I was checking out reviews on stainless steel lunchboxes and came across this blog post. What a great concept - the 'no swag' approach. So the idea being if a company asks you to review it's product and you accept, then you receive the product, review it (warts, lipstick and all) and then either donate the product to another family, to charity or someone else you know can use it other than yourselves OR you 'pay your way' for that item. You pay the company directly as if you'd purchased it yourself, you give the equivalent amount to charity (floods, bushfire appeals, Red Cross etc) or something along those lines - it means you're not 'benefiting'... not in the way that most people think of.
You are because you get to share information and be helpful (which I think is a good thing to be), but you're not in the 'materialistic' sense. I guess the flip side is well, some people are ok with benefitting from reviews in a material sense, and I guess that's just as valid but it comes down to what you're okay with, personally. So for me, the 'no swag approach' would work well. For others it's something they don't feel is warranted, which is equally a choice.
It's a GREAT idea. It means that you're not just saying you 'love' a product because you got it for free. It adds, I think, a little bit more integrity to your review and I think that counts. Of course, you can always decline an offer of item in the first place if it's completely outside your 'vision' and values for your life, but you know what I mean. Great idea. It's not anything I need to worry about particularly because I haven't been given anything to review lol but I thought it was a nice blog-find :)