Foakley is really an accepted word that websites openly sell “Foakley” glasses. For instance, sunglasses.narialis.com claims to be a US company having a US address, and sells Foakley Radarlocks for $13 – it offers the Oakley logo on top of the homepage but the word “Foakley” is all around the site, and it openly states that the glasses are knock-offs. Needless to say, the website is not really US-based: it ships via EMS, the Chinese state-owned courier firm.
But this really is not even close to the only website selling Oakley knock-offs. There are Foakleys for Sale sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, along with other Chinese online merchants. A British cycle industry executive told BikeBiz that each of the riders in the cycling club who wore Oakley’s have, in reality, been wearing Foakleys for around the past few years.
“Determining when they are real or counterfeit can be tough,” admits Oakley on an official FAQ. Indeed, purchasers of fake Oakleys have discovered that the lenses along with other parts are interchangeable with genuine Oakleys. An often seen claim online would be that the fakes fry eyes because, unlike expensive and genuine Oakleys, they let through ultra-violet radiation. This may not be true. Fake Oaks have been lab-tested and located to bar UV-A and UV-B.
Oakley lenses are made of polycarbonate, and are therefore the fake lenses. An intrinsic property of polycarbonate is it blocks UV. “I don’t desire to pay what Oakley are charging; they’re just pieces of plastic,” is a 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 through the interviews BikeBiz has conducted with three purchasers. Consumers feel they’re being “ripped off.”
Oakley is properties of the $9bn Luxottica Group of Italy, the world’s largest eyewear company. 81-year-old Leonardo Del Vecchio, the group’s founder, bestrides the sector such as a Ray-Ban-wearing Colossus. (Luxottica also owns Ray-Ban.) The Guardian has a really good long-read on the £74bn specs biz, and Del Vecchio’s dominance.
Luxottica acquired Oakley for $2.1bn in 2007. The audience also makes and distributes eyewear brands like Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, and Versace. Luxottica doesn’t just dominate manufacturing and distribution it also dominates retail: it owns 7,000 stores around the world, including Sunglass Hut, the market leader.
When pre-takeover, Oakley was starved of usage of Sunglass Hut its stock plummeted making the sale to Luxottica a foregone conclusion.
Mark Ferguson of Melbourne, Australia, is in surgical device sales. He vlogs as “CyclingMaven”. One of his most popular videos is on the technical merits of Foakleys.
“We pay a premium for a lot of things around australia. My Oakleys, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I put them on the [bike storage] cage; within a couple of hours, these people were gone.To change them was going to be expensive. Somebody sent us a link at Aliexpress. My original thought was “no”; it didn’t feel right. But curiosity got the better of me, and I bought some. And also the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good these were. For $30.
“Are they produced in exactly the same factory as Oakleys? I don’t know, but many people who buy these fakes will rationalise it this way. Not everybody feels comfortable buying counterfeit products.
“The anti-establishment side of me says, look, here’s an organization selling bits of plastic for AU$500. Inside my mind, they’re ripping people off. I don’t care about the study and development. There’s always gonna be somebody innovating. If Oakley would disappear off of the face of the earth tomorrow, a few other company would replace them, and in all likelihood wouldn’t charge just as much money for his or her products. These firms bend people over; they drive them for a ride. In this situation I’ve got no issues 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 now buying fake Oakleys. Studying the comments, and just how it’s getting an effect on others because individuals are actually exploring other choices, makes me think “damn, that’s not good.” I don’t feel personally responsible because this market will happen whether I did so a relevant video onto it or not, nevertheless in retrospect, it’s not great. To market counterfeit products will not be great, it provides impact across other locations.
“I ride 30k each method to work – I wear stuff out. We get stiffed on a lot of products [in Australia]. It’s so much more expensive here. In addition to a mate, I purchased some bright orange and white Jawbreaker copies. We have “Foakley Fridays”, looking like complete idiots. “I tell people they’re fake. I position the Foakleys close to my genuine Oakleys on the Facebook posting. It’s for that look, not the manufacturer.
“I like the Foakleys – I find the lens certainly are a bit clearer. For 25 dollars, they’re disposable. “I got them two minutes after seeing the initial Cycling Maven video.
“I want to know my helmet has become tested and passes standards, I’m not so fussed about glasses. I have better items to spend my funds on. I want more bikes or 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 get scratched or run over.
“Whenever I handled Cheap real Oakleys properties of friends I was thinking “these are simply bits of plastic with many nice branding upon them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and found 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 have the Oakley branding on the photos on the eBay listing however, when the Jawbones arrived that they had Oakley branding, including “Made in the united states” stamped on the arms, and the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d expect to see it. These were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They fitted well (but the arm broke after a few months).
“The “Radarlocks” came with free lenses and a case. They fitted very well, and I’m still utilizing them.
“I tell other people they’re fake. There’s perverse satisfaction to get something less expensive than another individual. We have no brand loyalty, I didn’t buy them for the cachet in the brand, I simply desire them to help keep the bugs from my eyes, rather than be upset when I inevitably lose them.
“After I see Oakleys out in the wild I examine them critically. The company is diluted by all of the fakes available.
“I bought fakes because I actually have terrible trouble getting sunglasses which fit therefore i didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money on a experimentation purchase. £8 means they’re throwaway.
“I had a hot debate having a guy who said his optician had said you couldn’t get adequate UV-A and -B protection in every sunglasses for under £20 a lens. I took mine down to the medical physics lab within my hospital, and also the chap who tests all of the equipment for the 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. Each of them passed one hundred percent.
“The lab manager said it was hard to get polycarbonate plastic that lets UV-A and -B through – he needs it for some of his applications and desires to get it coming from a special source. By default polycarbonate doesn’t let UV through. When manufacturers say you’ll be blinded if you wear cheap sunglasses that’s not really a quite strong case in any way.
“I wouldn’t buy fake carbon parts. I’ve bought cheap tools from China, things like spoke keys for pennies. “My friends are indifferent; they don’t give much of a stuff.
“There are a few chaps within the club who need to have the latest expensive thing. I haven’t talked to them about fakes, partly because I don’t wish to piss on their own parade. “I really could manage to buy khkyea real thing. The reason I don’t always is the same reason I purchase a £1 loaf of bread in Tescos rather than 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 amount of cash. And to me a set of Fake Oakley Sunglasses for £100 or more is excessive. “I’m ready to spend huge amounts of cash on some things. This may not be rational, but it’s the way i view things.
“Terrorism, child labour? It hasn’t occurred to me. Not for bike parts. It’s potent food for thought. If it’s true, that will 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 tiny Chinese business.
“I never bought any pirated DVDs. I certainly downloaded some stuff from Napster in the day. Now it’s just quicker and much easier to buy from legitimate sources. “I understand the buying price of the plastic in a set of Oakley’s is only a small part of their costs, however i don’t want to cover their marketing as well as their sponsorship, I am just only willing to cover the product.”