Goods sold by description or by sample

The Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 requires that:

If goods are sold by description:

  • they must correspond with that description
  • the sale of goods is not prevented from being a sale by description just because the buyer saw the goods beforehand

Remember that although goods may not satisfy the description given, they may not necessarily be of unsatisfactory quality.

If goods are sold by sample:

  • the bulk of the goods must correspond to the sample
  • the buyer must have the opportunity to compare the bulk with the sample
  • all the goods shall be free from defect not apparent from the sample

If goods are sold by both sample and description, then they must correspond with both.