Introduction to this document


Sale of goods agreement

Businesses are generally free to enter into contracts on whatever terms they see fit to agree. However, The Sale of Goods Act 1979 underpins any transactions that involve goods being sold.  This is not to be confused with the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which only applies to contracts made between traders and consumers.  

What are the essential terms of the Sale of Goods Act? 

  1. There are terms implied into all contracts for the sale of goods and these are found in sections 12–15 of the 1979 Act. They are:
  2. Title
  3. Description
  4. Quality. The Act sets out a list of criteria to be met for goods to be of a satisfactory quality.  In order to satisfy that test, regard must be had to the following:
  • fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied
  • appearance and finish
  • freedom from minor defects
  • safety
  • durability.
  1. Buyers cannot expect a legal remedy in respect of
  • fair wear and tear
  • misuse or accidental damage; or
  • if they decide that they no longer want the item.
  1. Fitness for purpose. If the buyer, prior to purchase and expressly or by implication, makes known to the seller any specific purpose for which the goods are required, they will have to be reasonably fit for that specific purpose. 
  2. Sale by sample. If the contract is for a sale by sample there will be an implied term that the bulk of the goods will correspond with the sample in quality and be free from any defect making the goods not of a satisfactory quality which would not be apparent upon a reasonable examination of the sample.