When I first learned about the wonderful and miraculous healing benefits of essential oils, I immediately wanted to buy some for myself; especially after learning how frankincense was brought to baby Jesus. I remember running into DoTERRA online and I almost bought them. When I saw that their products weren’t certified organic, I decided to search for more products on Amazon. After comparing a couple of brands, I finally decided to buy Plant Therapy instead.
On the surface, DoTERRA seems like a legitimate direct selling company where you can make lots of money improving peoples life by introducing them to high quality essential oils. In my DoTERRA review, I’m going to cover what is DoTERRA, a brief history, if the products are worth your money, if you can actually make money selling DoTERRA essential oils, what I like and dislike about the company, and whether or not it’s a scam.
What Is DoTERRA?
Based out of Utah, DoTERRA is now one of the largest essential oil multilevel marketing companies. They’re mostly known for their essential oils, but they also sell personal care products, supplements, diffusers, and other accessories.
DoTERRA states that they are committed to the purest highest-grade essential oils which led them to register the trademark CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade), but certified aromatherapist claim that this is marketing hype created to mislead costumers to think that they’re buying creme de la creme essential oils.
“…DoTERRA, LLC owns the right to exclusive use of the mark (however not the exclusive right to the actual words “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” which is revealing). This seal or word mark is nothing more than a commercial trademark that they have registered and paid a fee for. However, DoTERRA is purposefully misinforming potential customers and down liners by email by claiming FDA approval and that the FDA has provided them with the label that they, themselves registered and own. The FDA does NOT certify the quality of essential oils by therapeutic grade and they do not provide a certifying label as claimed.”–Wingedseed.com
They have changed their certification from the FDA to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over time, but neither of them certify essential oils. The essential oil market is booming and companies will do anything to get a piece of the pie.
Their wellness advocates have been found to make illegal claims that their dietary supplement can help with various medical conditions without the FDA’s approval. Many have also given dangerous aromatherapy advice- mainly on Facebook.
A Brief History of DoTERRA
DoTERRA was founded in 2008 by David Stirling, Emily Wright, David Hill, Corey B. Lindley, Gregory P. Cook, Robert J. Young, and Mark A. Wolfert. Stirling, Wright, and Hill left Young Living- a company similiar to DoTERRA.
By mid 2013, DoTERRA was facing a lawsuit where they were being sued by Young Living for using their trademark on adulterated essential oils.
“… Dr. Pappas says that he didn’t say a word of all of this until he was called for a deposition in a case filed in July 2013 whereby doTERRA International LLC was being sued by Young Living Oils accused of using the “Certified Therapeutic Grade” trade mark for oils which are in fact adulterated with man-made synthetic compounds… a series of reports from French laboratories (Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique) that doTERRA’s oils contain synthetic compounds. A peppermint sample they tested was found to contain ethylvanillin (a synthetic molecule — see page 34-37 of report). The report also concludes that synthetic linalyl acetate was added doTERRA’s lavender oil…”-Utahstories.com
I tried to click on the link to the report, but it looks like it’s no longer available.
On September 22, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an FDA Warning Letter.
“Your consultants promote your above mentioned dōTERRA Essential Oil products for conditions including, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), bacterial infections, cancer, brain injury, autism, endometriosis, Grave’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, tumor reduction, ADD/ADHD, and other conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners. Moreover, your consultants redirect consumers to your website, www.doterra.comExternal Link Disclaimer, to register as a customer or member (i.e., consultant), and to purchase your dōTERRA Essential Oil products.”–fda.gov
This didn’t stop DoTERRA from reaching $1 billion dollars in sales by the end of 2015.
In 2017 following the California wildfires, DoTERRA advocates were advertising their air purification products; however, air pollution experts emphasized that their products emmit volatile compounds that can further pollute the air and threaten people with respiratory problems.- Wikipedia
Are DoTERRA Essential Oils Worth Your Money?
