Touchstone: Did Jim and Laura Buy a Car?
SCENARIO: Jim and Laura Buyer visit the local car dealership because they are interested in buying a new car. The car they currently have is aging and is starting to have mechanical problems. Jim and Laura would share the new car, and use it to go back and forth to work and school. Before going to the dealership, Jim and Laura decide that they can only afford $400.00 a month in car payments.
Once at the car dealership, Jim and Laura meet Stan Salesman. Stan shows them several vehicles and Jim and Laura test-drive several of the cars. Jim and Laura particularly like the blue 4-door sedan. Therefore, they agree to give Stan Salesman a $100.00 deposit to hold the car for a day. Stan Salesman does not give them the receipt but guarantees that the $100.00 is refundable. No documents were signed.
The next day, Stan Salesman calls Jim and Laura to ask them when they would like to take delivery of the car. Jim and Laura, on the way home from the dealership, decided that they were not going to buy the car because they did not want to spend that money each month. Therefore, Jim and Laura tell Stan Salesman that they have decided not to buy the car and request their $100.00 deposit back.
Stan insists that the $100.00 was a deposit on the car and was meant to be part of the contract to buy the car. Stan is very persistent and insistent that Jim and Laura have contracted to buy the car; therefore, the $100.00 will be applied to the purchase price of the car. Jim and Laura are shocked and angry as not only do they not want to spend the money, but now feel as though they are being duped by Stan Salesman.
Jim and Laura have an appointment to see a lawyer in a few days, but know you are a student taking a business law class and come to you for advice. They are very frazzled, and understandably upset that they may have just purchased a car. Since you have been taking business law, you have read and understand the elements of a contract and the defenses to a contract. Therefore, although you are not a lawyer, you provide some basic advice from what you’ve learned in your business law class.
ASSIGNMENT: In three pages, advise Jim and Laura based on the above facts as presented and the material covered in the lessons. In your paper, be sure to address the following:
- Define the elements of a legal contract using examples from the scenario where applicable.
- Decide whether or not there was a contract for the purchase of the automobile.
- Identify the facts from the scenario which support your decision on whether or not a contract exists for the purchase of the automobile.
- Use at least two (2) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other websites do not qualify as quality academic resources.