April 8, 2021

doTERRA MLM Review: Can You Really Make Money Selling doTERRA?

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It's likely that someone has introduced doTERRA to you recently as this "great opportunity to be your own boss". 

But you're wondering... can you really make money selling doTERRA? Or is doTERRA just a pyramid scheme scam?

First of all, I want to congratulate you on spending a few minutes researching the doTERRA MLM opportunity. 

doTERRA MLM review- is doTERRA a pyramid scheme scam

99% of MLM members lose money because they jump into them blindly. 

This honest doTERRA MLM review, with videos, will show you the pros and cons of joining the company. That way you can make an informed decision if this is right for you or not. 

doTERRA Review

The overview and rankings

Name: doTERRA

Founder: David Stirling, Emily Wright, David Hill, Corey B. Lindley, Gregory P. Cook, Robert J. Young, and Mark A. Wolfert in 2008

Type: Health & Wellness (Essential Oils) MLM Company

Products (Including Pricing): 50 out of 100

Success Stories: 1 out of 100

Price To Join MLM: $35 to join

50-100PV per month =$50+ a month (70 out of 100)

What To Look For In An MLM:

  • Low start-up fee & maintenance cost
  • High-quality affordable products
  • You don’t have to carry inventory
  • An affiliate-like system 
  • Generous compensation plan
  • Company is in the early momentum phase

doTERRA Pros

  • It has momentum
  • Natural essential oils are backed by science
  • Healing hands charity

doTERRA Cons

  • Expensive products
  • Hidden monthly expenses
  • Pyramid scheme in disguise?
  • 1% earn over $20k a year
  • doTERRA doesn't own farms

Summary: doTERRA is an MLM company that specialises in selling essential oils. It is possible to make money as an MLM distributor but most people fail.

Most doTERRA distributors end up having to buy lots of essential oils each month to "remain active" and cannot recruit anyone to join their "downline".

In reality the only way to make good money is by recruiting a large downline that can earn bonuses for you by selling. This makes doTERRA similar to a "pyramid scheme in disguise".

Make Time Online Rating: 40 out of 100 

Recommended: No

What is doTERRA?

doTERRA is a health and wellness Multi-Level-Marketing company that specialises in selling essential oils. 

It was founded in 2008 by a lot of people including some former Young Living executives. 

You will hear different reasons as to why they did this, but I can tell you it's because they realised the people that really benefit from MLM companies are those that own them... not work in them!

But, of course doTERRA offers everyday people an opportunity to work from home by selling these products!

The 4 minute video below explains more about the doTERRA story...

So you may be starting to think that this seems like a great opportunity!

But you're smart enough to realise this is just a sales video from doTERRA.

So, you're probably still wondering...

Is doTERRA a pyramid scheme?

No, doTERRA is not a pyramid scheme because their distributors can earn money by selling the products without recruiting people.

To be honest this is pretty standard for any MLM company. 

A better question to ask would be...

Is doTERRA a "pyramid scheme in disguise"?

What is a pyramid scheme?

A company that promises payment for members to recruit more people  rather than sell any product or service

These are illegal in almost every country.

It's impossible for every member to make money inside a pyramid scheme as you can see in the Wikipedia diagram below...

doTERRA does sell legit products that people use. So it's certainly not a pyramid scheme as their distributors can sell these products and make some money.

However, the truth is that it is very hard to earn any good money ($1,000+ a month) just by selling these essential oils. 

The only way people can realistically "be their own boss and work from home" is by recruiting people. This means doTERRA is very similar to a "pyramid scheme in disguise".

The 5 minute video below explains exactly how to spot these companies...

Success is rare with doTERRA

In fact, it's hard to find success inside any MLM company. 

Between 73% and 99% of all MLM representatives lose money. These are just facts from extensive studies!

MLM FTC Fact Stat

doTERRA has released previous income disclosures of their members earnings. 

They do a great job of making it seem like most people earn a lot of money.

However, when you actually digest the words in the statement you can work out that 99% of members earn less than $1,250 a year. And 64% of distributors did not earn a penny from doTERRA. 

This doesn't take into account their expenses either!

I will show you these workings out later in this doTERRA MLM review but for now let's figure out...

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How does doTERRA Work?

doTERRA "rents" out farms around the world in over 40 countries. These farms grow the ingredients that doTERRA uses for most of their products and their essential oils. 

But rather than doTERRA needing to spend tons of money on marketing and advertising they get everyday people to help do that for them.

In return these everyday people can earn commission and bonuses for selling doTERRA's products or recruiting people to help sell these products. 

So in theory, it works like a win-win!

doTERRA products

If you are serious about starting any MLM company then you will need to understand the products they offer first. 

doTERRA offers a wide range of products within the following categories:

  • Essential oils
  • Personal care
  • Supplements
  • Diffusers
  • Accessories
doTERRA essential oils

There are too many products to go into detail about all of them here, but you can find them all in the doTERRA shop

It is also important to be aware that there are other MLM companies that offer a very similar range of products like:

So what makes doTERRA stand out? 

doTERRA Essential Oils- flagship product

doTERRA's main products are their essential oils...

