BUYING AND SELLING
1. When a person says: “I have sold this item for so much” and another person says: “I have bought it”, that item will be sold and the person who purchased it will be its owner. If the seller decides not to sell or the purchaser decides not to buy it, they will not be able to do so. The former will have to hand it over and the latter will have to accept it. This act of selling an item is known as a sale.
2. A person says: “I have sold this item to you for R2.” The other person replies: “I accept”, “I am happy with that price” or “Okay, I’ve taken it.” By replying in any of these ways, the item will be sold. Now, neither does the seller have the choice of not handing over the item nor does the buyer have the choice of not purchasing it. However, this rule will only apply when this conversation takes place between both parties in one place or in one sitting. If one of them says: “I have sold this item to you for R4” and the other person remains silent on hearing this price, stands up from his place, goes away to buy the item from someone else or goes away for some other reason, and in carrying out all these actions he changed his place and then he replies: “Okay, I’ll buy it for R4”, in such a case that item will not be considered to be sold. However, if thereafter, the seller, grocer, etc. says: “Okay, I give it to you” or “Okay, take it”, in such a case it will be sold.
Similarly, if the seller, grocer, etc. stands up or goes away for some other work, and the buyer says: “Okay, I’ve taken it”, even then it will not be regarded as sold. In short, if both the parties reach an agreement in one place, only then will the item be considered to be sold.
3. A person says: “Give me this item for R1.” The other person replies: “I’ve given it.” In saying this, the sale will not take place. However, if thereafter, the buyer again says: “I’ve taken it”, it will be sold.
4. A person says: “I am taking this item for R1” and the other person replies: “Take it”; the sale will take place.
5. After checking the price of an item, a person handed the money to the seller and took the item away. The seller accepted the money happily. The seller did not say anything verbally as to how much he is selling the item nor did the buyer say that he is buying it. In such a case, by merely taking an item and handing over the money for it, the item is considered to be sold and the sale is valid.
6. A hawker came selling guavas. Without asking him anything, the person took out four big guavas from his basket and placed R1 in the hawker’s hand. The hawker accepted this money happily. This sale is valid irrespective of whether they uttered any words or not.
7. A person said: “I am selling this string of pearls for R10.” The buyer replied: “I’ve taken five from the string of pearls” or “I’ve taken half the string of pearls.” As long as the seller does not agree, the sale will not take place. This is because, he offered the entire string of pearls for sale and as long as he does not agree, the buyer does not have the right to buy a part of it and leave out the other part. If she wishes to purchase it, she will have to buy the entire string. However, if the seller says: “I am selling each pearl for R1”, and the person says that he has taken five pearls, then five pearls will be considered to be sold..
8. A person is selling four different items and says that he is selling the lot for R4. Without obtaining his agreement, the buyer cannot purchase one or two items and leave out the others because he wishes to sell all the items together. But if the seller gives the price of each item individually, it will be permissible for the buyer to purchase one or two items and leave out the rest.
9. When buying and selling an item, it is also necessary to show the item properly and spell out the terms clearly. The seller should abstain from speaking in vague terms which could result in problems and arguments. Similarly, the price has to be clearly laid down and agreed upon. Even if one of these factors is not made clear and agreed upon, the sale will not be valid.
10. A person purchases an item with money. The seller says: “Hand the money over to me first and then I will give you the item.” The buyer replies: “Hand the item over to me first and then I will give you the money.” In such a case, the money will have to be given first and then only will the item be given to the buyer. The seller has the right to refuse to hand over the item until he receives the money for it.
However, if he purchases an item in return for another item, changes money in return for money or a person purchases clothing in return for clothing, and in all these cases this sort of argument takes place, then each one will be asked to place his hand on the others hand and then the exchange will take place.