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As a seller of Oakley sunglasses who only deals with the real thing, I am alarmed by the number of eBayers who blatantly sell fake "Oakleys". What is more, many of these people are Powersellers with feedback ratings of 99 -100% so clearly they are getting away with ripping off their fellow eBayers. This being the case, I thought I would share with you a few tips to help you in choosing which items to bid for. These are mostly common sense but if you follow my advice you will minimise the danger of being stitched up with cheap fakes.

  1. Always look for listings where authenticity is specifically guaranteed. Most eBayers worth their salt who sell designer goods in any quantity would make a point of letting you know that what they are selling is genuine.
  2. Avoid those who say "I cannot guarantee authenticity", "there are no papers so please bear this in mind when bidding" or similar. It is usually eBay-speak for "these are cheap fakes so don't come moaning to me after you have bought them"! It is also against eBay listing policy (see Authenticity Disclaimers - Policy on the eBay help pages). If you see an offending listing, why not do everyone a favour and report it?
  3. Be particularly vigilant where the glasses do not come with their original packaging, especially when they are sold as "brand new". If the glasses are second hand, there may of course be a genuine reason for the lack of packaging (i.e. the owner didn't retain it) but be very wary where they are being sold as brand new and they do not have their original box, Oakley cleaning bag and warranty card. Unless the seller has a good explanation, the chances are the glasses are fake.
  4. Also check that the box supplied does match the glasses: I have seen many fakes housed in Oakley Plate boxes and in many other cases the barcode label has been torn off so you can't tell whether the glasses originally came in this box or not.
  5. Look at the price and compare it with the prices of similar products being sold on eBay. If it seems too good to be true, that's generally because it is! Oakleys sell to retailers at around 40% less than the retail price so if you see new Oakleys being sold on eBay for much less, you need to be suspicious.
  6. Check the colour combination against those shown on the Oakley website or that of other authorised Oakley dealers. Beware of listings advertising "Juliets" in all sorts of bright primary colours! Also, check the descriptions: it is amazing how many sellers purport to have glasses in the X Metal range (particularly Juliets) which are made of plastic!
  7. Look carefully at the photo for anything unusual. If there are any stickers on the glasses or either of the lenses have a clearly visible Oakley "O" on them, the glasses will probably be fake! If there are no photos of the actual item (i.e. the seller has breached copyright by using official pictures which belong to Oakley), ask the seller to email some.
  8. Words like "replica" or "-style" (as in "Oakley-style") are a sure-fire giveaway!
  9. Some sellers list models of "Oakleys" which do not exist (Oakley Eye Jackals indeed!). Again, check them against official websites.
  10. If you have bought some glasses and are unsure about their authenticity, get them checked by Oakley. They do this free of charge if you send the glasses off to their UK address shown on the Oakley website. Alternatively, any Oakley dealer would be happy to verify them for you.
  11. It is easy to tell whether the cleaning bag is genuine Oakley or not. In all cases except for older glasses the bag is made from a thick black silky material with a tag marked "Genuine O Software" sewn to the bottom. The bags come in two sizes: the larger bags have a white drawstring and on the smaller bags there is a black one. If you hold the bag up to artificial light, a genuine one should be almost completely opaque. If the light shines through, it's fake.
  12. The best piece of advice is, if the listing isn't clear, ASK THE SELLER. No reputable seller will object to being asked for confirmation of authenticity. If they do not reply to such a request, what are they trying to hide? In such a case, don't bid.
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