Introduction to Cosway MLM Compensation Plan
Hi, my name is Brian, and this is my Cosway review. I am writing this Cosway review as a guest post on my brother Brad’s blog, Notebook Crazy. I have been reading Brad’s blog with interest, and I came to the conclusion that you guys already know a lot about me, just based on what Brad wrote. (Most of it is accurate. I am much better looking than he makes me sound, though.)
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this Cosway review, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts with you about this blog and about multilevel marketing (MLM) in general. First of all, I like the idea of writing a “thinking man’s MLM review blog.” I teach high school English, and I like to think that Mr. Kartoffel does a pretty good job of teaching his students to write, so I am not here to complain about Americans’ writing skills in general. I know there are lots of teachers whose hobby is blogging about how much their students stink at writing, but that’s not me. (My hobby is collecting vinyl records, but then, if you have been reading Brad’s reviews, you already knew that.) If you want to see bad writing, some of the worst writing on the whole Internet is on MLM review sites. The lack of attention paid to punctuation, spelling, syntax, and worst of all, logic is absolutely astounding. I was at the New Year’s party at the house of my other brother Bryce, where Brad and his friend the other Brad sat at the hors d’oeuvre table all night and talked about their plans to write an MLM review blog. I always thought it was a great idea. My brother Brad is a great writer, so I knew his blog would be interesting. I was also there, a few days earlier, when we went to watch The Big Short in the movie theater. By New Year’s Eve, Brad had been beside himself for days. He only gets that mad as a preliminary step to starting a big project, so I knew it had to turn into something.
Anyway, there are three details about this blog that I especially like, and they may not be what you think. Sure, the classic rock stories and movie trivia are kind of fun, but those things are a dime a dozen on the Internet; I don’t count them among what is special about this blog. First, I like it that each post on this blog follows an outline; as a writing teacher, I can tell you that organizing your writing before you actually write is very important. Second, I like it that Brad never comes right out and says where in the Midwest we are, although locals who read carefully enough can probably figure it out. It kind of makes the world of Notebook Crazy feel like the world of The Simpsons, which intentionally sends mixed messages about the location of Springfield. Finally, I find it entertaining that Brad made our kayfabe last name “Kartoffel.”
Now about multilevel marketing (MLM). While I fully supported Brad’s decision to write this blog, I always thought that getting involved in a product-based MLM scheme was a mistake. I was one of the relatives who cringed when Brad showed up to Thanksgiving dinner at our grandma’s house with his car packed full of boxes of fungus coffee. My wife is a nurse, and her coworkers and patients have tried to sell her all kinds of MLM products, usually energy drinks and meal replacement shakes. (My wife is neither obese nor particularly lethargic.) Now, she works for a gastroenterology practice, so there isn’t so much MLM hustle, but when she worked in the hospital, oh, brother! I can definitely understand how working as a nurse in the hospital would make you wish for a job that did not involve nearly so much standing up, stress, and bodily fluids, but what I don’t understand is why MLM nutraceuticals caught on with nurses. Nurses have formal education in human physiology, but it seems like my wife’s coworkers would conveniently forget everything they knew nutrition and about unauthorized health advice as soon as a new MLM drink sachet came along and promised to make them rich. A few times, she would buy the products just to be polite. They tasted okay, but there is no convincing me that they were any different from the juice drinks and energy drinks you can buy in the supermarket.
My wife has also attended a few MLM home sales parties over the years, and I can tell you that they are not as bad as Brad makes them sound. Yes, there is pressure to buy overpriced stuff, but there is kind of an unwritten rule that if you attend one party and make a purchase, you have done your part. Besides, I can imagine that some people might like going to an MLM sales party because it gives them a chance to socialize with their neighbors or coworkers. I can see why it would get annoying if you have a friend who keeps pressuring you to attend more and more parties and buy more and more stuff, and MLM parties are definitely less fun than, say, tailgate parties or poker night with the guys, but I don’t agree with Brad that everyone who has an esophagus will regurgitate at the mere mention of MLM home sales parties.
Because of the abovementioned unwritten rule, among other reasons, I do not consider being an MLM distributor a viable business goal. I know a lot of people who have signed up to be MLM distributors, and most of them quit after a few months. (Upon reading Brad’s posts on this site, it makes sense that they started strong trying to get a Fast Start Bonus, but then fizzled.) A few people stuck with it for more than a year, but nobody got rich. One of Grace’s coworkers drank a proprietary MLM “pink drink” at work every day for more than a year after dropping out of the MLM that distributed said pink drink. Her reason for doing this was that she had gotten tons of the stuff (see Brad’s rants about autoship) and decided that, since she had already paid for it, she might as well drink it. (I can only imagine that she had tried to persuade her husband and children to join her in consuming the pink drink, but that they had refused.) That is probably the best way for Brad to get rid of all of his leftover fungus coffee, but I don’t see that happening. Brad hates fungus.
