Sometimes, I have the good fortune to use this space to advance an arcane theory about television. Sometimes I use it to talk about a news event of interest. Today, I want to tell you about the weirdest thing I have been watching on YouTube recently.
It has to do with returns.
Amanda Mull wrote a piece for The Atlantic in October about the fact that when online purchases in particular are returned, they generally aren't worth going to the trouble of vetting, inspecting and reselling. They're sort of cursed (my word, not hers), and it's really just a problem of getting rid of them. As it turns out, one thing that can happen to them is that people order pallets of them, knowing either something or next to nothing about what they're getting, and then they open the pallets for the benefit of YouTube viewers. (These videos are not new, to be clear; they are just new to me.)
Consider HopeScope. Hope has just over a million followers as of this writing (she ran a promotion where she would give away, among other things, a Peloton when she hit a million). She buys a lot of weird stuff in different videos and shows it off: lost luggage, used Kardashian clothes, knockoff versions of movie dresses. But one of the things she does is buy pallets of Amazon returns from a liquidation site. (And Target returns, incidentally.) The merchandise comes to her in massive pallets full of mystery, and she opens the packages and sees how she fared. She tends to go for pallets that are labeled as if they're mostly clothes. Oooh, leggings! Underwear! A KFC Christmas sweater!