Business Law

Types Of Goods – Existing, Future And, Contingent Goods

Kinds Or Types Of Goods

(1) Existing goods

Existing goods are the goods that are owned by or possessed by the seller at the time of making the contract, and the seller has the right to sell the goods. If the seller is the owner of the goods, he has the lawful right to sell the goods. If the seller is an agent, then he has the authority of the principal to sell the goods. Existing goods may further be classified as under:

  • Ascertained goods: Existing goods that have been specified and identified by both parties to a contract of sale are called ascertained goods. For example, A has a stock of 100 bags of sugar and makes a contract to sell 10 bags to B. With the consent of B, he separates 10 bags of sugar. The goods, in this case, are deemed to be ascertained existing goods
  • Unascertained goods: Such existing goods that have not been specifically identified by the parties to be the subject matter of a contract of sale are called unascertained goods. Such goods are defined and sold by description or sample. For example, in the above example, if the 10 bags of sugar are not identified by A and B-i.e., it is not made specific which 10 bags are contracted to be sold-the goods will be classified as unascertained existing goods.

(2) Future goods

Future goods refer to such goods that are not in the possession of the seller at the time of the contract, i.e., the seller has to procure the goods from somewhere or manufacture them to be delivered to the seller at a later date. For example, A makes a contract with B to sell some electronic equipment which he will receive from Japan after two weeks. The contract, in such case, will be for future goods.

(3) Contingent goods

Contingent goods are a type of future goods, the acquisition of which by the seller is dependent on a contingency which may or may not happen. For example, if the seller promises to the buyer that he will sell him the goods on a certain date if he receives the goods from the manufacturer before that date, the agreement is conditional and can only be practical on the happening or non-happening of an event.

The goods, in this case, are called contingent goods’ because the sale of goods depends on the seller receiving the goods by a certain date. A contract to sell such goods is not a sale; it is an agreement to sell.

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