And you can use essential oils in different ways:

  • Diffuse the oils
  • Massage onto the skin
  • Add to food for taste
doTERRA essential oils

There are many benefits of using essential oils including:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Helping headaches and migraines
  • Improving sleep and insomnia
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Antibiotic 

There is more and more research to back up these benefits, but more testing on humans is still needed. 

One of the huge selling points for doTERRA is the “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” (CPTG) testing process:

Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own testing process, calling it CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. doTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.

However, there has also been some controversy surrounding their products.

In 2014, doTERRA received a warning from the FDA for making some pretty outrageous claims about using essential oils, such as curing the Ebola virus and cancer!

But to give credit to doTERRA, they quickly released a do’s and don’ts list for their distributors to abide by!

You can learn more about the essential oils in the 2 minute video below...

Can you really make money selling doTERRA?

It is clearly very hard to make good money by only selling doTERRA products. 

The few people that do make good money as a distributor are more like sales recruiters and managers that have an extroverted personality. They constantly add new people to their "downline".

Their income disclosure proves that the vast majority of people lose money as a doTERRA distributor. 

How can you make money selling doTERRA?

There are 2 ways that distributors can make money at doTERRA:

  1. Sell the products for a commission
  2. Recruit people and earn bonuses from the products they purchase or sell

doTERRA and most MLM companies are not outright pyramid schemes exactly because of point 2.

You do not get paid directly for recruiting people as a distributor.

You get "bonuses" for the sales your downline makes.

How much does it cost to join doTERRA?

It costs $35 to join doTERRA as a distributor. And it costs $25 a year to renew this membership.

doTERRA MLM review

you're probably thinking that's pretty good to start a "business"!

But the costs do not stop there...

doTERRA monthly cost

To be eligible to receive commissions and bonuses from the sales you and your team make you actually need to hit a monthly "sales quota"...

Can you really make money selling doTERRA?

This is 50 PV (personal volume), which is around $50 worth of products. It increases to 100 PV as you "rank up". 

If you cannot sell $50 worth of essential oils or other doTERRA products each month you will need to personally purchase the products to have a chance of "being your own boss next month". 

In reality, most people cannot sell anything at the start. 

So they spend at least $50 a month on essential oils.

Minimum expenses to allow for year 1:

  • $35
  • $50 x 12

Total cost for year 1 = $635

It's clearly much cheaper than starting a bricks and mortar business like a restaurant, but it's more than just spending $35 to start a business!

And this is before you include any other costs, such as marketing or training that you probably will need to learn to actually sell anything!

doTERRA compensation plan

For some reason most MLM companies make their compensation plan harder to understand than solving a rubik's cube blindfolded. 

doTERRA is no different. 

So I will try to keep this simple... there are 4 ways that you can get paid from doTERRA:

  1. Retail bonus (25% commission)
  2. Fast start bonus (20% on anyone you enroll, 10% on anyone they enroll and 5% of anyone they enroll for your first 60 days)
  3. Power of three bonus (recruit 3 people that maintain 100 PV you get a $50, if you help your 3 in your front line do the same thing you get $250, if they do the same thing you get $1,500 bonus)
  4. Unilevel bonus (2-7% for 7 levels deep... see diagram below)
doTERRA MLM review- is doTERRA a pyramid scheme scam

Is it just me or is that diagram above just ridiculous?

You honestly don't need to understand all of this to start. The reason most MLM companies do this is to make it seem like there are tons of ways for you to earn money. 

The reality is that you can only do 2 things to make money:

  • Sell products
  • Recruit people

And do you notice that 3 out of the 4 ways you earn money involves recruiting? Plus, you can ONLY make "residual income" from recruiting people!

The 5 minute video below explains the compensation plan in more detail if you want to get your head around it...

Or you can find the full 3 page doTERRA compensation plan here. 

Is doTERRA a scam?

doTERRA is not a scam. 

They sell legit products and pay their distributors exactly like they say they will.

Some people claim that most MLMs are scams as only a select few can make money due to the recruiting nature that makes them similar to a "pyramid scheme in disguise". 

However, there are also some important skills people can learn from an MLM company if they company is set up well and with good ethics. 

The rest of this doTERRA MLM review will help you make an informed decision if the company is right for you or not...

Just to be fully transparent with you, I am not a distributor myself and I do not endorse doTERRA in any way.

I have researched the website, testimonials and information on the Internet to get to the bottom of what this program genuinely does. This is because I have been burnt from programs just like this in the past and I want to prevent others from making the same mistakes. If you’d like to learn how to “Spot an Online Marketing Scam” then click the highlighted text.

Tired of MLMs? Check out how I make money online here!

What I like about doTERRA

There are some things that make doTERRA stand out compared to other MLMs that exist...

Key Terms:

  • Pyramid Scheme – recruits members via a promise for payment from referring others to the service rather than providing a product
  • Affiliate Marketing- Connecting a customer to a product they are looking for and receiving a commission for doing so
  • Red Flag - A warning sign

#1 Still got momentum

You can see that people are still increasing their searches for doTERRA on Google every month...

doTERRA momentum

It's safe to say this is plateauing when you compare it to other MLMS like Farmasi

But it's much easier to sell an MLMs products or get people interested in joining the company if more and more people are finding out about it each month.

