Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let the buyer beware

"What is caveat venditor?" asked my sister, "I only know of caveat emptor, meaning let the buyer beware."

Caveat emptor, implies that the buyer (customer) should be fully conscious and aware of what he is buying and the terms and conditions related to that transaction. And in most cases, he cannot seek redress, unless a defect was concealed and known by the seller at the time of sale.

Very simply put in layman's term, caveat venditor is the same as caveat emptor but from the point of view of the seller.

Caveat venditor means that the seller should be aware of the customers terms and conditions or needs in selling things to him. The seller cannot seek redress if he later finds that the buyer has an undue advantage over the sale.

These latin terms were derived long ago from common law usage. But nowadays these normally do not apply as, like in Singapore, consumers and sellers are covered by newer legislation like the Consumer Protection Fair Trade Act.

However, terms caveat emptor and caveat venditor, are still used as linguistic devices in making a point about consumer behaviour.

I don't have any legal training and the above are simply my own interpretation but I welcome anyone's contribution to this.

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