Financial Glossary Header Image

Caveat Emptor

Updated on March 2, 2023

It is a Latin phrase which means ‘Let the buyer beware’. It means that a buyer is responsible for a purchase s/he has made. It signifies that while buying a good, the buyer should conduct proper due diligence to protect from any mis-selling or mis-representation. Caveat Emptor is an old concept which was biased in the favor of the seller. The seller could not be held responsible for any lapse or mis-representation or for any other matter related to quality, quantity or promise made during the sale transaction. Neither would the seller be liable for refund or replacement. Caveat Emptor’s applicability was more in real estate transactions but extended to other kinds of goods, products and services as well. It shifted the burden of responsibility completely on the customer.
However, Caveat Emptor has largely been replaced now across markets with Caveat Venditor, which means ‘Let the seller beware’. This has shifted the onus now on the seller rather than the buyer.