The Conditions of Sale 1

price, sample, quality, samples, buyer, sold and average

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Sometimes the buyer will prepare a sample and request the export commission house to secure goods as nearly identical as the market affords. The pro spective sellers submit their "contra-samples," and, in case of a sales agreement, are legally bound to pro duce goods true to sample.

The British Sale of Goods Act of 1893 states that in case of contracts for sale by sample there is an implied understanding that the bulk shall correspond with the sample in quality. that a reasonable oppor tunity shall be afforded the buyer to compare the goods with the sample and that the sample shall be truly representative of the goods, i. e., that no defects exist in the goods which do not appear in the samples.

In some lines the seller agrees to furnish the buyer with sales samples to enable the latter to sell the purchased goods in his local market while the order is being filled. A definite policy should be followed in respect to these samples. Up to a reasonable amount they may be furnished free, but beyond that point a fixed price should be charged. Some firms a charge for all samples and acid this to the final invoice; others allow a liberal discount on all sales samples. Free samples when distributed on a too scale may prove a costly and unproductive the sample "collector" not being confined to the domestic trade.

Where a large degree of standardization is possible, selling by sample is unnecessary. Cotton, coffee and wheat are sold by description and number. Each shipment is graded according to standard samples kept in the principal trading centers and readjusted each season. "Santos good average" means the same type of coffee in Antwerp, Liverpool or New York; "Red winter No. 3" is recognized the world over as a wheat of a certain size, firmness and color. A definite price relation is then established between the different grades so that once the price of one grade is agreed upon, the price of all other grades is readily determined. Where no accurate determination of quality is necessary, goods are sometimes sold "f.a.q." (fair average quality) or tcl TO (as they stand).

Interesting legal questions arise in determining at which point in their journey from factory to for eign buyer the goods pass into the possession of the purchaser. At that point of delivery the risk of

change in quality also passes to the buyer. Many products are sold under certificates issued by official chemical or technical establishments, and in the sales agreement the clause "certificate to be final" is in serted. Such goods are inspected before shipment takes place. In the case of agricultural products the "arbitrage clause" is frequently used providing for the inspection of the goods upon arrival by a body of experts who determine the quality and sometimes the quantity delivered. In England this is called a "survey." 5. The price quolation.—When the price of the goods is quoted it is important to leave no doubt as to what is included in the price. • To say merely: "We offer you our latest model at S50" means nothing. Other questions arise: Where are the goods to be de livered? how are they to be packed? Who is to pay for packing, freight and insurance? What are the conditions of payment? In offering goods for sale these questions should be clearly and unmistakably answered in the quotation itself. If any is in doubt, the sale may go to a competitor, even at a higher price.

Care should be exercised not to quote different prices to competing firms in the same locality, and not to quote retailers the price quoted to wholesalers. Carelessness in these respects will ultimately destroy any good-will the exporter may have created.

6. How price is determined.—The price quoted may either cover the entire shipment or else be a "unit" price. When goods of various qualities are sold under one quotation, a price may be fixed for each quality, or an "average price" may be set. In the latter case the relative amount of each quality is fixed within definite limits. An excess of any one grade is then taken care of according to established rules of premium or rebate. Goods sold under a chemical analysis such as sugar, gasoline or magnesite are quoted on the basis of average contents, with in creases or reductions for each percentage over or above average.

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