Haul videos – can you earn a living from shopping?

bethany-mota

If this sounds like the dream job for you, read on …

You may have been living under a rock for the past few years and not heard of the online phenomena known as haul videos. In short, a haul video is a parade of your latest shopping spree, filmed and uploaded to Youtube.

Imagine coming home from a Saturday at the shops, opening your bags and giving a running commentary with store names and prices throw in, all while you’re being filmed. Then upload the footage to your favourite video site.

That’s your haul video.

Said to have been around since around 2007, if you go to youtube and do a search for haul you’ll get returned around 8.7 million videos. That’s an awful lot of shopping.

As the craze exploded, commercial interest has also grown and many beauty and fashion retailers now work with popular bloggers (or vloggers) to sponsor videos (with prize giveaways and freebies) and encourage haul hosts to showcase and review their products. This low cost marketing strategy is said to be paying dividends. A recent google study indicated 4 out 10 viewers who watched a haul video, then went on to visit the store mentioned – either in person or online.

That’s a pretty handy hit rate.

Haul videos are generally pretty positive in terms of reviews (let’s face it, who’s going to give a bad rap to something they’ve just bought for themselves, or been given for free?) and so retail marketers feel it’s a safe environment to showcase their wares.

The channel has grown to such a point that some young (mostly female) entrepreneurs are now turning what was once a hobby into a career, and very successfully too.
Caitlin Ellsworth, aka Glamourist16, is part of this new breed of fashion influencers and works with 15 companies including Seventeen Magazine and several YouTube beauty channels.
“You can definitely make a lot,” Ellsworth says. “Some girls are making six figures. So, it can definitely be a good job.”
From the ads alone placed around the videos on a Youtube channel, popular haul hosts can generate thousands of dollars a month.

No article on haul videos would be complete without mentioning the queen of haul, 18-year old Bethany Mota.

Mota’s most popular Youtube channel has more than 5 million subscribers. Her down-to-earth, bubbly, positive style is said to be the big attraction for her audience of tween girls. Mota doesn’t do high-end shopping (that wouldn’t be authentic for your average 18 year old) but rather shows off her hauls from Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, H&M and Aeropostale. It is the latter company who have struck a deal with Mota to launch her own fashion label. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed but it will surely be icing on the cake for Mota who is reputed to be earning in excess of half a million dollars a year already from her Youtube videos alone.

Not bad work for a bit of shopping.

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