Set Aside A Sale

There are several reasons for setting aside a sale, and it\’s important for you to know these.

The first is called fraudulent misrepresentation. This occurs when a salesperson says that a product or service will do something that is clearly false. Virtually any sale can be set aside if fraudulent representation can be demonstrated.

The second reason for setting aside a sale at law in court is an innocent misrepresentation. This occurs when the salesperson says that a product will do something that it cannot do, but the salesperson genuinely believes that what he or she said was true. In this case, the sale can still be set aside as invalid.

There is a third area in commercial law called sales puffing. This is a legal term that refers to the tendency of salespeople to use superlatives in describing a product or service. This is the best, fastest, easiest, most popular, cheapest, and so on. When a customer attempts to have a sale set aside because the salesperson exaggerated the qualities of the product or service, the court will rule that the sale is still valid. The salesperson has merely engaged in puffing. The court will rule that this is a normal part of sales activities and is to be expected if the customer bought on the basis of puffing. Then the customer is subject to what is called caveat emptor, which means that the buyer beware. The point is that customers are accustomed to puffing. They expect it as a normal and natural part of the sales conversation. They expect the salesperson to describe their product or service in the most positive way possible without engaging in fraudulent or innocent misrepresentation. For this reason, stay with me here. Whatever the salesperson says about the product or service is immediately discounted by customers based on their previous experience. But when someone other than a salesperson, or someone outside the company says that your product or service is good, that statement has a high level of credibility. A skeptical customer can believe and accept a third-party testimonial.

When the movie Seabiscuit came out in 2003, it was based on the book of the same name, which was a bestseller. Apparently, many movie critics had read the book and did not feel that the movie followed the book with sufficient accuracy. As a result, the critics wrote a series of mediocre reviews that were picked up and reprinted in newspapers across the country. The movie was rated only two stars on a four-star scale, which translates into a fair rating, just one above poor. But when the movie hit the theaters and people began to see it, something unexpected happened. People began telling their friends and going back to see it again. I was personally part of this phenomenon, having read the reviews and believed them. I had no intention of seeing the movie, but when my daughter told me that it was really excellent and that I would enjoy it very much, I decided to take a chance and I\’m glad I did. By the time I got to the theater, about three weeks after its release on a Saturday afternoon, when you would normally expect attendance to be tapering off for a movie that only had a fair rating, the theater was almost full. People were pouring in in the middle of the afternoon to see the movie, and we were not disappointed. Seabiscuit is a wonderful, inspiring film that you can watch over and over again and enjoy a new one each time. Now, here\’s the interesting part as people began to pour into the theaters to see the movie, and its reputation grew across the country. The critics, who had initially sneered at the movie, went back, and rewrote their reviews, upgrading the movie to good and even excellent. The quality reputation of the movie turned it into a major success.