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Foundational Principles of Contract Law$
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Melvin A. Eisenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731404

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199731404.001.0001

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Damages for a Purchaser’s Breach of a Contract for the Provision of an Off-the-Shelf Commodity

Damages for a Purchaser’s Breach of a Contract for the Provision of an Off-the-Shelf Commodity

Chapter:
(p.217) Sixteen Damages for a Purchaser’s Breach of a Contract for the Provision of an Off-the-Shelf Commodity
Source:
Foundational Principles of Contract Law
Author(s):

Melvin A. Eisenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199731404.003.0016

Chapter 16 concerns breach of contracts for the purchase of a commodity in cases where the commodity is standardized, the purchaser is a consumer, the provider is a firm, the provider’s variable costs of performance are close to zero, the breach does not cause the provider to incur either out-of-pocket or opportunity costs, and the purchaser breaches at the outset and derives little or no benefit from the contract. Such contracts are referred to in this book as contracts for the purchase of an off-the-shelf commodity. The expectation measure should not govern damages in categories of cases in which it is likely that the parties would not have agreed to that measure to determine damages. Bargaining parties probably would not agree to expectation damages for a purchaser’s breach of a contract for the purchase of an off-the-shelf commodity.

Keywords:   off-the-shelf commodities, standardized commodities, expectation damages, out-of-pocket costs, opportunity costs

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