A while ago, I wrote a Doterra review which was very popular. So I figured you guys may be interested in one their competitors Young Living Essential Oils which has a similar business model and products.
I thought it was worth covering because many people believe in the healing power of herbs and the essential oils derived from plants. So in my Young Living Essential Oils review we'll determine if these claims are actually valid and if you can actually make money peddling this stuff.
What is Young Living Essential Oils?
Young Living is a Lehi, Utah based MLM company which sells essential oils and other related products. The company was founded in 1993 by Donald Gary Young.
It is important to know that Mr. Young is a firm believer in the healing power of herbs & essential oils. He owns and maintains several farms, not only in his home State Utah, but also in Idahok and countries where some plants are indigenous of, to grow the plants for his products.
Young Living also offers a business opportunity for people to become independent distributors of the company's products.
What Are The Young Living Products
The value of essential oils to wellness is indisputable and there are scientific research results to back this up. However, essential oils can be blended with many other ingredients to create an array of products.
The product line includes:
- Natural Cleaning Products
- Multi Vitamins
- Antioxidant Support
- Weight Management
- Beauty Products
The main products, however, are ‘Wellness‘ related. There a well over 100 different essential oil products you can choose from. Here are 4 of them, including their best selling ‘Thieves'.
Each of the little bottles contains 0.5 fl oz. or 15 ml of oil. The price ranges from $25 to $48 seems a bit high, but remember, you are going to use just a little drop or two at a time.
Are The Young Living Essential Oils Good Products?
During my research I found an overwhelming majority of positive user reviews. See what one of them has to say:
“We believe in the vast healing and nutritional benefits of essential oils and have found Young Living essential oils to be the highest quality of any available essential oil. But they do not stop there. All Young Living products; household cleaners, nutritional supplements, meal replacements, drinks, etc, are held to the highest standard of quality and simply have no comparison”.
This is from a user which also is a distributor of Young Living, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. However, reviews from ‘users only‘ will tell you basically the same story.
I have a buddy of mine that has used one Young product, Thieves' on several occasions with amazing results. He claimed putting a drop on bee/wasp stings, fever blisters on lips, even on an eye sore of his grand daughter had, took away the pain and ugly blisters away in almost no time. So he swears by it.
What Is The Young Living Business Opportunity
Well, it is a MLM with all the PROS (if there can be any) and CONS inherent in this type of business which many people view as a glorified pyramid scheme. I can see a bunch of Young Living distributors going nuts over this statement, claiming that this is a ‘direct selling‘ company, blah, blah, blah.
But let's face it. A business model, in which you earn income not from commissions only, but from recruiting people to build your downline, and receiving bonuses and parts of their commission, is always going to be viewed as a pyramid. The only reason MLMs are legal is because the smart ones have tangible products that can be sold by their distributors. Some would argue corporate america is a pyramid scheme to a certain degree as well which I don't think is too far fetched.
Like most MLMs, there is a convoluted compensation plan, which hardly anybody understands, and requires a 35 minute long video to explain.
But here's a short summary of the compensation:
- Earn Commissions on your downlines. You get 8% of sales of your first level of distributors, then 5% of their enrolled distributors, and 4% on the next three levels as well.
- Fast Start Bonus. You get 25% commission the first 3 months on each of your new enrollees' purchases.
- Member Starter Kit Bonus. You get $25 for each new distributor you sign up, who purchases the Premium Member Starter Kit.
- Generation Leadership Bonus. Achieve leadership ranks and get shares of 6% monthly commissionable sales made by the company.
- Rising Star Team Bonus. This is a bonus for your team's achieving specific requirements.
- Generation Commission. If you get to “Silver” rank, you get an additional 2% on certain sales stemming from your group. When any of our team members gain Silver status, you get a bonus of 3%
- Diamond Profit Sharing Pool. Become Diamond level and earn shares of 0.5% in Young Living's commissionable sales.
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What Are The Young Living Essential Oils Complaints?
Despite what certain shady MLM reps may tell you every company has some issues. My philosophy is that it's better to let you know what these areas for improvement are before you join. This helps you avoid any nasty surprises. Some folks don't like this because they want you to go in blindly so they can make their commissions. But obviously that doesn't help you. So with that said, let me break down the complaints against Young Living Essential Oils.
