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The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SoGA) state that the goods you sell are as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. 

Following the enactment of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, most of the provisions of the SoGA ceased to apply to trade, especially in regard to consumers. Only consumer goods that were purchased before the 30th of September 2015 can be claimed under the Act.

However, it would be a mistake to discount the Act altogether, as specific provisions remain relevant, particularly concerning matters relating to business-to-business (B2B) sales.

Based on its predecessor, the Sale of Goods Act 1893, the SoGA is the principle of consumer protection legislation when both the buyer and seller are in business.

To help you understand this piece of legislation and how affects businesses that trade, we have provided the answers to some of the most frequent questions concerning the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

What constitutes an acceptance in the Sale of Goods Act 1979?

The SoGA can apply to written and verbal contracts for the sale of goods. The seller may have the goods in their possession, or the agreement can be for future products (for example, the goods in question must be manufactured or shipped from overseas).

Under section 35 of the SoGA, the buyer accepts the goods when:

  1. They indicate to the seller that they have accepted them, or
  2. When upon delivery of the goods, they do any act concerning them which is inconsistent with the ownership remaining with the seller, for example, advertise the goods as part of their sales catalogue or incorporate them into their organisation’s products.

In situations where a buyer has purchased the goods without examining them, acceptance does not take place until the buyer has had a reasonable opportunity of examining them for the purpose for which the goods are being bought:

  1. The goods should conform to the description set out in the contract, and
  2. in the case of a contract for sale by sample, comparing the bulk with the sample

Acceptance is also deemed to have occurred once a reasonable period passes, and there is no indication from the buyer that the goods have been rejected.

Why are there implied terms Sale of Goods Act 1979?

In the case of an agreement for sale, it is an implied term that the seller has the right to sell the goods when the property is due to pass.

There are several implied terms in the SoGA, including:

  • The seller has a legal right to sell the goods
  • The purchaser will enjoy quiet possession of the goods
  • The goods are free from any undisclosed charge or encumbrance, for example, loans or hire purchase agreements

Implied terms can be confusing; therefore, it is essential to seek legal advice if you are unsure of your rights or obligations.

Does the Sale of Goods Act apply to services?

No, the SoGA only applies to the sales of physical products. You’lll need to seek other protections if seeking to claim against a service provider.

Get legal assistance from LawBite

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 still applies to many business transactions. Therefore, if you own a business that trades with other businesses, you’ll need to understand its provisions. LawBite has helped 1000s of businesses achieve their commercial ambitions. To find out how we can help you understand specific legislation that can impact your business book a free 15-minute consultation or call us on 020 3808 8314.

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In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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