The Wayfair scandal of child trafficking began completely from a post on Reddit with confusion with overly priced cabinet and pillows. The screenshots shared by the user also shown title with certain prefixes which match with children missing in the past.
While, the fact-checking website, snopes.com rated it as false. This article is also going to consider all of the aspects of the incident for fact-checking purposes.
Fact Check: Is Wayfair Scandal of Child Trafficking with Overpriced Items True?
Wayfair is an American e-commerce company meant for selling furniture and home-goods. Out of which pillows and storage cabinets are also part of it. This July some social media users from Reddit and Twitter put allegations of child trafficking on the company.
The users themselves came to the conclusion without any proof or reports from the concerned authorities like police, finance, and deep investigations. They only considered the fact that the products are overly priced than other similar items.
The whole thing originated from the July 9 post on subreddit “conspiracy”. The Reddit users asked a question, “Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets? (Note the names of the cabinets) this makes me sick to my stomach if it’s true :(”
Along with this, the user also shared a screenshot (see below) on the basis of which he asked in the community.
The image above shows, WFX Utility has listed storage cabinet at a high price of more than $10,000 and pointed out the names. This particular post has gained over 3k upvotes (at the time of writing this article) over a period of 2 days.
Seeing this, a user from a micro-blogging site, Twitter found pillows and shower curtains which are also priced high for over $9,000. And similar items are also there on Wayfair having price as low as $99. This made the user draw the conclusion and consider this as a way of child trafficking.
Well, the images shared on social media with high prices are real. But it shouldn’t be the sole reason to link it with child trafficking. Without any police or other investigation reports, it’s illogical to say these things on the internet.
When we dive more deeply into the incident, Wayfair is among the large businesses of the country and why would they use their official website to do such as big crime publically? Apart from this, child trafficking is a big punishable offense, the people who do these things never want to do it on a platform where they can be easily tracked.
Then why these cabinets are listing with a high price of more than $10,000? Well, Wayfair reached Newsweek and made it clear in a statement that these cabinets are made for industries that are actually expensive and similar in design with others.
Wayfair temporarily removed those listings as it is failing to explain the product and price relation. Here is the statement,
“There is, of course, no truth to these claims. The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced. Recognizing that the photos and descriptions provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the high price point, we have temporarily removed the products from site to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point.”
The points that social media users considered are high prices, missing child names, and the search result on Yandex for SKU (stock keeping unit number) codes of the products.
Now, let’s pick missing child names, every year roughly more than 800k children go missing. Considering this, there is a huge chance that someone having the same name may exist. Let’s consider one of the cabinets with the title “Anabel 5-shelf storage unit.”
The conspiracy theory has connected Anabel with missing of Anabel Wilson from Kansas. So, it is clearly nothing but a coincidence that the listing has the same name as those children who are missing.
In the end, coming to the point of SKU code, well, whenever someone accessing the Russian search engine, Yandex.com do a search with this particular format: “src usa SKU”. The search engine will show images of young children. This is absolutely true but when we replace the SKU code with any random string of numbers then it is returning a similar kind of results.
We are keeping an eye over the internet for any legit proof or evidence to drive a conclusion. We will keep on updating this article with the latest information until any clear clarification. So, till then stay tuned with TheCourierDaily (TCD!) for more news.
Disclaimer: We have followed snopes.com fact-check article about this incident, as per them, there is no evidence available for claiming the accusation.