You read it right: Hauls that make your life better. After the post on minimalism and ethical living, what makes me say that? Let me de-mystify it for you with a quick round of Q&A.
Q: Why do people even make haul videos in the first place?
A: Genuine excitement. According to BookTuber Ariel Bissett, she makes book haul videos because she genuinely wants to share her excitement over new books with her community, because she is passionate about reading. In terms of those who makes Walmart/Tesco hauls, I doubt they are as passionate about toothbrushes and groceries.
Q: Don’t they all promote consumerism? Isn’t that bad?
A: As a matter of fact, consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. There are pros, and certainly cons to it. (Read this if you would like to dwell into it.) Often, opinions on consumerism are polarised. As for now, we live in a society that is dependant on consumption. Not everyone DIYs or are avid homemaker. If anything, consumerism created choices, and consumers have the right to project the kind of moral and value onto what they buy. It gives ethical business a chance.
In pre-internet age, an 8-year-old me used to flip through a magazine called CHOICE published by local Consumer Council. All the specs for electronics and appliances, comparisons on different kind of body lotion and the health concerns on questionable ingredients. Moral to this story: We make choices every time we buy something, there is no escaping from consumerism. We can get better at making good choices.
Q: Where to draw the line?
A: The format of video is not the culprit here, it’s the content. What hauling is, is an act of personality sampling. You like a content creator, you want to know his/her secret to being him/her. You want to know what his/her taste is like because you can see bits of yourself in that person.
I will draw the line at “ obsessed”, “I can’t help but buy it”. What is portrayed here, is the lack of self-control. I would also recommend picking someone who knows what they are talking about. They can be passionate about skincare, books or food, and are dedicated to providing useful information through what they buy and don’t buy.
And, without further adieu, these are the 5 types of Haul that are actually useful.
Personally, I am not a best-seller reader (That’s the most hipster thing I’ve ever said in my life.) Bookshops and reading culture in Hong Kong is different to what I was used to in London. This is when book hauls + Book Depository comes in handy. Among BookTubers, Ariel Bissett and Books and Quills are closest to my taste.
As an avid K-beauty user, I am always excited to find out about new brands that align with my value. With this, I only trust those who absolutely know what they are talking about. So far, both Gothamista's and Liah Yoo’s recommendation has been 100% spot on.
Liah Yoo's Channel
Farmer’s Market Hauls
This is an interesting take on the genre. Sometimes some people get really excited about seasonal fresh produce and excited about what meals they can make from it. I happened to dig that.
Laura's Farmers Market haul
Cam and Nina's Market haul
The other thing haul can help with, is that it points you in the right direction. Finding things you need on iHerb, like some other massive online directories, can be overwhelming. These hauls help cut down searching time.
Lauren Toyota's pantry staple
Bottom line (Final minimalist thought: ) All that, just to say: learn to make wiser decisions. Place ethical values over bargain. It's not how much you buy, it's more like how well can you spend your money.