doTERRA MLM Review

Big Business Opportunity or Oily Scam? (2022 Update)

MLM companies are big businesses in today’s society. Companies like Amway, Herbalife, and doTerra have been around for decades, and people seem to like them more and more each passing day. 

The MLM industry has changed quite a bit since its inception. It has become more tech-savvy with the introduction of social media marketing strategies that help people reach out to others online much easier than ever before.

Now, before we continue to dive into MLMs, are you even familiar with them? 

We are sure you are, but probably confuse them with something every person avoids like the plague: Pyramid schemes. 

The MLM structure is very similar to the latter. You can be a bit confused whether companies like the one we will review today, doTerra, are actually reliable and something you can choose to make money with what they offer. 

Well, to answer your questions and clear any doubts, we will need to go over every detail: How MLM works, if doTerra is a unique opportunity or not, and how it started in the first place. 

Thus, stay with us for a wild ride since MLM companies are not only part of our specialty but what we also love, either destroying or loving (yes, it is kind of a weird relationship). 

Its Inception – What Is doTerra?

With so many companies out there, it is impossible to keep up with what each one of them offers, sells, or is up to. Thus, don’t feel bad for not knowing about doTerra before if you were disappointed in not getting to understand the business opportunity a few years ago. 

To change that, we will just give you a brief yet crucial introduction about what the company does and how it works. 

We should start by mentioning that doTERRA is a very recent MLM company founded in April 2008 by David Stirling, Emily Wright, and David Hill founded the company, while Young and Mark A. Wolfert also took part in forming it. 

All these executives are known for being former ones in the company Young Living, which is very similar to what doTERRA offers: Essential Oils. 

When the MLM company started, it had approximately 100 employees. However, in 2013, this number increased to about 350 at its Utah headquarters and 100 in offices in Taiwan, Japan, and Europe. 

Later, doTERRA announced it would build a new headquarters in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

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The company’s main products are entirely based on essential oils, which are wellness and health products that help with different issues: Aging, pain, and many more depending on the specific oil created by the supplier.  

When it comes to how the founders came up with the idea of starting the company or a story behind it, you will be left waiting for it. 

After all, most MLM companies don’t really share much background or information about themselves and just focus on selling their products or services as well as opportunities they give to people. 

How doTERRA Works: MLM Structure & Members

Since we have mentioned MLM so far, you should know the company works pretty much with this multi-level marketing model. 

Thus, the structure is simple: You sell products at retail prices after acquiring them for lower prices directly from the company and generate income by recruiting people to join and be new distributors for doTERRA. 

In the case of this MLM, distributors are known as wellness advocates who are independent and sell the company’s products to get a commission per sale while also climbing ranks to get more benefits based on a scale established by the company. 

According to the company, in 2015, it had approximately 1,650 corporate employees and more than 3 million wellness advocates in 100 countries selling their therapeutic grade essential oils. What are essential oils? How do they work? I’ll be back shortly.

MLM’s are often criticized. Some even consider doTERRA an illegal pyramid scheme. In addition to the aggressive recruiting practices associated with multi-level marketing are the prices of their products (which are typically much higher than what you’d pay for a comparable product in a store).

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So, to keep it simple, this is how people can make money: 

  • Join the MLM system and become a wellness advocate. 
  • Sell products to earn commissions and prizes. 
  • Recruit people to opt for better benefits, more earnings, and climb ranks. 

You will notice that recruiting members is what will truly bring you money in the long run, but it also means the company’s mission is questionable. Why? Because it is the first one to get rich thanks to others. 

We get all businesses to want to make money, but the problem lies in what they promise in exchange, in this case, to have distributors who are earning money from getting others into the wellness advocate program. 

After all, commissions for selling products aren’t that high, and the cost of each oil can make it difficult to even get started. Though, we will dive into this later. 

Products & Investment: How to Join & Sell Products

If you’re curious about how you can participate in this business and join as an advocate, we won’t deny the information. However, we suggest you read the entire review before making the final decision. 

First, doTERRA has essential oils as its main products, but they are not the only ones available.

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Since the company is focused on wellness and using natural products, you can find several options when you decide to join and sell them or if you ever meet a distributor trying to make you buy: 

  • Essential Oils.
  • Personal Care.
  • Supplements.
  • Kits & Collections.
  • Accessories and Diffusers. 

According to the website, the previous ones are among the best-sellers and represent about 70% of the sales and earnings of the business. 

With the general idea of the products you will be dealing with, how can you become an advocate or, more like, how much does it cost? 

When first signing as an advocate to access the products at lower prices and earn commissions or prices, you will need to pay $35 for the simple fact of joining, while $25 annually is needed to renew the membership. 

This is pretty cheap and affordable compared to other MLM companies. However, the real investment starts with the conditions and terms you have to follow: 

  • To receive your commissions when selling products or bonuses whenever you recruit someone, you need to sell a specific quantity every month known as PV (personal volume).
  • The personal volume is set at 50 once you start but then increases to 100 when you climb in ranks. 
  • 50 PV are the same as $50, and when you are unable to sell this minimum in a month, you’ll need to pay for the products to continue being a member or avoid losing future benefits. 

This means that the issue lies in whether you’re able to sell something during the first months, which tends to be the critical point for most small businesses or distributors since selling even one item is a lot. 

Thus, you will usually need to pay these $50 from your own pocket. 

