Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils? [doTERRA MLM Review]

Essential oils have become increasingly more popular in the last decade as society as a whole has become more health-conscious. This conscientiousness has catapulted consumers into searching out products that support health, rather than detracting from it. The name “doTERRA” is synonymous with high-quality oils and personal care products, but can you make money selling essential oils? Find out the answer in my doTERRA MLM review.

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - Graphic
Quick Facts

Company name: doTERRA


Founders: David Stirling, (CEO) Robert Young, Mark Wolfert, Gregory Cook, Emily Wright, and David Hill

Company inception: 2008

Headquarters: Pleasant Grove, Utah

Products: Essential oils, personal care products, and nutritional supplements

Facts About doTERRA

doTERRA is an international company that manufacturers CPTG (Certified Pure Tested Grade®) essential oils, which are distributed by independent Wellness Advocates. In addition to oils, they also sell nutritional supplements, along with wellness and spa products, all infused with the company’s essential oils.

The company was founded in May of 2008. By December of that same year, sales exceeded $1 million. In March of 2013doTERRA broke ground on their state-of-the-art headquarters located in Pleasant Grove, Utah. By 2017, over three million Wellness Advocates worldwide, were selling the high-quality oils and products doTERRA is known for.

In 2008, DoTERRA initially offered 25 individual oils and 10 blends. Throughout the years, many more essential oils, blends, healthy living products, and accessories have been added to their inventory, which is made possible by a Global Botanical Network of distillers and artisans.

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - doTERRA products

What Is Multi-Level Marketing?

Multi-level marketing, also called network or referral marketing, is a business model that direct sales companies use to distribute products. They do so by using a non-salaried workforce, to not only sell products, but to recruit new distributors. Existing distributors receive a percentage of sales by recruiting new members to be in their downline. In this way, the company generates new distributors, which equates to more sales.

The quality of the products a company sells is a significant factor underlying their ultimate success. MLMs have a negative connotation in many people’s minds, which is why they are often referred to as pyramid schemes, many of which are indeed scams. doTERRA, although an MLM, is clearly a legitimate company based on product superiority and the number of years they’ve been in business.

That being said, people who join MLMs have statistically poor odds at achieving success. Comparatively, a small percentage of those who become representatives for multi-level companies actually reach the desired heights they set out to when initially signing up. It’s easy to buy into the unwarranted hype when a family member or friend is selling you oils or trying to recruit you to be in their downline.

Are doTERRA’s Oils Better Than Other Brands?

One of the first things you’ll notice when joining doTERRA is the cost of the oils. They’re definitely pricier than other brands. As stated above, the oils are Certified Pure Tested Grade. This certification requires certain criteria to be met, namely that the oils must be free from artificial ingredients and fillers, they cannot be diluted so as to ensure potency, they must be free of chemicals, pesticides, and contaminants, the aromatic compounds must be carefully extracted, and rigorous testing procedures must be implemented.

The oils also must be cross tested using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to ensure composition potency and purity. Lastly, oils must be sourced globally by leading chemists and growers to ensure that exact species, along with ideal growing environments and harvesting times, meet industry standards in terms of raw plant materials.

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - Man In Lab With OilsGraphic taken from

As stated on their website, the company works to better lives and communities by sourcing oils in developing countries via Co-Impact Sourcing, which creates coalitions of distillers and growers to make sure that the communities themselves receive timely payments in order to support their families, thus ensuring long-lasting and productive partnerships.

While scouring the internet for information on the purity and quality of doTERRA oils, I ran across a statement that was very concerning by Katherine Maslen, a naturopath. She stated that doTERRA came up with the term “therapeutic grade oils.” There is, in fact, no designation for certified therapeutic grade oils. The company coined the term, later trademarking it.

The burning question then remains: does the cost of the oils correlate to their quality in terms of effectiveness? How do they compare to other brands of essential oils? I don’t have a definite answer to that question, but it’s something to be aware of.

How The Process Works

Here’s a step-by-step scenario of what becoming a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA looks like. To begin with, most people join the company as a Wholesale Customer, the cost of which is $35.00 for the first year. Thereafter, you’ll be billed $25 annually in order to enjoy wholesale pricing. This is a good option if you want to buy essential oils for individual use.

You’ll also have the option of joining the Loyalty Rewards Program where you can earn product credits by ordering a certain number of oils per month. To retain your title as Wellness Advocate, you’ll be required to sell a specified amounts of oils or other wellness products on a monthly basis.

However, if you’re looking to make a business out of selling oils, you’ll need to become a Wellness Advocate, rather than a Wholesale Customer.  Advocates are required to buy an enrollment kit, which range in price from $150.00 clear up to hundreds of dollars for the Premier kit. Typical of the MLM business model, you’ll begin at the bottom tier of the compensation plan upon joining. You can then start earning 25% commissions on any sales you make. After you’ve established your downline, you can begin earning commissions based on the sales your recruitments make.

