Latin, literally "let the buyer beware." By todays standards it serves as a warning (caveat is a warning) to customers who are cautioned to be ever on the guard for misguided salesmen who decide not to live up to their end of a bargain. Emptor is from emere meaning to purchase. It's become axiomatic as a principle in commerce that the buyer is on his own and responsible for assessing the quality of a purchase before buying. The opposite slogan is caveat venditor. A warning, as well as a consumer rights expression that means "let the seller beware."

The phrase arose in England in 1523. It's about the same as saying "don't buy a pig in a poke

Sources:

etymology:
www.geocities.com/etymonline/

Latin Language:
http://www.aboutlatinlanguage.com/

It is a general principle of law indicating that it is up to the buyer to ensure that he gets what he was paid for and what he was promised.

Consumer rights have been introduced, but this is a recent development.

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