Some of the older MLM companies will be more established but it does mean it will be much harder to find potential people to recruit. 

#2 Essential oils backed by science

There is more and more scientific research for the benefits of essential oils. You can see the journals and research for all of the following benefits below:

People are coming around a lot more to "natural and organic" practices. More and more people are discovering essential oils every year (I remember a friend showing me them in 2018 for the first time!)

That spells opportunity for this type of industry!...

But will it last?

#3 Healing hands charity

doTERRA contributes to their charity healing hands...

doTERRA MLM review- is doTERRA a pyramid scheme scam

Donating to a charity is better than no charity even if some people are sceptical about the reasons behind why doTERRA does this 

Is it just for publicity or not? Personally I don't care... I think every company should give back!

What I don't like about doTERRA

Here are some of the hidden truths about joining doTERRA. 

Many distributors find out these things too late after they have lost hundreds of dollars...

#1 Expensive products

This is always a big red flag for me...

doTERRA essential oils
Amazon essential oils
doTERRA MLM review- is doTERRA a pyramid scheme scam
  • doTERRA avg essential oil = $2.13 per ml
  • Amazon highly rated essential oils = $0.29 to $0.58 per ml

doTERRA's essential oils are 300% to 800% more than similar products with very good ratings!

The question you really need to ask is...

"Who would buy something that is 300%+ more expensive?"

Here's your answer...

#2 Hidden monthly expenses

The people that end up being doTERRA's biggest customers are the doTERRA distributors...

Can you really make money selling doTERRA?

You have to sell $50+ worth of essential oils each month. 

The majority of distributors just won't be able to do that! Sure their Mom or best mate might buy an essential oil or two to support you. 

But after a while they will start to become a bit miffed (English word for annoyed) at you pestering them to buy more.

That means if you want the chance of "being your own boss" then you will need to stump up the costs for those months that people do not buy anything!

You, as the distributor, become the biggest doTERRA consumer!

Still don't believe me?

Just check out the price of the 2 MLM companies compared to the other "best Amazon Choices"...

#3 Is doTERRA a pyramid scheme in disguise?

I really like the way that doTERRA tries to disguise this in their compensation plan video...

doTERRA MLM review- is doTERRA a pyramid scheme scam

By turning it upside down it's impossible to tell what shape that is right?

Well, the truth is to make any decent money from doTERRA you have to recruit people!

Remember, any company that requires their members to recruit people is impossible for everyone to make good money inside the company!

This leads onto...

#4 Can you really make money selling doTERRA?... No!

If you earn 25% of a $30 essential oil you've just pocketed $7.50!

To earn $3,000 a month you would have to sell 400 essential oils!... EVERY MONTH

How many friends and family do you have?

The truth is, to make this kind of money YOU HAVE TO RECRUIT!

Then I saw doTERRA's income disclosure and was absolutely amazed at how many distributors were earning at least $27,557 a year...

Can you really make money selling doTERRA?

After actually reading it and realised the above table is only counting the top 1% of distributors!...

76% make less than $375 a year and 23% earn less than $1,250 a year...

Can you really make money selling doTERRA?
Can you really make money selling doTERRA?

And here's the truth...

Getting in the top 1% of doTERRA is no easy feat.

Achieving "Silver" rank requires recruiting at least three other people who are part of a team that sells $3,000+ a month!

In reality, that means you and your team will need to sell upwards of $20,000 worth of doTERRA products every month. 

#5 doTERRA doesn't own farms

I think it's great that doTERRA helps other farms around the world by paying them to produce the ingredients they need. 

But it does mean that doTERRA loses control. 

They have no say in prices or quality of standards.

Here's a 7 minute video explaining the difference between them and their main competitor Young Living (who some of the founders were originally part of)...

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My opinion - doTERRA

I think they sell some great products and they will pay their distributors like they claim they will. 

But what do I think are your chances of making over $1,000 a month from doTERRA?...

It's going to be super hard to make money just by selling doTERRA products. 

The only way you will be able to make good money is by recruiting people. And when that is the case it's really just a "pyramid scheme in disguise" and you will need to live with knowing that 99% of the people you recruit will lose money!

How I make passive income online

MLMs are not scams or illegal. However, I'm not a fan of them because of the restrictions to the expensive products you have to promote.

Once I learnt about affiliate marketing, I realised it's a far superior business model because:

  • You can promote anything you want and truly own the business
  • You never need to sell to friends and family
  • It's completely free to start

In 2018 I had no idea what affiliate marketing was.

But I went from a full time PE teacher to making a passive income online within one year...

Mike PE teacher to Passive Income Online

If you want to discover how I did it then check out this special video I created which explains exactly how. You can also get your free 7-day bootcamp to get started.

Make Time Online Income

About the Author

Mike Beatty has built a passive income online whilst working as a full-time PE teacher without any marketing or technical experience. Learn more about how he's done it here.

Mike Beatty

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