Brief of Grainger & Son v Gough

Brief of Grainger & Son v Gough by Legum

Grainger & Son v Gough [1896] AC 325 HL

Grainger & Son, herein G&S, was a wine merchant which circulated a catalogue containing a price list of some products. On seeing the catalogue, Gough placed an order for wine, G&S refused to supply to Gough, and Gough sued.


1. Whether or not the price list circulated by G&S constituted an offer to sell the wine at the prices quoted in the price list.


1. It was held that the price list is not an offer to sell the wine at the quoted prices.

Ratio Decidendi:

The House of Lords reasoned that if a price list was treated as an offer instead of an invitation to treat, it places a burden on the G&S to deliver an unlimited quantity of wine at the quoted prices upon their receipt of any order. This burden was considered an unreasonable burden because the stock of G&S is objectively limited, making it impossible for them to carry out such an order. The price list was thus to be regarded as an invitation to customers to make an offer to buy the wine at the quoted prices, and G&S can then decide to accept these offers or not.