Young Essential Oils Product Complaints
In all honesty, I was not able to find any substantial complaints about Young Living products. There are a handful of reports from folks that whine about ‘getting an upset stomach' after ingesting some oil. Well, most oils are for ‘external use only‘. If you have an ingrown toenail and drink the stuff instead of putting it on your toe, chances are you're going to get an upset stomach and probably some messy underwear. I think some people are misinformed by other reps on the proper usage of the oils and that's when you find the few complaints about the actual product. And like any product the results will vary so it may not work for some.
Bad or No Support for New Distributors
I came across about 50 complaints from very unhappy newly recruited folks. It seems that the company is not doing enough to instill ‘the art of building a downline‘ into its army of distributors. This is a reason of concern. How can the company expect you to succeed if you are not properly trained to lead the people you recruit, and also the folks brought into your team by other team members.
What you see here is not an isolated instance. Like I said, there are many like it and I would think about joining not only once, or twice but 50 times. However on the flip side a good MLM doesn't spend so much energy about recruiting others. They want their reps to focus more on selling the product. But when folks do become reps you do expect the proper support. So it's a gift and curse in this situation.
Not Many Distributors Make A Livable Income!
This is a big problem with every MLM and a well known fact that only about 3% to 4% of all members will be able to make a livable income. Young Living is no exception. Take a look at the official Income Statement for 2013.
As you can see, 95% of distributors make just enough to pay for their own products. I am not quite sure why that is the norm in MLM. It may be that many people simply don't have what it takes to build, and most importantly, maintain a down line of hundreds of members which is necessary to make real money. Fortunately with My Best Work At Home Recommendation, you don't have to worry about not being able to make real money. But if you're just looking to earn a little income on the side, then definitely check out sites like SwagBucks.com, FusionCash.com, InboxDollars.com and SurveyJunkie.com.
Apparently the FDA isn't too keen on some Young Living Essential Oils claims and issued them a WARNING LETTER in September 22, 2014, which says:
This is to advise you that in August 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed websites and social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) for several Young Living essential oil consultants that your firm refers to as “Young Living distributors.” FDA also reviewed a 2012-2013 product guide found on your website http://www.youngliving.com.
Based on our review, FDA has determined that many of your Young Living Essential Oil products, such as, but not limited to, “Thieves,” “Cinnamon Bark,” “Oregano,” “ImmuPower,” “Rosemary,” “Myrtle,” “Sandalwood,” “Eucalyptus Blue,” “Peppermint,” “Ylang Ylang,” “Frankincense,” and “Orange,” are promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs under section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. ? 321(g)(1)(B)], because they are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.
The intended use of a product may be determined by, among other things, its labeling, advertising, and the circumstances surrounding its distribution, 21 C.F.R. ? 201.128. As described below, the marketing and distribution of your Young Living Essential Oil products without FDA-approved applications is in violation of the Act.
The FDA then lists about 25 violations in explicit detail and requests a response in writing within 15 days. You can read the letter here.
This, my friends, is not just a ‘slap on the wrist‘, so to speak, and if Mr. Young fails to take corrective action, the FDA could shut down his whole operation. I was not able to locate any follow-up on this issue, so we will have to wait and see how this all ends.
Is Young Living Essential Oils A Scam?
Young Living seems to be a legitimate product based MLM that sells tangible products people actually want to buy and use. More importantly many folks seem to believe they work well. So from that perspective it is not a scam. I am concerned about the FDA interest in the company. Depending on how this all pans out the company can get shut down. So that would make me skittish from joining this business. Aside from that, it doesn't sound like a bad company to consider.
But I would love to hear your opinion. So, chime in down below in the comment section and let me know your thoughts in this company.
Alternative to the Young Living Business Opportunity
Just in case you're not fond of the MLM business model or the FDA warning letter is a concern for you, there are other options out there that allow you to create a business around any passion you have.
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Ultimately I can tell you if this company is right for you. But unlike most of the work from home companies out there you can try this one for free and have nothing to lose. This way you can determine for yourself if it will work for you as it has worked for me all these years. I just wanted you to know you have options either way.
