So this company ICStation had been trying to reach me for a couple of months, until one of their messages finally reached through Youtubes spam filters. What they were asking from me was simply that they would send me a free product that I would review on my Youtube channel. With a relatively small channel (about 1K subscribers), this was the first time I got an offer like this and so I gladly accepted. Two months later, I managed to push out the review on my channel:

Well, I can already say that I am not totally happy with the outcome of that video. Two weeks after receiving the product I had to move away for work, so I had to do get the recording done in these two weeks. I did all my recording in one night, and only reviewed the footage afterwards when I did not have the possibility to record anymore. As a result, the video ended quite abruptly but when editing I managed to finish up with a screenshot of the product page and some audio commentary.

If I would have paid for the product myself, I could just have held on publishing the review until I got the opportunity to do some more recording, or simply skip publishing it if I were not happy with the results. This time this was not an option, as the company started to put pressure on me after two months had already passed without them hearing anything from me.

Another dilemma for me is of couse that I need to keep objective when reviewing sponsored products. While I personally do not believe I have any trouble with that, how can I be so sure my viewers can trust the review when they know I got the product for free? When the company also asks me to include a coupon code in my review, I am afraid my viewers could suspect even more reason to be suspicious.

In order to have a view of the effect of this review, we have set coupon code for your fans. Plz add it in your description so that your fans can get it clearly. Below is the details of the code.

Code: Salics
Discount Amount: 10%
Max Use: 1
No Min Order
Started Date: 14th Jun, 2015
Ended Date: 14th Sept, 2015

?????????

Well I guess I am a too nice person, so instead of refusing the promo code, I just hid it in the description so that you have to click "Show more" to discover it.

So if you would also end up in a situation where a company asks you to review one of their product and in return you get to keep it, I suggest you consider the following:

  • Will you be able to make a review of the product that your followers will find interesting?
  • Are you going to be as inspired if a company is putting pressure on you to get the review out quickly, as you would be if you did not have anyone pressuring you?
  • If the review does not turn out as you would like, are you ready to turn down the company that sent you the product?
  • How do you handle a situation where the company wants things that were not initially agreed upon, like giving out a promo code to your followers?
I can only speak for myself, and I'd have to answer "no" to three of the four questions.

What do you think when you see someone posting a promo code? Will you be happy because you can get a discount, or will you take the review/article less seriously as the author is sponsored and not independent? Share your opinions in the comments below!