chapter  1
31 Pages


This is a specialised area of the common law which largely developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, typically in relation to merchants purchasing for resale. It was first codified as a set of general rules in the Sale of Goods Act 1893. However, even in 1893 there may be observed some special rules fashioned for export sales; and, since then, export sales have become such a specialised area of law as to be beyond the scope of this work. For the UK,1 the 1893 Act was subsequently re-enacted with amendments in the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA). Unless otherwise stated, subsequent references to the SGA are to the SGA 1979:2 the 1979 Act in fact only consolidated all the statutory amendments previously made to the 1893 Act.3 Since then, Parliament has pursued a policy of piecemeal amendment.4 Ignoring export sales, this body of legislation applied to goods bought for resale and those bought for consumption, whether the buyer be a business or a private person.