Foakley is such an accepted word that websites openly sell “Foakley” glasses. For instance, Cheap real Oakleys claims to be a United states company having a US address, and sells Foakley Radarlocks for $13 – it has the Oakley company logo on top of the homepage but the word “Foakley” is all over the site, and it openly claims that the glasses are knock-offs. Of course, the web page isn’t really US-based: it ships via EMS, the Chinese state-owned courier firm.
But this can be not even close to the only website selling Oakley knock-offs. You will find Foakley sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, as well as other Chinese online merchants. A British cycle industry executive told BikeBiz that all the riders within his cycling club who wore Oakley’s have, actually, been wearing Foakleys for about the past several years.
“Determining should they be real or counterfeit can be challenging,” admits Oakley upon an official FAQ. Indeed, purchasers of fake Oakleys are finding that the lenses along with other parts are interchangeable with genuine Oakleys. An often seen claim online is the fact that fakes fry eyes because, unlike expensive and genuine Oakleys, they let through ultra-violet radiation. This may not be true. Fake Oaks happen to be lab-tested and found to bar UV-A and UV-B.
Oakley lenses are made of polycarbonate, and so are the fake lenses. An intrinsic property of polycarbonate is it blocks UV. “I don’t want to pay what Oakley are charging; they’re just bits of plastic,” is a very common complaint on cycle forums and chat-rooms.
Individuals who wouldn’t buy fake bicycle frames or fake parts aren’t so fastidious when it comes to Foakleys, as is visible from the interviews BikeBiz has conducted with three purchasers. Consumers feel they’re being “conned.”
Oakley is properties of the $9bn Luxottica Number of Italy, the world’s largest eyewear company. 81-year-old Leonardo Del Vecchio, the group’s founder, bestrides the sector just like a Ray-Ban-wearing Colossus. (Luxottica also owns Ray-Ban.) The Guardian has an excellent long-read on the £74bn specs biz, and Del Vecchio’s dominance.
Luxottica acquired Oakley for $2.1bn in 2007. The group also makes and distributes eyewear brands such as Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, and Versace. Luxottica doesn’t just dominate manufacturing and distribution additionally, it dominates retail: it owns 7,000 stores around the world, including Sunglass Hut, the current market leader. When pre-takeover, Oakley was starved of access to Sunglass Hut its stock plummeted making the sale to Luxottica a foregone conclusion.
Mark Ferguson of Melbourne, Australia, is at surgical device sales. He vlogs as “CyclingMaven”. Certainly one of his most popular videos is on the technical merits of Foakleys. “We pay a premium for a number of things within australia. My Oakley Sunglasses Fake, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I stick them on the [bike storage] cage; within several hours, these were gone.To replace them was going to be expensive. Somebody sent me a link at Aliexpress. My original thought was “no”; it didn’t feel right. But curiosity got the better of me, and i also bought some. As well as the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good these people were. For $30.
“Could they be produced in the identical factory as Oakleys? I don’t know, but a lot of people who buy these fakes will rationalise it this way. Not everyone feels comfortable buying counterfeit products. “The anti-establishment side of me says, look, here’s an organization selling bits of plastic for AU$500. In my mind, they’re ripping people off. I don’t care about the investigation and development. There’s always going to be somebody innovating. If Oakley were to disappear off of the face in the earth tomorrow, various other company would replace them, and in all likelihood wouldn’t charge just as much money for their products. These businesses bend people over; they drive them for a ride. Because situation I’ve got no difficulties with exploring the counterfeit product side of things.
“My “Foakley” videos have blown up. They’re getting a lot of attention, a lot of people are actually buying fake Oakleys. Studying the comments, and exactly how it’s owning an impact on others because people are actually exploring other options, makes me think “damn, that’s not good.” I don’t feel personally responsible because this market is going to happen whether I did so a video onto it or otherwise, however in retrospect, it’s not great. To advertise counterfeit products is not great, it has impact across other areas.