They have a membership where for just $35 a year, you gain access to their costly products for about $5 to $20 cheaper. Thanks, but no thanks.
The price doesn’t always reflect quality. Since DoTERRA is a multilevel marketing company, their products are going to be vastly overpriced so they gain enough profit to pay their distributors and extravaganzas. They lied to their customers about how their products were certified by the FDA and their essential oils have been proven to be adulterated. For these reasons, I do not trust this company-oh, and their air purifiers release volatile compounds. When it comes to essential oils, you need to be careful about the quality of the oil, especially if you’re going to be putting it in your body. Over time, low quality oils can harm your liver.
I prefer to buy essential oils that are certified organic. Plant Therapy is a family-run business based out of Idaho and they’re partnered with a world-famous aromatherapy expert. Batch to batch, all their essential oils are produced to the highest quality standards and are tested twice before being sold. All their oils consist of only one ingredient and are very affordable. They have a wide selection, size and set options, and great customer service.
In the below images, you can compare the price of DoTERRA and Plant Therapy essential oils.
In the following video, you can watch why this certified aromatherapist chooses not to use multilevel marketing products.
DoTERRA Compensation Plan
There are four main ways you can make money with DoTERRA: retail profit, fast start bonus, power of three bonuses and the unilevel organizational bonus.
1. Retail profit– A 25% commission is paid to Wellness Advocates if they manage to sell their products for a little more than they bought them for to their retail customers.
2. Fast Start Bonus-This is paid on each new advocates point volume that you enroll for their first 60 days if they have a 100 point volume loyalty rewards order template.
3. Power of 3 Bonus– This is the most lucrative way to make money with DoTERRA. It can also be called the power of duplication. If you have three people below you that have a monthly auto ship order of at least $100 a month each, you get a $50 bonus. If each of those persons then get three more people to do the same, you get a $250 bonus.
4. Unilevel Organizational Bonus– Anybody that you enroll gets you 2% of their orders and anybody they enroll, you receive 3% of their orders.
5. Infinity Performance Pools– These are leadership performance pools where you’ll get a pool of the profits
The DoTerra 2018 Income Disclosure- Looks Impressive, But Look Closely-The Chart Is What The Head Hanchos Are Making
“… Many Wellness Advocates join dōTERRA to enjoy its Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® oils at wholesale pricing, and do not earn commissions…entry rank represented 62% of all U.S. Wellness Advocates, and fifty-three percent earned a commission. Those…averaged $380 for the year
…those that have begun to build a sales organization to be its business entrepreneurs. These Builders take in the Manager, Director, Executive, Elite, and Premier ranks… Builders make up approximately 23%… Those reaching the Manager and Director ranks… averaged $708 and $1,156… Executive rank Wellness Advocates…earned an average of $1,699 during the year… Elite and Premier …average annual…earnings…range from $4,281 to $10,507 per year.
…those in the Silver rank and above to be Leaders… These ranks are the highest levels…are approximately one percent of all dōTERRA Wellness Advocates… The below chart shows the average earnings of these leadership ranks…”-DoTerra 2018 Income Disclosure Statement
To summarize, 85% of DoTERRA Wellness Advocates are making less than $10,507 in gross income a year. According to DoTERRA, 62% are making less than $380. 9% of their advocates didn’t earn a commission because they weren’t interested in making extra money and solely joined to get the products at wholesale pricing. Why even call them Wellness Advocates? There’s a huge difference between being a customer and a distributor. It’s just hard to believe that there’s about 450,000 people (5,000,000 WAx9%) who aren’t interested in selling a product they love and believe in to earn extra income. If I wanted a good deal on essential oils, there’s plenty of small businesses where I can get quality oils at a great price.
Notice that when you sign up to be a wholesale customer of DoTERRA, it states that you are signing up to be a wholesale customer or Wellness Advocate. These two should have their own sign up pages.
What I Liked About DoTERRA
- The DoTERRA Healing Hands Foundation supports a wide variety of causes.
