Is Young Living Essential Oils a scam? It’s not about the oils

Young living essential oils

Young Living – something we all aspire to, me included. But does that mean that you should buy into the product or the business? I am going to find the answer to my question of is Young Living Essential Oils a scam and is it a business worth pursuing?

To be clear, this review is not about essential oils themselves. Essential oils have numerous positive benefits, but I don’t have any knowledge about oils themselves, so I won’t go into this. I am here to talk to you about the business opportunity



Business Name: Young Living Essential Oils

Website url:

Cost: $40 minimum

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

My recommendation: Young Living essential oils is your standard direct selling MLM. If recruiting people to join your team, regardless of the product is not your thing, then check out my top recommendation to build a real home business.


What is Young Living essential Oils?

Exactly what is Young Living Essential Oils?  Well firstly its a Multi-Level Marketing Business (MLM) scheme which means you can make money in two ways. Either you make money by selling the products themselves.. (essential oils). Or you can make money recruiting other people into the business and you make a commission of the sales THEY make.

If you join this business you can sell a range of essential oils for the home, for wellness, for beauty and for balance.


What is young living essential oils about


How do you get started?

You will either have been approached by someone trying to recruit you in to the business or you will have bought the product and fancied setting up on your own. In this instance you will have probably just found the sign up online.

In order to get started, you need to buy a starter pack which you can get for around $40. (Young Living is available internationally). This is the basic package. Or you can choose from a range of prices for a range of different starter kits. Namely they just include more product to sell and more marketing information as you go up the pay scale.

young-living-membership packages

Once you have purchased your kit you are technically ready to go out and sell.


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What now?

So you have joined. If you have joined through a sponsor, or someone who has recommended you, then you will join their team. If not, you will most likely be allocated to a team nearest to you. Now this really is luck of the draw, and you have no control over this and your team leader decides your route and how you will market your products to a large extent.

This might be a successful path for him / her, but might not be a selling tactic you enjoy. It’s a risk. You could be lucky and land yourself with a winning team or you could end up with a losing team.

For example, if your team leader trains you to sell door to door, this will have to be your tactic moving forward. If your team only sells online, then you follow this line to. If you are required to sell to all your friends and family this will have to be your tactic. (most MLMs require that this is your initial starting base anyway and Young Living is no excption). You get the picture.


How do you actually make money – the compensation plan

Their compensation plan is readily available online. They are not hiding anything which I like, although I have to say, it’s pretty confusing. I have attached a pdf of their compensation plan just as proof that it is there, but I don’t expect you to read it, unless you have amazing eyesight, I just wanted to show you it is there.


However, it’s not easy to understand, so I thought I would include this video which summarises it. If you are really interested in this business, it’s worth a watch as there are a lot of numbers being banded around!

So now that you understand this, hmmmm – Then you know how you can make money in this business? Simple?


Who can be a distributor?

This is one of my big issues with MLMs.

If you read any other my MLM reviews, you will see a similar comment. It’s not even about the product it’s about the business model for me. My problem is with selling to friends and family. With hosting parties where you ‘encourage’ friends to buy from you. Going door to door to sell products. Whatever it might be, it’s hard work and it requires someone with a thick skin and someone who is able to accept rejection.

I have come across numerous forums where people are sharing stories about avoiding their friends who are trying to get them into a certain MLM scheme. Do you want to be THAT person?


See my no 1 recommendation to build a business

where you don’t have to sell to family and friends


Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of hard work and to build a business, absolutely, you must put in the hard work, but with the MLM business model, it seems even the hard work isn’t rewarded. Very few people make a success in MLM business, in fact statistics say that 95% of people fail) and those that do succeed, make very much a part time income. There are much better business opportunities out there where hard work can lead to real financial freedom.

Another consideration before you go into a business such as this, you have to ask yourself, are you passionate about the product? To sell convincingly face to face you need to be truly passionate, as this will have to shine through. Its pretty hard to fake it.


A word of warning.

Some Essential Oils, because of their potency are categorised as a drug, so you have to be really careful about promotion of these products or you could get into some real trouble.   Recently, Young Living has been associated with some wild claims about how their oils can prevent Ebola! This has been widely dis-reputed by the FDA (the food and drug administration).

