Merchantable quality

A term implied by various statutes to the general effect that the goods are fit for the purpose for which goods of that kind are commonly bought, taking into account their description and price. However, it should be clear that merchantable quality means more than mere suitability for sale – it includes condition or quality, defined in terms of fitness for the usual purpose of the goods, and other relevant circumstances.

Merchantable quality is one of the most fundamental consumer rights, but it may be excluded by contract or if the goods were examined by the buyer.

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 has replaced the common law term of ‘merchantable quality’ with the term ‘acceptable quality’, with the same meaning.

Merchantable quality is also regulated by Article 35 of the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods 1980. State legislation incorporating this article is applicable to all international sales of goods to the exclusion of the various state Sale of Goods Acts. See Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention) Act 1923.