How To Spot Fake Designer Eyewear

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As a registered dealer of authentic designer eyewear who deal primarily in online sales, we come across this question – and even concern – a lot: How do you spot fake designer eyewear?

It’s a fair question. When you shop online for any type of product, you don’t really know who you’re dealing with. You want to make sure that you’re actually getting what you’re paying for.

The black-and-white truth is there’s no single way to be 100% sure that your fancy new eyeglasses or sunglasses are authentic, but there are several things you can do to make sure you’re making an informed decision before purchasing and checks you can do once you’ve received your frames to rest assured that you’ve got the real deal.

In this post we’re going to cover some pro-tips on how to identify true, authentic designer frames in general as well as special identifiers for some of the most popular brands you may be interested in buying.

How To Spot Fake Designer Eyewear

We’re going to dive right in and specifically discuss buying eyewear online. Many of these tips can transfer over to in-person purchases, but chances are, if you’re buying ‘designer glasses’ off a street vendor in the middle of tourist-central, you’re likely getting fakes – but you’re also likely paying $20 for $800 ‘Pradas’, so…

Before You Buy | Your 5 Point Checklist

1 | Buying From A Reputable Seller

There are two key ways to know that you’re dealing with a reputable vendor: Doing Your Homework, and Online Reviews.

Authentic eyewear is often (although not always) sold by dealers who are authorized to do so by the manufacturer. Doing a little extra legwork might be annoying, but a great way to know that the site you’re buying your new frames from is selling the real deal is to identify the company that actually manufactures the brand you’re interested (for example, many of the most well-known brands like Ray Ban, Prada, Oakley, Chanel, D&G, etc… are made by a company called Luxottica) in and calling them up for verification.

Online Reviews are often a consumer’s best friend. While you may have to take some reviews with a grain of salt, this is a good way to see how other people’s experiences have been dealing with the company and their satisfaction with their purchase.


2 | Checking The Model Number

The model number, usually found on the inside of one of the legs and listed on the website’s product page, is a universal number – meaning the glasses you’re looking at will have the same model number on every website that sells the same, authentic glasses – including the brand’s actual website.

Note: Photos and Product Descriptions can obviously be fudged on a website – but by either trying to find legal loopholes for selling fakes or just out of pure laziness, this is a good way to catch a fake.


3 | Visual Clues

This is a good thing to check before you buy your glasses and once they’ve arrived at your house. Authentic designer eyewear usually has consistent branding with logos placed on the lense, the legs or on the nose buds. We’ll get into some specifics later in this article, but it’s good to look for consistency in font, size and color, matching the logo in question with the authentic one, as well as any typos in the name. (i.e. Gucci not Guci, Dolce & Gabbana not Dolce & Gabana)


4 | Street Smarts Online

It’s time to read between the lines. As noted in point #2, if the vendor you’re thinking of buying from is selling fakes, they may look for legal loopholes to avoid getting into trouble.

You’re looking for Authentic glasses. You’re not looking for High Quality, Cosmetic, Replica, or products Inspired By the real deal. Watch out for these sneaky little details.


5| Price

Fair enough – we’re shooting ourselves in the foot a little here. We sell authentic designer eyewear at extremely low prices because it works with our business model. We’re able to bring down our prices in exchange for high volume sales and don’t rely on huge mark-ups.

That said, if you’re shopping around online and the price just seems way too good to be true, it probably is. If a website has suspiciously low prices on every product, you may be in for a surprise when your glasses arrive. Even on our site, our sale prices are limited by regulations set by the manufacturers.


Bonus Point

Any good online retailer knows that buying online comes with some reservations. Check to see what the return policy is of the website you’re interested in buying from. If they don’t have one, or don’t have any contact information listed on their site, they’re probably hiding for a reason.

After Your Glasses Arrive

1 | Check The Box & Carrying Case

It’s all about the branding. Your authentic designer frames should come in an accurately branded box with a label that includes a barcode and the manufacturer’s info on it. The package often includes some sort of guarantee or information booklet, or a certificate of authenticity.

Your new glasses should also come with a fancy, branded carrying case. The specifics of the branding and case type may vary depending on when the frames were made and the size of the glasses, but it should include the brand’s real logo and with most brands, if a cleaning cloth is included, it will also be branded.

2 | Examine The Details

Depending on the brand (specific details later in this article) you should find proper branding on the frames themselves – usually on the lense, legs or nose buds – and it should be clear, without any typos.

Depending on the brand, some designers will do this with embossed or metal logos rather than printed.

3 | Consistency

Now it’s time to check that everything matches up. Does the model number on your frames match the model number on the box? Is the logo on the frames consistent with the carrying case and booklet? Again, any typos or misspellings are a big give-away of fake products.

4 | Overall Quality

Quality feels like quality. One big tip on spotting designer eyewear that needs some clarification is that your frames should feel heavy – equating heaviness with quality. Yes, your frames should feel sturdy, well put together, and quality material often has a good weight to it – however some frames are designed to be lightweight, so don’t be too suspicious if the only red flag is that they feel a little light in your hands.

Another good check is the hinges. Real designer frames are made with quality hinges that should open and close with ease.

How To Authenticate Your Favorite Brands



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Your Key Takeaway

With anything that comes with a brand premium, it’s always a case of buyer-beware. However, is there really anything wrong with fake designer eyewear? In terms of wanting people to think you’re walking around with a fancy brand on your face, no – not really. As long as you know you’re buying fakes.

However, it actually does matter – and depending on the quality of your knock-offs, it can matter a lot – to your eye health. Authentic designer sunglasses, for example, are quality products. They offer real UV protection from the sun, are built to last and to fit comfortably (and properly) on your face.

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