Duration of offer

There are various circumstances which will affect the length of time an offer lasts.

If an offeror stipulates that an offer will remain open for a specified period of time it will end when that time is up.  (Or before if it is revoked)

If no specific period of time has been stipulated, the offer will end when a reasonable amount of time has lapsed.  What amounts to a reasonable period will depend on the means of communicating the offer and the type of goods/services on offer.  Fresh goods with a short shelf life may have an offer which will lapse quickly but an offer to buy shares may lapse after only minutes.

In the event that an offer is made subject to a precondition, if those conditions are not met, the offer may also be considered to have lapsed.  The House of Lords recognised the principle of such conditions in the case of Total Gas Marketing Ltd v. ARCO British Ltd and Others (1998).


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