Earlier this year I decided that I had to get a new carry-on luggage bag.  The one I had wasn’t holding up well and really didn’t offer much in the way of functionality.  So I started doing some research online for a suitable bag that offered the space and features I wanted, but that still looked good.  It was really harder than I thought it would be, and after looking for a few weeks both on and offline, I really hadn’t found a carry-on that excited me.

Then I saw this post from Chris Brogan.  In that post, Chris gave a video review of his carryon bag, the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22.  I had found my bag.  Chris told how he loved the bag, and how Mitch Joel had turned him on to it.  Now I know and like Chris, so that alone got me looking at the bag.  But both Chris and Mitch do more traveling than I do, so if the bag would work for them, it would work for me.

So I decided to get the Tarmac 22, and I noticed Chris had added an affiliate link so you could buy the bag off Amazon.  I definitely wanted to use Chris’ affiliate link for the purchase, cause I wanted him to make a few bucks off the sale, as a way of showing appreciation for him ‘showing’ me the bag.  I tried to use the link in Chris’ post but it wasn’t working, so I contacted him and he gave me a new link, which I used when I purchased the Tarmac 22.

I absolutely LOVE this bag.  I used it on a work trip and packed a complete 3 day dress wardrobe, plus a jacket and sports coat.  I probably could have gotten 5-7 day’s worth of clothes if I had to. 

So I am elated with my bag, and I was able to see that Chris got paid a few bucks for showing me the bag.  And that latter part is important, because Chris had created content that had led to a sale for Amazon, so he deserved to get a cut of that money.

But the process seemed entirely too clunky for me, and really Chris did all the work.  He had to create the video review, insert it in a blog post, then get set up with Amazon to get an affiliate link he could use.  You would think that by 2010 that companies would be doing a better job of leveraging social media tools to facilitate C2C transactions.  Nettwerk Music’s Terry McBride was talking about how music labels should move toward paying consumers for P2P recommendations via digital technologies at least four years ago.  Goodstorm was offering a way for bloggers to get paid for sales they generate from their blog as early as 2006.  But for the most part, companies don’t seem to be in a hurry to leverage social and mobile technologies to empower customers to sell to each other.

Why is this?  Enabling customers to more easily sell to each other would obviously increase revenue AND lower marketing costs.  I am constantly asking my Twitter network to give me advice on a purchase decision, and am constantly making purchases based on their feedback.  I want the ability to compensate the person that convinced me to purchase the item.  And that ability should be baked into the buying process.

Am I way off base here?  It seems like a no-brainer that companies would want to leverage social and mobile channels to facilitate consumer-to-consumer transactions, and giving consumers a share of the purchase seems like a wonderful way to incentivize the exchange. 

What do y’all think?

Author:  Mack Collier is a Social Media Strategist who advises and trains companies on how to use social media to connect with their customers and grow their businesses. His clients include companies of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. You can learn more about Mack and his services at his website – http://www.mackcollier.com and you can follow him on Twitter @MackCollier.