doTERRA vs Young Living – Which MLM Program is Best?

Hey there fellow Sea Changers, recently I wrote a post about selling essential oils online and within it I discussed that one of the major ways that they can be sold is via Multi Level Marketing programs. In this space, two of the major players, are Young Living and DoTERRA which between them sell over USD 3 Billion dollars worth of oils annually. So, as a follow on from my previous post, I have decided to undertake a doTERRA vs Young Living MLM membership arrangements review in order to give you all the information you need to make a choice as to which one you may be best for you – or both if that is where you intend to do.

For each program, I will run through the following:

  • What their program is
  • How it works
  • What is pays
  • How much you can potentially earn

I will then outline my thoughts and recommendations in regards to both in an effort to give you the best possible chance of choosing the program best suited to you. So sit back, throw your favourite oil into a diffuser and let’s see what we can find out…

Note: This post is making comparisons in regards to the MLM programs of each company only and is doing so under the assumption that their products (100% authentic Essential Oils) are relatively the same in quality and cost (although doTERRA oils are just a little cheaper than Young Living).

What is MLM?

Ok, before we get started, let’s just run through some information in regards to Muli-Level-Marketing (MLM) programs. These programs have gained infamy and notoriety via their predominately ‘party plan’ business model where once you have signed up, you are expected to hound everybody you know into having parties. From there, you would then convince them to hassle their friends to not only purchase your products, but also sign up to annoy everybody they know as well (think Amway, Tupperware, Mary Kay, Arbonne and of course, essential oils).

With the expansion of the internet however, these programs have become more popular as now you can promote them online by outlining how they can provide solutions to the problems of your readers without the need for parties and ex-communication from your social circles. In their basic capacity, MLM programs mirror affiliate marketing platforms in that you make a commission on every sale that you refer to them.

It is however the secondary aspect of these programs – and where the multi-level influences come from – that can really boost your revenue earning capabilities. The process works as follows:

  1. You attract a visitor to your site and convert them to the sales page.
  2. They are offered an incentive to sign up as a member of the program (there are different names for this but they all mean the same thing).
  3. That new member is then placed ‘underneath’ you in a hierarchical arrangement.
  4. You then gain extra commissions for everything they sell as well.

Yes, they are effectively a pyramid scheme, albeit a more ethical model which can be a very lucrative way to sell products online. That said, only a small percentage of MLM members will ever make enough money to make this a full time endeavor however with hard work and discipline with your online business, this has become more and more possible. So let’s check out the main players in the world of essential oils.

doTERRA

doterra vs young living - doterra logoDoTERRA was founded in 2008 and by 2016 boasts over 3,000,000 ‘Wellness Advocates’ and customers. Their Global Corporate Headquarters is located in Pleasant Grove, Utah and the company provides employment for over 120,000 people worldwide.

Their program

Within the doTERRA membership stable, there are two main areas of access. These are as follows:

Members

You can join doTERRA as a member for $35 ($25 per annum ongoing) where you get:

  • 25% discount on all products
  • A free product yearly at membership renewal
  • Access to the doTERRA Loyalty Program (See below)

Members do not earn commissions on theirs, or the purchases of anybody that they refer to the company.

Wellness Advocates

doterra vs young living - doterra wellnes advocateThis is where the money is. Wellness advocates can earn commissions via the following methods:

  • Flat commissions – There are commissions on the sales that those underneath them make.
  • Unilevel commissions – in simple terms, the more people that you can convince to sign up as wellness consultants (your ‘downstream’), the higher the level that you will reach within the hierarchical structure. Commissions are then paid for every sale that those located within your downstream make.
  • Rank Bonuses – As your business grows and you move through the unilevel rankings, you can also be paid a percentage of the global commission sales volume (CV). Each level is paid based on the number of shares they hold within that rank.

doterra vs young living - ranking payments

Rankings and commissions are generated via measurement of PV (Personal Volume) and OV (Organisational Volume) – which is the total PV off all those located within your downstream added together. So essentially the more product they all buy, the more you make in base commissions and the higher you rise up the rankings to earn rank bonuses.

doterra vs young living - doterra lemonTo earn commissions you need to purchase at least 50PV (as an entry level consultant) and 100PV (at a manager level and above) to qualify for your commissions. Higher level rank bonuses are also dependent upon the number of people you have as part of your downstream – I.e. how many you, and those under you have convinced to sign up and remain active as wellness advocates.

The purchase requirements in terms of financial cost to generate PV can vary from product to product (I.e. products are assigned a PV rank) but the general rule of thumb is usually an earning of around 1 PV for every USD$1 spent.

Commission rates

As we have discussed above. Commission rates vary depending upon unilevel rank and the number of sales that are made within your downstream. When you sign someone into the wellness advocate program, you become eligible for the Fast Start bonus which pays 20% commission on every purchase they make for the first 60 days. After that, they are added to your downstream to fit within the following rates:

As you can see, these commissions will rise in number as you bring more people in underneath you and then the more they bring in under them, and thus the pyramid is created!