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - Essential Oils KitsGraphic taken from enrollment kits

If you’re dedicated, you can eventually climb your way up the company ladder from Wellness Advocate to “Builder, Manager, Director, Executive, Elite, and Premier,” with each graduation potentially earning you increasingly more and more annual income. Unfortunately, in reality, a significant number of representatives will end up losing money once business expenses are deducted from their total earnings.Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - doTerra compensation plan

Chart taken from doTERRA‘s compensation plan 

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils For doTERRA?


✅   Oils are CPTG certified: The oils are put through a rigorous testing process to ensure their purity and potency.

   doTERRA has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau: doTERRA has been in business for 12 years with an A+ business rating. The doTERRA name is synonymous with high-quality products.

✅   Comprehensive training is offered: The training was designed to equip distributors with the knowledge they need to explain the benefits of essential oils and how to use them.

✅   Wellness Advocates can buy essential oils at wholesale pricing: For a fee of $25.00 per year, Advocates can enjoy wholesale pricing on oils and other products.

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - Better Business Bureau Graphic

Graphic taken from the Better Business Bureau


?   You must bring in recruitments to remain a Wellness Advocate: Your status as a Wellness Advocate could be in jeopardy if you fail to add members to your downline on a yearly basis.

?   If you don’t establish a downline, you won’t make a consistent income: Even if you are able to retain your status as a Wellness Advocate, you won’t make an impressive income without a downline. This means you must be highly motivated in your role as a sales representative.

?   Many MLM participants are doing good if they break even: Many MLMers actually lose money once business expenses are deducted unless they’re particularly adept at selling products and bringing in recruitments.

?.  The oils are expensive: The fact that doTERRA‘s oils are significantly more expensive than other brands could impede your own sales and that of your downline.


1. Question: What does doTERRA mean?

Answer: The name doTERRA means “Gift of the Earth” in Latin. This corresponds with the company’s mission of sharing the highest quality essential oils with the world.

2. Question: What is the definition of an essential oil?

Answer: Essential oils are the essence or natural compounds of a plant. These compounds, including flowers, bark, roots, and seeds, are distilled to harness their healing powers.

3. Question: Can oils be taken internally?

Answer: doTERRA purports that their oils are safe enough to be taken internally. For instance, frankincense supports the nervous system, and aids in healthy digestion and immunity when ingested.

4. Question: How are essential oils used?

Answer: Oils have been used for centuries in healthcare, the beauty and personal care industry, aromatherapy, and in religious settings. Click here to download a free eBook entitled 100 uses for essential oils.

5. Question: How much does the Essential Oil Specialist Certification cost?

Answer: The certification course costs $97.00. The curriculum involves learning how the oils are produced, the benefits of each individual oil and blend, and best practices for using them. Learn more here.

Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils - Certification Course Price

Final Opinion

Selling is not an easy endeavor, especially making consistent sales month after month. Add to this the difficulty of recruiting others, and you’ve got yourself a stressful business model that isn’t exactly sustainable long-term unless you’re highly motivated and driven. And of course, if you enjoy selling.

While it’s possible to make money with multi-level marketing, there are more sustainable ways to earn an income. I like affiliate marketing because you don’t have to make a quota of direct sales or sign up a certain number of monthly recruitments. Another important issue is that if those in your downline aren’t motivated, your monthly income will be non-existent or will definitely take a hit. Essentially you’re livelihood is dependent on others.

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A Better Alternative

If you’re looking to start your own business or supplement your existing one, affiliate marketing is worth looking into. You can work at your own pace, you’ll be selling other merchants’ products, eliminating the hassle of completing all the steps that selling entails, and you’ll be responsible for your own efforts, rather than being at the mercy of what others choose to do.

You won’t get rich overnight, not even close, but if you keep at it, it’s entirely possible to build a thriving, successful business that will serve you for years to come. Plus, you’ll learn a boatload of marketable skills, including website design, search engine optimization, keyword research, and social media marketing, to name a few. Click here for my #1 recommended resource to learn internet marketing. Or read my review here.

doTERRA sells products to many satisfied customers worldwide. Whether you can make a living selling essential oils is another matter, and will be dependent on your individual work ethic, your ability to make sales, and your commitment to recruit others. Affiliate marketing also takes dedication and commitment, but is a better business model, in my opinion.

What’s your opinion of MLMs and doTERRA specifically? Let me know in the comments:)

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Overall Quality







  • Discounts offered on products
  • doTERRA has been since 2008
  • Oils undergo rigorous testing


  • Stressful business model
  • Must bring in recruitments
  • A small majority of Wellness Advocates actually make money

12 thoughts on “Can You Make Money Selling Essential Oils? [doTERRA MLM Review]”

  1. This was exactly what I needed to read today. Every time I get tempted by companies like these I need to remind myself of the word you use, stressful! I’ve been involved with MLM before and even though I love essential oils and think doTERRA is a decent company, it’s just too stressful for me. I’m not a salesperson! 

