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Earning Income Selling Young Living Essential Oils

Disclaimer: All content is the opinion of the author and should not be taken in place of professional legal, medical, or financial advice. The author is not, nor has ever been, a Young Living Essential Oils distributor, member or salesperson of any kind.

You’ve probably seen essential oils floating around your newsfeed. Perhaps you have a friend who sells Young Living or talks about the “benefits” of using essential oils for everything from illness to relaxation. Maybe you’ve never heard of essential oils. Or you’re a frequent Young Living customer. This article will start with the basics. Feel free to jump ahead. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What are essential oils?

An essential oil isย “a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants” (Source: Wikipedia, Essential oil). Hydrophobic is just a fancy word meaning the oil repels or does not mix with water. Britannica notes that, “[essential] oils were called essential because they were thought to represent the very essence of odour and flavour.” So, basically, an essential oil is a concentrated liquid that highlights the most familiar sent of a plant. For example, rose oil will smell like a rose and peppermint oil will smell minty fresh.

Do essential oils have healing powers?

Ok, this is a big one. You should always consult your doctor or medical professional for advice on “healing,” treating an aliment, or treating an illness. Read what the U.S. National Library of Medicine has on file here. Why won’t I dive deeper into this topic? Well, because the FDA came down hard on this topic. You can read the FDA’s warning letter here. Note that the FDA and FTC have strict rules on making medical claims to sell or promote a product.

How does Young Living Essential Oils work?

There are two sides to Young Living Essential Oils: customer and distributor.

Using the products as a customer

If you choose to purchase and consume the products, you’re a customer. You’ll likely be buying the product from a Young Living Essential Oils distributor, who is trying to make a profit from each sale. Now, Young Living and your distributor will encourage you to “Become a Member” of Young Living Essential Oils, which is something you can do as a customer. This is what it looks like when you sign up as a customer member:

As you can see, there seems to be an incentive to join as a “Member” versus a “Retail Customer”

What does becoming a member mean? Well, it means you are becoming a distributor. See the next section for membership details.

Becoming a Young Living Essential Oils member (distributor)

First step to becoming a member

So, you take the bait and want to get 24% off. Who doesn’t like a good deal? If you select the Member option, you’re brought to this page where you may select a Starter Kit. The Premium Starter Kit costs $160. You must purchase a kit to become a Member. The first kit you’re shown is the “Popular Premium Kits,” but note that there is a Basic option for $45, available in English under “Basic” or Spanish under “Specialty Kits.”

The featured Starter Kits

This is Step 1 to becoming a Young Living Essential Oils Member. For Step 2, you are encouraged to place a monthly reoccurring order.

second step: subscribing

As you scroll down the page, you’ll see what amounts to monthly subscription options.

Note that this step is optional, but includes incentives like “Exclusive Bonuses” and “Discounted Product Kits”

So, if you’re committed to signing up, you’ll probably get a monthly order. After all, you will not be able to get certain bonuses without that. Note that the Monthly Orders include things like “Business tools” that you’ll need to sell your products. I’m not sure what the minimum monthly order would be. However, figuring that out is quite complex, so you’ll probably go for the $181.50 or $115 option.

Last step – ordering more products

You’ve probably ended up at the membership page because you were trying to place an order. Now, you’ve got a starter kit, and maybe a monthly order, too. But you didn’t get what you originally visited the website for, which was likely a $15 oil.

Not done yet

So, you’ve decided just the Starter Kit? Not so fast. You’ll be prompted to confirm that you don’t want all of the benefits of adding more things to your order.

I’m not sure how earning things make those things free. But maybe that’s just me.

Bottom line: young living essential oils minimum investment

It appears that the minimum investment is $45 for a Basic Starter Kit, but you can’t earn commission unless you have a Personal Volume (PV) of 100 per month. So, at minimum you must sell or spend at least 100PV to be eligible for commission to earn money. ย Note that PV is not always equal to retail. In some cases, you may spend $85 but only accrue 75PV. You do not make commission from your personal purchases.

So, if you want to be commission eligible for sales you make immediately, the minimum investment is $160 for the second cheapest Starter Kit.

Can I make an income selling YL oils?

If you went through the process above, you’ll come to the Member Info page. Here you’ll find a link to the Compensation Plan. The very first page of the Compensation Plan PDF looks like this:

Yes, this is Page 1 of the Young Living Essential Oils Compensation Plan.

According to the FTC, the first “telltale sign of a pyramid scheme” is this:

Found on FTC:

If you read the rest of the FTC article, you’ll find more information to reflect on:

Also from FTC:

Keep in mind that it is the FTC’s job to protect and regulate individuals and businesses.

