Re: Reviewers & vendors
The only thing I received for free that I "reviewed" was the coffee that John sent me. I actually won that in a little contest and I didn't really review it per say. I did feel obligated in a way to mention that I received the coffee, I mean he did a cool thing for us by giving away the coffee so I felt it fair to mention it publicly that he did it. I gave my honest opinion of the coffee and it just so happens that I liked it. If I hadn't liked it I would have said so.
Personally, if I did receive something for free from a vendor and it was obvious the vendor wanted a review, I would mention that fact and I would give my honest opinion. If giving a negative review means no more free stuff for me, so be it. I didn't start making videos so that I could "get free stuff", I started making videos here because I used to make videos in another "internet life" and I enjoy doing it. Getting into hookah just gave me an excuse to start making videos again.
This is all a matter of integrity both on the part of the reviewer AND the vendor. If a vendor wants someone to plug their products, they can easily find people that are willing to do so. If a reviewer is only doing reviews in order to receive "free stuff" it will most likely become obvious after watching a few of their reviews. I personally can't see myself doing that. Being dishonest with the people that watch my videos and more importantly with myself, just isn't worth getting free product. If a vendor does something nice for me or the community at large I will certainly mention it. If the product they provide is, in my opinion, sub-par I feel obligated to mention that also.