Are you interested in starting a home business and investigating joining an MLM (or Network Marketing) company? Good for you! It’s important to do your research as all home businesses (and indeed all MLMs) are not created equal.
In this doTerra MLM Review, you will learn the pros and cons of joining and have some of your questions answered before making any decisions. In any case, you will most likely want to do some additional research yourself.
Although I am not affiliated to doTerra, this site includes affiliate links – if you buy through my link I may get paid a commission but the price remains the same for you. Thank you for your support.
Owners: David Stirling, Corey Lindley, Emily Wright, Dr. David Hill, Greg Cook, Rob Young, and Mark Wolfert
Product range: Essential oils is the key product but you can also buy skincare, shampoo, and a spa range.
Price to join: $35 as a Wellness Advocate (starter kits from around $105) or you can join as a Wholesale Customer also for $35
Overall rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Table of Contents
My First awareness of doTerra
I first became aware of doTerra when it was pitched by some senior team leaders of another MLM that I was a part of at the time. These team leaders were aware of some dodgy dealings within our company that the rest of us were not privy to (and frankly did not believe) but it all came out in the end and our beloved business folded.
The fact that these people picked doTerra to move onto was significant. Our previous operation was only trading in one country, whereas doTerra was already in a significant number of countries and expanding at speed. These were clued-up people – many were qualifiers for the exotic trips and have gone on to do the same with doTerra. (I didn’t join and have no personal interest in the business.)
Who are doTerra?
The founders at doTerra set up the business with the aim of getting essential oils into the hands of the masses and in doing so, make a positive change to everyone they touch. At the time of its inception, doTerra claimed that the oils that were available were synthetic and had no comparison in quality or results that pure essential oils doTerra offer.
Many of the founders, who have significant experience in the world of Essential Oils, had come from a rival company, Young Living, and believed they could do a better job. Consequently, they set out to make the highest grade oils possible and now produce both standalone oils and blends along with a range of skincare and hair care products.
Given that doTerra only started in 2008 and have to-date amassed $1.7bn in sales, that says to me that the Essential Oils business is ON FIRE! (In case you are wondering, doTerra means ‘gift of the earth’.)
As there is apparently no current grading system for essential oils, doTerra have created their own. The CPTG ‘confirms that our essential oils are free of contaminants and that no unexpected alterations occurred during production’. The purity of essential oils is critical to the success you will achieve with them so is consequently top of the priority list.
Last but not least, doTerra has set up a wonderful charity called Healing Hands Foundation. Charity might not actually be the right word, but they run initiatives such as supplying micro-loans, supplying feminine hygiene products, and working towards preventing Human Trafficking in some of the world’s poorest regions. This is more about empowering some of the most vulnerable people which is a very noble cause indeed.
Furthermore, 140 essential oils come from Artisan farmers in 40 countries. Many of these are small farms that would normally be overlooked by big companies but this ensures a high-quality product while the farmers get a fair payment for their services.
What exactly are essential oils?
Essential oil is the essence of a plant that is distilled down (think Gin!). Inside various plants, in the roots, bark, flowers, or seeds, are concentrated, potent chemical compounds – these are essential oils. The oils give a plant its scent and attract bees among other things.
They are used for many ailments, such as to ease stress, relieve pain from headaches, boost mood, help you sleep, and most even have antiseptic properties. There are many other uses but as with any products of this nature, doTerra is not allowed to make claims about potential benefits to the digestive system, respiration etc.
Popular ways to use essential oils are through a diffuser (although some people sniff them straight from the bottle), on the skin (most often using a carrier oil) or a few drops can be put into a body wash, shampoo or bath.
What to doTerra’s customers say?
As I have never been into essential oils, I had a look around various sources to find what people actually using the oils think and I have to say they are overwhelmingly positive. The only occasional negative reviews I have seen have come from former distributors with some grievance.