As of 10/06/2017, this is on the home page of Young Living Essential Oils:

Home page:

Young living essential oils COMMISSION rates

So, how much can you earn? For most of the direct sales/MLM breakdowns we do on BOTTLESOUP, we take a look at the minimum standard. Then, we compare how much product you’d need to sell to equal a full-time job (37.5 hours/week) paying the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. That would be $271.85 per week, before taxes, or $14,137.50 annually before taxes.

member status commission requirements

So you joined as a member, and you’re on the first level. To qualify to earn commission, you need 100PV per month. That means you must personally sell 100PV of product per month:

From the YL Compensation Plan:

OGV is Organization Group Volume, and you don’t need that for Member status.

So, let’s say you’re a member. You’ve invested $160 in your Starter Kit. I’ve read that the $160 Premium Starter Kit is equal to 100PV. But I haven’t been able to verify that on the Young Living Essential Oils website.

But let’s assume that in the first month you sign on as a member with the Premium Starter Kit, you are eligible to earn commission.

Ok, so according to the chart above from the Compensation Plan document, you will earn 8% commission on the products you sell that month.

bottom line: how much do I have to sell?

For simplicity, let’s assume that PV = Retail Value, even though that’s not always the case.

At 8% commission, you need to sell:

$3,398.13 worth of product (and it would have to be PV of that amount) to earn $271.85/week in commission.

Or $176,702.50 worth of product (PV = 176,702.5) to earn $14,137.50 per year.



15 thoughts on “Earning Income Selling Young Living Essential Oils

  1. SAFME

    One thing you didn’t mention is, these “Free Trips” MLM’s offer, the consultant is given a 1099 at end of year based off what company feels the “free trip” was worth and let me tell you, the MLM’s figures are way off (expensive)

      1. SAFME

        It’s common knowledge consultants or “leaders” in MLM’s get a 1099 for vacations they “won” or “free cars”
        Here Tracy Cohnen, A Forensic Accountant (she’s been featured on Marie Claire, ABC2020, Huff Post, you name it!) talks about it in the comments of her blog about a scammer who scams ppl with a weighloss MLM and brags about free vacations, skip to the comment on page to see

        Forbes mentions it,

        The funny thing about them free cars is, after consultants recruit A boat load of people and sell over $100,000 in their over priced products, if they don’t keep selling $6,000 a month, they then have to pay the co-pays of the car. Either way, they still have to pay the “gift” tax. LOL. But with “free” vacations, they inflate the value.

        1. Mrs. Bottlesoup

          I’m curious how many “consultants” are even eligible for these trips. Perhaps people just don’t report this, because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to use your lifestyle, income, vacations, etc. to entice people to sign up.

  2. Data Junkie

    Great write-up Mrs. Bottlesoup! Since you didn’t finish the model, please permit me to finish it for you. If a distributor is able to average $30 retail price per bottle for this product, the distributor must sell 491 bottles per month to make minimum wage. Assuming a bottle will last each customer one month, that’s nearly 500 regular customers needed to achieve and sustain minimum wage, again assuming each customer re-orders every month. I don’t know anyone who has 500 friends…much less 500 friends close enough to sell to, ALL OF WHOM must have the kind of disposable income to spend $30 per month on this stuff and then become loyal, repeat customers. All of this just to barely make minimum wage. But like all of these MLMs, Young Living will make their money whether or not their reps ever turn a profit (or ever sell a single bottle of the oils). As you’ve pointed out with so many of these MLM products, the company makes its money on that lucrative starter kit. That is really all the company needs to sell. This makes the rep the primary customer of Young Living. So sad that this continues to be legal in the US.

    1. Mrs. Bottlesoup

      Thank you, Data Junkie! Nicely done. Seeing a comment from you made my day! I just watched “Betting on Zero” which is a documentary about direct sales / MLM company Herbalife, and a hedge fund manager who’s shorting their stock. You might enjoy it if you haven’t seen it already. It’s on Netflix.

      1. Data Junkie

        Thank you for the recommendation on “Betting on Zero”. I will definitely check it out. As of this writing, it got an impressive 100% on the Tomatometer! Another fun one is the MLM mocumentary “Believe” (2007) which is a humorous look inside the funky world of MLM, and is currently included free in Amazon prime streaming. Worth a watch if you have not yet viewed it.

        1. Mrs. Bottlesoup

          It was really good. I’ll check out Believe. Bonus: it will force me to learn how to use Amazon Prime Streaming. Lol! I can’t get out of my Netflix / Hulu comfort zone.

  3. jetta77

    I love your style of reporting on these MLMs. I wonder if you’ve dipped into the DoTerra Oils world as well? I have many more friends in that one. I’d love a follow up to this article about DoTerra! ๐Ÿ™‚