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Fact Check-High children’s clothing prices due to seller error, Walmart explains

Some social media users are sharing screenshots and video clips showing sky-high children’s clothing prices on Walmart’s website, alleging they are a sign the U.S. retail giant is involved in child trafficking. They put forward no evidence to back up their allegations. A Walmart representative told Reuters that over-priced items were usually the result of errors by third-party sellers and that it took immediate action to correct them.

The claims are reminiscent of the viral human trafficking reports targeting furniture retailer Wayfair in July 2020. Reuters found the claims to be false, with the debunk viewable here .

Examples of social media posts with the allegations against Walmart can be seen in a Facebook post here and captioned: “Look at these prices. It’s called child trafficking. Go to Walmart search items over $5000. Most items are sold by I & S merchandise LLC. Most only have one left. Wayfair is another place that does it.” Another post seen here bears the caption “Y’all better keep up with your kids! They may end up for sale on Walmart or Wayfair website. People that don’t think child trafficking is real and I’m crazy to post this....move along. I’m sharing in case there is any truth to this and expose the evil of this world.”

On Aug. 8, 2021, social media users and blogs (archive.is/Sh0jZ) began sharing screenshots and video clips of children’s clothing items listed on Walmart.com. One example on Rumble can be seen archived here (archive.is/9etIX). The video shows children’s clothing priced from $5,000 USD to $9,999 USD. It provides no evidence for claims of human trafficking outside of the unusually high prices of the children’s clothing. In a search for children’s clothing around this cost bracket on the store’s website Reuters discovered one remaining item (visible here: archive.is/3bWjR ).

When asked about the allegations, a Walmart spokesperson told Reuters via email that incorrectly priced items “most often happen due to simple errors by sellers when items are loaded.” They said that the items in question were flagged by Walmart’s team and that the retail giant “immediately took steps to remove them from the site and address the issues with the sellers.”

“Any allegation to the contrary is simply untrue,” they added.

As of Aug. 11, 2021, the incorrectly priced items are no longer visible on the Walmart website.

The sellers (“I&S Merchandise” “Bosleyshop” and “Dajo Co”) did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

VERDICT

Misleading. A Walmart representative said the over-priced children’s items pictured were posted in error by the sellers.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  . 

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