Foakley is really an accepted word that websites openly sell “Foakley” glasses. As an example, sunglasses.narialis.com claims to be a US company having a US address, and sells Foakley Radarlocks for $13 – it offers the Oakley logo at the top of the homepage however the word “Foakley” is all around the site, and it also openly states 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. You can find Foakley Sunglasses sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, as well as 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 about the past several years.
“Determining if they are real or counterfeit can be difficult,” admits Oakley with an official FAQ. Indeed, purchasers of fake Oakleys have discovered that this lenses and other parts are interchangeable with genuine Oakleys. An often seen claim online is that the fakes fry eyes because, unlike expensive and genuine Oakleys, they let through ultra-violet radiation. This is simply not true. Fake Oaks happen to be lab-tested and found to block UV-A and UV-B.
Oakley lenses are made from polycarbonate, and so are 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 very common complaint on cycle forums and chat-rooms.
Those who wouldn’t buy fake bicycle frames or fake parts aren’t so fastidious with regards to Foakleys, as can be seen from the interviews BikeBiz has conducted with three purchasers. Consumers feel they’re being “scammed.”
Oakley is owned by 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 such as Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, and Versace. Luxottica doesn’t just dominate manufacturing and distribution in addition, 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 in surgical device sales. He vlogs as “CyclingMaven”. Among his most favored videos is on the technical merits of Foakleys.
“We pay a premium for a number of things within australia. My Oakleys, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I place them on the [bike storage] cage; within several hours, these people were gone.To change them would 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 that i bought some. And also the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good they were. For $30.
“Could they be made in exactly the same factory as Oakleys? I don’t know, but a lot of people who buy these fakes will rationalise it like that. Not everybody feels comfortable buying counterfeit products.
“The anti-establishment side of me says, look, here’s a business selling pieces of plastic for AU$500. In my mind, they’re ripping people off. I don’t worry about the investigation and development. There’s always gonna be somebody innovating. If Oakley would disappear from the face from the earth tomorrow, various other company would replace them, and probably wouldn’t charge as much money for their products. These firms bend people over; they bring them to get a ride. In this situation I’ve got no issues with studying the counterfeit product side of things.
“My “Foakley” videos have blown up. They’re getting plenty of attention, many people are actually buying fake Oakleys. Studying the comments, and exactly how it’s having an impact on other businesses because people are actually exploring other options, makes me think “damn, that’s not good.” I don’t feel personally responsible since this market is going to happen whether I did so a relevant video into it or otherwise not, nevertheless in retrospect, it’s not great. To market counterfeit products is not really great, it has impact across other places.
“I ride 30k each approach to work – I wear stuff out. We get stiffed on a lot of products [around australia]. It’s a lot more expensive here. In addition to a mate, I bought some bright orange and white Jawbreaker copies. We now have “Foakley Fridays”, resembling complete idiots. “I tell people they’re fake. I put the Foakleys next to my genuine Oakleys on a Facebook posting. It’s for that look, not the brand.
“I prefer the Foakleys – I find the lens really are a bit clearer. For 25 dollars, they’re disposable. “I purchased them two minutes after seeing the very first Cycling Maven video.
“I wish to know my helmet has become tested and passes standards, I’m not fussed about glasses. We have better items to spend my cash on. I want more bikes or even 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 owned by friends I was thinking “these are simply pieces of plastic with many nice branding upon them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and discovered a pair 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 that they had Oakley branding, including “Made in the USA” stamped on the arms, and the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d anticipate seeing it. They were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They fitted well (but the arm broke after a number of 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 than somebody else. I actually have no brand loyalty, I didn’t have them for that cachet in the brand, I simply want them to maintain the bugs out of my eyes, and never be upset after i inevitably lose them.
“After I see Oakleys out in the wild I take a look at them critically. The company is diluted by each of the fakes available.
“I bought fakes because I actually have terrible trouble getting sunglasses that suit and so i didn’t want to spend plenty of funds 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 less than £20 a lens. I took mine as a result of the medical physics lab inside my hospital, and the chap who tests all of the equipment for the dermatology UV labs provides the machinery to check UV-A and -B. Furthermore, i took some expensive and real Ted Baker casual sunglasses, too. They all passed 100 %.
“The lab manager stated it was challenging to get polycarbonate plastic that lets UV-A and -B through – he needs it for a few of his applications and requires to buy 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 very strong case at all.
“I wouldn’t buy fake carbon parts. I’ve bought cheap tools from China, such things as spoke keys for pennies. “My buddies are indifferent; they don’t give much of a stuff.
“There are some chaps in the club who need to have the newest expensive thing. I haven’t spoke with them about fakes, partly because I don’t wish to piss on the parade. “I could manage to buy khkyea real thing. The reason why I don’t always is identical reason I buy a £1 loaf of bread in Tescos rather than 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 a reasonable amount of cash. As well as me a pair of Fake Oakleys for £100 or even more is excessive. “I’m prepared to spend large amounts of income on several 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 would put me right off. “This can 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 purchase from legitimate sources. “I realize the cost of the plastic in a kind of Oakley’s is only a small a part of their costs, however i don’t want to fund their marketing as well as their sponsorship, I am only willing to pay for the item.”