Section 13 (1) of the sale of goods act provides that where a good is sold by description the good must correspond with the description. The description of the good should be accurate and if the goods do not match the description the buyer is entitled to a remedy. This implied term only applies to goods sold solely by description and does not apply where the buyer inspects the goods before the purchase . In Harlington & Leinster v Christopher Hull Fine Art the buyer obtained a painting for £6,000. The painting was described as the work of a German impressionist Gabrielle Munter. Although both parties were based in London, the buyer specialized in German paintings while the seller was not an expert. Prior to the purchase, the buyer sent an expert to inspect the painting. After purchasing the painting the buyer discovered the painting was a fake and its value was less £100. The buyer brought an action claiming the good did not match the description. The court in arriving at its decision observed that when the buyer sent an expert to inspect the painting, the sale was no longer by description and the implied term as to description could not apply .
Description of the goods is only concerned with the description and does not apply to its quality. This aspect was highlighted in Arcos v Ranaason which involved a contract for the sale of wooden starves used for making barrels. The staves were described as being half an inch thick. When the staves were delivered some were slightly out of the half an inch description given, but the difference did not affect their quality. The buyer nevertheless rejected the goods. The court held that the buyer was entitled to reject the goods. Although the staves were of good quality they had been sold by description and as such the goods should correspond with the description. This was also the position in Re Moore & Landauer where there was a contract for the sale of tins of peaches. The peaches were described as packaged in cases of 30 tins. Although the overall numbers of tins delivered were accurate the peaches were packed in cases of 24 tins instead of the 30 tins described. The court held that the buyer was entitled to reject the goods as they did not fit the description provided .
The implied term as to quality, on the other hand, provides that the goods must be of an acceptable quality. Acceptability in this regard implies that a reasonable buyer would have acquired the same quality of goods at the same price. For goods to be of an acceptable quality they should be fit for the purpose they are intended for, acceptable in appearance, free from defects, durable and safe. In determining the quality of the goods it is important to take into account the consideration paid, the nature of the goods and the representation of the goods if any . In Shine v General Guarantee Corp the plaintiff purchased a second hand car from a dealer. The car developed constant problems and the plaintiff subsequently discovered...