Cosway: The Company and Its Products
Cosway is a Malaysian company; it is based in Kuala Lumpur. The Cosway website makes much of the fact that the company’s main offices are housed in an impressive Kuala Lumpur skyscraper. I read the English version of the Cosway website; those who are so inclined may also wish to read it in Mandarin and Malaysian. Cosway is part of an even larger company called Berjaya Group.
The Cosway website listed quite a few different Cosway products. There are seven different product lines. Most of them are the usual categories of MLM merchandise, like nutritional supplements, cosmetics, and household cleaning products. The most interesting product line, I thought, was Car Care. It has things like tire polish, car shampoo, engine oil, and rain repellent. When I was reading the list of Cosway products, I couldn’t help but notice that the Cosway website uses British spellings.
The Cosway Compensation Plan
The Membership page of the Cosway website mentions that the Cosway business opportunity uses a network marketing business model, and that most Cosway distributors sell Cosway products as an adjunct to their main job, rather than relying on the Cosway business opportunity as their only source of income. The Membership Page does contain a heading that says “financial freedom,” but compared to the websites of some of the other MLM companies Brad has reviewed, the Cosway website rates very low for hype.
I downloaded the English version of the Cosway compensation plan document from the Bonus Plan tab on the Membership page of the Cosway website. The Cosway compensation plan is 21 pages long. It says that all the Cosway products you sell give you points of both Silver Volume and Gold Volume, which are counted toward different types of bonuses. Certain bonuses require the Cosway distributor to have at least two “branches” of downline. You can build an unlimited number of branches in your downline sales team.
All of the currency amounts listed in the Cosway compensation plan are given in Malaysian ringgits. I have to admit that this was the first time I had ever heard of the Malaysian ringgit. I looked it up to see how much it is worth, and one Malaysian ringgit is equal to about 25 US cents. The Cosway compensation plan document ends with several pages of terms and conditions. According to the terms and conditions of the Cosway compensation plan, only citizens and permanent residents of Malaysia are eligible to join the Cosway business opportunity and become Cosway distributors. If you have an immediate family member who is a Cosway distributor, then your relative must sponsor you, instead of another Cosway distributor sponsoring you.
Cosway distributors must abide by the prices that the Cosway company sets for Cosway products; they cannot add to the markup in order to enrich themselves or reduce the price in order to undercut their competitors, other Cosway distributors. The Cosway compensation plan also specifies that Cosway distributors cannot attempt to persuade other Cosway distributors to join network marketing businesses other than Cosway. Apparently, this is a big problem in the MLM world; it has led to a lot of scandals and lawsuits for some of the other companies that Brad has reviewed on this site. Perhaps my favorite part of the Cosway compensation plan document is item 22 of the Members’ Responsibilities section. It says, “Cosway strictly prohibits the purchase of products in unreasonable amounts primarily for the purposes of qualifying for earnings, incentives, or advancements in the Cosway Bonus Plan.” That sentence should be sufficient to nip the year’s supply of pink drink problem in the bud.
I think that the Cosway compensation plan sounds pretty sensible.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The Cosway headquarters building in Kuala Lumpur looks really cool.
- I like it that Cosway distributors can sell Cosway products in stores, market stalls, or any of various other locations approved by the parent company. To me, that sounds a little more like franchising or just plain retail than it does the sleazy world of MLM.
- The Cosway compensation plan documents give conflicting information about whether the Cosway business opportunity is available only in Malaysia, as the Terms and Conditions document says, or also in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, like the Membership page of the Cosway website says.
- This is just a quibble, but the Cosway website does look a bit old-fashioned. They are redoing it, though, so a new Cosway website should be up soon.
This is a tough call. Cosway definitely sounds like a legitimate company, but it sounds like the Cosway business opportunity is only available in Malaysia and possibly also in a few other Asian countries. I guess, if you live in the United States, it’s a moot point.
Anyway, thanks, everybody. I really enjoyed writing this Cosway review. It really was fun reading about a Malaysian business, which is something I knew nothing about before I started researching this Cosway review. Good luck with your entrepreneurship, whatever business opportunity you end up choosing.
And one more thing. If you want to talk more about MLM and its alternatives, such as Internet marketing and other online businesses, schedule a call with Brad. You can schedule a call by clicking the “schedule a call” banner at the top of this post.