Company: Young Living
Price: $160 (starter kit)
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Ranking: 5/10
What is Young Living Essential Oils?
Young Living has become a fairly famous direct marketing company that focuses on essential oils of various types – although there are other products on offer as well.
Many of the Young Living reviews focus on the oils, along with the potential benefits of the oils, particularly when it comes to health and wellness.
Those are areas that this post will focus on as well. However, here, the primary emphasis isn’t on the specific products the company offers. Instead, this post takes a look at the chance to make money through Young Living.
After all, the potential for income is part of the reason that many people turn to Young Living. That begs the question, can you actually make money with this company?
How Young Living Works
Young Living falls into the category of direct marketing. This term refers to a model where companies use members to market and sell the various products. Those members are often referred to as distributors or consultants and they earn money from the sales that they make.
For companies, this system is great. It gives them a lot of extra marketing and they only have to pay when the members actually make sales.
In theory, the idea also works well for members.
After all, the model provides people with the chance to make money on their own terms – selling a product that they are passionate about.
So, in many ways, Young Living offers the chance to run your own business, which is part of the reason behind many of the positive Young Living reviews.
Without a doubt, there are some significant advantages to having your own business, including the flexibility that this affords.
And, in theory, Young Living offers the potential to make a fairly high income because of the structure of the model (which I’ll come back to).
But, at the same time, you don’t really run your own business at all.
Instead, you’re basically an employee. Now, you may have more flexibility and freedom than an employee at a conventional business but you miss out on some of the benefits from a normal business as well.
Additionally, Young Living operates through a model that’s known as MLM.
The term is short for Multi-Level Marketing and there are countless other direct marketing companies that take a similar approach. For example, I’ve reviewed Paparazzi Jewelry, Shaklee, Pampered Chef and many others, all of which follow the MLM model.
There are two key concepts involved in this model.
The first is the idea of making money by selling the products directly. In theory, this is easy enough, particularly if you know people who actually like the products.
The second aspect is more complicated, as you recruit and build a team under you. By doing this, you have the chance to earn money from your own sales and also from the success of the team. On paper, this is a powerful idea and one that could make you a lot of money.
But, the model isn’t nearly as easy as the marketing implies. As a result, people often end up losing money instead of making it.
This begs the question, is the process worth it? That’s what we’re going to find out.
Young Living Compensation Plan
To look at the income potential from Young Living, one of the first things to consider is the Young Living compensation plan.
A compensation plan basically details the different ways that you earn money with the company. This is a particularly relevant area for any MLM, simply because the way you earn money gets complicated very quickly.
As I mentioned before, much of this comes down to team building.
So, the idea is that you recruit people, who then recruit others and so forth. This builds a team or a downline, which plays a role in your income. Basically, the more your team earns, the more money you make too – as you earn some commissions off their success.
This model ends up with something that looks like a pyramid, where each tier represents a different level of generation. The commission from those various generations can look like this (where each column is a different rank in the company).
It’s easy to see how profitable this can be.
For example, say you were in the last column and had around 20 people under you. If this were the case, you’d be earning between 4% and 8% from their sales, on top of the commission from your own.
Theoretically, this could result in a lot of income, where much of it is coming from work that you’re not directly involved in.
And, in fairness, this does happen for some people. Within any MLM, including Young Living, there will be some people who have found extreme success. This is another reason why you see glowing Young Living reviews.
But, the process isn’t as easy as it seems.
For one thing… there are ranks within the company. The first four of these are represented in the image above and are called Distributor, Star, Senior Star and Executive, respectively. There is also two other sets of ranks, which are below.
As you progress through the ranks, the commissions that you get from your team increases. In particular, the green and purple ranks add in an entirely different set of commission levels, which are called generations.
It isn’t entirely clear what the difference between levels and generations are, as the Young Living site only offers compensation plan highlights, rather than the full plan. Nevertheless, it is easy to see that the structure of your team would get more complicated as you went up ranks.
At the same time, each rank has its own requirements. These fall into four areas:
For example, the requirements for the first few basic ranks look like this:
So, this means that you need a certain amount of personal volume and sales within your team. But, as you go up the ranks, this gets progressively more complicated, until you end up with requirements like this:
Of course, you don’t have to get to the highest ranks to make money from the company. Nevertheless, you would need to get somewhere and have a relatively decent team to actually make a living from the process.
Theory versus Practice
The MLM model is often popular because it looks so great on paper. I mean, if you could get a large enough team, then the income potential is pretty astounding. But, achieving that comes down to recruitment, along with the performance of those that you recruit.
So, to make a decent income, you’d have to recruit a range of people into the company and continue to make sales. They would have to recruit themselves and also make consistent sales themselves.
Now, for one thing, recruitment is tough.
Think about this seriously for a minute. How many people do you know that would be willing to get involved in this type of company? How many would actually do it? Of those, how many would perform well?
There are also hundreds of direct sales companies out there, most of which actively recruit in a similar way.
So, even if your friends don’t know much about Young Living, they’ve probably been approached by at least once similar company at some point in time.
That alone would decrease their interest in Young Living.
In most cases, you might struggle to even think of a few people you could possibly recruit.
To make matters worse, if you were to recruit, many of those people could end up competing against you for sales and for recruitment. This makes it incredibly difficult to create a sustainable team, especially as a similar thing would happen when others in your team recruit as well.
Even if you did get a decent team, you still have to make sure they perform well. Now, honestly, it’s pretty hard to force people to do anything. So, you might find that some team members are great at what they do, while others simply aren’t.
The end result is that recruiting is tough and growing a successful team is harder still. These areas aren’t impossible but it’s important to seriously think about the challenges before you get involved.
The Issue of Personal Volume
There is also one other thing to note in relation to the Young Living compensation plan – which is the personal volume requirement.
