Buying Vintage Sunglasses On Ebay? Etsy? Buyer Beware!

Counterfeits & Reproductions. Replaced Lenses & Parts. Condition Lies & Deception. No Returns.

When you buy vintage sunglasses that counterfeiters know are worth more than new models being produced today you need a trusted source. Hundreds of people write us for help each year after having been cheated on eBay, Etsy, Mercari, and other websites by sellers of counterfeits, reproductions, vintage frames with cheap replacement lenses, or by deceptive practices lying about, omitting or downplaying serious condition issues. Sellers casually mention "minor" lens scratches from "typical" or "normal" wear that miraculously "can't be seen when wearing", "aren't noticeable", or that don't "obstruct" or "impair" vision. They either don't really look or lie about condition, sometimes using meaningless numeric rating scales for condition that won't match your own, and they use vague and imprecise condition terms to get high prices for junk thereby protecting themselves against giving refunds. See some real examples of how auction sellers through lies, deception and ignorance mislead and defraud buyers. Some would be funny if so many people weren't getting cheated. (Read a message from our founder)


Eyewear industry research shows that over 40% of all branded vintage designer sunglasses being sold in online auctions are fakes, reproductions, or have non original lenses or parts. Learning how to identify fake and counterfeit sunglasses requires deep expertise and can be impossible to do from pictures alone. Ebay and Etsy both have vintage sunglasses sellers or "stores" that put aftermarket lenses in authentic frames, assemble alleged "new old stock" from surplus and third party parts, and sell easy to obtain Malaysian, Chinese, and lately Japanese fakes which can look good to an untrained eye. Counterfeiters try to buy one authentic vintage pair and then copy it - often including stickers, tags, boxes, and warranties. Counterfeit sunglasses are sold knowingly by a small group of sellers mostly on eBay and Etsy, and those companies lack the knowledge and the will to police it. We used to try to work with them to help identify and flag the counterfeit sunglasses but gave up when our reports went to some clueless representative who often took no action despite obvious counterfeits.


Counterfeits have always been rampant on auction websites and for many years most of the fakes originated in Malaysia, but lately numerous Japanese sellers on ebay have been selling fakes of vintage Oakleys, Versaces, Ray-Bans, and more. It's very sad how many people are getting cheated and don't even know it. When you see auction and craft website sellers with continuous supplies of 25+ year old "new old stock" just ask yourself how an individual or some sham business is realistically going to have this vast inventory. But counterfeits are also sold unknowingly by regular people who have purchased fakes and then try to resell them. This is how counterfeit sunglasses propagate through the marketplace, even by honest sellers who just don't know that they themselves have been cheated but who nevertheless confidently assert their sunglasses are "100% authentic".


Now ebay has gotten even worse by making an AI tool available to sellers that replaced any semblance of a clear descripition of an item for sale and its condition with flowerly meaningless nonsense. You can find hundreds of variations of the following AI generated sunglasses description "Get ready to hit the road in style designed for both men and women and the perfect addition to any outfit. The model name is a classic in the world of sunglasses and is sure to impress. Featuring a unisex adult fit, these sunglasses are perfect for any occasion. Whether you're heading to the beach or driving down the highway, these sunglasses will keep you looking sharp and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Don't miss out on the opportunity to own a pair of these high-quality sunglasses." If you make a purchase based on language like this you're almost certain to wind up fighting with the seller to return a worthless piece of garbage or a fake, and odds are you'll lose.


So when you buy on these anonymous buyer - seller websites you are depending on a total stranger to have real knowledge and to tell the truth. In the event you discover you've been deceived and cheated, you'll find the sellers hide behind no return policies. In rare cases when you can escalate a claim you'll talk to the website's offshore call center and a clueless third party will be the arbiter of often ugly back and forth accusations and conflicting claims of truthfulness between you and the seller. Meanwhile, the seller has your money and you have worthless sunglasses, often without even basic UV protection so you can really harm your eyes as well.


The Vintage Sunglasses Shop has a reputation that's stood the test of time since 1998, offers returns and refunds for any reason within 7 days of receipt, and has unmatched expert knowledge to protect you from fakes, reproductions, and condition misrepresentations. We continue to serve our customers around the world and protect their investments - and their eyes - while providing the world's largest selection of rare and authentic vintage designer sunglasses from the 1930s through the 1990s.

You Can Trust The Vintage Sunglasses Shop

The Vintage Sunglasses Shop is the world's largest retailer of authentic vintage designer sunglasses in operation since 1998. We are here to protect your investment - and your eyes; read about our vetting process and our condition & authenticity guarantee. If you are ever displeased with anything you buy here, you can return it for a full refund - no questions asked.

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We buy finer vintage designer sunglasses that meet our standards; learn how to sell your vintage sunglasses at good prices with no fees, hassles, or uncertainties.

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