Finally, we have to mention that doTERRA offers two options when it comes to joining: You can either pay the previous membership ($35) and then start buying the products you will sell or get a starter kit that already includes the fee. 

The starter kits range from $150 to $500, so we don’t usually recommend getting started with them, considering that’s much more than what you would invest by paying $35 and then getting $50 during the first months to meet the “quota.”

However, you are the one to decide if you’re considering the MLM business: A regular membership or get your kit right away.

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Commissions & Bonuses – Getting Paid with doTERRA

With numbers regarding investment and payments on the table, we are just missing the part that will tell you whether this MLM option is good or not: Your commissions and possible earnings. 

Like every multi-level marketing company, you have to follow a compensation plan established by it.

In the case of doTERRA, you have two ways to earn money: 

  • You get 25% commissions for selling products (a retail bonus since you buy the products at lower prices). 
  • You get bonuses for people you enroll. 

Unlike other companies with the same system, this one isn’t focused on giving you a commission or direct payment for bringing new wellness advocates. Instead, the bonuses depend on your achievements. 

If you enroll someone during your first 60 days, you get 20% of the commission for the new member’s enrollment and products for sale. 

Following this same scale, you get 10% when they enroll someone within the same number of days and 5% when they bring someone else. 

The other two bonuses following the recruitment system include: 

  • You get $50 if you recruit three people that meet the 100 PV quota every month. If they are part of your front line or the other three are, you can get $250 for the same achievement, and if they help their front line, you get $1.5k. 
  • The unilevel bonus offered ranges from 2 to 7% in commissions depending on your level or rank based on the scale set by doTERRA. 

We know it can be a bit hard to understand this, so to make it simple: You make money selling products but mostly from recruiting others, and those members have to recruit many others. 

It is just a never-ending cycle if you want to receive compensation.

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Pros & Cons: Why You Should or Shouldn’t Join

We could give you our verdict right away, but would it make sense if we don’t conclude whether this is a scam or has enough pros to consider? We don’t think so. 

We prefer people to see why they should or not do something or bet for an opportunity in front of them. Of course, we will give you our opinion, but not before going over the final details of doTERRA in this case: 


  • It isn’t a pyramid scheme since it sells real products, while schemes don’t involve any of that, only recruiting people to make money. 
  • You can make money thanks to product sales compared to other MLMs that pay very low commissions. 
  • The company is legal, and despite being new, it operates smoothly for the moment we’re writing this. 


  • You have good commissions available, but the company’s products aren’t easy to sell because of their prices and bad reviews. 
  • The 50 and 100 PV condition is a short-term and long-term problem for your finances and revenue. 
  • The real deal comes from recruiting people more than selling products. 
  • Ranks or levels are difficult to reach even when you are a good advocate and recruit several members. 
  • You depend on others to make money, not in your own efforts alone.

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doTERRA isn’t a lie in terms of working as an MLM company that pays what its compensation plan shows. However, it is very similar to a scam when you notice that recruitment bonuses are what would make you earn real money. 

It is a lot of work to deal with recruits and build a team for you to earn the bonuses. 

If you ask us, businesses should be simpler, and although everything requires hard work, this just looks way too much for the benefits you will receive in the end. 

What We Choose Above MLM Companies

Although we mentioned we would give you our opinion later, we are confident you already know what we think: doTERRA isn’t worth the time and money. 

Don’t get us wrong, some people make money selling products, but the revenue isn’t significant but rather just extra cash you acquire after too much effort for what you could get with even a simpler and traditional job. 

Thus, it isn’t worth calling it a business opportunity when it doesn’t come with great benefits and revenue. 

But what about bonuses and when you’re able to recruit lots of people? This is when we would think it is quite a good option, but it has been proven only 5% of wellness advocates climb to the higher ranks and get rich with the company. 

For us, this is way too complicated and exhausting even to read, which is why we like to skip MLM companies and business “opportunities” that follow similar ones. 

Instead, we prefer options that give us freedom in both finances and location. 

Local lead generation meets what we expect from a business opportunity, starting with the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of money to get started nor meet quotas and conditions. 

You don’t need to convince others to make it work, and the best thing is that you will work hard in the beginning but then get passive income and much more freedom.

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Now, what is the deal behind this business option? 

Local lead generation aims to build or create websites for clients (which you will contact directly or bring your way) and ensure that they rank well on Google so that organic traffic (free) can be generated.

This traffic will generate leads relevant to your interests and can be converted into potential customers for the businesses that hired you for the task. 

It’s easy to understand: You bring customers for your clients and get paid for each lead you generate.

In our experience, it is hard work mixed with being able to relax and work from wherever you are. 

There are no membership fees or royalties to pay. It takes effort to find clients, creates websites, and generate leads, but nothing you can’t learn and get used to in a matter of weeks. 

In addition, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or ongoing expenses since it’s not expensive to maintain the websites you create, and you only have to check them every once in a while. 

It is not easy, however, to acquire the knowledge and skills you require.

A course or program that can help you increase your revenue with lead gen will be necessary. 

This #1 training has been a success for us, and you can view the outline right here…

Here’s Our #1 Recommended Online Business Model:

1 - local lead gen vs other online business models - blog

Interested in starting an online business to build passive income? Check out the local lead gen business model. Click here to learn more.

Written by Dame Cash

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