    • Well stated Emma. 

      MLMs can be tempting, especially with legitimate companies like doTERRA that have great products and an established reputation. I think it takes a certain personality type to succeed in that type of high-pressure business model. I’m with you – I’m not a sales person either. I’m sticking to affiliate marketing…

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my review:)

  2. Essential oils have come to be progressively preferred in the last years as the culture as a whole has become more health-conscious. The name “doTERRA” is associated with top-notch oils and personal care products. The question is whether you can make enough cash selling the oils.

    I didn’t know the company was based out of Utah, nor that they have over 3 million supporters worldwide. Interesting review – thank you. I enjoyed learning about doTERRA specifically and MLMs in general. 

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, essentials oils have becoming increasingly more popular in the last few years as the public has become more concerned about health and holistic living. Whether you can make a sustainable living selling the oils is another issue altogether. 

      Although, the company itself is top-notch, I think comparatively speaking, a small number of representatives actually make an impressive living in multi-level marketing. Even though affiliate marketing takes a lot of dedication and effort, as do all endeavors, in my opinion it’s a much more sustainable business model to pour your efforts into. 

      Thanks so much for reading my post and taking the time to comment:)

  3. Thank you for your detailed and intriguing post about doTERRA. The facts about this company are rather impressive – especially about the amazing sales they achieved in the very same year they started. I appreciate your explanation of  MLM, which I tend to look at rather skeptically after a few bad experiences. 

    However, doTERRA is clearly a legitimate, transparent company. Plus, I like the meaning of the name – ‘The Gift of Earth’ – quite poetic! And by the way, I really like the layout of your page with the Table of Contents, it makes everything much easier for the reader. Thanks again for your interesting article!

    • Hi Lucie,

      Thanks for reading my review. Yes, doTERRA is definitely an impressive company in terms of what they have achieved. Whether you can make money selling essential oils is another story. MLMs do get a bad rap because many people have had bad experiences with them. It’s easy to be excited about a multi-level marketing opportunity in the beginning, but sustaining that excitement is another story. 

      I’m glad you like the table of contents. Thanks for taking the time to leave your opinion:)

  4. doTERRA is clearly an MLM company, which takes a lot of hard work to make any money from so I am with you on your assessment. I acknowledge though that oils are used by many and are seen as very spiritual by many people. It’s just a shame that they are connected to an MLM. You mention WA and affiliate marketing as an alternative, and I agree that it is a much fairer way to promote products and build your own niche website in the process.  

    Thanks for sharing the information. I know the pop up threw my reading of the article to begin with but I soon recovered, maybe I needed some soothing oils to calm myself. Enjoy your journey and your sharing. You seem exceptionally honest and fair.

    • Hi Phil.

      Yes, doTERRA is an MLM, which sells essential oils and other wellness products. Essential oils are very popular now. I’m use them myself often. I’m sure there are many many people who are doing very well selling doTERRA’s products, and it is no doubt a very reputable company as is demonstrated by their sales, their work force, and the number of years they’ve been in business.

      For me personally, I prefer to spend my time building affiliate sites that will bring in a consistent profit once they are established. There are some people that will succeed far better than others in the MLM business due to their personality type. On the flip side, I think internet marketing is a good fit for a fair number of people as long as they can keep themselves motivated. Thanks for reading and commenting:)

  5. Hello dear, thanks for this excellent review on selling doTerra essential oils. I love essential oils, they are truly amazing, with never-ending benefits. I use them a lot, but I don’t appreciate the MLM marketing system. The products are very expensive, they are certified of course, but I can find great oils at a lower price. It’s not easy to make money with this system. I agree with you – affiliate marketing is easier.

    • Hi Isabella,

      Thanks for reading my review. I agree with you that essential oils are amazing. Selling them using an MLM platform, however, isn’t my cup of tea. I would prefer to spend my time building my affiliate sites. They payout is better long-term, plus I appreciate that I’m not dependent on others’ work ethic or motivation. I also love the skills that I’ve learned in the process and continue to learn. I appreciate your comment:)

  6. Hello there, 

    Starting a business where you’ll be an affiliate is a great business model, especially when you get to use products that are known to work well. That way you’re sure to make sales.  

    However, an MLM company isn’t my kind of business knowing that I’ll have to recruit members to have a better income or go to the next level. So doTERRA is a really nice idea if anyone is able to find recruitments easily. Thanks for your opinion and recommendations.

    • Hi Bella,

      I agree, affiliate marketing is a more sustainable business model than is MLM marketing, although many people do make money in that arena. If you’re able to make sales and bring in recruitments on a consistent basis, it could be a good way to make money. If not, then it’s going to be a waste of time. Thanks for reading and commenting on my review:)


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