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Authentic means: “of undisputed origin, made or done in a traditional way”.

But I’m confused because every product made had some origin from a previous product or idea. The way I see it, buy authentic actually just means buy real but why should people buy real?

So, what does it mean to buy authentic?

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Authentic here is as opposed to spurious, 'duplicate', 'piracy', unlicensed, unauthorized, uncertified, etc. where the product's genuineness has not been 'authenticated'. –  Kris May 2 '12 at 5:06
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This reminds me of a friend who ran across a shoe salesperson claiming that the Minnetonka moccasins she peddled were made by the Minnetonka Indians. My friend – who happened to grow up in Minnetonka, Minnesota – blew her cover. Buy authentic. –  J.R. May 2 '12 at 9:42
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Reminds me of the ad campaign a few years back for food products with "100% Real ingredients" (which they wrote with a capital "R"). As opposed to what? Imaginary ingredients? –  Jay May 2 '12 at 14:19
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2 Answers

The best way to answer your question is with two examples:

  • In many cities, it is common for street vendors to sell duplicate name-brand stylish accessories. These duplicates look like, but are not authorized by the designers of the authentic originals. The duplicates are often made with lower grade materials or are otherwise of inferior quality. Some particular common examples:
    • Louis Vuitton handbags
    • Rolex watches
    • Chanel sunglasses
  • Many agricultural products are famously of famously high quality in a particular region, for example Florida oranges. The badge "Florida," therefore increases the price of the orange and so farmers from outside of Florida attach the badge "Florida" to their product. Only oranges actually grown in Florida are authentic Florida oranges. Some other examples:
    • Canadian maple syrup
    • Georgia peaches
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"Buy authentic" is a slogan like "Buy American/European/...wherever you live", and "Buy local".

The slogan uses "authentic" as an antonym of "counterfeit" or "fake".

The intent of the slogan is to raise awareness of the damage caused by counterfeit goods as explained in this Economist article.

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