Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc., No. 37220

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Writing for the CourtMURPHY
Citation251 Minn. 188,86 N.W.2d 689
Docket NumberNo. 37220
Decision Date20 December 1957
PartiesMorris LEFKOWITZ, Respondent, v. GREAT MINNEAPOLIS SURPLUS STORE, Inc., Appellant.

Page 689

86 N.W.2d 689
251 Minn. 188
Morris LEFKOWITZ, Respondent,
v.
GREAT MINNEAPOLIS SURPLUS STORE, Inc., Appellant.
No. 37220.
Supreme Court of Minnesota.
Dec. 20, 1957.

Syllabus by the Court

[251 MINN 188] 1. Where one offers for sale by newspaper advertisement a certain article of definite value at a quoted price, which offer is clear, definite, and explicit and leaves nothing open for negotiation, it constitutes an offer, acceptance of which may complete the contract.

2. While an advertiser has the right at any time before acceptance to modify his offer, he does not have the right, after acceptance, to impose new or arbitrary conditions not contained in the published offer.

[251 MINN 189]

Page 690

Louis F. Davis, Minneapolis, for appellant.

Morris Lefkowitz, pro se.

MURPHY, Justice.

This is an appeal from an order of the Municipal Court of Minneapolis denying the motion of the defendant for amended findings of fact, or, in the alternative, for a new trial. The order for judgment awarded the plaintiff the sum of $138.50 as damages for breach of contract.

This case grows out of the alleged refusal of the defendant to sell to the plaintiff a certain fur piece which it had offered for sale in a newspaper advertisement. It appears from the record that on April 6, 1956, the defendant published the following advertisement in a Minneapolis newspaper:

'Saturday 9 A.M. Sharp 3 Brand New Fur Coats Worth to

$100.00

First Come First Served $1 Each'

On April 13, the defendant again published an advertisement in the same

newspaper as follows: 'Saturday 9 A.M. 2 Brand New Pastel

Mink 3-Skin Scarfs Selling for.$89.50

Out they go Saturday. Each ... $1.00

1 Black Lapin Stole Beautiful, worth $139.50 ... $1.00

First Come First Served'

[251 MINN 190] The record supports the findings of the court that on each of the Saturdays following the publication of the above-described ads the plaintiff was the first to present himself at the appropriate counter in the defendant's store and on each occasion demanded the coat and the stole so advertised and indicated his readiness to pay the sale price of $1. On both occasions, the defendant refused to sell the merchandise to the plaintiff, stating on the first occasion that by a 'house rule' the offer was intended for women only and sales would not be made to men, and on the second visit that plaintiff knew defendant's house rules.

The trial court properly disallowed plaintiff's claim for the value of the fur coats since the value of these articles was speculative and uncertain. The only evidence of value was the advertisement itself to the effect that the coats were 'Worth to $100.00,' how much less being speculative especially in view of the price for which they were offered for sale. With reference to the offer of the defendant on April 13, 1956, to sell the '1 Black Lapin Stole * * * worth $139.50 * * *' the trial court held that the value of this article was established and granted judgment in favor of the plaintiff for that amount less the $1 quoted purchase price.

1. The defendant contends that a newspaper...

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29 practice notes
  • Zanakis-Pico v. Cutter Dodge, Inc., No. 22987.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • June 14, 2002
    ...advertisement is "clear, definite, and explicit, and leaves nothing open for negotiation." Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689, 691 (1957); see also R.E. Crummer & Co. v. Nuveen, 147 F.2d 3, 5 (7th Cir.1945) (holding that advertisement inviting specifi......
  • Steinberg v. Chicago Medical School, No. 48943
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • December 12, 1977
    ...Op. 8.) Although in some cases the advertisement itself may be an offer (see Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc. (1957), 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689), usually it constitutes only an invitation to deal on the advertised terms. Only when the merchant takes the money is there a......
  • Goddard, Inc. v. Henry's Foods, Inc., No. CIV. 01-1478RLE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • September 26, 2003
    ...contract.'" Short v. Sun Newspapers, Inc., 300 N.W.2d 781, 786 (Minn.1980), quoting Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc., 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689, 691 (1957). As to that acceptance, the Minnesota Supreme Court "has stated that * * * `[a]n acceptance, to be valid and to gi......
  • Donovan v. RRL Corp., No. S082570.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 30, 2001
    ...in exchange for the customer's act of arriving at the store at a particular time. (Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store (1957) 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689, 691; Rest.2d Contracts, § 26, com. b, illus. 1, p. 76.) Similarly, external wording on the envelope of an item of bulk rate ma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Zanakis-Pico v. Cutter Dodge, Inc., No. 22987.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • June 14, 2002
    ...advertisement is "clear, definite, and explicit, and leaves nothing open for negotiation." Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689, 691 (1957); see also R.E. Crummer & Co. v. Nuveen, 147 F.2d 3, 5 (7th Cir.1945) (holding that advertisement inviting specifi......
  • Steinberg v. Chicago Medical School, No. 48943
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • December 12, 1977
    ...Op. 8.) Although in some cases the advertisement itself may be an offer (see Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc. (1957), 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689), usually it constitutes only an invitation to deal on the advertised terms. Only when the merchant takes the money is there a......
  • Goddard, Inc. v. Henry's Foods, Inc., No. CIV. 01-1478RLE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • September 26, 2003
    ...contract.'" Short v. Sun Newspapers, Inc., 300 N.W.2d 781, 786 (Minn.1980), quoting Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc., 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689, 691 (1957). As to that acceptance, the Minnesota Supreme Court "has stated that * * * `[a]n acceptance, to be valid and to gi......
  • Donovan v. RRL Corp., No. S082570.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 30, 2001
    ...in exchange for the customer's act of arriving at the store at a particular time. (Lefkowitz v. Great Minneapolis Surplus Store (1957) 251 Minn. 188, 86 N.W.2d 689, 691; Rest.2d Contracts, § 26, com. b, illus. 1, p. 76.) Similarly, external wording on the envelope of an item of bulk rate ma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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