While you should only ever be buying high-quality, designer goods from reputable retailers or directly from the brand themselves, it’s understandably tempting when you spot a pair for a bargain on an auction site or from a seller abroad. Brands like Ray Ban, Prada, Gucci, Tom Ford and Cazal sunglasses can be notoriously expensive, so finding a pair for fraction of the cost is often hard for people to turn down. However, as you might imagine, buying from non-official dealers is full of potential problems, the most prominent of which is the prospect of buying counterfeit frames.
So, how can you spot fake designer sunglasses? While every brand will give you something specific to look out for, there are some general things you can pay attention to that will help you tell the kosher from the counterfeit:
It might seem an obvious place to start, but the logo on the lens, arms and on the label can immediately tell you if a pair is counterfeit. Although the ‘good’ fakes will make sure they get this right, many of the cheaper fakes will have a misspelled name, logo incorrectly placed or will feature inconsistencies in size, font and colours. Reference a genuine pair online and make sure they match up as they should.
Regardless of where you buy a genuine pair of designer sunglasses, the model numbers will always be consistent. Go online and look up the brand website to verify the model number of the sunglasses you’ve bought (they’re usually located on the frames). If they’re fake, they will often have an incorrect or missing model number.
Materials, hinges and colours
Find out as much as you can about the genuine sunglasses and see how this information matches up to the pair you’ve bought. Are the hinges the same type and colour? Do the materials feel right? Are the proportions correct? The more you know about the genuine pair, the easier it is to reference this information against the frames you’ve purchases to determine if they’re genuine.
Authentic designer sunglasses always come in a branded box, and feature manufacturer information and a bar code, as well as a guarantee, information booklet and/or certificate of authenticity. You can also look up what else the real thing comes with, for example a cleaning cloth or a protective box, giving you something else to check and reference against.
Designer frames are often very expensive, and while some of this is down to the brand markup, you can expect them to be extremely high quality (in terms of both materials and construction). Check the pair you’ve bought thoroughly and see how they feel in terms of quality. A fake pair will often feel flimsy and lightweight, the packaging will feel cheap and the quality of the construction will be poor. If you suspect something isn’t quite right, there’s a good chance they may be counterfeit.