The business model
Retail – The most important thing to look for when joining an MLM is that there is a retail product that there is a demand for and that if you opt to do the retail only, you will still make money. I would say that the sales figures have confirmed that there is indeed a demand for essential oils, however, most people are only just beginning to learn about the benefits now so there will be some education to relay to your prospects. The good news is that there is still room for massive growth in this sector.
Another good thing about the product is that it is consumable so if your customers feel the benefit, they will keep ordering – doTerra has an excellent 65% customer retention rate.
Naturally, you will start off using the products yourself as it is only by doing so that you will be able to describe the benefits to friends and relatives (to start off) and to the world at large going forward.
The compensation plan
There are five ways you can earn from being a Wellness Advocate (or distributor):
1. Retail Sales – earn 25% of all retail sales. You can also earn loyalty points to be spent on products*
2. Fast Start – earn 20% of the sales of your new customer sign-ups within their first 60 days*
3. Power of 3 – If you sponsor 3 people who do 100 PV (personal volume) you will earn an extra $50, if they do the same you earn $250 and if THEIR recruits do the same (i.e. 3 deep) you earn $1,500*
4. Unilevel – This is the commission you earn on your downline down to 7 levels. Unusually, it goes in reverse to other compensation plans in MLM which is good news if you can sponsor 7 deep!* (See the chart below.)
5. Bonus Pools – Once you reach a certain level in the business, you get a percentage of the total global sales*
*You will have to have done 100 PV (personal volume) to get paid any commission except for the very first level new distributors who need 50 PV which, unusually, is equal to the dollar value.
What does it cost to join?
At the time of writing, you can start for a one-time payment of $35 but will really need a product kit so you can try and also demonstrate the products yourself. The $35 is included in the cost of a kit but not if you decide to buy individual items. Starter kits cost around $105 upwards.
You might also want to take the Essential Oils Certification Course which is available for $97.
If you would like to get the 25% discount but are not interested in the business opportunity, you can also sign up for $35 (there is a renewal fee annually). The difference is that you don’t earn commission (though you can earn loyalty points to spend on products) and naturally you don’t get the webshop.
What are the pros of joining doTerra?
1. The wellness niche is a massively growing market and looks set to continue
2. They have a quality, consumable product offering which is what you are ideally looking for in an MLM
3. Customer retention of 65% means that once you have done the initial work on the retail side, you should only have to top it up leaving you to focus on sponsoring and training
4. If you just want to sell retail then you could still make money
5. It has a good compensation plan and the loyalty point mean you will get more products free or cheaper
6. The company appears to have strong ethics and seems to genuinely want to change the world!
What are the cons of joining doTerra?
1. The essential oils are very expensive. There are other pure essential oils that aren’t nearly as expensive and if it’s not a very specific blend, why would someone pay more?
2. Once you have been round all your family, friends, contacts etc, sales could dry up. (That is assuming anyone bought which hopefully they will.) You need to be more and more creative now in retail. Some people have done very well through starting a blog and writing about the benefits of, for example, essential oils – you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and offer value before you ask people to buy. If this is something you would like to investigate, check out my post How To Get A Website Up and Running here.
3. While it’s not uncommon for you to have to buy your own product in an MLM, a commitment of $100 per month in order to get paid commission is quite a lot (although you can get around that if you have friends and family who are local and want to buy it)
4. While the comp plan is great, things like Power of 3 are not easy! To enroll 3 people who do 100 PV you will probably have to enroll about 10 as some won’t get started and some won’t reach PV. Having said that, there will be some superstar who will build 3 deep in a period to get the $1,500. Hat’s off to them! And I have to say that I applaud the company for focusing on depth – many sign-ups don’t last long and if you are only one deep it’s all over. If you are 7 deep it’s no biggie!
Researching for this review has been such an eye-opener – it almost made me want to get back in the saddle as a Network Marketer! However, I have switched allegiance these days. If you are interested in finding another way, please check out my post Affiliate Marketing vs Network Marketing Pros & Cons here.
Thanks for reading! I would love to know your views on doTerra or any of the points made here in the comments below.