Boston based online home goods e-commerce giant Wayfair, quickly shot down unsubstantiated claims from conspiracy theorists that its pricey storage cabinets could be a cover for human trafficking.
The conspiracy theory took off across social media Friday after a Reddit user pointed out the high price of four storage cabinets that have human names.
The cabinets—named Neriah, Yaritza, Samiyah, and Alyvia—go for between $12,699.99 and $14,499.99 on the Wayfair site.
“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,” user PrincessPeach1987 posted to Reddit on Thursday.
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 🙁 from r/conspiracy
“There is, of course, no truth to these claims,” Wayfair said in a statement to Newsweek.
Wayfair’s statement continued: “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 conspiracy theory has been elaborated on other social media platforms, particularly Twitter, expanding on the original post and its assertion that very expensive or overpriced cabinets with human names is in itself evidence of human trafficking conducted more or less in the open, with Wayfair offering humans for sale under the guise of selling cabinetry.
In chat conversations with Newsweek, PrincessPeach1987 described seeking out garage storage with their husband when they came across the expensive cabinet listings. While they at first surmised that they may have stumbled across unlisted drop shipping sales, Facebook posts also suspicious of the pricey listings made them more inclined to listen to their suspicions that there may be something more to the listings.
PrincessPeach1987, who declined to reveal their non-redditor identity, described themselves as “involved in a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking,” which has led her to be “suspicious most of the time now.” They characterized their Reddit post as less of a direct accusation and more of an effort to “see if anyone else had more details.”