So you’re shopping for a new pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses and you think you’ve just scored a killer deal. But when you open the package, you can’t shake the feeling that something is off. Did you get a fake? Read our guide or watch our video and learn how to tell the real from the fake.
How to Spot Fake Ray-Bans
Fake Ray-Ban sunglasses are pretty common, and some of the forgeries are getting close to the original. Our #1 tip is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You can buy fake Ray-Bans at a fraction of the price of the real thing, but the quality is nowhere near as good. Here are a few more pointers on how to tell the difference.
Genuine Ray-Ban sunglasses come in a black or brown faux leather case (Note that Ray-Ban Junior products come in a colored, soft pouch). Most fakes will try to replicate this style, so here are a few pointers to spot the fraud.
If the stitching is fraying slightly or shows traces of glue (check the corners), you’re most definitely looking at a fake. Ray-Ban cases are of impeccable quality, so these imperfections, though small, aren’t tolerated.
Also take a look at the case’s clasp—it should have Ray-Ban’s logo on it. Many knockoffs will place the logo off-center, whereas the real thing won’t require a 90° head rotation to read properly. On that note, if the sunglasses don’t fit properly inside the case, that’s another telltale sign of a fake.
Next, check out the Ray-Ban logo stamp in gold or black. Fakes may simply apply this logo with paint instead of stamping it on, so it’ll scratch off. It may also look shiny rather than the matte finish of the real thing.
The outside of the silver box the case came in should have a barcode. If it doesn’t, your shades are fake. Some forgeries can even replicate the barcode, though, so this isn’t 100% foolproof.
If there’s anything saying Bausch & Lomb, that’s an automatic red flag. Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to Luxottica in 1999, so unless you’re buying a vintage pair, you should see Luxottica’s name.
Last, check out the stuff that comes with the sunglasses. In a separate package you’ll find a cleaning cloth with the Ray-Ban logo. The real thing is made of microfiber, while knockoffs will usually use a generic soft fabric instead. Using the wrong type of fabric to polish your lenses can scratch them, so if the cleaning fabric feels fake, the sunglasses are too.
No matter the model, all real Ray-Bans are made from high-quality materials. If the hinges seem stiff, the build flimsy, and the screws loose, chances are you’ve got a fake on your hands.
Another good way to tell is to run your finger along the edges of the frame and feel for seams. Ray-Ban hand-makes all its acetate frames from a single block, so there should be no seams along the temples or around the lenses. You also shouldn’t feel or see any glue or uneven edges.
Check the nose pads. On models with adjustable nose pads (such as the Aviator), they should show a small metal inlay with “RB” on them. Fakes will likely screw up the placement or use lower-quality nose pads and etchings.
The lettering on the temples is also a good indicator of authenticity. Fakes will often have the lettering slightly off or look low-quality.
On the inside left temple you should see the model number (RB followed by a 4-digit number), the color code made of a combination of letters and numbers, the lens size, temple length, then either 2N or 3N (P if they’re polarized). This last marking refers to the lens darkness.
On the inside right temple you should see the Ray-Ban logo, where it’s made (authentic Ray-Bans can be manufactured either in China or Italy, so don’t panic if it says “Made in China”!), a single letter referring to the type of frame, a CE, and “Polarized” if your sunglasses are polarized. Most fakes will miss a couple of these codes, so if your sunglasses don’t have all of them, they’re probably counterfeit.
Many, though not all, Ray-Ban designs have glass lenses. Tap your fingernail against the lens. If the lenses feel light and make a loud tapping sound, they’re not glass. Glass lenses have a quieter, more ringing sound, and are also much heavier. The lens material isn’t the end-all, be-all of telling fakes apart, however. Some genuine Ray-Bans have plastic lenses.
Also, check out the Ray-Ban logo. Ray-Ban places one prominent logo on the upper right (your left) lens, and one subtle “RB” etching on the left (your right) lens. On fakes, the logo will look blurry, be out of place, or even scratch off. Meanwhile, the etching on the other lens should be pretty hard to notice unless you tilt your lens toward the light. Fakes do the etching in low quality, so it’s much more prominent and easier to spot.
If you ordered polarized lenses, the Ray-Ban logo (not the etching) should have a P next to it. Check to see if they are actually polarized by looking at a computer or phone display with your sunglasses on. The screen should look strange when you tilt it back and forth.
Last but not least, take a look at the lens color and see if it matches what you ordered. Many fakes will slap a “G-15 Lens” sticker on the sunglasses without even making the lens green. Some knockoff lenses will be green, but not the same iconic smoky green of the G-15. The lens quality is the biggest indicator of authenticity—real G-15 lenses have excellent clarity, while fakes may look foggy or blurry.
You might be thinking, if the fakes are good quality, who cares whether or not they’re real? They almost look like the real thing and do the job, so why not save some money? Remember that knockoff products hurt everyone, and this is why:
First off, they’re dangerous. Real Ray-Bans provide 100% UV protection for your eyes. With fakes you have no such guarantee, so your pupils could still dilate behind the lens and let in more harmful UV light. This is worse for your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all.
Next, consider the warranty. Ray-Ban products, in addition to being well-made, come with a warranty. Even if your sunglasses do break, repairs will be covered. Fakes don’t have this assurance, so when the cheaper materials fall apart, you’ll be out of luck.
Furthermore, if you’re a prescription-wearer and buy prescription lenses in a fake Ray-Ban frame, the glasses won’t survive the trip to your house. Fake frames break if you try to put prescription lenses in them, plus you can’t be certain the prescription will be accurate either.
If you want to be sure your Ray-Bans are genuine and have the quality the brand is known for, get the best bang for your buck by buying authentic Ray-Bans either from ray-ban.com or an authorized reseller such as SportRx.
Authentic Ray-Bans at SportRx
If your Ray-Ban sunglasses passed all of these tests, congrats! They’re probably the real deal. If they failed, you’ve most likely got a fake on your hands. But all hope is not lost—you can get authentic Ray-Ban sunglasses with real lenses (yes, in prescription too) from SportRx! When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips and our Ray-Ban Buyer’s Guide has got you covered. If you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your Ray-Bans for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of authentic Ray-Ban sunglasses at SportRx today!