Company Name: Young Living
Costs: $40 and up for a starter kit
What Is It
A MLM company focusing on essential oils and related products.
Young Loving offers expensive products that are far from unique in the marketplace. While the company does offer a range of products, the compensation plan and price of products would make it very difficult to convince people to actually buy the products.
Combined with no real training, most people who try Young Living will find that they get nowhere and probably lose money in the process.
Young Living is clever when it comes to marketing its products. Many of the products have unique names or combinations of ingredients, making it impossible to compare directly with other products on the market.
For example, one of their multivitamins is called MultiGreens. The description of the product indicates that it contains the following:
This is an unusual combination of ingredients and most of them don’t have any proven health benefits whatsoever. In fact, the company is pretty vague about what the product is even supposed to do for you.
Yet, despite this, buying the product would cost you more than $50.
In fact, most of the products at Young Living seem to pretty expensive. A 15ml of lavender essential oil will set you back more than $30 for example, which is certainly on the high end of the market.
For example, on Amazon you can pick up a slightly smaller essential oil (one that is even organic) for less than half the price that has similar reviews. And that’s only one of the many options on there.
There is actually little indication that the products are any better than other things out there on the market. Oh – and don’t be fooled by the Therapeutic Grade claim on the essential oils.
There is no grading system for essential oils and the company even says that their founder invented the grade. There isn’t even any indication of what this means in terms of what is and isn’t in the oil. Instead, it just seems to be a marketing label slapped on the products to make them sound better.
Honestly, if the products from Young Living were that much better, why aren’t they organic?
In reality, Young Living’s products are price much higher than most others in the marketplace and there is absolutely no indication that they are any better in terms of quality. This is extremely common with MLMs that artificially inflate the prices of their products to support a less-than-ideal business model. MLMers will hate that I just said that, but I've never seen an MLM that doesn't rely on hype from distributors and can be supported simply by producing good products.
Young Living has a pretty decent range of products that beyond just essential oils.
Review-wise, the products from Young Living seem to score pretty well at least on Amazon.
This pattern of scores is relatively unusual for a MLM and most of the time you see many five star reviews (from distributors) and many one star reviews (from actual buyers). In this case, the distribution looks much more legitimate.
However, only some products are featured on Amazon, most sold by a single seller. Most of the products are either essential oils or related to essential oils. This makes it tricky to work out how well the products fare overall.
Products like essential oils are also tricky to review anyway, because if people got any benefits from them, they probably wouldn’t notice. Additionally, you would have to know a lot about essential oils to be able to tell whether the quality was any good. I actually use a diffuser in my home for various fragrances, but I do not believe any of the hype around “better living through essential oils” that many fanatics promote.
Issues With The Products
The company itself has actually got in some trouble with the FDA over misrepresenting some of its essential oils by claiming that they had the potential to either prevent or cure the Ebola virus (you can read the full information here).
This makes the rest of the claims on the site pretty questionable as well, especially claims about things like cancer protection. Seriously? Prevent cancer and heart disease? You gotta be kidding me!
Outlandish claims is another common thread among recruiting schemes disguised as direct selling MLM. Supporting claims like this is downright impossible, and enough for me to NOT recommend this company to buyers or someone searching for an income opportunity.
Like many such companies, Young Living is partly about the product and partly about the opportunity. While the products are pretty prominent on the website, it is the opportunity that is promoted the most.
The company is a MLM pure and simple. Distributors can make money simply selling the products, but to make a decent amount of money they also have to recruit other people into the business. The more generations of people the member recruits, the more they earn.
At least that’s the theory.
Young Living breaks down its members into many different tiers based on a few factors.
This is where the system starts to get a bit complicated and the further up the ranks you go, the more you have to do in order to get and stay there. The incentive for going up in ranks is (of course) more money, as the higher ranks earn commissions from more levels.
Young Living wants people to look at its compensation plan and see opportunity, but really, there is more work there than anything else.
The tiers require you to buy a certain number of products per month (the Personal Volume) and also for your ‘organization’ to buy a certain number of products per month. This means the people you sell to or the people you recruit have to buy a certain number of products.
This can actually be pretty tricky.
In fact, even recruiting people to the organization can be a challenging task. Getting them to stay there, buy things and recruit others is even more difficult.
Young Living actually sells its own products through its website and some of them are also sold on Amazon (even if they are not supposed to be). This works well for people wanting just the products, but it sucks for anyone trying to make money through the opportunity.
This means that you have to compete with Amazon and the Young Living site itself for sales, as well as with other distributors and other products. All of this makes the process of actually making sales all the more difficult.
To sell products or recruit people into Young Living, you would have to be able to convince people that what the company offers is different and worth the money. The problem is, the products at Young Living aren’t that much better than anywhere else. You need to be able to pitch them to people you know with a ton of confidence, and reasons why you should choose this brand over another.
In fact, I saw someone doing this today in Starbucks. It took about 45 minutes of explanation, and whether or not the distributor ‘sealed the deal' at the end. Remember: There will be many of these sessions that result in no sales. How well can you handle rejection? It's all part of the biz.
Additionally, many of the products from Young Living last a long time. Essential oils are a good example of this, because you don’t use much at a time. In fact, people often buy them on a whim and never really use them at all. I bought a multi-pack about 6 months ago. With 3-4 drops for a full tank on my diffuser, I imagine these will last me all year unless I really run the diffuser 24/7.
This means that even if you get one or two sales of someone, getting more will not be easy, especially if you are counting on selling to friends and family. Without a plan to get online and reach other people in the world (online marketing), the vast majority of sellers will not make money from selling products to other people, and will rely on recruiting distributors that must fulfill their personal volume numbers to remain active.
This should offer a pretty good indication of just what is involved with Young Living. You are fighting an uphill battle to make money and you are completely dependent on the company and the people in your downstream – which is never a good situation.
Some MLMs work better than others and one of the key factors is having a product that people actually want to buy, and being able to reach the people that want to buy it. While the products from Young Living might seem appealing, they are overpriced and offer little indication that they would be effective at doing anything.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
MLM approaches like Young Living make it sound like you can earn money by getting other people to do work. That never is the case though and making money with a MLM (like any business) tends to be a challenging process. Don't forget, you have to buy products as well it can easily end up costing you money as well!
With Young Living you are confined to try and make money from a relatively small selection of products.
That being said, this is just my personal opinion. There's lots of money to be made in essential oils, and many folks run full time or part time businesses in this health and wellness niche. There are many angles and man business models. As an essential oil enthusiast, you need to figure out the most ethical way to promote your products if you choose to start this type of business.
One quick reminder: Young Living is not the only company selling essential oils, and you are not required to join an MLM to sell something.
Whatever type of product you decide to promote, it's important to own your own website to grow your business.
Parties only work if you have a network of friends with money in their pockets. Network marketing only works if your friends are interested in joining business opportunities.
With a website you can reach the entire world, and only promote great products to people interested in what you have to say. Plus, you open up doors to multiple streams of revenue like affiliate sales, ad click revenue, paid advertising, and even selling your own digital products.
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