Oakleys are some of the best sunglasses you can own, but they are some of the most highly copied sunglasses as well. When you invest in a pair of designer sunglasses, you want to make sure you're getting the real thing, especially if you're purchasing them on the internet or from an unauthorized dealer. This guide will help you recognize the difference between authentic Oakleys and fakes, so you can sport your new look with the confidence of knowing that you are wearing the real deal.
Please note that these guidelines do not guarantee authenticity. Oakley may make changes to their manufacturing processes and knockoffs may become more sophisticated. If you believe you have purchased a pair of fake Oakley sunglasses, make a claim through your bank or credit card company, telling them you were sold a fraudulent product.
If you're investing in a pair of Oakley sunglasses, it's important to know you're getting the real deal. With so many knockoffs on the market, it's not always immediately obvious that you're buying authentic Oakleys. Watch this 36-second video for quick tips on how to tell if your perfect pair of Oakley sunglasses are real.
Oakley Certificate of Authenticity
Most designer sunglasses, like Oakley, will come with a certificate of authenticity and a warranty card. This is the easiest way to determine if your Oakley sunglasses are most likely the genuine article. Of course, if you purchase used Oakleys, the owner may not have the original documentation so you'll need to rely on other indicators.
Oakley Quality Indicators
A good indicator between real and fake Oakley sunglasses is the quality of the materials and construction. If you purchase a style with plastic frames, there will not be paint on any part of the frame. Oakley uses pre-dyed plastic, so the color will never flake or chip like paint would. Be sure to also check your sunglasses for inferior construction like obvious mold seams, flimsy hinges, or loose lenses. A real pair of Oakleys will feel sturdy and durable.
Oakley Cases & Pouches
Real Oakley sunglasses will always come in a high-quality hard case or soft pouch. The case or pouch may include the Oakley logo, but the absence of a logo itself is not a solid indication that you purchased fake Oakleys. If the case or pouch looks or appears to be cheap, you may have purchased a fake pair and should look for other indicators to confirm.
Oakley Logo Presence & Type
The Oakley logo is on the arm of all Oakley sunglasses. It's a raised "O" that is embedded into the frame. If the logo is missing or painted on, it is likely not a real pair of Oakleys. Additionally, while Oakley does etch certain things into the lenses of some styles of sunglasses (see below), they do not etch their "O" logo on any lenses.
Oakley Printed SKUs
Authentic Oakley sunglasses will have an item number, or SKU, printed on the arm. Older styles of sunglasses will have a SKU formatted like this: XX-XXX. Newer SKUs will all start with a double "O" and are formatted like this: OOXXX-XX. For example, the SKU for the ForehandTM style is OO9179-41.
Some fakes may have a SKU, but the number often will not match Oakley's real SKU for that style. So it's a good idea to type the SKU into a browser to make sure it matches the style of sunglasses you think you're buying. Since the SKU numbers are printed and not embedded in the frame, they can rub off with time. So the absence of a SKU number on an older pair of Oakleys does not alone indicate fakes.
In the past, all Oakley sunglasses bore the stamp "Made in the USA," but since some of their manufacturing has moved overseas, it is no longer an easy-to-spot authenticity indicator.
Oakley Etched Lenses
Not all Oakley sunglasses will have a word or pattern etched on one of the lenses, but some do. It's important to note that Oakley has yet to etch its "O" logo on any lenses of any style, but they do have some styles with "Oakley" etched on or near the nose bridge. If the sunglasses include their trademarked Polarized or Prizm lenses, those respective words will be etched in capital letters on one of the lenses.
Oakley has released special edition etchings in the past, like a ribbon for breast cancer awareness. The company also offers some custom etching, so an etching beyond those stated above does not necessarily indicate a fake, so look for other indicators.
Oakley Rubber Pieces
Some styles of Oakley sunglasses include pieces of rubber on the nosepiece or on the arms. If your pair includes rubber, it will be soft and spongy for comfort. Fake versions of those styles may or may not have the rubber at all, and if they do, the quality will not be the same. The rubber on the knockoffs will be harder and perhaps even shiny like hard plastic.
Oakley Lens Stickers
If you see a sticker on the lens of a pair of new Oakley glasses, there's a good chance they are fakes. Recently, Oakley started including a static cling-type "P" sticker on their Polarized lenses, but stickers with adhesives that could leave residue will never be present.
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