Merchantable Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Merchantable, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Merchantable?

(adj) Merchantable is the classification of goods or articles which can be sold or otherwise transferred for a consideration through a generally accepted sales practice. Merchandisable implies that the goods are ready for sale.

History and Meaning of Merchantable

The term "Merchantable" refers to goods or products that are able to be sold through standard sales practices. These goods are considered ready for sale, usually due to their high quality or general market appeal. They must meet certain standards to be considered merchantable, including being free of any significant defects and being of a quality that's suitable for sale.

The use of the term dates back to the 16th century in England, where it was used to describe a range of products that were suitable for sale through the standard practices of the time. Today, the term continues to be an important consideration for businesses that produce, distribute or sell goods.

Examples of Merchantable

  1. A farmer grows and harvests a crop of apples. Once they're harvested, the apples must be sorted and inspected to ensure that they're of high enough quality to be sold as "merchantable" produce.

  2. A company produces a line of clothing and must ensure that each article is free of defects and meets a certain standard of quality in order to be considered merchantable and sold at full price.

  3. A book publisher must review and edit each manuscript that they receive to ensure that it meets certain standards before it can be considered a merchantable product.

Legal Terms Similar to Merchantable

  1. Warranty of merchantability: This is a legal term that refers to the guarantee that a product is merchantable and meets certain standards of quality.

  2. Fitness for purpose: This term refers to products that are suitable for a specific purpose or use. While similar to merchantable, it's not quite the same thing.

  3. Saleable: This term is often used interchangeably with "merchantable." It refers to goods that are able to be sold through standard sales practices.