Well enough of my yammering. I'll speak to you soon!
Eddy with a Y
10 thoughts on “What is Young Living Essential Oils? Scam or The Real Thing?”
I am considering joining YL as a distributor and I have been in a couple of beginner classes that were organized for free.
To be honest, they did mention that although the products are high quality and very beneficial for health, some people may have sensitive reactions as nausea, etc. They did mention that not necessarily every oil is for everybody.
I’m still not sure about joining them. It attracts me the bussiness possibilities but not convinced it is as easy as they say…
Thank you for your reply and my thoughts exactly. Yes everything in my post is word for word printed out in hand with exception of my last reply where I stated it wasn’t word for word. I was amazed how easily I was kicked out and shocked in disbelief they took it a step further with blocking hence why I decided to send this post out on blast. I personally find it terrifying they did this because it shows they are hiding something. I hope others educate themselves and find real holistic alternatives because young living clearly is not.
I was a member of the “nothing but oils” Facebook page among a few others and also a buyer of YL oils until today…
Today I saw a post from this woman whom said:
” I have family that swears the smell of any oil makes them sick with headaches and nausea ANY suggestions to over come this… I may diffuse just a drop or apply on my body and still they react like I am evil incarnate because the get ill. and no it isn’t me.”
Joni Jeager-reed stated: There is always gonna be people like that we come across Karen. Some are just overly sensitive . I personally just advise more dilution or taking the the oils in a capsule! Don’t let it get to you. Where one is different, there are 20 more waiting to hear about oils from you!!
Another poster stated: Matthew , my son lives in a nursing home. He used to have a roommate that swore every time I diffused in the room his eyes would burn. well he was a bit of a drama queen to the staff & about everything that ever happened-i told him “no it doesn’t. you’d be the first person i ever heard that from!”
that being said…i have heard but never researched to confirm, they people who have that kind of reaction to our oils have bodies that are toxic.
Another poster stated: do you have any thoughts on this?
I posted: I personally get headaches and allergy effects from diffuser but love the smells. I use a mixture of oils on my face with zero issues.
A poster stated: It can happen with people who have sensory issues…However they would have similar and more exaggerated responses to synthetics too. Most likely it is people who are used to popular synthetic fragrances-it cab take some time to switch over out bodies. I did have a patient once who was sickened by the diffuser in the office. I was just diffusing lavender and she swore it smelled like rotten cigars and was burning her lungs (seriously? 3 drops in the diffuser only) Everyone else that day had commented on how wonderful it smelled. I knew she was very sickly and so attributed in to that.
Now everyone, the next post submitted was by me in which I believed was a mutual fair and correct statement. Everything typed above I was able to screen shot and share but my next comment was Deleted and blocked from every Young living site possible therfor I am unable to type out exactly what was said. The words are not word for word but purely by memory of what I wrote.
Everybody now a days has side effects to everything good or bad and that The negative side effects does not mean the product is bad or perfection but just may not be for them. That this is a money making buisness therfor sellers and avid users will always have a rebuttal in regards to negative side effects posted. I also stated that both sides of the fences may not like the post but its the truth. There was a bit more to the post and not demeaning in anyway but simply explaining to others that yes… the oils are effecting some people… EVERYTHING is this world has a side effect, good or bad but doesn’t declare it harmful to the world but harmful to some.
I personally did not see anything wrong with stating the obvious! I did NOT bash Young living in any way… I did not ride the boycott train because I was a young living customer up until a few hours ago. There was no point/agenda or conflict with Young Living until now. I find it disturbing that I would be blocked and banned from Young living social media and such because I stated the harmless truth. Yes, people are in business with young living… Yes, this is for most their bread and butter to support their families but I find it frightening that they banish a member for involving themselves in a communtiy post about a product. Im sorry, I think that people would rather know the good and the bad of a product you heavily promote considering its all about ingesting,inhaling and applying. God for bid someone dies from this product because the Sellers would rather keep their pockets fat by only promoting how wonderful the product is and ignoring the potential side effects for some.
