The Reddit user responsible for the Wayfair human trafficking conspiracy theory has spoken out, claiming they were only reaching out to see if anyone could provide more information on surprisingly expensive cabinets they found on the online furniture store's website. The theory claims Wayfair is using high-priced cabinets and other furniture items for a child trafficking scheme. The company has vehemently denied this.
The theory has been traced to a July 9 Reddit post published by PrincessPeach1987, who included screenshots of WFX Utility storage cabinets, all with surprisingly high prices. They each cost between $12,699.99 and $14,499.99. "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 [sad face emoticon]," the Reddit user wrote.
PrincessPeach1987 later spoke with Newsweek, explaining that they saw the cabinets while looking for garage storage with their husband. At first, they thought they found unlisted drop shipping sales, but they saw other Facebook users were suspicious about the high-priced cabinets as well. This inspired them to ask Reddit users if "anyone else had more details" on the expensive items. PrincessPeach1987 did not reveal their name outside Reddit, but said they are "involved in a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking."
After the Reddit post gained thousands of comments there, the theory moved on to Twitter, where #Wayfairate began trending and more "clues" were identified. Some Twitter users found other high-priced items, suggesting these were more listings being used in the human trafficking scheme. Others tried to link the situation to Wayfair's real-life controversy from 2019 when it was reported that the company had a contract to provide furniture to an ICE detention center on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Another alleged clue people claimed to have found suggested the SKUs for products could be used to find photos of young girls on a Russian search engine if you typed "src USA" before them. However, others discovered that the photos came up even if you typed "src USA" and random numbers. There were some claims that the names of the items matched missing children, although that could be a coincidence since thousands of children go missing each year.
On Friday, Wayfair said there was "no truth" to the theory. "The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced," the company said. "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."