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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Abstract

How can businesses conducting sales over the Internet protect themselves from the inevitability of pricing errors? Unlike the brick and mortar retailers’ ability to catch a pricing error quickly, thousands of orders can be placed with online retailers before they detect the problem. When pricing errors do occur and contracts are formed, merchants are forced to choose between absorbing the resulting financial loss as an investment in goodwill or trying to invalidate the contracts under the doctrine of unilateral mistake. To avoid binding contracts with customers at erroneous prices, online retailers should employ protective methods of contract formation that help prevent loss.

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