- DoTERRA gives back to the communities in the countries they extract their oils from.
- They have really raised awareness for essential oils and have taught people how they can use these oils instead of using other harmful cleaning products or pills.
- Points are given on your purchases and they offer free products and promotions.
What Makes DoTERRA A Scam
- The income you earn is based primarily on the recruitment of new salespeople to the company. What you make on product sales is minimal.
- You will have to purchase a minimum of $120 in overpriced adulterated products you many not even need every month possibly making you end up with numerous bottles of essential oils. Because the bottles are so concentrated, a single bottle can last a long time and people don’t need to place an order every month. You will most likely end up losing money.
- Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade is simply a marketing term that doTERRA made up.
- Inaccurate, misleading, unethical, and dangerous aromatherapy advice- DoTERRA allowed some of their wellness advocates to post dangerous aromatherapy advice online, mainly on Facebook. Many of their advocates aren’t qualified to give medical advice. The company has now taken action and have told them not use illegal claims.
- Misleading earning statements- It can take three times longer to hit a certain level and income because it is very difficult, or most likely, you won’t reach the level as a leader. You will have to enroll double or triple the number of people because many people won’t purchase anything.
- The compensation plan is really confusing.
- I saw a YouTube video where a woman states that DoTERRA didn’t used to provide their customers with enough safety information. I saw another video that states that DoTERRA gives a short speech about their products and essential oils right before trying to sell them to customers without them having enough knowledge regarding the safety of using them. DoTERRA published seven blogs focusing on essential oil safety for the month of July. These should have been published when the company first started to avoid any misuse of the essential oils. Also, they now have a very basic safety guide. On the subject of taking the essential oils internally, they don’t mention that you shouldn’t be taking essential oils internally unless under medical supervision. The essential oils that are harmful to take internally are mentioned in other blog posts, but it doesn’t hurt to mention them there too. They also didn’t use to tell their customers to dilute the oils with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil. A lot of their past blogs focused more on mouth-watering recipes using essential oils. These are all signs that they put their profits over the safety of the people.
There are many injury reports regarding the misuse of essential oils at aromatherapyunited.org.
There was a woman who applied about 10-20 drops of an undiluted digestive blend on her one year old baby about 6 times in 24 hours. Her baby started crying, was gassy, and got rashes where the oil was applied.
Over at Plant Therapy, they have the following safety precautions:
“Possible drug interactions. Can inhibit blood clotting. Those who take aspirin or other blood-thinning medications should avoid using Wintergreen. Should not be used at all during or shortly after a viral fever. We recommend a maximum dilution of 2.4% for topical applications. Completely avoid Wintergreen oil up to age 12. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.”
“The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that essential oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a medical doctor who is also qualified in clinical aromatherapy. All cautions listed for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion”.
8. Wellness Advocates have been known to be unsupportive, salessy, and pushy to sell their overpriced products and have made illegal health claims just to make a sale.
Here’s what DoTERRA Wellness Advocates tells their downline- “Tell people to charge their credit because it’s their health and they won’t regret it … You can pretty much say whatever you want as long as it’s behind closed doors. If you don’t place a maximum qualifying monthly order, you won’t be in the support group… Share the products every day with everyone in your life. If you lose friends and family over this, then they probably weren’t a good friend to begin with.” You won’t receive business coaching. Your upline will be more like your cheerleaders and won’t teach you how to build your team and how to effectively sell more products.
DoTERRA At a Final Glance…
When it comes to a legit direct selling company, you want to choose one with a superior and unique product at a competitive price. DoTERRA’s essential oils are up to five times the price of competitors and have been found to be adulterated with synthetic chemicals. It is most likely that no one would want to buy your products because of their ludacrious price and the only ones who are most likely to buy are other Wellness Advocates that you enroll. When most of the companies earnings and sales come from their salespeople, this is when you might accidentally find yourself in a pyramid scheme.
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with DoTERRA as a distributor or with the products, please share it in the comments section below.