Mirror image rule comes under the law of contracts. In this Buzzle article, we will study its details as slated in the United States’ common law.
Let’s say, you are purchasing a farm along with certain items that include a shed and animals. The seller receives your offer and proceeds to delete some of the items mentioned in the contract. He then sends you a counteroffer instead of the original contract. In this case, you can refuse to accept the contract under the rule of mirror image.
About Mirror Image Rule
The rule of mirror image is governed by the law of contracts. It states that an offer must be accepted exactly without carrying out any modifications. This means the offer must match the contract. If the offer is modified or changed, it leads to a counteroffer. The original offer cannot be accepted, if the terms and conditions are altered or addition/deletion of items, etc. takes place.
For example, if you were to purchase a red jacket and have paid for it, you are entitled to get a red colored jacket only. The seller cannot send over a blue jacket instead of the red one. The offeror has the right to reject the counteroffer and if he wishes, he can initiate negotiation and reach an all new agreement. In a business transaction, one commonly finds a set of rejections and acceptances for the terms in the contract. People work towards the best and profitable deals, and make counteroffers to the original offers. This rule safeguards the interest of the people by continuing or ending a negotiation that does or does not suit their needs.
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
Mirror image rule comes under the common law of offer and acceptance. Yet, in the United States, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) covers it under § 2-207. This means that this rule does not apply in case of commercial transactions. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) relaxes the common law mirror image rule if the merchants are dealing with goods.
When two merchants carry out an offer and acceptance transaction, if the terms are not altered by any of the changes carried out in an acceptance, it becomes a binding agreement. This helps protect the interest of the merchants and allows them some flexibility in the business. As long as the changes do not cause any impact on the offer, they are acceptable. This rule helps merchants reject an acceptance if the terms are not suitable. In such a case, the merchant needs to inform the other party that he cannot accept the terms. The deal can then be rejected or renegotiated. If there are minor changes that can be overlooked, one can go ahead with the deal.
If a party agrees to carry out a transaction according to the predetermined set of terms and conditions, then the contract should be exactly the same. However, any changes to the contract will lead to a counteroffer. The other party can refuse these changes or go ahead, and renegotiate the terms. Hope the above mentioned information has proved helpful for you.