The online furniture store, Wayfair, has been trending on social media lately, and it is not because of great deals on wicker patio furniture.
Unfortunately, the online retail giant is not getting the kind of press any company would want. Wayfair has been accused of being a front for a worldwide child sex trafficking ring!
To be fair, there has yet to be any credible evidence that these accusations are true, but it is being purported that the site — or more accurately, third-party sellers on the site — are secretly part of a child trafficking ring. This theory first appeared on Reddit's r/conspiracy subreddit.
It all started when a Reddit user posted a screenshot of very high-priced cabinets (12 to 15K or more) listed on Wayfair's site, noting that the names of the costly cabinets were the same as the names of missing children.
According to the press, when reached for comment, Wayfair said it removed the cabinets from their site “to stamp out the rumors.”
"There is, of course, no truth to these claims," a representative said in a 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 the site to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point."
But, despite that, it wasn't long before the idea of such a heinous conspiracy spread from Reddit to Twitter, to TikTok, and so on.
People online scoured through other listings and found other exorbitantly expensive items from pillows and shower curtains, which they believe are coded ways for pedophiles to “order” missing kids.
One astute “conspiracy theorist,” posted a tweet that had what appeared to be the exact same pillowcase listed with a generic name for 100.00 and one with the name of a missing black girl in Michigan for $10,000! When asked about this additional example, apparently Wayfair claimed it was a “pricing glitch,” that they are “working on to correct.”
In their defense, Wayfair functions as a middleman, selling items from its roughly 11,000 suppliers but not actually manufacturing anything they sell.
Many products get sorted into "house brands," which function as a way of organizing the massive selection, but the same product can end up on multiple pages, from different sellers, at different prices, due to dynamic pricing determined by an algorithm.
Still, this does not explain some of the massive price discrepancies, and the “coincidental” nomenclature. Is it possible that child sex traffickers are sending coded messages to well-healed pedophiles, who may be shopping for something for less innocuous than a throw pillow?
You decide and reply in the comments below.
by Mike Strong