Price: $35, then $25/year
Scam or Not: Not a Scam
Overall Ranking: 6/10
An Introduction to doTERRA
doTERRA is an especially well-recognized direct marketing company that focuses on essential oils, along with a small selection of other products.
Not only does the company itself have a good reputation, but doTERRA reviews tend to be overwhelmingly positive, particularly for the oils themselves.
Like many others, the company doesn’t just focus on selling products. Instead, it operates through a MLM system, providing people the chance to earn money as distributors.
This type of system is commonplace and I’ve written a range of MLM reviews in the past. Nevertheless, no two MLMs are the same. Instead, some have better products than others and the potential for income varies as well.
As such, this post takes a look at the income opportunity from doTERRA along with a range of doTERRA reviews and considers whether doTERRA is worth getting involved with.
How doTERRA Works
Like any other MLM, doTERRA works by getting people on board as distributors, and these individuals are often called Wellness Advocates.
Wellness Advocates get a discount on products, while still being eligible for product discounts.
Signing up as a Wellness Advocate costs $35 for the first year and $25 each year after that.
The emphasis isn’t on the wholesale pricing though.
Instead, Wellness Advocates are supposed to promote the sale of products and also recruit people into the company. These two areas are where the income potential comes from.
First, you can earn some money by simply selling products. At baseline, you’re getting 25% of what a person buys. If that person is a preferred member, you get 15%, as they are getting a discount on products.
This part is simple enough.
But, recruiting is the main focus of doTERRA. With this process, you’re building what is referred to as a downline. That’s a team of people below you. Your role is to help guide them in their business and, in return, you earn a percentage of what they do.
On paper, this is a great way to earn money. But, it heavily relies on you being able to develop a strong team that is able to recruit and make sales well.
Additionally, the doTERRA compensation plan will influence precisely how much you can earn. That’s why we’re going to take a look at that plan and then consider the products and doTERRA reviews.
This might sound like a lot but all of these areas are critical for understanding your income potential.
The doTERRA Compensation Plan
As I mentioned before, the most basic part of the compensation plan is 25% in commission from any sales you make. Beyond this, the company also offers various bonuses based on performance.
For example, one of these is the Fast Start bonus, which looks like this:
To achieve the bonus, you have to recruit one person who recruits someone else, within your first 60 days at doTERRA. Additionally, all three of you must have 100 PV in loyalty rewards.
That PV refers to personal volume and it’s an indication of how much product you are buying yourself.
The specific PV varies from one product to the next but doTERRA does provide the information under each product on their site, like this:
Roughly speaking, this means that $1 wholesale nets you 1 PV. As a result, you have to spend $100 to get that 100 PV.
Now, the nature of the PV requirements means that you have to do this monthly. That means, at the very least, you personally have to buy $100 worth of product each month, as does everybody that you recruit.
If you like the products, this might not be a bad thing. But, it’s still a significant investment. It also means that making a profit is much harder because you have that $100 expense each month (plus the yearly fee).
There is another bonus that the company highlights too, which looks like this:
I’m not going to explain this one in depth. However, it’s easy to see that the idea is to grow your team further. Additionally, you have to research certain tiers of sales within the team.
To get this bonus, you’d have to have a fairly large team, which is one of the big problems with the model.
Beyond these specific bonuses is the MLM process itself.
The key point of any MLM is that you’re building a team in a pyramid-like structure. You then end up with tiers, which are sometimes called generations or levels. So, the person you recruit might be Level 1, the person they recruit would be Level 2 and so on.
As you progress through doTERRA’s program, you have the potential to earn from more and more of the levels below you. The end result looks like this:
Each column in this table represents a different rank, starting from Wellness Advocate. There are also higher ranks than these and they come with other bonuses, such as membership in a performance pool.
From this information, it’s easy to see the potential in doTERRA (or any MLM, for that matter). If you could get a large enough team that performed well, then the potential for income is high.
Indeed, this does happen for some members.
With most companies, there will be some individuals who do successfully make their way through the ranks. In some cases, they may even be making a large amount of money But, not many people achieve this outcome.
One reason is simply that recruitment is tough. Realistically, most people you know aren’t going to want to join a money-making opportunity. For that matter, there are hundreds of MLMs out there and most have members actively trying to recruit.
So, many people you approach will have already heard a similar pitch multiple times in the past.
Besides, even if you do successfully build a team, you still have to progress through the ranks. To do so, your team has to meet certain requirements. One requirement is the overall sales for a team (called OV). There are also requirements to do with structure.
In particular, with the higher ranks, you have to have different legs to your team. So, from the image below, each dark blue person would be a leg.
As you go up the ranks, you have to have a specific number of these legs and members in them have to reach certain ranks themselves. So, your success doesn’t just depend on your own performance but also on how well the people in your team do.
Now, all of this is achievable, in theory.
If you recruit good team members and they are successful in their own right, then you could get somewhere. But honestly, the various rank requirements get complicated and difficult fast.
