5 Ways to Tell If Designer Sunglasses Are Fake
Posted on April 22 2023
Counterfeit shades are everywhere: Poshmark, EBay, Mercari, and other secondhand websites are always littered with designer fakes. And while most of these website do their best to remove counterfeit listings, it isn't always easy to tell if an item is a replica or not.
Before we get it, let's first distinguish between different types of designer-inspired items.
Type 1: Replicas (A.K.A Counterfeits)
This type of knockoff is indicated by the brand logo. Brand logos are printed or embossed on counterfeit items to make the item appear as authentic as possible.
Type 2: Dupes
The category of knockoff goods known as dupes also look very much like the authentic version but have none of the brand markings. These are the types of sunglasses you'll find in shops like Amazon, Forever21, and Rainbow.
Now that we've distinguished between replicas and dupes, let get into the 5 ways to tell the difference between authentic and counterfeit sunglasses...
1. Price is too low.
When the item is listed as "brand new", whether it's on an independent website or a second-hand website like eBay, if the price seems too low, it's likely fake.
Above, you'll find examples of two different websites offering the YSL M119 Blaze Oversized Cat Eye Sunglasses. The top website is the actual Saint Laurent website where the sunglasses retail for $960. The bottom website is sells counterfeit sunglasses. Their version of the Saint Laurent M119 Blaze cat eyes sells for $200.
We can safely assume that all of the sunglasses on the replica website are brand new. However, "$200" is not a "discount" price. That is their full retail price. No reputable and legit retailer would sell a pair of $960 designer sunglasses for such a thin profit margin. Be aware of retailers that are selling high-end sunglasses for too little.
Unless the sunglasses are from 6 seasons ago, even a price such as $399.99 is too low for brand new M1119 sunglasses. The YSL M119 cat eye sunglasses haven't been out long enough for retailers to acquire them at that much of a discount.
The same goes for second-hand websites such as Mercari and Poshmark, especially if the item is listed as new. If the item is new but listed at 70% or more off the retailer price, there's a 99.9% chance it's a replica. The newer the condition of the item, the more the reseller will want to make back in what they paid for the item.
Again, the exceptions, can be for items that are 8 or more seasons old. But even then, resellers are not likely to list their sunglasses for even 30% less than what they paid, especially if the item has never been worn.
2. Incorrect typeface on the inner temples.
To save money, replica manufacturers will often use the same typeface for the brand letterings on the inside of the temples of their sunglasses no matter what brand it is.
You'll see that on the inner temples of these replica Louis Vuitton Waimea Z1082E Sunglasses the brand name is printed with a serif font. Meanwhile, the brand logo on the inner temples of the authentic pair is printed in Louis Vuitton's classic sans serif typeface.
You'll also notice that "Made in Italy" should be before the brand name and not after as in the authentic pair.
3. Authenticity or brand logo card looks off.
If you're ever in the market for a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses and you see this card in the seller's photos, run far, run fast. This is a signature sign of a fake pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses. Replica manufacturers have been using for all kinds of counterfeit LV goods for over a decade despite the fact that the original designer house doesn't use anything like this.
When it comes to buying used sunglasses, sellers will often include the original packaging in the listing if it's still available. If the designer's authenticity card is included in the photo, cross-reference it with authenticity cards of items found online that you know are authentic (search products on eBay and Poshmark in a high price range). If you can't even find a product that has an authenticity card like the one you're suspicious of, then the brand likely doesn't even have an authenticity card for similar items.
Here are a few examples of replica LV sunglasses listings from Poshmark with that fake authenticity card...
4. Incorrect Sunglasses Case
If you find a listing for sunglasses you're unsure of and a photo of the case is included, look closely at the case.
When it comes to Chanel sunglass cases, the case is usually a dead giveaway. The double CC logo should be more indented on the bottom left. Additionally, the stitching is raggedy and uneven in the replica above. Lastly, there should be more of a curve at the bottom of the case.
5. Retailer or reseller is using a stock photo that originated on DHGate.com or another replica retail website.
If you've seen enough replica sunglasses, you've probably learned the telltale signs of sunglasses that were photographed by a manufacturer of counterfeit goods. The composition is fairly standard from photo to photo.
Photographers and merchandisers put a great deal of effort into making their counterfeit items seem high-end. However, their stock photos often seem unnecessarily cluttered and filled with objects.
However, there is usually a glaring difference in stock photos from the original designer and the stock photos from replica manufacturers. Designers such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci either show their products on a white background or on a model. However, replica factories take photos of their shades with a lot more in terms of composition. Here is another few example...
Now, some resellers take photos of their designer sunglasses with the logo packaging in the background. That is quite normal. However, the key thing to remember is that replica manufacturers will use professional lighting in their photos (as opposed to just taking a photo in dim lighting on a kitchen counter).
Additionally, you might be thinking that some of the photos above obviously contain counterfeit sunglasses because they're missing brand marks on the packaging. However, know that the unedited versions of these photos have all brand logos on display. With or without logos, these are typically the way replica sunglasses are shot.
Here is a perfect example of what those photos look like with all brand markings included on the actual sunglasses and packaging. This is a listing of replica sunglasses from Poshmark. This seller is trying to pass them off as authentic...
If you find a photo of designer sunglasses that looks suspicious, simply do a reverse image search of the photo! If the reverse search leads you to too many listings from replica websites such as DHGate, then the item from the listing or website is probably a replica.
A reverse image search of the above photo will actually lead you to this listing for fake Louis Vuitton sunglasses on DHGate...
Other things worth mentioning about replica sunglasses...
While most people will agree that the production and sale of replicas is unethical, know that there is a distinction between trying to passing counterfeit sunglasses off as real and being honest about the origins of the sunglasses.
Most sellers of counterfeits (such as the independent sellers on DHGate), are not intending to sell their replica sunglasses are "authentic". DHGate is a marketplace known for their replica items. Buyers go to that website with the intention of purchasing replica sunnies. The exchange of money for counterfeit goods is already understand in DHGate transactions.
However, as illustrated above, there are people who use secondhand markets such as eBay and Poshmark to intentionally sell their replica sunglasses as authentic. These are the more underhand and devious transactions when it comes to black-market sunglasses.
However, the high end consignment shops that are trusted for their authentic goods have been outed for knowingly selling replicas. It was alleged that RealReal was knowingly selling counterfeit goods to customers. Additionally, the company was allegedly hiring employees that weren't properly trained in authenticating luxury goods.
The main takeaway is that the purchase of replica sunglasses is a very open activity in which most buyers know exactly what they're getting. However, the actual luxury marketplace is littered with bad seeds who will try to pass off their counterfeit accessories as authentic.
If you need help authenticating a pair of designer sunglasses, we'd be more than happy to give you our input. Just reach out!