How to spot fake Ray-Bans

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Here at AlphaOmega Glasses Repair we handle broken Ray-Ban sunglasses every day. We think we know a thing or two about how to sort fake Ray-Bans from the genuine.

Customers will sometimes ask for a Ray-Ban repair with genuine parts only to find out that the glasses they have sent us are not real Ray-Bans at all.

There are many online deals and offers, and, to be honest, some very high-quality fakes on the market. It is easy to find yourself shelling out hard-earned cash for a fake pair of glasses.

Fake Ray-Bans are 'big business' and, to be honest, it can be hard to tell the counterfeit from the real thing at first glance. But the wearer soon knows that the sunglasses may look good in passing, but they no way measure up to the real thing.

Fake Ray-Bans bought on the cheap will have been manufactured on the cheap. Counterfeits they will not be anywhere near as comfortable to wear and will not last anywhere near as long.

Flimsy construction and cheap materials make it pretty sure that they will be easily bent or broken.

As a registered dealer for genuine Ray-Ban sunglasses, we have many opportunities to compare authentic Ray-Bans with the fake article. To help know the difference our repair experts have put together a few tips on spotting the real thing.

Feel the Ray-Ban quality

ray ban carry case

Genuine Ray-Bans don't come cheap. They are hand-made from high-quality materials. Real acetate models like Ray-Ban Wayfarers are not manufactured using a mould but stamped out of a single sheet of acetate and then hand polished.

One of the first signs of fake Ray-Bans is the quality of the finish. Run your fingers over the frame and check for any rough edges, nicks, flaws and especially any seams in the plastic. A seam means it is made from a mould — a dead giveaway for fake Ray-Bans.

Focus on the lenses

ray ban etching

Many of the classic Ray-Ban models come with superior quality glass lenses. Flick the lens gently with your fingernail, and you should hear the sharp 'ting' of quality glass. Don't panic if you don't — newer models have lenses made of high-quality plastic, but this is still a reliable test of older classic sunglasses.

Check for lens quality by holding them up to bright light. The image in a genuine Ray-Ban lens should be crystal clear. All genuine Ray-Bans will have a logo etched into one of them and, if polarised, will have a 'Ray-Ban P' logo. Check for the quality of the etching by running your finger over it. It should be perfectly smooth and cleanly etched. If it's not, it's probably a fake.

Another test is to match the etching against an official logo from an advert or box. Pay particular attention to the size of the inner shapes of the R and B. Even high-quality fakes can be spotted by noting slight differences in the logos. Genuine Ray-Ban logos will be identical.

It can all hinge on the frame

ray ban hinge

Models of Ray-Ban come with a variety of hinges but always check for sound quality hinges embedded neatly into the frame with no trace of glue or melted plastic.

Original Ray-Ban Wayfarers always come with a seven-barrel metal hinge with the barrel passing through seven interlocking hoops. Fake Ray-Ban makers will often skimp on these parts as they are usually out of sight.

Nosing out the fakes

ray ban nose pads

Nose pads are another test of fake Ray-Bans. Most genuine metal Ray-Bans have transparent nose pads with the logo embossed centrally. Cheap fakes will fail to include logos on the nose pads.

Another nose pad test is to checks its shape. Ray-Ban nose pads will be contoured to the shape of the lens while fakes will be straight or shaped differently.

Armed for serial action

ray ban serial numbers

Look for the familiar Ray-Ban logo on the temple arms. It should look clean and sharp, be correctly aligned and sit flush with the material. One that is stuck on will almost certainly not be genuine. Ray-Ban models with thin arms, such as Aviators, won't have room for the logo of course.

Etched along the inside left arm will be the serial number followed by two numerals that give the width of the lens and bridge. On the right side will be the R-B logo and the text 'Made in Italy' and a stylised 'CE' which certifies that the sunglasses are on sale for Europe. If any are missing, or if the text is not clear and not perfectly aligned, suspect a fake. It's also a good idea to check the serial numbers against those on the packaging.

The complete quality package

ray ban package

Poor quality packaging is another giveaway for fake sunglasses. First, check the sizeable white shipping label on the end of the box. The name should contain the model number that always starts with RB or ORB, followed by four digits.

After the model number comes a sub-model number of a single letter and four-digits, then comes a two-digit numeral for the lens width and the bridge width. Finally, there is a lens code which is always a letter-digit combination (e.g. 2N).

All new Ray-Bans come with a carrying case, polishing cloth and a booklet. Check them all for decent materials and a high-quality finish. Ray-Bans extend their quality feel to every detail. The booklet, for example, should be flawlessly printed on quality paper and the cleaning cloth should be silky smooth.

Do Ray-Ban fakes matter?

If you are after a cheap pair of fake Ray-Ban sunglasses, then fair enough but remember that you always get what you pay for. Fakes are often made in sweatshops where the health and safety of workers, not to mention wages, can leave a lot to be desired.

Genuine Ray-Bans come with product warranties and, as fakes will be of inferior quality than the originals don't be surprised if they soon break. The real deal Ray-Bans may not be cheap, but they ooze quality. Fake Ray-Bans can not only feel cheap, but they can also make the wearer look a bit cheap too.

One of the surest ways to be sure your Ray-Bans are genuine and original is to buy from an authorised dealer such as AlphaOmega glasses repair. Our products come directly from Italy and are guaranteed to be genuine Ray-Bans.