An AM accepting merch as a pay-out for open doesn't effect the purse for open.. In fact I'm sure it makes the sponsoring company more money.. Right? am I reading your posts correctly Josse & Tank?
If I took 2nd place in an event that pays $1000-$750-$500, I would be able at the TD's discretion receive $750 in "stuff/schwag", the TD then moves on. It does affect the payout, because the TD can point out that they paid out $750 to the player in prizes in lieu of cash, only needing to report it on the TD report to the PDGA.
It then makes the TD/Tourney money as they give out full retail pricing of $750 for items that probably cost $500. SO they make $250, which is ok to make money, that isn't the issue.
The issue for the "pro's" is that it does hurt the bottom line in that another pro misses getting paid, which is the crux of the argument that the Grow our SPort thread is about.