Imagine strolling through a flea market and coming across a vendor claiming to sell genuine Ray-Ban wayfarers for just $50.00. You are on vacation and you left your sunglasses at home, so you’re ready to jump at the deal. After all, where else are you going to get a pair of authentic Ray-Ban’s at such a cheap price?
Not so fast. While it is entirely possible that the sunglasses are legit, they could be fakes. Big-name brands tend to come with more expensive price tags. A retailer would have to get quite a lucrative deal on wholesale Ray-Ban’s to sell them so cheaply. That goes for any recognized brand.
So how do you know if designer sunglasses are real or fake? According to the people at Salt Lake City-based Olympic Eyewear, spotting fakes only takes a little bit of time and knowledge. Here are five things Olympic suggests paying attention to:
1. The Feel
Believe it or not, a good pair of sunglasses has a special feel. Frames feel smooth and elegant, and they feel solid and well-built. If you unfold them and put a slight amount of pressure on the temple arms, there would be no movement. You will also feel a certain amount of solidness with the hinges and nose pieces.
If a pair of sunglasses feel flimsy, they probably are. Furthermore, big-name brands do not produce flimsy sunglasses. This suggests that a pair of alleged designer frames that feel flimsy are more likely to be fake.
2. The Lenses
While not all high-end brands mark their lenses, many do. Look at all four corners of both lenses and on both sides. A genuine pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers displays the Ray-Ban logo in the upper right corner of the left lens. More importantly, the lettering should be crisp and clean. Any fuzziness or imperfection suggests it’s not legit.
3. The Arms
Almost all high-end brands are marked on the arms. This is true even when lenses are not. Always check the arms before purchase. You should see the designer name near the temple on most models. Some brands offer little more detail. For example, one arm might include the brand name and logo while the other displays model number and size.
The key to identifying fakes this way is to know what you’re looking for. If you are not sure about a particular pair, pull out your smartphone and look them up online. Find pictures of a genuine pair and you should be able to determine if the arms you are looking at are real or fake.
4. The Packaging
If the brand you are allegedly looking at is normally sold with branded packaging, you have another avenue for spotting fakes. A lack of packaging automatically creates suspicion. Assuming packaging is offered, take a good look at its quality. Printing should be professional, crisp, and clean. The packaging should be in very good condition, too. Ratty packaging suggests a fake.
5. The Hinges
Finally, take a look at the hinges. Just know that spotting fakes this way requires knowing what you’re looking at. For example, Ray-Ban wayfarers have very distinctive metal hinges that are easily identified. Pull up a picture of the real thing on your smartphone and compare. If the hinges don’t look right, you are probably looking at fakes.
Understand that fakers do not put the time and effort into creating exact replicas that are hard to spot. It is not worth their time and expense to do so. As such, they leave just enough of the details undone to make their products easy to spot.