Other commissions

Once you have downstream advocates in place, you are also eligible for fast start commissions on their first level referrals for the first 60 days. For level 2 downstream (your referral’s referral) you are paid 10% on all purchases for the first 60 days before they enter your unilevel pool and for level 3 (your referral’s referral’s referral) you get 5%.

Rank bonuses

As discussed, once you start to rise through the levels, you can earn shares in a percentage of the overall global commission sales volume as well.

How much can I earn?

The table below outlines the expected earnings for each unilevel tier:

doterra vs young living - income

DoTERRA Loyalty Rewards Program

The doTERRA Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP) is a points rewards program that provides points and free products for ongoing monthly purchases. Points can then be used for purchases and the percentages earned rises dependent upon the time a person in a member. An additional free product is earned for every monthly order over 125PV.

doterra vs young living - loyalty

Both members and wellness advocates can access the LRP with many utilising the program to generate free product to provide as incentives for increased downstream sign ups or sales.

What else do you get?

As part of your wellness advocate arrangement, you are given access to your my doTERRa office screen where you can access a number of tools to assist you with your sales processes. These include:

  • Access to 8 business literature guides covering sales and marketing (costing between $9 and $30)
  • Leaderships kits with goal sheets, party invitations and product ($30)
  • Access to specialised enrollment kits ($174 – $1390)
  • Introductory collection kits – ($200 and up)
  • Access to special promotions and discounted kits.
  • Access to full product and price lists
  • Access to online link generators for website referrals.

Note: these tools are all designed for the party plan sales process. Content for online sales is limited.

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Young Living

Young Livingdoterra vs young living - doterra lemon bottle was founded in 1993 and is the second largest essential oils manufacturer and distributor in the world (behind doTERRA). Their Global Corporate Headquarters is located in Lehi, Utah and records sales of around $USD 1.5 Billion per annum.

Their Program

Young Living (YL) provides all of its discount and commission earning options under the single ‘members’ banner.

Members

doterra vs young living - YL membershipTo join YL as a member, you are required to purchase a starter kit (prices starting at $50 up to $350). Ongoing membership is reliant on at least one qualifying purchase per year. YL membership benefits include:

  • 24% discount on all products.
  • Access to the YL Essential Rewards Program (See below).
  • Immediate access to business tools and the ability to earn commissions.

Members can earn commissions via the following methods:

  • Flat commissions – There are commissions on the sales that those underneath them make.
  • Member ranking commissions – in simple terms, the more people that you can convince to sign up as members (your ‘downstream’), the higher the level that you will reach within the hierarchical structure. Commissions are then paid for every sale that those located within your downstream make.
  • Rank Bonuses – As your business grows and you move through the rankings, you can also be paid a percentage of the rising star bonus generation pool (1% of total YL sales) and then the Generation Leadership Bonus for the highest levels (6.25% of total YL sales). Each level is paid based on the number of shares they hold within that rank.

doterra vs young living - YL ranks

Rankings and commissions are generated via measurement of PV (Personal Volume) and OV (Organisational Volume) – which is the total PV off all those located within your downstream added together. So essentially the more product they all buy, the more you make in base commissions and the higher you rise up the rankings to earn rank bonuses.

To earn commissions you need to purchase at least 50PV (for ‘Distributor’ level) and 100PV (at ‘Star’ level and above) to qualify for your commissions. Higher level rank bonuses are also dependent upon the number of people you have as part of your downstream – I.e. how many you, and those under you have convinced to sign up and remain as active members.

The purchase requirement to generate PV can vary from product to product (I.e. products are assigned a PV rank) but the general rule of thumb is usually an earning of around 1 PV for every USD$1 spent.

Commission rates

As we have discussed above. Commission rates vary depending upon membership rank and the number of sales that are made within your downstream. When you sign someone into a membership and they purchase a starter kit, you are paid a flat commission of roughly $60. After that, they are added to your downstream to fit within the ranking rates which change from the below distributor level:

doterra vs young living - YL dist

All the way up to the Royal Crown Diamond level

doterra vs young living - YL RCD

As you can see, these commissions will rise in number as you bring more people in underneath you and then the more they bring in under them, and thus the pyramid is created!

Other commissions

A once of commission payment of roughly $60 is paid for each new member that signs up under your enroller ID and purchases a starter kit.

Rank bonuses

As discussed, once you start to rise through the levels, you can earn shares in a percentage of the overall YL sales volume as well.

How much can I earn?

