Social media has been overwhelmed this month with allegations against the furniture retailer, Wayfair, for human trafficking through its online store. The allegations claim that Wayfair is using overpriced storage cabinets on its website as a front for trafficking children. Using this example, we want to share how vital it is that consumers research where claims originate and if there is substantial evidence behind them.
The allegation is based on the prices and names of certain items.
At the time, Wayfair issued a statement about the allegations, writing in an email, “There is, of course, no truth to these claims. The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced.”
The company went on to explain that the items were removed from the site: “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.”
Mentions of Wayfair and “trafficking” have exploded on Facebook and Instagram over the past week.
Some social media posts pointed to the high cost of the storage cabinets — which sell for about $13,000 each — as suspect. Wayfair, however, said the steel structures were priced correctly for industrial use. They did not address why these items were advertised by names linked to missing women/children.
As we have seen in the past, we know there are many websites capable of human trafficking. It has not been uncommon to find an underlying meaning hidden within the product description of an item.
As for Wayfair, the company denies any association to human trafficking. However, many continue to speculate.
The idea of a furniture company selling children is unsettling—and it’s entirely understandable that people would hear these allegations and become upset.
However, as consumers it is crucial that we look deeper into allegations and theories on the internet before posting or re-posting said claims. It is important to check sources because there are so many which are unreliable online. Due diligence is vital to ensure that false allegations do not persist. The ultimate goal in sharing well researched stories is to highlight the evil that is being done in the realm of sex trafficking so that we can take action to end it.