“They’re just bits of plastic” – why cyclists buy fake Oakleys

Oakley Radarlock sunglasses retail for £175. An almost identical pair – but fake – can be bought online for £20, shipped. Fake Oakleys are so common they are known as “Foakleys,” a portmanteau of “faux” and “Oakley.”

Foakley is such an accepted word that websites openly sell “Foakley” replica glasses. For instance, replica sunglasses.narialis.com claims to be a US company with a US address, and sells Foakley Radarlocks for $13 – it has the Oakley logo at the top of the homepage but the word “Foakley” is all over the site, and it openly states that the glasses are knock-offs. Of course, the site isn’t really US-based: it ships via EMS, the Chinese state-owned courier firm.

Oakley-lead-image-630x420But this is far from the only website selling  replica Oakley knock-offs. There are Foakley 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, in fact, been wearing Foakleys for at least the past couple of years.

“Determining if they are real or counterfeit can be difficult,” admits Oakley replica on an official FAQ. Indeed, purchasers of fake Oakleys have found that the lenses and other parts are interchangeable with genuine Oakleys.

“Whenever I handled cheap Oakley glasses owned by friends I thought “these are just bits of plastic with some nice branding on them.” I searched on eBay for “cycling sunglasses” and found a pair that bore a striking resemblance to replica Oakley Jawbones and another pair that bore a striking resemblance to Oakley Radarlocks. They were about £8 each, delivered from China. They didn’t have the Oakley outlet 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 the oval Oakley emblem was where you’d expect to see it. They were indistinguishable from genuine Jawbones. They fitted well (but the arm broke after a couple of months).

“The “Radarlocks” came with free lenses and a case. They fitted really well, and I’m still using them.

“I tell other people they’re fake. There’s perverse satisfaction in getting something cheaper than somebody else. I have no brand loyalty, I didn’t get them for the cachet of the brand, I just want them to keep the bugs out of my eyes, and not be upset when I inevitably lose them.

“When I see replica  Oakleys outlet in the wild I look at them critically. The brand is diluted by all the fakes out there.