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?
- Do essential oils have healing powers?
- How does Young Living Essential Oils work?
- How do I become a YL Member?
- Can I make an income selling YL oils?
- How much would I have to sell to earn more than a full-time, minimum wage job?
An essential oil is “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.
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.
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:
What does becoming a member mean? Well, it means you are becoming a distributor. See the next section for membership details.
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.”
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.
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.
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. 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.
According to the FTC, the first “telltale sign of a pyramid scheme” is this:
If you read the rest of the FTC article, you’ll find more information to reflect on:
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:
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:
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.