Not every person effected by this product is sickly or insane. They are having their own REAL individual experiences. I will Never buy or promote Young Living ever again. I find something very wrong with the “CULT” mentality they have.
I say “cult” because it is just that. I hope the FDA does shut them down and people open their eyes. Ive watched the Facebook videos that one member does and I knew I didn’t belong when all she does is crazy bulging eyes clearly showing she is not stable and her very own product is apparently messing with her nervous system.
The Young Living Cult will respond with Im mad because I got kicked out or blocked… Im getting revenge… I didn’t have a problem with it until now…
and the answer is yes, no. yes…!!!
I am angry… I am angry for my freedom of speech being taken away because they felt their bread and butter was for what ever reason threatened without being asked. No explanation….just banned!!
If you read this post then you’d see if I had any issues prior to this…
In my experience writing reviews on hundreds of companies, folks in MLMs like this are very cult like. And I won’t say all of them act like this. But I always find it amusing that they can’t readily admit that their products and company has flaws like any company does. Instead they want to paint this unrealistic rosy picture that anyone with common sense knows is not realistic. I’ve always thought you’re better off telling people the good and bad beforehand so they can make an informed decision. Because if someone decides to join your MLM even after knowing the good and bad they’re more inclined to be there for the long term.
But if you try to hide the bad things or bad mouth the people that have justified concerns or complaints, you’re just hurting your business. So I think it just works against them. That said I don’t necessarily know how your expressed some of your own concerns and such. If you did it the way you described then I don’t see the problem. But just speaking from years of experience with various MLM reps, I can’t say I’m surprised.
A couple things,
A lot of people don’t get the support they need to grow a business because the person they signed up under hand no intention of making it a business. That’s what happened to me. I signed up under a friend who was just using the oils. She wasn’t running a business. I had no intention of having a business either. I just wanted a great discount on a starter set for my oils. I eventually allowed my account to end and I signed up again under another, closer friend. She was trying to build her business and had successfully done so. She kept asking if I wanted to build my business and she’s now giving me the training I need. I think the reason why business builders aren’t getting the support they need is because the majority of Young Living “distributors” aren’t actual business builders. They are people who wanted the deeper discount on the starter set and the 24% off their regular orders. That was me for 4 years. I’m just now learning the business side and its starting to grow.
The second thing, those income percentages include everyone listed as a distributor with Young Living. Like I stated in the last paragraph, the majority of Young Living members aren’t business builders, they are product users just looking for a wholesale price on the products they use every day. Everyone that I know that is a business builder and putting in the hours and work are working their way up and bringing in an income. I have 2 friends who just started at the beginning of the year and they are bringing in an extra 1-2k per month. I have another friend who has been doing this for almost 2 years and is bringing 3-4k in per month and another friend who has been at it for 4 years and is bringing in over 30k per month.
I just started a couple months ago and am only bringing in $100-200 per month but I only put in a few hours per week and I’m a severe introvert who is having a hard time climbing out of her shell and talking to people.
I don’t think this business is for everyone, but I stand behind the products because I’ve used them for 4 years and they’ve literally changed our lives in more ways than 1. I don’t know if I have what it takes to turn this into a business but I’ve seen first hand several of my friends go all in and are incredibly successful.
As far as FDA approved products for 2016, the following 2 products were revealed as new OTC products with the promise of more on the way:
That’s a different perspective and makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing the point of view.
Young Living is now the only company with FDA approved essential oils.
Oh yea? Can share a link that verifies this?
My sister is involved with this company. The prices are too rich for my blood, but to me it is no different from other MLM’s and companies selling everything, Nerium, Nikken, you name it. I have tried the oils and cannot tell the difference from ones I have purchased from Puritan Pride that are 1/3 less in cost. I realize there are different grades of oils too, or so they say ;).
I enjoy your columns as always. Thanks for the research.
Thanks for sharing your insight. That’s always been my problem with MLMs as well. I always just feel the products are over priced regardless of the justification. For the most part we know it’s to pay the reps peddling them. That said I don’t know if they’re all bad. But I’m just not a big fan of the business model especially the ones that push recruiting over actually selling the product. Thanks again for the support!