It seems it was a tactic by a team who were being creative with their marketing. Scary stuff, to make this kind of claim, with no instruction by Young Living themselves. This is why you have to be careful a) promoting a product which can essentially be classed as a drug, and b) where marketing tactics are not recommended from the brand.  If you look around, there are several promoters sites that make claims about how the oils help autism, and cancer and heart disease.

In this article from the FDA, there is a list of distributors making these wild claims that have been taken to task by the FDA.

Is young living a scam



  • If you are interested in essential oils this could be an interesting product to sell
  • The product looks high quality
  • If you like networking this could be for you.



  • It’s a very niche market. You will struggle to find people to sell to. People might buy a bottle here and there but it’s a lot of work for just a few small sales.
  • You have to be really careful how you promote this product as you could get into trouble making claims
  • The training isn’t substantial to give you the knowledge you need
  • You don’t have much control over the way you sell. This is down to your team leader, and this might be a method that you are not a fan of.
  • Its not really a HOME business, you will spend a lot of time out and about selling.


My verdict

At the risk of repeating myself, if you have read any of my other reviews on Herbalife, ACN, or Forever Living, you will see how I feel about the MLM business. Basically, it’s not for me, and it’s not for everyone. You have to be a certain type of person to do face to face selling, day in and day out. Yes you can sell online as well, but they don’t provide adequate training to make this your main income stream and the competition out there from all the other distributors selling online is pretty high.

So, I give this a ‘so so’ rating. IN terms of my question, is Young Living Essential Oils a Scam, the answer is no…  It’s a fairly interesting product to sell, if you are interested in that kind of thing, and you can make a little money but you are unlikely to become rich. So many people give up in this business because the rewards just aren’t worth the work.

Please ask me any questions you like about Young living and I would love to know if you think that Young living is a scam?


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18 thoughts on “Is Young Living Essential Oils a scam? It’s not about the oils

  1. inzhirov says:

    Hello great information well layed out. I also find mlm sometime hard to earn income but I have managed to make money with them since many people consider mlms a scam which in most cases they are but there are legit company out there with great product and if you know how to promote it you will make money like building your own site.

    • Ruth says:

      Absolutely! You are right, there are a lot of legit ones out there. I think for me, its about the way of selling which I just don’t like. Can I ask what business you are in. I would love to find out more.

  2. Riaz Shah says:

    Great review Ruth,
    Pyramid schemes today are getting better at doing their business under the table. They know that people today are against them so they try their best to try and find a product to represent them. Monavie uses fancy juice drinks, Organo gold uses coffee as an excuse to mask their MLM, and Young Living Essential Oils uses… oils. You’re totally right that it’s not about the oils, its about the referrals that you need to bring in and I hope many people can avoid this scheme altogether.

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Riaz, interesting other businesses you have outlined there. I will have a look into them and see if I can get a fuller picture. For me its the MLM model which I don’t like, and that is quite a personal choice.

      Thanks for your feedback and for taking the time to write!

  3. Jay says:

    I really am starting to hate multi level marketing companies. It’s really a shame that they have you market something that’s really supposed to help people and it isn’t even that great of a product. I’m learning that’s how the money is made… they cut corners on the product and sell it for more than the competition.

    Do you have experience with other MLM “scams” like this?

    • Ruth says:

      I do with Amway. It was my parents as I was growing up. They are smart people and they worked so hard. We used all the products at home. I hated the beauty products, they were so expensive and rubbish. And the cleaning products the same. In then end they gave up, as they couldn’t recruit people. Its tough to be pushy and salesy if it’s not your thing. And I hate them too!

  4. Hi Ruth,
    Thank you for such a detailed review of this MLM opportunity. I think that your article will be very useful to beginners. I know some people who succeeded in MLM business a few years ago, but only temporarily. There are some good quality products to promote out there, like essential oils for example, but I agree with you when you say that it is not for anybody. Selling products to your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues can be very frustrating and in most cases, it is definitely not rewarded enough. However, I must admit that $40 is not much for the basic investment. Most of MLM businesses that I read about asked for much more: $250 or $300.
    I wish you a lot of success. Cheers!

