Monday, October 31, 2011

Oct. 31 - Haul vs. Review

I've been asked several times "What is a 'haul'?"  A 'haul' is just a showing of what you got on your recent shopping spree or in your latest order.  Hauls are not really reviews because the items are usually being shown before they've been tried out.  It's the thrill of "Look what I got!" 

A review is your opinion of products that you have used and are familiar with.  You wouldn't give your opinion of a book before you read it, would you?  No, just like when I get new soaps I can oooh and aah about how pretty they are or how lovely they smell, but an actual review would not come until much later after I'd had a chance to really use that soap in the shower and see how it performed, how my skin felt, etc.

I much prefer hauls over reviews, and you may have noticed I rarely even do actual reviews here.  With a haul you can see how the product comes to you, how it's packaged, if any other goodies come with it, initial reactions.  With a haul you might get an idea of how fast or slow the shipping was, or what the price was, or how customer service was . . . and you might get that info in a review too.  But I like the fun of the sort of excited show-n-tell of hauls because you're just seeing what's presented without the strong personal opinions of a full review.

If I see something in a haul that I know just isn't what I'm looking for, I already know I don't need to concern myself with it further.  If there is something I was considering ordering but then see in someone's haul that it's way smaller/larger or ugly or something other than I thought, I know I probably won't order it.  If it's something I think is still really cool or something I might not have considered before, I might go ahead and order.

A review, on the other hand, is so subjective.  (Or is relative the word I'm looking for?)  If I were to review a goat milk soap in lavender scent and said I hated it because I hate lavender scents, that doesn't mean the soap is bad for everyone.  Maybe you love lavender scents.  If I reviewed that soap saying the lather was weak and barely lasted, well there are a lot of things to consider in that.  My water is very hard.  Maybe yours isn't.  I prefer huge amounts of lather because I've been spoiled by commercial body washes.  Maybe you prefer a soap that just gets the job done without bubbles galore.  If I review a candle and say it's weak because I can't smell it in the next room . . . I have huge rooms in my old country farmhouse.  Maybe you are in a small apartment.

See what I mean?  Even if I had a horrible experience with a product and reviewed it that way, doesn't mean you would.  Example, the one time I ordered from Bath & Body Works online it took extra long to get my order, only to find out *I* had screwed up and switched some numbers around in my address.  If I reviewed a candle and whined about how it tunneled and the wick sucked, and then found out that I should have burned it for longer periods at a time . . . maybe that's something you already know and that candle would have been great for you.  If I review a soap that I complain leaves me dry and itchy, maybe your skin type is totally different than mine and that soap would be fine.

So you see why I prefer hauls?  I'm showing you what you'll get, with the basic information about it provided, without delving too deeply into my very personal opinions.

Having said all that, I am not against doing reviews at all.  I just don't prefer reading or watching them.  If there is ever anything you'd like to see a full review on, feel free to let me know!  :)


  1. Your two OK Go CDs! Kidding ...
    You said anything.

  2. Wouldn't you be surprised if I actually did it? :P