How do you turn down free items from Amazon that companies are literally throwing at reviewers, just because you have left well written, passionate and knowledgeable reviews about the items you have purchased? Answer? YOU DON'T!You simply carefully select the type of reviewer you wish to be, update your Amazon profile, and then give the companies who send you items for review, respect. Why? Because they are sending you their products for free, you, a stranger, in the thin and flimsy hope that you won't just keep the item, sell it and never bother to write a review! You see, there's a LOT of trust that goes into a review relationship, for it is a relationship. But it is the small businesses who are sometimes just starting out who are in the most danger. Remember, it costs the company money, not just in manufacturing the item, but in sending it to you directly, in many cases since Amazon UK stopped free Super Saver Delivery on items under £20!So, to gain the Trust of ever bigger and better companies, you must remember that you are NOT there to kiss butt and give a 5 star rating to something you think is rubbish. If something is bad, or has faults, I write an email pointing out these problems, and sometimes even give suggestions. You may think this is rude, and even arrogant to a point, but companies actually respect you more, because that is the very reason they are asking for "an honest and unbiased review" when they send you a sample. So why do I have so many 5 star reviews? Sometimes the item could be 3 or 4 stars, but the customer service, and the way the company took advice and changed aspects of the item if sent back, is what earns the other stars. When a customer buys a product, they are investing in more than just the item, they are investing in the company.
I am so lucky. I love the technology and items that I get sent to review for no financial gain at all, but knowing I have helped out a product, and sometimes even a company, by writing honest yet kind and honourable words for free, gives me the warmest of feelings. I've helped people on, sometimes, the other side of the world, and I get to build up a rapport with the sales team. They become friends in a way, but friends who appreciate constructive criticism about their products, because they wish to iron out any kinks and make their items be the best they can. THAT'S all the payment I need :-) Ben Goatboy Waters.