Friday, 2 August 2013

In praise of the haul video


I think haul videos must be my ultimate guilty pleasure in life. In case you haven't seen one of these videos before let me explain: they are youtube videos where (mainly) girls get home from a shopping trip and show you everything they have bought. No review or anything, as they just bought them, just pretty much 'Here's this cool things that I bought. Now here's this next cool thing...' So far, so materialistic and shallow right?

But somehow I just cannot get enough of them! I don't know why but I love them. It definitely appeals to the material girl in me. I admit I like seeing new stuff looking all pretty and shiny and unworn. I think it actually gives me a similar sort of buzz to actually going shopping and buying the things myself, just without spending any of my own money. This is a win for me, but obviously less good for the girl on the other side of the camera who's just spend a lot of her own hard earned cash to give me that buzz.

I do think there is a risk that these videos do encourage people to go out and buy tons of things without thinking about the cost, or whether they actually need them. It doesn't have that effect on me (like I say, I find watching them almost a shopping substitute) but I can imagine there are people out there who feel they have to spend lots of money so that they too can become a youtube haul sensation which isn't really great, or who come to think it is normal to buy loads of stuff all the time because that's what they appear to see everyone else doing.

I am definitely conflicted. I don't really think that haul videos are going to bring about the ultimate corruption of society (which appears to be the majority opinion in all the articles about them out there!) but equally there is a reason I consider them a guilty pleasure, rather than just a pleasure.

Apparently the more male appropriate version is the unboxing video, where people video themselves taking their new shiny technical gadget out of the box and setting it up. I can't say that appeals to me as much watching a make up and beauty haul, but I feel it's necessary to point out these things are not just limited to women only!

Probably my favourite haulers are Essiebutton and Zoella. I think with both of them I feel like yes, they are posting haul videos, but they don't come across as people with a shopping addiction. At the end of the day I don't think there is anything unhealthy about splurging every now and then if you can afford it, I guess the bit that seems weird and showing off to a lot of people is the part where they film it so the whole world can see, but if so then I am just as bad as I love watching them!

I don't think I'd ever film one myself, partly because I hate being on video, but mainly because I don't really do shopping hauls. I tend to buy one or two things at a time, but rarely loads in one go. Maybe that's part of the appeal, because it is so different to the way I personally shop.

What about you? Do you love hauls, or hate them?


Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

I feel the same way about hauls, I do enjoy watching them and see them as a quilty pleasure. But I do understand why some people don't like them.

But like you said, I could never do one myself because even if I do some shopping from time to time I usually buy 2-4 items at a time, never 10-15 things on one shopping trip (the only exception is when I travel).

Great post!

Maria Fallon said...

I rarely watch Youtube videos but I know a lot of people do! I love the sound of unboxing videos too, they sound really fun :)

Maria xxx

Matthew Pike said...

You know what, I just don't like the word. I've never even heard anyone say it in real life other than using it in the more hauling some up a hill type way

Sherin said...

I love haul videos too! They're so much fun to watch. I'm so nosey so I always enjoy seeing what other people buy.

little henry lee said...

at the end of the day of course it's materialistic to video all the things you bought or to watch a video like that that someone else has made, but it's up to each individual to have enough sense to take care of their own finances and be responsible, and i'm sure most people are able to do that well enough. anyway, i love a good haul video! haha.

little henry lee

SabinePsynopsis said...

This is such a weird concept... I get more and more annoyed by the commercial(ised) side of blogs/social media, but then I'm as curious as anyone... hence I might totally fall for them.

Anonymous said...

Essie Button is my guilty pleasure because I love her accent and she seems very personable but other than her I don't really watch YouTube/haul videos.

I think there is a real danger that videos like this encourage viewers (bloggers in particular) to buy more - that they need to spend lots or buy a large volume of things to compete in the blogging arena. I've read several posts and tweets about people joking that they'll get into financial difficulties if they keep spending their money on clothes/beauty products.

Kimberlee said...

haha the male version. Yeah I definitely see people's point about encouraging too much shopping. I think haul videos are good to show when you've SAVED money. Not like "hey look I just dropped hundreds of dollars on all this stuff" but rather "I saved $35 and got ALL this." If that makes sense.

I haven't done a "haul" post in quite awhile... so that shows I've been lagging on my shopping haha but I did some mini nail polish ones because I buy too much polish. I also like to add reviews to hauls so that someone can see if they want to purchase that item. I'd look up an item and see if another blogger reviewed it before purchasing. Blogging is about sharing your opinions so we should do more of it.

PinkBow said...

oooh i am with you here, i'm really into watching youtube videos at the moment too