Is doTERRA a Scam? Another Essential Oils Pyramid Scheme?

make money promoting essential oils

Recently I discovered an online business opportunity called doTERRA, the way it works reminded me of one of those nasty scams you often hear about on the news, you know…pyramid schemes, ponzi schemes, whatever else. But are they?

From looking at their payment structures you may think you have a great opportunity here to make some good part time or even full time money, you may think this could help you leave the 9 to 5 rat race and work for yourself. Is this another too good to be true type thing?

Is doTERRA a scam? Are they a pyramid scheme? In this review I’ll go over the good, bad, and ugly about them so you can get a sense of what you’ll be getting yourself into. Let’s get started!

By the way, take a look at my Top Work At Home Recommendation if you want to learn how I currently make $1000+ per month by building websites like the one you’re on right now.

doTERRA Review

Name: doTERRA
Type: MLM (multi-level marketing)
Membership Price: $35 registration fee + $100 every month for autoship

mlm essential oils personal care products

What Is doTERRA?

“doTERRA” is a latin word that means Gift of The Earth. They are a USA-based MLM (multi-level marketing) company that sells mainly therapeutic grade essential oils, they also provide a business opportunity where people can join as a Wellness Advocate and earn money by promoting and selling doTERRA products.

doTERRA started up back in 2008 by David Stirling and a few other people. At first they only sold 25 types of single oils and 10 oil blends, but now they have expanded their product line and have many more types of oils and blends plus other personal care, health, and wellness products.

doTERRA Products

doTERRA sells a large variety of therapeutic grade essential oils and oil blends, they also sell personal care, nutritional, and spa products that are based on their essential oil technologies.

Here are some examples of the products they currently sell:

  • Single Essential Oils (lavender, oregano, peppermint, clove, cilantro, black pepper, plus more)
  • Essential Oils Blends (a mix of single oils)
  • Supplements for digestive health, weight loss, nutrition, specialized, and more.
  • Weight Management Shakes
  • Skin Care Creams
  • Hair Care Products
  • Body Lotions & Rubs
  • Product Sets (includes a mix of the above products)
  • Plus much more…

If you’re looking to buy these products you probably won’t be able to find them on the shelves of your local drugstore or shop. doTERRA is a MLM company which means a big part of their strategy is to sell their products through distributors (aka Advocates.)

I’m guessing the only reason you even heard about doTERRA is because a friend told you about them, perhaps trying to convince you to buy some products off of them or even sign up to become an Advocate yourself.

If you want to buy these doTERRA products the best place to go is their website where you’ll find everything that’s currently for sale. Another good spot to go is where you can find some of their products.

If you just want to make money with them and not buy their products then you can sign up to become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate.

Become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate

If you’re interested in creating an income you can become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate which basically means you’ll be eligible to receive commissions for selling their products as well as recruiting others to do the same.

When you become a doTERRA Advocate you are not employed by them, this is not a job, this is a business opportunity where you work for yourself and you’re your own boss.

You can sign up to become a Wellness Advocate account either on their website or through someone you know who’s already an Advocate. The process involves having to pay a one-time $35 registration fee which isn’t so bad compared to other MLMs like LuLaRoe where to get started you have to invest hundreds of dollars upfront.

In addition you’ll also need to spend at least $100 monthly on doTERRA products to remain eligible for sales commissions. This is called “autoship” and nearly every MLM business opportunity has something like it. 

doTERRA Compensation Plan

Once you’ve become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate you will have a couple of ways of creating an income. As you’re probably aware MLM compensation plans can get quite complicated and difficult to understand, so I’ll simply everything as best as I could.

There are two main ways to create an income as a doTERRA Wellness Advocate:

  • Make Retail Sales – Earn 25% commissions for selling products to retail customers
  • Recruiting New Advocates – There are many levels of bonuses (Fast Cash Bonus, Power of Three Bonus, and Unilevel Bonus) which are all bonuses that reward you with more earnings for recruiting people to join under you.

Just like other MLMs the big bucks can only be made from recruitment of others and not from direct retail sales.

Think about it, at 25% sales commissions you won’t earn very much. If someone buys a $30 oil blend from you you’re only earning $7.50 for that sale. Think of the number of sales you must make per day to add up to a substantial monthly income.