“I ride 30k each approach to work – I wear stuff out. We obtain stiffed on numerous products [around australia]. It’s so much more expensive here. Plus a mate, I bought some bright orange and white Jawbreaker copies. We have “Foakley Fridays”, appearing like complete idiots. “I tell people they’re fake. I place the Foakleys close to my genuine Oakleys on the Facebook posting. It’s for the look, not the company.
“I favor the Foakleys – I find the lens are a bit clearer. For 25 dollars, they’re disposable. “I purchased them two minutes after seeing the initial Cycling Maven video. “I would like to know my helmet has become tested and passes standards, I’m not so fussed about glasses. I have better things to spend my cash on. I want more bikes or maybe more Lego for my son.” “I don’t like spending a lot of money on sunglasses because I lose them, or they fall off my hat and obtain scratched or run over.
“Whenever I handled Oakley glasses owned by friends I figured “these are simply pieces of plastic with some nice branding on them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and discovered a set that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Jawbones and the other pair that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Radarlocks. These people were about £8 each, delivered from China. They didn’t hold the Oakley branding on the photos on the eBay listing but when the Jawbones arrived they had Oakley branding, including “Made in the USA” stamped on trsywe arms, as well as the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d expect to see it. These were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They fitted well (nevertheless the arm broke after a few months).
“The “Radarlocks” was included with free lenses along with a case. They fitted very well, and I’m still using them. “I tell others they’re fake. There’s perverse satisfaction to get something less expensive than another individual. I have no brand loyalty, I didn’t have them for the cachet in the brand, I simply desire them to help keep the bugs from my eyes, and not be upset once i inevitably lose them.
“After I see Oakleys outside in the wild I look at them critically. The company is diluted by all of the fakes out there. “I purchased fakes because I actually have terrible trouble getting sunglasses which fit and so i didn’t wish to spend plenty of cash on a trial and error purchase. £8 means they’re throwaway.
“I needed a hot debate with a guy who said his optician had said you couldn’t get adequate UV-A and -B protection in almost any sunglasses for under £20 a lens. I took mine right down to the medical physics lab in my hospital, and also the chap who tests each of the equipment for your dermatology UV labs has the machinery to check UV-A and -B. In addition, i took some expensive and real Ted Baker casual sunglasses, too. They all passed one hundred percent.
“The lab manager said it was difficult to get polycarbonate plastic that lets UV-A and -B through – he needs it for a few of his applications and needs to buy it from the special source. By default polycarbonate doesn’t let UV through. When manufacturers say you’ll be blinded should you wear cheap sunglasses that’s not just a very strong case whatsoever.
“I wouldn’t buy fake carbon parts. I’ve bought cheap tools from China, things such as spoke keys for pennies. “My friends are indifferent; they don’t give a great deal of stuff. “There are some chaps inside the club who have to have the latest expensive thing. I haven’t spoke with them about fakes, partly because I don’t wish to piss on their own parade. “I really could manage to buy the real thing. The reason I don’t always is the same reason I purchase a £1 loaf of bread in Tescos as opposed to from an artisan baker and pay £20 to get a loaf that’s been brought over from France that morning by private jet.
“You desire something which does the job to get a reasonable sum of money. And to me a couple of Oakley Black Friday Deals for £100 or even more is excessive. “I’m willing to spend huge amounts of money on a few things. This might not be rational, but it’s the way i view things. “Terrorism, child labour? It hasn’t struck me. Not for bike parts. It’s potent food for thought. If it’s true, that could put me right off. “These could be messages put out by large corporations with vested interests when all I’m probably doing is supporting a little Chinese business.
“I never bought any pirated DVDs. I certainly downloaded some stuff from Napster back in the day. Now it’s just quicker and much easier to buy from legitimate sources. “I realize the buying price of the plastic in a kind of Oakley’s is only a small part of their costs, having said that i don’t want to cover their marketing as well as their sponsorship, I am just only willing to pay for the product.”