    • Thanks Maja for your comments. I agree with you that this is one of the better products to sell. SOme of the products aren’t that great for MLM companies and this is what they have a reputation for, but essentials oils is a little more interesting. I wish you success too!

  5. Chris says:

    I see you have given this opportunity a 3 and a half rating out of 5 and it’s a MLM system….
    When I was learning my trade in online marketing several years ago I was always told that ANY MLM opportunity was a scam – what do you think about this? 99% of marketers who take up MLM opportunities fail to reach their quota and end up in dept – don’t you think this is a high number/ratio?

    • Ruth says:

      It depends how you define a scam. A scam, technically can be defined as taking your money with no return, providing no refund policy and with no potential at all to make money. Although I am not an advocate of MLM programs, Young living is NOT a scam. I believe you can make SOME money out of it. But its a hard slog and you have very little reward, ever. I don’t like the business model, where those at the top get richer and those at the bottom struggle until they give up. Yes 99% failure rate is ludicrous, but it’s not a scam.

      If someone is interested in this type of thing you could make a small part time income but it will never change your life. Have a look at my article on What is an MLM. I Hope that answers your questions!

  6. Ian says:

    Nice review! Personally I would view this as scammy, or having the potential to be scammed.
    I have had bad experiences with MLMs in the past that cost me a bit of money, and besides I feel that I would have little control over my “business” which I think will ultimately lead to disappointment and failure.
    Thanks for letting us know!

    • Ruth says:

      No problem Ian. Glad I could help! I think it’s so hard to be successful in an MLM business, that the business makes money for those right at the top from those who are signing up and dropping out. Tough huh!

  7. Ananomyx says:

    I have done MLM similar to this. I sold a product called Univera which is a health drink with all the nutrients you need to think better, have more energy, less stress, and other products for different illnesses. It was fun and I seen some people make good money from it, but they were at it like crazy. This Young Living company sounds like it would work for someone passionate about this, but for others, there are way better opportunities to really do what one loves and get paid for it.

    • Ruth says:

      You are right Ananomyx. It certainly suits some people but not all. If you love the product then I think it make it a lot easier. This is key when selling face to face. If you aren’t sure, then I really wouldn’t bother. I would be ineterested to know what happened with your MLM business?

  8. Robert Basaker says:

    Ruth, I just stopped by your website and found this article interesting. I actually use essential oils but found out your article was about business opportunities. You did a good job reviewing Multilevel Marketing, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks. I was amazed that only 5% succeed in that type of business. I then followed your link to starting an online business for free and was amazed at the Wealthy Affiliate business opportunity you write about. I always wanted to start my own home based online business, but I have absolutely no experience in this subject.This opportunity sounded perfect. Even better I can try it for free. I will be back in touch with you and let you know how my experience is with Wealthy Affiliate. Keep up the good service.

    • Ruth says:

      Great thinking Robert. And thanks for your review! Wealthy affiliate is absolutely the best place if you are starting out from scratch so I am pleased you have found it! Lots of luck to you, and let me know if you have any questions?

  9. Richard says:

    What an excellent review of this program! I personally always avoid any kind of MLM schemes. I have had my fair share of dead end roads when it comes to trying to start a business like this one.

    You state that this company encourages you to start selling these products to your friends and family first. I don’t like companies that focus so much on this type of selling. No thanks! I liked your comment about how family members will avoid you when they find out you are involved in something like this. I don’t want to be that member.

    I also read some of the information on the FDA website about the claims that these products can prevent diseases such as ebola or possibly cure cancers! Wow! A big red flag went up on my radar! Thank you for this great review. I for one will not get involved in this company.

    You have a link to the #1 program that you recommend. I have checked this out and I would definitely recommend it myself! Cheers, Richard

    • Ruth says:

      Thank Richard for your interesting comments and taking the time to write so much. The FDA outlines are astounding aren’t they! I guess people thought they could get away with it, but on the internet, you can’t hide anywhere!

      I hope you find what you are looking for!

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