Spotting fake glasses online

As with all fake goods, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

It's worth taking a look at the website brand-i - a partner of the Trading Standards Institute - which lists online stores that sell genuine products and will help you see if the website you're using is legitimate.

If you come across what you think to be fake glasses, Luxottica, which sells and distributes sun and prescription eyewear, has an email address for reporting fake and counterfeit glasses. 

Email with the details.  

For more tips read our guide on spotting fake goods.

Fake frames

There are a few things you can look for to see whether the frames of your glasses or sunglasses are the real deal:

  • the model number will rub off or scratch off easily
  • the colour might be slightly off
  • check for a metal cord running through the arms of the glasses. Cheaper plastic frames will not have this.
  • pick up the glasses and see how they feel. Do they feel too brittle?

Fake sunglasses

In 2012, from seven high street shops and found that 15 failed key lab tests, breaching the British Standard.

If you’re buying sunglasses, follow these tips: 

  • check for the CE Mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005 for adequate protection against the sun's UV rays
  • before buying, hold the glasses at arm’s length and look at a window edge through one lens then the other, looking up and down to make sure the image is clear

Luxottica also offers the following tips for Ray-Bans: 

  • real Ray-Bans will come with a letter as part of their model number to show which factory in Italy they have come from
  • look to see whether the logo is set-in or glued on
  • if you turn Ray-Bans on their side, the lenses will be on a slant. Counterfeit Ray-Bans tend to be straight

Wrong prescriptions

If you're buying prescription glasses online, no checks will have been made beforehand to make sure the prescription is right.

If your prescription is +/-5 or above, you may want to think again about buying online, unless you can subsequently get the glasses checked by an optometrist.

When Which? investigated 36 pairs of glasses from 13 online companies in our 2012 investigation, ten of these were given borderline passes by our experts.

This was because the online companies didn't have the measurements to ensure the correct distance from the pupil to the lens of the glasses, which is important in higher prescription glasses.

If you are buying varifocals online, the company should ask for additional measurements that will help ensure safety when wearing the glasses - such as for driving, or using steps.

These are the interpupillary distance (PD) for each eye and the vertical pupil position.

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.