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.