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A Haul refers to a YouTube video in which a vlogger shows of a collection of items from a recent shopping trip or special occasion.
One of the earliest hauls uploaded to YouTube was uploaded by YouTuber Blair Fowler (juicystar07) on April 9th, 2008. The video was a haul featuring MAC cosmetics, and as of April 2014, it has gained over 310,000 views.
Prior to the emergence of haul videos on YouTube, online shoppers have been recording and sharing videos of themselves unpackaging their newly purchased gadget products as part of another YouTube trend known as Unboxing since 2006.
“A “Haul” on Youtube is referring to when the person purchased many items while they were out shopping at stores and show what they bought and sometimes do a small review of the item."
The first entry for haul on Urban Dictionary was submitted on August 7th, 2009, by user raven L who defined it as:
“a vlog titled “Makeup Haul” or “(Store Name) Haul” is a video showing a shopping spree in that given area, showing products or clothing that will usually be featured in future How To, or tutorial videos."
Several of the most popular haul creators joined YouTube and uploaded their first haul video in 2009, including Bethany Mota, who uploaded her first haul video (below, left) on June 12th, 2009, and Missglamorazzi, who uploaded her first haul video (below, right) on December 29th, 2009.
On February 26th, 2010, Marketplace published an articled titled “The new YouTube sensation: Hauls,” which featured several commentators, including consumer culture writer Rob Walker, weighing in on the popularity of hauls.
On December 14th, 2011, humor YouTube channel Slacktory uploaded a haul video supercut. As of April 2014, the video has gained over 27,000 views.
In 2013, the phenomenon was covered by several sites. On December 3rd, 2013, Buzzfeed published an article titled “YouTube Shopper Haul Videos Have More Combined Views Than ‘Gangnam Style’.” The article focused on the boom in haul videos following Black Friday sales. On March 14th, 2013, NPR published an article titled “Showing Off Shopping Sprees, Fashion ‘Haulers’ Cash In Online.” The article focused on retailers partnering with haul creators on YouTube to promote their products.
On November 19th, 2011, YouTuber sawyerhartman uploaded a video titled “JUICYSPOOF07 – MAC HAUL ! (A beauty guru parody),” (below, left) which specifically parodies original haul creator juicystar07. As of April 2014, the video has gained over 690,000 views. On December 26th, 2006, YouTuber lohanthony uploaded a video titled “CVS HAUL (PARODY),” which pokes fun at hauls by featuring basic drugstore purchases. As of April 2014, the video has gained over 380,000 views.
51 Things in my Room
51 Things in my Room is a YouTube video fad in which people display their collection of personal items and possessions in the style of “show-and-tell.” The videos are often edited with quick cuts for each item and accompanied by music playing in the background.
Tumblr Shoplifting Community
A subgroup on the blogging site Tumblr, shoplifters also display their “hauls” in the form of carefully laid out pictures of the items they have stolen. Their blogs can also contain stories and tips about shoplifting. The mostly insular community was exposed on April 23rd, 2014, when Tumblr user we-unhallowed posted a list of blogs run by the shoplifters titled “For your hate-scrolling pleasure: Tumblr’s Bling Ring.” The list was subsequently covered by Jezebel. Many of the blogs’ names reference shoplifting, including liftwitch and liftingproblem. Some blogs claim to be fake, such as liftwitch, while others claim to be parodying real shoplifting blogs, such as liftingproblem. They often also keep a record in their about section about how much money their stolen items would total if they had been paid for. Popular tags for shoplifting hauls include #shoplift and #haul.