Wayfair, the e-commerce retailer that sells furniture and home-goods, has found itself at the center of a conspiracy theory after users noticed overpriced furniture listed on its website under certain names. Conspiracy theorists on social media connected a series of strange coincidences to go as far as to say that the company is linked to child trafficking, a charge the retailer has squarely denied.
Overpriced Pillows, Storage Cabinets, Shower Curtains
People first became suspicious after they noticed furniture under the "WFX Collection," which includes storage cabinets and pillows, listed as products on the website with people's names and an exorbitant price tag.
For instance, the website apparently has an "Alyvia" storage cabinet priced at $12,699, a "Dunston" throw pillow and "Drayton" shower curtain for $9,999 each among several other similarly priced and labeled products under a seller named Bungalow Rose.
Many Twitter users said they believed the products are being used as a front for child trafficking. The listings have since been removed but not before users took screenshots of the pages.
One of the items' description also oddly mentions "No passport required," as pointed out by a Twitter user:
Named After Missing Children
Conspiracy theorists did some digging of their own and found that most of the names mentioned on the Wayfair products were names of children who have been reported missing.
Moreover, users said when they entered the SKU codes of some of the above-mentioned products under the "WFX collection" into the Russian search engine Yandex, the results revealed photos of young girls.
Ties to Detention Centers
In 2018, there were reports that the US Department of Health and Human Services had lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children. The kids had gone missing and were unaccounted for from detention centers after being placed with sponsors, raising concerns that they could end up with human traffickers, according to the New York Times.
Last year, more than 500 Wayfair employees staged a walkout from the company after it was revealed that it was profiting off of selling beds to detention centers that held migrant children along the southern U.S. border. The protesters asked Wayfair to cease doing business with BCFS, a government contractor that manages the camps, where hundreds of thousands of migrant children being detained and mistreated.
Wayfair Denies Allegations
In a statement obtained by the International Business Times, Wayfair refuted the allegations and explained the reason behind the products' pricing.
"There is, of course, no truth to these claims," the company's spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "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."
Users Urge Authorities to Launch Investigation
While all of these could be nothing more than a series of simple coincidences, it has definitely added fuel to the speculation, with many urging the U.S. Justice Department to launch an investigation into the company's operations.
"They deleted everything off their site an hour or two ago. My friend took screen shots of everything she could. Seems like they are absolutely scrambling at this point. Something is wrong here. Looks like the internet busted a child sex trade front. I really hope they go down," wrote a Reddit user, while another pointed out that he called the trafficking helpline and "they're opening a case."