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 has the Oakley logo at the top of the homepage nevertheless the word “Foakley” is all over the site, and it openly states that the glasses are knock-offs. Obviously, the site is not really US-based: it ships via EMS, the Chinese state-owned courier firm.
But this is far away from the only real website selling Oakley knock-offs. There are Foakley Sunglasses sellers on Alibaba, DHgate, and other Chinese online merchants. A British cycle industry executive told BikeBiz that all of the riders in his cycling club who wore Oakley’s have, actually, been wearing Foakleys for about the past several years.
“Determining if they are real or counterfeit can be challenging,” admits Oakley with an official FAQ. Indeed, purchasers of fake Oakleys have found that the lenses along with 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 not true. Fake Oaks have already been lab-tested and located 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 that it blocks UV. “I don’t desire to pay what Oakley are charging; they’re just bits of plastic,” is a very common complaint on cycle forums and chat-rooms.
People 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 “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 like 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 in addition, it dominates retail: it owns 7,000 stores around the globe, including Sunglass Hut, the marketplace 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 within 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 around australia. My Oakleys, with lenses, were pushing nearly AU$600. I place them on a [bike storage] cage; within a couple of hours, they were gone.To switch 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 higher of me, and i also bought some. And the quality was shocking – I couldn’t believe how good these people were. For $30.
“Are they produced in the same factory as Oakleys? I don’t know, but a lot of 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 a company selling pieces of plastic for AU$500. Inside my mind, they’re ripping people off. I don’t value the investigation and development. There’s always going to be somebody innovating. If Oakley would disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow, a few other company would replace them, and in all likelihood wouldn’t charge as much money for his or her products. These companies bend people over; they bring them to get a ride. In this situation I’ve got no problems 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 buying fake Oakleys. Exploring the comments, and how it’s owning an impact on other businesses because individuals are now exploring other available 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 on it or otherwise, but in retrospect, it’s not great. To promote counterfeit products is not really great, it offers impact across other places.
“I ride 30k each method to work – I wear stuff out. We obtain stiffed on so many products [within australia]. It’s much more expensive here. Along with a mate, I bought some bright orange and white Jawbreaker copies. We now have “Foakley Fridays”, looking like complete idiots. “I tell people they’re fake. I place the Foakleys close to my genuine Oakleys over a Facebook posting. It’s for the look, not the manufacturer.
“I like the Foakleys – I find the lens are a bit clearer. For 25 dollars, they’re disposable. “I purchased them two minutes after seeing the very first Cycling Maven video.
“I want to know my helmet has become tested and passes standards, I’m not fussed about glasses. I actually have better items to spend my money on. I want more bikes or even 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 real Oakleys owned by friends I was thinking “these are just pieces of plastic with many nice branding to them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and found a set that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Jawbones and another 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 however when the Jawbones arrived that they had Oakley branding, including “Made in the us” stamped on the arms, as well as the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d anticipate seeing it. These people were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They fitted well (but the arm broke after a couple of months).
“The “Radarlocks” came with free lenses as well as 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 cheaper than someone else. We have no brand loyalty, I didn’t buy them for the cachet from the brand, I really would like them to maintain the bugs from my eyes, rather than be upset when I inevitably lose them.
“After I see Oakleys in the wild I take a look at them critically. The brand is diluted by each of the fakes out there.
“I bought fakes because We have terrible trouble getting sunglasses which fit so I didn’t wish to spend a huge amount of money on a experimentation purchase. £8 means they’re throwaway.
“I needed 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 down to the medical physics lab in my hospital, and also the chap who tests all of the equipment for that dermatology UV labs has the machinery to test 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 many of his applications and desires to get it from the special source. By default polycarbonate doesn’t let UV through. When manufacturers say you’ll be blinded in the event 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, things such as spoke keys for pennies. “My friends are indifferent; they don’t give a good deal of stuff.
“There are some chaps within the club who have to have the most recent expensive thing. I haven’t talked to them about fakes, partly because I don’t want to piss on the parade. “I could afford to buy khkyea genuine thing. The main reason I don’t always is the same reason I buy 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 want something which does the job for any reasonable amount of cash. And to me a pair of Fake Oakley Sunglasses for £100 or maybe more is excessive. “I’m prepared to spend considerable amounts of cash on several things. This is probably not 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. “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 much easier to buy from legitimate sources. “I realize the cost of the plastic in a pair of Oakley’s is simply a small a part of their costs, having said that i don’t want to pay for their marketing as well as their sponsorship, I am only willing to fund the merchandise.”