Regardless of your rank in the company, if you want to recruit and grow a team, then you need personal volume (PV) of 100 per month. PV is assigned to individual products – although the company isn’t clear about what this calculates out to in terms of money.
Either way, this means you have to be buying a certain amount of product yourself every month, just to be able to earn income.
Even if you plan on just selling the product (i.e. no recruiting) you still need to have a PV of 50. This means that there is a monthly cost that you have to pay. That can get expensive fast, especially if you’re not actually earning money through the company.
This type of pattern is common across many different MLMs. In many cases, people can end up with more product than they know what to do with.
Now, having to buy a certain amount of product each month mightn’t be a horrible thing if you love what Young Loving has to offer. Nevertheless, the practice can create challenges, especially if you struggle to make sales some months.
Young Living Products
So, compensation plan aside, what about the products?
Well, Young Living does have a fairly passionate audience, which is a plus. Additionally, there are many people who regularly use essential oils.
At the same time, the product selection is a little unusual. In fairness, there are other companies out there that sell essential oils, including other MLMs. However, this practice isn’t nearly as common as MLMs selling skincare and the like (such as Rodan and Fields) or MLMs selling jewelry (like Touchstone Crystal).
As the company’s reputation suggests, the main products on offer are essential oils and various oil blends.
There are a range of different options and styles in this area, including single oils, oils that are designed to be added to food, roll on oils, collections and more.
The prices for the products are fairly high. For example, a 15 ml of one type of essential oil costs more than $30 retail.
However, that being said, essential oils do last for quite a while. Additionally, quality really does matter with essential oils. As such, people are often prepared to pay more for good quality essential oils.
So, for a decent quality essential oil, the pricing here isn’t horrible.
Young Living Reviews
At the same time, Young Living essential oils tend to fare extremely well in terms of reviews. For example, a sample pack on Amazon got around 4.5 stars from 512 individual reviews.
I saw a similar pattern for other Young Living reviews as well.
Honestly, these reviews are extremely encouraging. In most cases, MLM products receive very mixed reviews. The large number of positive reviews on Amazon suggests that the majority of customers are extremely happy with the products. Additionally, many people do seem to prefer Young Living over other brands.
So, these Young Living reviews do suggest that the products themselves (the essential oils anyway) are worth it.
Young Living Weight Loss Products
There are also a few other product types, including a Young Living weight loss product range. Specifically, these products emphasize being healthy and fit but many tie into weight loss in some way.
For example, one such option is NingXia Red, which is a drink that basically acts as an antioxidant supplement.
While this may not directly help with weight loss, many people do feel that antioxidants can play major roles in promoting good health overall. The science behind antioxidants does suggest likewise, to a degree.
However, the field has also been subjected to a large amount of hype and products like this may not have as much benefit as the company implies.
There are also various weight loss products, particularly the Slique range. This range includes a number of options, such as weight loss supplements, herbal teas and protein shakes.
You can find similar products in many other MLMs as well, along with countless health and nutrition companies.
Realistically, the range of products at Young Living is interesting but most customers are going to be interested in the essential oils. Those oils are also the company’s biggest strength, which is another reason why most distributors tend to focus on them.
Do Young Living Oils Really Work?
There is a wide range of health claims associated with essential oils. Including some claims made by Young Living itself and others made by people who use essential oils.
In itself, that is a large topic and one that I’m going to avoid discussing here. There can be no doubt that many people do feel that these oils work and myself, I agree with some of the proposed benefits of essential oils.
Nevertheless, there is far too much involved in this topic to go into it in depth here.
For the most part, whether or not the oils work isn’t relevant to selling Young Living products. The Young Living reviews alone suggest that people love the oils, which would play a key role in sales.
Can You Make Money with Young Living?
As a general rule, it’s difficult to make money through a MLM but not impossible. That’s particularly true in the case of Young Living.
Because of the products and all the positive Young Living reviews, it is likely that you could sell the essential oils reasonably well.
Even with the relatively high price of the oils, there would probably be enough demand to make the process worthwhile.
As such, you could make some income through product sales alone.
However, you do have to buy a certain amount of product monthly yourself.
So, if you wanted to turn a profit, you’d have to make more sales than you spend each month. This is achievable, especially if you have friends or family that are interested in essential oils.
Nevertheless, making a decent income is a different story. To achieve that, you’d have to get involved in the recruitment side of the company and with team building.
For most people, this aspect probably wouldn’t be a realistic approach.
Building a team works best for people with a wide social network who are good at making new friends and convincing others to spend money. You’d also want to have friends and acquaintances who have money to spend on the products in the first place.
After all, the essential oils from Young Living aren’t exactly cheap and you’d want to be making consistent sales to turn a decent profit.
Even if you had the skills and social network needed to be successful as a Young Living distributor, I still wouldn’t recommend it. At the end of the day, the MLM model is extremely challenging and your income will always depend on your team and on the company itself.
The question that I always come back to is, why get involved?
If you like the various Young Living essential oils and want to offset your own spending, then the company may be a good choice. But, if you’re trying to create a business, there are better options.
In particular, a more powerful way to make money is a process called affiliate marketing.
This is a completely different model, where the focus is just on sales, not on recruitment.
Additionally, you don’t have to own the products yourself (or buy them). Instead, your role is just to promote them. This saves a lot of headache and means that you don’t have to buy products every month.
Affiliate marketing is also easy to get involved with. More than anything, you just need decent training and there are lots of options for getting this.
Personally, I recommend getting started with a site called Wealthy Affiliate. The best way to categorize this site would be a training community. Basically, the site offers an extensive range of training for making money online, along with a large and dedicated community that can help to support and guide members.
The site even has a free membership, which can be a great way to see what’s on offer and think about whether it is likely to work for you.