Fake Ray-Bans - Why pay for the real thing?

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Fake Ray-Bans – Why pay for the real thing?

I bought a few fake Ray-Bans and it made me realise how many fakes there are on e-bay.  I think probably 95% are fake and it’s worth knowing the difference.

Why pay so much for the real thing?

UV (Ultraviolet light) causes permanent damage to your eyes, good sunglasses block 100% of the UV and help keep your eyesight healthy.  Ray-Bans and other quality sunglasses are tested to ANSI standards to ensure they block UV properly.  Fake glasses aren’t tested at all.

Don’t Dark Lenses Stop UV?

Dark lenses make your pupil open wider, so they let in more light.  That means cheap lenses can let more UV in than if you wear no sunglasses at all, which could mean permanent eye damage.

Safety Testing

Genuine Ray-Bans are tested to ANSI standards for impact – here is some wording from the test - ‘ a 5⁄8-inch steel ball weighing approximately 0.56 ounce is dropped from a height of 50 inches upon the horizontal upper surface of the lens. The ball shall strike within a 5⁄8-inch diameter circle located at the geometric center of the lens.’
That’s quite an impact – if you want to read the full test Google ‘21 CFR 801.410’.  How do you think fakes made in a sweatshop for £2 would stand up to that?  The fakes won’t seem such a good deal if a lens gets broken when you are wearing them.

Spotting the difference

I won’t pretend this is easy, and I’m no expert.  Sometimes you can only see the difference if you have a real and a fake pair together.


There’s no getting round it, Ray-Bans are expensive.  If you see them for less than £40 you either have a great deal or fakes.  If they are £40 to £55 they are a fairly good deal (or expensive fakes).  More than £50 and they are either real or you really are getting ripped off.  If the dealer has sold a lot of glasses at more than £50 and got good feedback they are probably real. 
There are people selling cheap fakes with 3000 good feedback!
If you see any new real Ray-Bans for less than £40 let me know, as I would like another pair.  I don’t expect to be getting many replies to that.

Finish Quality

This is really difficult to see online, but up close the fakes aren’t well finished.  The ‘Ray-Ban’ on the lens below is wrong – especially the ‘n’, and it’s too far from the frame edge.

The Real one is closer to the frame and the ‘n’ is different.

Take a look at the quality of finish on this genuine arm logo.  The fakes are unlikely to be this good

The box sticker is something the fakes never seem to get right.  If the dealer doesn’t show a picture of it, ask for one.  This is a fake one – not even a proper barcode.

The real one below has a shiny backing fixed to the box so it can be peeled off and stuck to something else, this one is perforated too.  The proper barcode should have a 12 digit UPC (Universal Product Code) like this one.  It also shows the size – 55mm lens, 19mm bridge, 135 mm arms.  This should be the same as marked on the glasses.

Model details
Many Ray-Bans have G15 (grey) or B15 (brown) glass lenses, these were originally patented by Bausch and Lomb in the ‘50s.  Some newer models have either polarised lenses or Ray-Ban APX lenses - lightweight polycarbonate versions with similar colour to the glass lens.  Check out the model you are looking at, for example the RB3275 comes with either polarised or APX lenses, so if they are advertised with a G15 or B15 it’s a fake.  Check the sticker on the lens says what it should.

These are fakes.  G15 lens sticker, but the leaflet with them says 3P which should be a Polarised lens.  A G15 or B15 lens should have 3N on the box – see real example above.

Please don’t contact me asking whether a pair are real or fake. I’m afraid the info above is everything I know.  If I get more I will add it.
If you are a dealer selling real Ray-Bans, please feel free to let me know if anything here needs correcting. 
It would be good to see the fakers out of business please e-bay!

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