quantity or manner of delivery) the buyer may reject the goods and rescind the contract. The buyer does not have an unfettered ability to reject tender”¯ (McKendrick, 2005, p.186).


In such a way, in the conventional trade a buyer can have a possibility to reject products which does not meet the perfect tender rule. In stark contrast, the sale over Internet cannot always provide a buyer with such a possibility (Peters, 2002). In fact, it is quite difficult to implement adequately the perfect tender rule because buyer and seller can be located in different countries and jurisdiction under which they act can vary substantially. As a result, the problem of juridical accordance arises.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning the fact that today the number of frauds in online trade has increased substantially and buyers cannot always sign contracts which they get used to sign in conventional trade where detailed information on the good is provided (Gitlow, 1997). In addition, it is not only goods but also services, which are often innovative, that are provided to customers via Internet. As a result, their detailed description in the contract is not precise, while in case if there is no conventional contract at all, the customer practically turns out to be unprotected.

Finally, the shipping of goods ordered online can differ from conventional one since buyers can order some software for instance, which does not necessarily imply the physical delivery of the product to the buyer, but it can be shipped to the user via Internet. In such a situation, it becomes quite difficult to ensure stable delivery of ordered goods and services online.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the development of the sale over the Internet influences the perfect tender rule. This rule cannot always be applied adequately in terms of online trade. As a result, buyers can suffer from the problem of poor quality of products or services they receive as well as uncertain delivery of these goods and services.

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