Is Doterra a Pyramid Scheme? Can You make money with Doterra?

There is a common mis conception out there that all Multi Level Marketing Companies and doterra are pyramid schemes.  People wonder and negate the possibility that people can make money with doterra.  In reality, it is great that people are careful about different “opportunities” that are out there. In my experience and by definition Doterra Essential Oils is Not a pyramid scheme… Let me Explain Why.

 

The definition of a pyramid scheme is:

pyr·a·mid scheme
noun
  1. a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.

So if I were to take money from someone Person A and then collect money from persons B, C and D to return the money to person A, that is a pyramid scheme.  I’m not selling anything to person A except the promise that I will pay them back.  Often times this is used as an investment “opportunity” and I would promise person a that they will be paid back their initial investment plus interest; all of which I would collect from persons B,C and D.  Person B is made the same promise of re-payment plus interest which I can only make back by promising more people the investment opportunity and using other people’s money to repay their initial “investment” plus interest.  You can see here that there is no actual opportunity other than your belief that I can sucker more and more people into giving me their money for this investment.  At some point the “investors” run out and anyone that hasn’t been re-payed loses.

 

The thing that makes doterra different than a pyramid scheme is that doterra reps sell essential oils.  So when you buy oils from me, you get oils.  It is as simple as that.  The confusion comes in when we are talking about the compensation structure for people that actually want to sell doterra or be doterra distributers.  It’s true the compensation structure is shaped like a pyramid, but that doesn’t make it a pyramid scheme. Your compensation each month is a direct reflection of your ability and willingness to sell the product, like any other sales job where a person earns commission.

Often times people believe that doterra is a pyramid scheme because they are sold a bunch of lies.  What is the truth about making money with Doterra can it be done?  Here are a few of the myths that are often perpetuated among MLM communities.

Myths that Multi Level marketing People tell Clients

The mis leading things that one might hear that lead people to have a bad experience with Doterra and Multi Level marketing in general are things like:

“The product sells itself.  If you invest in this kit you’ll have no problem getting rid of your inventory”. 

In truth, nothing sells its self.  In order for a sale to be made there has to be a sales person to conduct the business, an online presence, or a brick and mortar store where people can go to purchase their items.  Doterra is no different.  While I do believe that the products are great.  They don’t sell themselves. The great thing about doterra is that you don’t have to buy your inventory, your customers buy it directly from doterra. So there isn’t a big initial investment.

“You can earn your money back in no time”. 

Well here again I’m going to tell you that while you can earn your money back fast, it does take quite a bit of your time making contacts, calling people, hosting classes, developing a social media presence.  That is the opposite of “no time” in fact it can be quite a bit of your time, and the amount of time you put into this will be a direct correlation to the amount of time it takes to make money with doterra.

“There isn’t any fear of Saturation”.

I’m not sure this is entirely true.  Even at Doterra where less than 1% of the world is using essential oils, the truth is that there is a lot of the world population that couldn’t afford to use their oils if they tried.  And while I really don’t think there is any fear of immediate saturation, there is no doubt that the most prolific people that put in the most hours creating in person classes and online content are the ones who will snap up most of the customers.  I am also a believer in always always always giving the best customer service that you can because customer retention (85% for doterra) is key.  You take care of your customers and they will continue ordering.  The product is that good, but I am not surprised when I hear of people leaving distributers because they simply aren’t being taken care of.

“Doterra is a great way to build residual income”

Residual income is just a fancy word for “extra” income.  Most distributers use it in the context of passive income or income that you don’t have to work for.  This is not true.  Even with a team of people there are always questions and a good distributer is always finding ways to support their downline.  While after a period of time you are getting way more money for the hours you spend on doterra, you will have to put in the time.  Having said that, I take 3 months off during the summer where I answer emails and field telephone calls from our off the grid cabin, so my work is limited and I am still earning commissions which is awesome.  I do believe that doterra is a great way to make semi-passive income, and for me it allows me to be bi-coastal, manipulate my schedule to my liking and work from anywhere. It however is not a completely passive income.

“MLMs are Cults in Disguise”

Wowza, this one comes around quite a bit.  We go to conventions, get t-shirts and spread our oils all over the place, and in a lot of ways are a great big family.  Could it become cultish, absolutely.  I think that anytime anyone blindly follows a group of people without ever taking a second to critically think about what is being said or what they are repeating it is somewhat problematic.  Having said that at the doterra convention it is filled with the latest scientific research on essential oils, leaders who are making fortunes explaining how they developed their businesses, and explanations about how doterra is impacting different communities.  I will say I was suspicious my first convention.  I have looked and have not been able to find anything that is false; a simple search in pub med will corroborate their findings.   So I think it depends on the critical thinking skills of the individual to determine if it has the potential of becoming cultish.

So to answer the question at hand is doterra a pyramid scheme,  No, not by definition and I do believe that it is a great opportunity to build a business with flexibility.  Like any other business though, it requires hard work and dedication.  Just like Nordstrom had to build a reputation and presence in the marked to attract people to go into their stores.  Doterra reps also have to build a presence and reputation to attract people to reach out and buy oils from them.   Similarly, just like Costco had to develop a reputation for taking great care of their employees, doterra reps have to build their reputation as a good supportive leader before people will want to come on board and sell oils with them.

While I like to believe in the good in people and that nobody would intentionally scam their customers by not giving them the entire picture, I am not beyond knowing that it does happen.  Primarily by people just repeating what they hear and not investigating what it actually takes to build a doterra business.

I hope this helps you on your journey whether it is just to purchase oils from doterra or to find a team where you can thrive selling oils yourself.

 

xo

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