What is difference between cross offer and counter offer?

Answer (1)

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Cross Offer Meaning:

Where two parties make identical offers to each other, in ignorance of each other‟s offer, the offers are known as cross-offers. Cross offer never initiate the process of contract because it does not fulfill the requirements of valid offer. There are essentials of cross offer which are as follows:

  1. Same offer to one another: When offeror makes an offer to offeree and offeree without knowing the offer which was prior made by offeror to him, makes the same offer to offeror means the object as well as party both remains same. So both party can never make the offer on the same object to each other because if it happens then who will accept the offer and if there is no acceptance of offer then no contract can be made.
  2. Offer must be in ignorance of the offer made by another:
  3. The terms and Condition: the terms or the object must be same when it is made by the other person to the first person then only it will be considered as cross offer because if the second offer differs from first offer then it can be considered as counter offer.

Illustration: Sai makes an offer to Chandu to sell him a [email protected] 200 and on the same time without knowing the offer the chandu makes the offer on same object to sai. So here the parties are same, the object or the thing is also same and it was made by the chandu to sai without knowledge. Therefore it will be a cross offer because it fulfills the requirement.

Tinn v Hoffman & Co. [1873] 29 LT 271

Facts of the case -Two identical cross-offers made in ignorance of the other do not amount to a contract, unless/until one is accepted. H wrote to T offering to sell him 800 tons of iron at 69s per ton. On the same day T wrote to H offering to buy on the same terms.

Issue – whether there is valid contract or not.

  • No contract existed. The simultaneous cross-offers made in ignorance of each other, would not bind the parties Blackburn J stated: “. . . The promise or offer made on each side in ignorance of the promise or offer made on the other side, neither of them can be construed as an acceptance of the other.”

Difference between Cross offer and Counter offer

  • Basis

Counter offer

It is made at the same time.


It is only made by the offeree.

This offer is made due to norance.


A makes offer to B regarding sell of car @40 thousand and B in response agree to buy it @25 thousand.


Answered on 28 Sep 2018

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