The table below outlines the expected earnings for each membership tier:

doterra vs young living - YL income statement

Young Living Essential Rewards Program

The YL Essential Rewards Program (ERP) is a points rewards program that provides points and free products for ongoing monthly purchases. Points can then be used to purchase products and the percentages earned rises dependent upon the time a person in a member. Free products are rewarded or continuous program membership of the following time frames:

  • 3 consecutive months: Peppermint essential oil, 5 ml
  • 6 consecutive months: Thieves essential oil blend, 5 ml
  • 9 consecutive months: Melaleuca Alternifolia essential oil, 15 ml
  • 2 consecutive months: Loyalty special blend

ERP members also have the opportunity to upgrade to YL Go+ for $59 which gives them 12 ER shipping credits, plus 1 bonus credit, for 13 months of free shipping.

What else do you get?

As part of your membership arrangement, you are given access to the YL Virtual Office screen where you can access a number of tools to assist you with your sales processes. These include:

  • Free training on all aspects of YL sales including pamphlets, videos and brochures
  • Free FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter graphics to assist with social media ad creation and promotion
  • Link builders
  • Access to special promotions and discounted kits.
  • Free access to full suite of logos and other customisable graphics and letter heads

Note: These tools are all designed for the party plan sales process as well an extensive library of online promotional tools.

What Do I recommend?

Look, based on the assumption that their products are fairly much the same thing (I can hear the YL and doTERRA advocates frothing at the mouth from here) I have to say that their MLM memberships are also extremely similar in their structure. doTERRA is probably cheaper to join but the way that they manage their commissions and rankings are almost identical. Both also have solid rewards programs.

There is one big difference however. doTERRA’s commission percentages actually rise as you progress through the levels whereas Young Living is the other way round. Say you have 2 recruits underneath you as a starter member – doTERRA will pay you 2% commission whereas YL is 8%. However, say you got to Silver level, doTERRA will pay you 6% for your fourth level underlings whereas YL is 4%. The theory from doTERRA is that the more you bring in, the higher commission you will earn whereas YL take the line that they want you to start earning good commissions straight away. That said, according to the potential earnings tables of both companies, YL executives would expect to earn a little more than their doTERRA counterparts however at the lower levels there is essentially a struck match between them.

So, as they are so close, I thought I would just give you my opinion on what is better for each program:

What doTERRA does better

  • Oils are generally a little cheaper.
  • 1% higher discount for memberships.
  • Higher first up commissions – 20% for first 60 days.
  • More free products included in loyalty programs.
  • Greater range of promotional kits for purchase.

What Young Living does better

  • Membership area on website is smoother and simpler.
  • Much greater quality in terms of training material and business development assistance (it is also all free).
  • Much greater tool structure to manage an online business.
  • Entry level starter kits are much cheaper and better value.

How do I decide?

doterra vs young living- oilsWell, I guess I haven’t really given you a clear cut winner here have I. If you are still trying to work it out, I suggest the following:

  • Try the oils – I have stated a couple of times that they are similar but there are some subtle and not so subtle differences in their aromas, textures and effects on the body – it is funny how the same oil type (e.g. peppermint) can smell quite different between the two brands. Have a play with them and see which ones you like best!
  • Check out their offers – I have outlined the basic and stable aspects of both company’s programs here. However, there are some variations, added incentives and bonus offers added in both from time to time. If you are still a little undecided, then maybe go back and do some research into the these offers and programs of the past and see which you think provides with the better chance for sales.
  • Do both – This might cost you a little more to start with but if you have no clear preference then maybe make you business out of comparisons and reviews. Join both and provide your opinions that way on your own experimentation and experiences with them.

What do you need to do for success?

Regardless of the MLM program you choose – there really isn’t a great deal of difference between the two of them really – you will need to get busy if you are going to make some good coin out of them. Only a very small percentage of members make good money from any MLM program and essential oils are no different.

One of the good things about both doTERRA and Young Living however is that once you become a wellness advocate/member, the companies themselves will not hassle or coerce you into making purchases or signing others into your downstream. To achieve success (I.e. to earn a living) however, you will need to be constantly on the lookout for new signees and the generation of sales. This means that even though the company itself will not get in your ear about it, that doesn’t mean that those in your upstream will not.

If this is a path you wish to go down (and you don’t want to go down “the annoy all of your friends party plan track”), then you will need to consider the following:

  • How you can promote essential oils to solve the problems of your readers.
  • How to outline the feel, smell and characteristics of them over the internet.
  • How you can promote your business online – websites, social media etc.
  • How to convince readers to sign up and make sales themselves rather than just make a purchase.

Conclusion

So there you have it, my honest review and appraisal of the doTERRA and Young Living MLM programs. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below.

Are there any other programs you have been looking at but want to know more about? If so, please comment below and I will do my best to get some details for you.

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Until next time

Have fun

Paul

Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.

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Hey there, my name is Paul and I am the owner and founder of Make That Sea Change.  I spent 30 years in a cubicle working the 9 to 5 grind and just wanted to live at the beach.  I was lucky enough to achieve that with the help of my wife and our new Pilates studio.

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