Hints & Tips to avoid buying branded counterfeit / fake sunglasses on Ebay
Sunglasses are a fashion item; they are generally high value, light in weight and simple to store. This makes for an attractive product for both legitimate sellers and counterfeit sellers alike. This guide is designed to provide Ebay users with hints and tips in making an informed buying decision. Unscrupulous individuals who use Ebay will not want buyers to be informed as deceit and trickery are their selling tools whereas clear, honest buying information are the selling tools of the legitimate Ebay seller.
THIS GUIDE IS SPLIT INTO TWO SECTIONS, FIRST THE SELLER IDENTIFIES HOW BUYERS CAN DETECT SELLERS WHO STOCK AND SELL COUNTERFEIT / FAKE PRODUCTS AND SECONDLY THE PRODUCT, WHICH LOOKS CLOSELY AT METHODS TO DETECT GENUINE PRODUCT FROM FAKE.
1. THE SELLER
Understanding a little of how the sunglasses market works will provide a big advantage in detecting whether a seller is honest or genuine. As with most fashion items, sunglasses are updated regularly with new styles and colours to keep up with high street fashion, this ‘update’ in fashion means that sunglasses fall into two distinctive sectors: stocks and current season. But beware, most brands will carry over successful selling models from one season to another, therefore current season will also carry many popular older styles and it is here that counterfeit product is most popular.
A) Classic models that are sold from one season to another are a prime target for fakes. The longer a model remains popular, the longer counterfeiters have to duplicate and perfect their fakes. A good example is the RayBan Wayfarer which has remained popular all over the world and still tops the charts as one of the most popular sunglasses models. But beware, this popularity means it is also widely copied and often very difficult to determine fake from genuine.
B) As a general rule, sellers who stock current season are not as likely to be selling counterfeit products as those who solely sell stocks. Current season items are generally much harder to copy simply due to the amount of time counterfeiters have had to produce accurate fakes.
C) Look for Ebay sellers who are selling a broad range of current season styles and colours. A seller who specialises in one particular brand would generally offer a larger range of colours and frame sizes where as a seller specialising in many brands may find it more practical to stock less colours and concentrate on the most popular models for the season.
D) Check the location of the buyer and where they are trading from. Often sellers are not based in the UK and are located outside the European Union (such as America, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Australia etc). This means that the goods can incur a custom duties fee to pass into the UK, this fee is often not covered by the seller and your goods will be deemed counterfeit by customs agents and maybe stopped at customs or even legally destroyed.
E) Check the feedback on the seller, this is a perfect tool for detecting whether a seller is supplying counterfeit sunglasses or selling from outside the European Union as feedback will mention long delivery times or poor communication. Newly registered members may be counterfeiters who are forced to close an account and open another with a new user name as their feedback was receiving negative comments from buyers. Remember it is rare to find an ‘Ebay Powerseller’ who is selling fakes, especially if their negative feedback is very low!
F) Sellers who concentrate on 1 day listings are more likely to be selling fake product than those who use a 7 day listing as their fakes are more likely to be spotted when listed for longer periods.
G) Do not assume that the seller is aware that the product they are selling is a fake, often sellers are not professional optical retailers and do not know how to spot counterfeit product. They will have no quality inspection process and just see an opportunity to make a quick buck!
H) Look for sellers who have an Ebay shop, it is especially wise to buy from sellers who are VAT registered as this means the company has responsibilities and trade under UK law. It is also important to understand that UK registered company’s trade under ‘distance selling’ laws and buyers have the right to return goods within a stated period, this will not be upheld if the company are selling from outside the UK.
I) If the postage costs are high ask the seller why? Remember that you can easily check postage costs online and this should help you determine if the seller is providing goods from outside the UK.
J) It is recommended to avoid Sellers who refuse payment from Paypal; Paypal buyer protection policy will be the main reason for their decision. It is also best to avoid sellers who insist on cash payments, even when this is done through legitimate means.
2. THE PRODUCT
Identifying whether a pair of sunglasses are counterfeit or genuine is not a straight forward process, the following information is designed to help individuals spot the clues which will help determine if a specific item is fake and assists buyers in what to do if they believe the sunglasses they have purchased are counterfeit. Remember, sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays not just a fashion accessory, International Standards are set to protect the consumer and buying genuine sunglasses is the only way to know your eyes are protected.
A) All manufacturers provide a box or protective cover for the product they sell. Put simply, if the product you are buying is described as ‘new’ but does not include a case, box or protective cover it is highly likely that it is not being sold in the way it was intended to be sold by the manufacturer and has a high probability of being counterfeit.
B) Check that the item description matches the images on the Ebay listing, also take the time to cross reference the description against the manufacturers website, paying particular attention to colour, frame size and material.
C) All sunglasses have a unique product code for each model and colour; if the code does not correspond to the sunglasses you are buying then avoid buying them. This is generally stamped onto the inside arm of the sunglasses for easy identification. For example, when looking from behind, D&G model 3003 has the model name, colour and size (e.g. D&G 3003 530/73 66 18 125) on the inside of the left arm and the Company name and CE marking on the right.
D) Most manufacturers such as D&G, Prada, RayBan, Christian Dior and Gucci supply their products with a branded case, cleaning cloth and information booklet.
E) Oakley sunglasses are a very popular brand for counterfeiters, especially varieties of Gascan, Oildrums, Minutes and Twenty’s. Ensure that Oakley sunglasses are provided with branded box, branded cleaning cloth (which should be labelled ‘plutonite lenses should only be cleaned with the provided sunglasses bag’), Oakley mailing list card and one year warranty card. Check that the CE mark is displayed on the arm of the sunglasses and that the code is 5 digits in length, typically in the following formation 00-000. Some new models now have extended codes which should match the box.
F) RayBan are another brand which often fall foul to counterfeit, the simplest way to check the authenticity of RayBan sunglasses are: from behind, the left lens will have the initials RB etched into the lens whilst the right lens will bear the full name ‘RayBan’ – this is true for all their current season models. They will also have the model markings on the arm.
G) Current Season sunglasses which are priced at suspiciously low prices are best avoided, however, stocks (models from last year or older) can be obtained at very low prices when purchased in bulk so it is best to email the seller and confirm authenticity as genuine bargains are possible.
H) Ensure the product image(s) in the listing is a photograph that the seller has taken themselves; if the image(s) are taken from the internet it is highly possible that the sunglasses you will receive will be different to the image(s) in the listing. This is also copyright theft and not good business practise.
I) An effective method to help your buying experience is to try on a pair of sunglasses at your nearest high street retailer. This allows you to find a suitable style for your face and taste but also gives you a chance to take note of the codes and descriptions used and cross reference this information against the sellers listing.
We hope you find this guide helpful. Please remember that the majority of sellers who use Ebay are honest businesses who intend for your Ebay experience to be fulfilling and rewarding. Discounted Sunglasses take the issue of counterfeit very seriously as we strive to bring genuine product at bargain prices to our clients. Be vigilant but also use the hints and tips provided in this guide as pragmatic approach to buying sunglasses with confidence. Thank you.