You recently bought a brand-new pair of fashion sunglasses that you are now having second thoughts about. You wonder if they were overpriced and not worth what you spent on them. You talk to a friend who asks, “do your sunglasses pass the ‘sniff’ test?” Great. More doubt is just what you need.
The ‘sniff’ test isn’t real for sunglasses. It is an idiom we use to question the validity or quality of something. It comes from the fact that dogs have incredibly sensitive olfactory systems capable of sniffing out drugs and determining when a diabetic’s blood sugar level is too low.
Something that passes the sniff test lives up to the hype surrounding it. With that said, let us apply it to those new sunglasses you just bought.
We start with UV protection because that is the whole purpose for wearing sunglasses, explains Olympic Eyewear. Sunglasses sold in this country are labeled so that you know how much UV protection they offer. A pair that blocks 100% of damaging UV rays is at 400. A pair rated at 300 offers less protection.
The thing about labels is that they can be faked. The good news is that consumer protections are such that most manufacturers are not going to push that particular envelope. You can likely trust the label on your pair. If you’re unsure though, take them to any optometrist. A quick test with a machine that takes mere seconds can tell you if your sunglasses are truly UV 400.
Name Brand Knockoffs
Another big concern with fashion sunglasses is brand. We know that some overseas manufacturers whose countries of origin will remain anonymous for this post are not at all concerned about producing knockoffs. They make sunglasses that look like legitimate brands but are not. Then they sell the products at rock-bottom prices.
If you paid $15 for a pair of branded sunglasses that normally costs $250, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased a knockoff. The way to tell is to look at photos of the real thing provided by the manufacturer and compare the tiny little details. Sometimes the only way to identify a knockoff is by something as small and hard to locate as the printing inside one of the temples.
A third component of the sniff test for sunglasses is the quality of craftsmanship. A designer manufacturer selling sunglasses for hundreds of dollars per pair is going to go out of its way to make sure quality craftsmanship is on full display. You are not going to find loose hinges or broken nose pieces.
If you’re looking at a pair of sunglasses that looks and feels flimsy, you may be questioning craftsmanship. You should be. If you spent anything more than $10 or $15, you should be able to rely on the fact that your shades aren’t going to fall apart after you use them just two or three times.
This final component of the sniff test should be taken with a grain of salt. It considers the point of origin. In other words, where did you buy your sunglasses? If they came from a high-end boutique, there’s a good chance they are legit. If you bought them at the corner gas station, is there any way to know where they really came from?
Sunglasses that don’t pass the sniff test might still turn out to be very good. But more often than not, they are overpriced sunglasses that really aren’t worth what you spent on them. This is yet another reason to be very careful when you shop.