Anyone been asked to review stuff online (e.g. on Youtube or blogs)?

I have a moderately successful YouTube channel (small stuff really: 5k subscribers) - I recently got a flurry of contacts from representatives of online Chinese electronics/gift retailers, asking me if I’d review some of their products.

My immediate concerns were that they would either expect only favourable reviews, or would ask me to do something that would ultimately compromise my good standing at YouTube in some way - but neither of these fears came true. I reviewed a few cheapish products they sent me - but ultimately, found the whole thing a bit time-consuming and slightly distracting from the production of my regular content.

One thing that happened recently - my contact at one company changed jobs (to another, almost identical company with an almost identical website) and in his new job, he’s been trying to persuade me to buy stuff to review (rather than sending me free samples), accompanied by vague promises about free stuff in the future. I haven’t gone along with this, primarily because I can’t afford to do that anyway.

Anyway… just wondering if anyone else has any stories to tell about this sort of scenario - especially if you’re further down the road with it than I have so far gone. What has been your experience?