Rita is beginning a new business as a painter. In order to attract clients, she printed hundreds of flyers that said, “Rita can paint your home for $2,00 Call Rita now to acœpt this offer!” Each flyer also contained contact information for Rita, including her telephone number. Rita placed the flyers in the local grocery store where neighborhood residents would be likely to see them.


Marvin picked up a flyer and decided to call Rita. He owned a very large home in an adjoining town. Marvin knew that $2,000 for painting his home would be a tremendous bargain for him. He telephoned Rita, and when she answered the phone, Marvin said, “I accept your offer to paint my home for $2,000. Please start as soon as possible.” Before Rita could say a word, Marvin blurted out his home address and abruptly hung up.


Sue also telephoned Rita and asked about having her garage painted. Rita informed Sue that she would have to come to Sue’s home before providing a bid, and the two got together at Sue’s home later that day. After looking over the garage and negotiating the particulars of the paint job, Rita told Sue that she would paint the garage for $700. Sue responded that $700 was a “pretty good price,” but that she wished Rita would do the job for less and needed to consider her options. The following morning, Sue left a phone message on Rita’s answering machine saying that she had decided to accept Rita’s offer.


Rita also received a recorded phone message from Mary, another possible new dient, stating, “I saw your flyer in the grocery store. If you can paint my house for $2,000, the job is yours.” The message provided Mary’s address. After Rita drove past Mary’s house to look at the prospective job, she decided to paint Mary’s house. The next day Rita went to Mary’s home, with all the necessary painting supplies, but when she started working on Mary’s home, Mary came running outside and told Rita to stop painting the house, as she had found a different painting contractor for the job.


Does Rita have enforceable contracts with either Marvin, Sue, or Mary? Discuss.


She has a binding contract with Sue. There was offer, acceptance, and consideration.

She does not have a binding contract with Marvin. An advertisement is not an offer, but an invitation to make an offer. Since Rita and Marvin never had a meeting of the minds, there is no contract.聽

She does not have a binding contract with Mary. She has to communicate her acceptance of Mary’s offer before there is a contract.