We’re often asked how to differentiate between a genuine or fake pair of RayBan sunglasses and more often than not, this is at the time of receiving a RayBan for repair at our workshop.
It used to be very easy to tell the genuine products apart from fakes, however as factories (primarily) based in the far east have become more experienced, so their counterfeiting and marketing skills have become more honed.
Nowadays, to the average consumer, a good fake is extremely hard to distinguish from a genuine model and as the counterfeiters have become more savvy, so have their sales skills.
We all know that if something looks too good to be true then it often is and as such, if we saw a pair of RayBan sunglasses for sale at £9.99, we’d correctly assume that they are probably fakes. But when the sunglasses are just below our expected price and almost too good an opportunity to pass up is when the counterfeiters come into their own.
Sadly, this is the method used by so many sellers of fake products nowadays. They are aware that we’ve seen through the cheap adverts and they’ve learned to play on our desire to find the next bargain, providing very credible look-a-likes for just the right price to prick our attention.
The advice therefore is fairly simple; if buying on-line, always use a reputable supplier who offers UK customer service and if in doubt, call them. More often than not, fake sites will offer an email only option for contact and as we know, anyone can set up an email service from anywhere so ensure that you can speak to an advisor if necessary and that the goods are in stock and based in the UK.
So what if you’ve purchased a pair of RayBan sunglasses and are unsure if they’re genuine? Is there a simple method to check?
The straight answer is no but there are several tell-tale signs to differentiate a fake from a genuine pair of RayBans.
The first thing to check is the feel of the frame – does it feel like a quality pair of sunglasses or more like something from a 99p lucky bag? If it feels flimsy and poor quality, it’s probably a fake.
Wayfarers are one of the iconic RayBan designs are probably one of the most commonly copied designs. Some fakes are absolutely terrible but people still fall foul of the counterfeiters and the plastic is the key.
Genuine RayBan Wayfarers are made from a single sheet of high quality acetate which is pressed / stamped out. This process leaves a very straight edge without any seam or bond on the frame and will be approximately 2.5mm thick. The plastic will not be spray coated and the colour will be solid all the way through and will not feel sticky or tacky which can be the case with cheaper alternatives.
Aviators are another contender for the award of most copied RayBan and there are several quick tests to check the authenticity.
It’s often the smaller components which are the giveaway for fake RayBans, components such as nose pads, pad arms and it is here that we have one of the best clues to the provenance of the sunglasses.
If the pad arms look thick and the end looks like a cheaply pressed oval, then the chances are that your RayBan is a fake. Genuine Aviators will have a slim pad arm with a small figure 8 style pad holder which is not flat.
Nose pads are another key indicator, if the staple fittings are small, well-constructed and fitting flush and even around a figure 8 pad holder as opposed to unevenly spread thicker staples, then you’re looking good!
The pads will also have a small metal insert with RB inscribed into the centre. Again, this should be clear and well printed with the plastic pad itself being completely transparent without cracked or uneven edges.
It’s all well and good having a perfect looking frame which feels great quality but let’s face it, what we’re really looking for from our RayBans is crystal clear vision and full protection from UV light.
The lenses are key to differentiating between genuine and fake models and a genuine product should have 100% UV protection, otherwise the damage caused by wearing them could be greater than wearing no sunglasses at all.
The right lens of a genuine pair of RayBans will have either RayBan or RayBan P printed in permanent white text and a quick rub across this with your finger nail will soon separate the poorest of copies. If the logo peels or flakes off to any degree then it’s safe to say that the frame is fake, however if the text remains, it’s on to stage two.
The left hand lens of your sunglasses should have the letters RB etched onto the back surface. This should be crisp and clear with no raised edges or signs of damage from etching and if this fits the bill, we can look at the third sign.
RayBan lenses are manufactured from quality glass (occasionally these may now be polycarbonate in some of the newer models) and the glass itself should feel thick and heavy. An easy test is to give the lens a flick with your nail which should result in a dull ring, similar to that of a quality crystal wine glass. If the lens gives a cheap sounding shallow ring and looks to be less than 1mm in thickness, it would suggest that they are not the genuine article.
You could always opt to have an optician test the UV protection of the lenses and whilst they may make a small charge for the service, it is a good way of ensuring that you are receiving the protection that you need from harmful UV rays.