Plus, you end up with a business structure that entirely depends on how effective other people are. That’s a rough way to make money because you are never really in control.
The Product Selection
The main products that doTERRA offers are essential oils. This includes individual oils, blends, products that use specific types of oils and accessories.
Most doTERRA reviews also focus on the oils and this is normally the area that distributors emphasize with sales as well.
Nevertheless, there are some other products available, including supplements, weight management products and personal care items. There are also sets that contain oils or combine oils with other products.
The end result is that doTERRA products will mostly appeal to people who are interested in essential oils.
This can result in a large potential audience, especially as oils some people use the oils in a therapeutic manner and others just focus on the scent.
doTERRA essential oils are well-known and there is no doubt that they are popular. This can be easily seen through doTERRA reviews on Amazon.
As the rating shows, most people review the oils well. Likewise, there is a general perception that the oils are high quality.
The ratings that individual oils get vary. But, this is partly due to how people feel about certain fragrances, rather than the brand as a whole.
Even with these differences, the average doTERRA reviews are high.
However, it is still important to think about your potential audience. Even though doTERRA reviews tend to be positive they aren’t entirely accurate.
After all, reviews mostly come from people who purchased the oils. Most of them would have some interest in essential oils, or they wouldn’t have bothered. This results in positive reviews from people who were likely to enjoy the products anyway.
In contrast, many of the people that you could sell to might not care about oils at all. Others may simply find them too expensive for what the essential oils offer.
It’s much better to figure out where your audience fits before you put time and money into the company, rather than realizing it afterward.
My Personal doTERRA Review
As I’ve shown, there are two key aspects of a MLM, the products and the compensation plan. In the case of doTERRA, the compensation plan isn’t amazing but the product selection is good.
Indeed, all of the positive doTERRA reviews suggest that the oils are popular and will probably remain so.
Even with this, I don’t recommend MLM as a system for making money. But, if you’re going to get involved in one, picking a company with good products is the best plan. Doing so can dramatically increase your chance of making consistent sales.
However, while doTERRA’s oils are good, they aren’t unique.
Instead, there are many other companies that also produce essential oils. Some of those will have poor quality alternatives that aren’t worth the money. But, there will be other competing companies offering a similar quality to what doTERRA has.
Additionally, the MLM model of doTERRA pushes the price up. As a result, non-MLM companies can produce the same quality of product at a lower price and some of them do.
There is even advertising on Amazon that targets this precise issue, although that company’s pricing isn’t much better.
For that matter, doTERRA’s oils are fairly expensive anyway.
Now, in fairness, the oils do last quite a while and people are willing to pay more for quality. Still, you’re likely to find that some of your potential audience simply doesn’t have the money to buy the oils.
These patterns mean that you may struggle to sell the oils.
There is also the matter of competition to consider.
In every MLM, you’re competing against other members and any other location that sells the products. Now, doTERRA has been around for quite some time and there is no shortage of places to get the oils from.
You can see this pattern on Amazon.
I’ve also seen some physical stores sell doTERRA oils, although I’m not sure whether they are supposed to be doing so. Regardless of the company’s rules, there are many places for people to buy the oils from and a lot of individual distributors as well.
doTERRA is also likely to have more distributors than many other MLMs, simply because of how long it has been around.
The overall level of competition is going to have a large impact on your potential to make money.
In theory, you could make a success story out of doTERRA. But, you need to research and plan very carefully before you get involved.
More than anything, you need to think about whether you could realistically sell the products. I don’t just mean once either. You need to be able to make consistent sales over months and years.
If you are uncertain about that, then walk away.
As a Side Project
With this review, I’ve mostly focused on trying to make a living with doTERRA. And, for most people, doing so simply isn’t realistic.
However, that may not be what you’re trying to do.
In many cases, people join a MLM to offset their own purchases. For example, if you love doTERRA oils and buy them regularly, then selling them may make sense. After all, even making a few sales would reduce how much you’re spending.
With that approach, you wouldn’t really need to focus on recruiting if you didn’t want to and you wouldn’t need a high amount of sales either.
I’ve seen some people do this with other MLMs and the pattern can work.
So, if you’re just interested in a little money and want the products anyway, doTERRA may be a good way to go. However, the same isn’t true if you want a full-time income from the company.
For most people, MLMs aren’t a good income option. You need a fairly strong social network to make a MLM work, along with effective sales skills. Plus, if you were successful, you would still be dependent on other members of your team, who may not be that reliable.
With these challenges and the need to buy products yourself, it becomes clear that the opportunity from doTERRA really isn’t that great. Instead, there are better options out there.
One such alternative is the idea of affiliate marketing. With this method, you’re making money online by promoting products from a range of different companies.
Doing so means that you don’t have to rely on a downline at all and you don’t have to sell to friends or family members either. Instead, you end up with a much larger reach and a less complicated way to earn money.
Getting started in affiliate marketing is also easy. All you need is good education and you can get this from a site called Wealthy Affiliate. As a training site, Wealthy Affiliate is powerful and it teaches everything you need to create a successful business online.