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What is a Haul Video?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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A haul video is a video displaying the fruits of a shopping trip which someone uploads to the Internet. Haul videos may be used by bloggers to connect with their readers and community, and they are also used to generate communities of their own. Haul video bloggers or vloggers as they are known can attract substantial numbers of followers who watch their videos, comment on them, and sometimes film video responses.

This type of video is most commonly made by a young woman, with teenagers being the biggest demographic of haul video creators. The maker of the video goes on a shopping trip, opting to go to several retailers or just one, and then returns home to make a video discussing the purchases made on the trip. Haul videos can also integrate a tutorial aspect; for example, a Black teen might make a video to provide makeup tips to other Black teens who are having trouble finding good makeup for their skin tone.

The haul video is sometimes described as “unboxing for girls,” referencing another popular video phenomenon in which people video the process of unboxing a new purchase, classically an electronics purchase. Both types of videos probably originated in online communities where members wanted to share new things which excited them with each other, and gradually expanded to more public video sharing sites where entire communities developed around specific vloggers.

In a haul video, the videomaker may talk about frustrations encountered during the shopping trip, such as trouble finding a pair of jeans which fit, and the vlogger may also talk about sales and other special events. Haul vloggers with sponsorships may specifically reference or promote sponsors during the segment, or offer access to special promotions to fans. For companies which provide sponsorships, they are an excellent form of low-cost marketing; in exchange for a few free garments or a discount card, a haul vlogger can talk up a store to thousands and sometimes millions of viewers.

Researchers who are interested in the changing ways in which the Internet is utilized and people interact with each other may cite the haul video as one example of how the Internet has changed social interaction. Historically, young women commonly showed off their hauls in person to friends, parents, and roommates. Today, they may be more inclined to post a haul video which will reach not only friends and family, but people all over the world who may be interested in the vlogger's life or opinions on fashion.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

By Sinbad — On Sep 28, 2011

I don't really watch too many haul video's, but from the sounds of things maybe I should start. I haven't watched haul videos because I thought it would mostly just be a lot of people showing off their extravagant things, which is nice if you have money to spare, but not of interest to me, because I do not have much money to spare.

I do not have a lot of income, so besides grocery shopping I do not do a lot of shopping. It would be interesting to see some of the money-saving haul video's, so I can save as much money as possible every time I grocery shop.

Maybe after I learn how to save as much as possible grocery shopping, I will be able to afford some things that I want, not just what I need! Hopefully I will be able to go shopping for other things besides groceries after watching some of these savvy shoppers' haul videos!

By David09 — On Sep 27, 2011

@miriam98 - I like watching some of these coupon shopping programs on television. You have this person they call an “extreme” coupon shopper who goes on a shipping trip, and with her coupons, instant savings, rebates and every other trick in the book, manages to reduce a $200 shopping haul into $10 or less.

They bring the stuff home and let you see everything they bought and how they were able to save so much money. Some of these people have managed to build their own storehouses of stuff with their shopping hauls, and have donated some of it to pantry bins and other charities.

I am very impressed with how they can pull this kind of stuff off. I manage only a few coupons here and there for modest savings with my shopping trips; I guess it would be a full time job to produce the kind of haul – and savings – that these shoppers do.

By miriam98 — On Sep 27, 2011

I’ve watched many haul videos online without really knowing what they were called. Since I do a lot of work with computers, electronics and even some video production, I always like reading a good review of a product to determine if I should buy it.

What's better than a written review is a video demonstration. I’ve watched many online videos of people who have “unboxed” new electronics purchases, and briefly demonstrated the item.

The term “unboxing” is accurate. The user will begin by literally unpacking the item from its original packing, box, papers and all, and proceed from there to demonstrate the item.

I’ve seen equipment video demonstrations, like those of camcorder microphones. Video is ideal for these kinds of reviews because the real test is in the sound, so the video maker will do an onscreen test of the microphone so that I can hear for myself the quality of the microphone.

By KaBoom — On Sep 27, 2011

@JaneAir - I hate to be a spoilsport, but this practice actually sounds kind of dangerous to me.

Think about it. If you make a video, everyone knows what you look like. Do you really think it's a good idea to advertise that you just spent a bunch of money on a bunch of stuff? I think this is especially true if your "haul" is a bunch of designer things.

I think it would be too easy for someone to see the video, figure out where the person lives, and then come rob them of all their shiny new things. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but I think it's better to err on the side of caution.

By JaneAir — On Sep 26, 2011

I think the whole vlogging thing is pretty darn awesome. It's so much more personal to see someone on video talking than just reading that they wrote online. So much is lost when you write something rather than say it!

I can totally understand why young women are the ones that post "haul videos" the most, too. I know it's kind of a stereotype, but hey, I'm a woman so I can admit it: a lot of women love to shop! And what could be more satisfying than showing off your purchases to the world!

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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