Foakley is such 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 has the Oakley logo on top of the homepage however the word “Foakley” is all around the site, and it openly states 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 far away from the only website selling Oakley knock-offs. There are Foakleys sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, along with other Chinese online merchants. A British cycle industry executive told BikeBiz that all of the riders within his cycling club who wore Oakley’s have, in reality, been wearing Foakleys for around earlier times couple of years.
“Determining if they are real or counterfeit can be difficult,” admits Oakley upon an official FAQ. Indeed, purchasers of fake Oakleys have discovered the lenses and 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 have been lab-tested and found to bar UV-A and UV-B.
Oakley lenses are produced from polycarbonate, and are therefore the fake lenses. An intrinsic property of polycarbonate is that it blocks UV. “I don’t desire to pay what Oakley are charging; they’re just bits of plastic,” is a common complaint on cycle forums and chat-rooms.
People who wouldn’t buy fake bicycle frames or fake parts aren’t so fastidious in terms of Foakleys, as is visible from the interviews BikeBiz has conducted with three purchasers. Consumers feel they’re being “scammed.”
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 like a Ray-Ban-wearing Colossus. (Luxottica also owns Ray-Ban.) The Guardian has a very 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 including 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 globe, 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 at surgical device sales. He vlogs as “CyclingMaven”. Certainly one of his most popular videos is on the technical merits of Foakleys.
“We pay reasonably limited for many things in Australia. My Oakleys, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I put them on a [bike storage] cage; within a few hours, these people were gone.To change 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 greater of me, and I bought some. As well as the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good these were. For $30.
“Are they made in the identical factory as Oakleys? I don’t know, but many people who purchase these fakes will rationalise it like that. Not everyone feels comfortable buying counterfeit products.
“The anti-establishment side of me says, look, here’s a company selling pieces of plastic for AU$500. Within my mind, they’re ripping people off. I don’t value the study and development. There’s always likely to be somebody innovating. If Oakley were to disappear off of the face from the earth tomorrow, a few other company would replace them, and in all likelihood wouldn’t charge just as much money for products. These companies bend people over; they drive them for a ride. In that situation I’ve got no problems with checking out the counterfeit product side of things.
“My “Foakley” videos have blown up. They’re getting a lot of attention, lots of people are actually buying fake Oakleys. Studying the comments, and just how it’s owning an influence on other companies because people are exploring other options, makes me think “damn, that’s not good.” I don’t feel personally responsible because this market will almost certainly happen whether I did a youtube video onto it or otherwise, but in retrospect, it’s not great. To advertise counterfeit products is not great, it provides impact across other locations.
“I ride 30k each way to work – I wear stuff out. We get stiffed on numerous products [in Australia]. It’s 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 next to my genuine Oakleys over a Facebook posting. It’s for your look, not the company.
“I favor the Foakleys – I find the lens certainly are a bit clearer. For 25 dollars, they’re disposable. “I bought them two minutes after seeing the first Cycling Maven video.
“I want to know my helmet has been tested and passes standards, I’m not fussed about glasses. I have better items to spend my cash on. I want more bikes or maybe more Lego for my son.” “I don’t like spending plenty of cash on sunglasses because I lose them, or they fall off my hat and get scratched or run over.
“Whenever I handled Cheap Oakley Sunglasses properties of friends I was thinking “these are simply pieces of plastic with many nice branding on 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 were about £8 each, delivered from China. They didn’t have 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 the arms, and also the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d anticipate seeing it. These people were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They fitted well (however the arm broke after a couple of months).
“The “Radarlocks” was included with free lenses along with a case. They fitted really well, and I’m still making use of them.
“I tell others they’re fake. There’s perverse satisfaction in getting something cheaper than somebody else. We have no brand loyalty, I didn’t buy them for the cachet in the brand, I really desire them to help keep the bugs away from my eyes, rather than be upset after i inevitably lose them.
“When I see Oakleys out in the wild I examine them critically. The manufacturer is diluted by all of the fakes on the market.
“I bought fakes because We have terrible trouble getting sunglasses that suit and so i didn’t wish to spend a huge amount of funds on a trial and error purchase. £8 means they’re throwaway.
“I had a hot debate with a guy who said his optician had said you couldn’t get adequate UV-A and -B protection in any sunglasses for less than £20 a lens. I took mine down to the medical physics lab within my hospital, and the chap who tests all of the equipment for the dermatology UV labs has the machinery to check UV-A and -B. I also took some expensive and real Ted Baker casual sunglasses, too. Each of them passed one hundred percent.
“The lab manager stated it was hard to get polycarbonate plastic that lets UV-A and -B through – he needs it for many of his applications and desires to get it from the special source. Automatically 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 buddies are indifferent; they don’t give much of a stuff.
“There are a few chaps in the club who need to have the most recent expensive thing. I haven’t talked to them about fakes, partly because I don’t desire to piss on their own parade. “I really could afford to buy khkyea genuine thing. The reason why I don’t always is the same reason I buy a £1 loaf of bread in Tescos instead of from an artisan baker and pay £20 for any loaf that’s been brought over from France that morning by private jet.
“You want something that does the job for any reasonable sum of money. And to me a set of Replica Oakleys for £100 or even more is excessive. “I’m willing to spend considerable amounts of money on several things. This may not be rational, but it’s how 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 small Chinese business.
“I never bought any pirated DVDs. I certainly downloaded some stuff from Napster during the day. Now it’s just quicker and easier to buy from legitimate sources. “I understand the buying price of the plastic in a kind of Oakley’s is just a small a part of their costs, however i don’t want to fund their marketing as well as their sponsorship, I am just only willing to pay for the item.”