But with recruiting you can have 100, 1000, 10,000 people under you which means being able to scale up and earn more and more with various big bonuses. It is very hard to scale up if you’re just one person selling these products.

I’ve only scratched the surface, if you’d like to learn more details see their Full Compensation Plan Here. Or you can check out my video below which summarizes how it all works.

Video Explaining doTERRA’s Compensation Plan:

Is doTERRA a Pyramid Scheme?

No, doTERRA is not a pyramid scheme they are a MLM business opportunity. The difference is that with pyramid schemes there are no products to sell and the only way to earn is by luring more people to join the system itself.

With doTERRA you’ll be selling their essential oils and personal care products as your main way to earn. But of course this is just their “front” as we know that with MLMs the big bucks are made from recruiting and not making retail sales. So in reality MLMs and pyramid schemes are very similar and both should be avoided in my opinion.

How Much Could You Expect To Earn?

The good news is I was able to find doTERRA’s 2017 Earnings Disclosure Statement and found out how much their Wellness Advocates are making. The bad news is that the data is probably going to disappoint you.

You can see on their statement that they show a bunch of impressive numbers:

earning income disclosure

At first I thought this means 62% of their Advocates was earning $27,557 per year, but then I read the fine print and realized that these ranks (silver and above) are known as “leaders” and only represent 1% of their total Advocates!

There are 6 levels before Silver as illustrated in the below screenshot:

different ranks and levels

So if you’re below the Silver rank how much can you expect to make?

When you dig deeper into their income statement you’ll learn what each level are making:

  • Entry Level Advocate – $375 a year
  • Manager – $752 a year
  • Director – $1,250 a year
  • Executive – $1,837 a year
  • Elite  & Premier –  $4,370 to $11,260 a year

Their income statement also says that the Entry Level Advocates represented 76% of all USA Wellness Advocates, and the other 24% spread between the Manager to Premier ranks.

Basically all this means you probably won’t be earning any substantial amount of income. If you’re like most people you’ll probably end up earning $375 a year which is like $31 a month!

If these numbers disappoint you then check out my Top Work At Home Recommendation instead to learn how I personally make $1000+ monthly with a blogging business. Free to start, and no selling or recruiting required!

The Pros

  • Low startup costs
  • The popularity of natural products like essential oils are on the rise
  • doTERRA currently holds an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website

The Cons

  • Need to spend a minimum of $100 monthly on doTERRA products to qualify for sales commissions
  • To make good money you’ll need to recruit a lot of people, this will be very difficult if you only know a small group of people and don’t know how to network
  • According to their income statement most of their Wellness Advocates are making less than $50 a month

Is doTERRA a Scam Or Legit?

Since doTERRA is using a legit MLM business model I wouldn’t call them a scam, they are definitely legit and legal in the eyes of the law. However, they work very similarly to a pyramid scheme where a big focus is on recruiting, and while it’s possible to make substantial income doing this it doesn’t work out for most people.

In my opinion MLMs are just a complete waste of time and money, there are much easier ways to earn a good part time or full time income. Below I’ll show you a much easier way to build a profitable business, it’s what I currently do to make $1000+ per month online.

How I Make a Full Time Income Online

If you’re interested in creating your own business that generates a part time or full time level of income I highly suggest that you learn to build a website and make money by promoting other people’s products and services as an Affiliate Marketer.

Affiliate marketing is so much better than MLMs for a few reasons:

  • No selling or recruiting required
  • You can work from your laptop from anywhere around the world
  • You can promote any product you want, not just limited to the products of the MLM company you joined
  • Free to get started

You may not know anything about building websites or affiliate marketing right now, but this is something that anyone can learn to do very easily. As long as you have the right training and desire to learn, anyone can create a full time income with this.

Below I’ll show you a step-by-step guide on how affiliate marketing all works and also introduce you to the same training platform that taught me how to build this website you’re on now.



My top recommendation definitely works, but it’s not for people who are looking to get rich overnight. It is a real business and you must have the right mindset and be prepared to put in a lot of work and effort into learning and building your website.

If you’re not ready for an online business yet you can always see my Favorite “Get-Paid-To” Sites where you can earn a bit of extra income online by taking surveys, playing games, watching videos, opening emails, and much more. These sites won’t earn you a full time income, but they’re a fun way to earn some beer money.

That’s the end of my doTERRA review, as usual if you have any questions or comments about them you can leave me a comment down below.

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