Is doTERRA a Pyramid Scam? Is MLM Even Worth It?



Is doTERRA a pyramid scam or is it legit? Is this MLM company in the health and wellness niche operating illegally, or do they offer a great way to make money? So many people fail at MLM, so is this opportunity really any better?

Let’s take a closer look and uncover the truth…


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Is doTerra a Pyramid ScamCompany Name: doTERRA

Founder: David Stirling

Price To Join: $35 Joining Fee + Starter Kit

My Rating: 3/10



~ doTERRA Reviews ~


What Is doTERRA?

Yet another of the many hundreds of MLM companies operating in the health and wellness category, doTERRA was founded by David Stirling and commenced business operations in 2008. While the company might be considered to be a part of the health and wellness niche, they specialise in essential oils as a way to improve your quality of life.

We will take a look at some of the products on offer in a moment, but this review is more about the business aspect of doTERRA and whether it is worth your time. Perhaps someone has recommended you join, or you’re looking for an opportunity to make money from something you’re interested in. Either way, lets take a look at doTERRA and see if it’s a viable option.

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doTERRA Products

Is doTerra a Pyramid ScamAs mentioned this company focuses most of its attention of creating and selling a range of essential oils.

What exactly are essential oils?

Essential oils are all about aromatherapy and the supposed health benefits attached. Those healing properties are not just on the physical realm, but also include our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Whether these aromatic oils really do have any tangible health benefits is arguable, but at the very least most of them emit a pleasant scent, and that alone can have a positive affect on our moods and disposition.

doTERRA are not limited to their range of essential oils alone. They offer other health and wellness products as well. I won’t list everything here as you can simply browse them on the company’s website, but I’ll list the available categories.

  • Essential Oils
  • Personal Care Products
  • Health Supplements
  • Weight Management Products
  • Essential Oil Diffusers
  • Accessories
  • doTERRA Kits

As is the case with just about all MLM companies, the prices of the products are astronomical. A standard diffuser selling at retail in other outlets might cost you around twenty or thirty dollars for a pretty good one. In the doTERRA range the prices are well over $100. The most expensive one is almost $200!

This is one of my pet hates when it comes to multi level marketing companies. The prices of their products are an absolute rip off. They really have no choice, though, as the very structure of the compensation plan makes the product prices skyrocket.


The MLM Business Opportunity

Apart from expensive prices there are a number of things I really dislike about the MLM opportunity.

For starters, the entire nature of MLM is geared in such a way that massive benefits go to the actual company running the show, while all other benefits are stripped from the distributors; the people doing all the work.

The company essentially assembles a  massive workforce that is prepared to work for free, offering their undying loyalty to a hyped-up brand that really delivers very little in return.

They pay some very hard to earn commissions and bonuses. So what? They get all their advertising for free, the distributors do all the promoting, selling and buying of products, and the distributors are the ones out there busily growing the business while the big wigs at the company sitting atop the MLM pyramid make all the money.

Why anyone would want to take a MLM business deal, I have no idea. I know it’s popular with many of you out there, but I’m just saying I really don’t understand the attraction, as it’s an atrocious deal for you, but an awesome one for doTERRA and all other companies operating under the MLM umbrella.

Ask yourself the question why so many businesses and companies go the MLM route? Because they get so many advantages and they also get to take advantage of a massive, unpaid workforce who blindly and willingly does all the hard work for them.

It’s worse than government.

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The doTERRA Compensation Plan

Anyway, let’s take a look at how doTERRA propose to compensate their avid workforce. Obviously they don’t want to pay anyone any wages, and you don’t really get to own a business. doTERRA own and control everything. You just pay for the privilege of being a sales rep for them.

As with all MLM businesses there are a number of ways you can earn, but before you can think about making a single dollar, you first need to pay the registration fee to become a distributor and then spend a minimum of $150 on a Starter Kit.

All MLM businesses rely heavily on recruitment. You won’t make much money at a retail level, especially considering the ridiculous prices of doTERRA products. The only real way to have a chance of earning anything remotely useful is to recruit like an absolute maniac. It’s only when you develop downlines of extremely active people will you even get a sniff of real money in MLM.

Ways you can earn include:

  • Retail Sales
  • Bonuses
  • Level Up Bonuses
  • Group Bonuses
  • Fast Start Bonus

The company also has a number of different ranks you can aim for, and these are:

  1. Advocate
  2. Manager
  3. Director
  4. Executive
  5. Elite
  6. Premier
  7. Silver
  8. Gold
  9. Platinum
  10. Diamond
  11. Blue diamond
  12. Presidential diamond

Unless you jump on board from the very beginning, moving above the rank of a lowly associate is very hard, if not next to impossible. You need massive and active downlines who move a lot of product month after month to advance up the ranks and earn the bigger dollars.

Here is a link that explains the compensation plan.


doTERRA Compensation


Is doTERRA An Illegal Pyramid Scheme?

An illegal pyramid scheme is what’s known as a naked pyramid. This is defined as a business in the structure of a pyramid that relies solely on recruitment of new money to survive, and offers no real products.

doTERRA do have products, so they avoid the illegal naked pyramid tag.


Target Audience

Anyone wanting to run a business without having to start one or buy a franchise. Problem is, you never actually own your own business with MLM. You’re just a sales rep.


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What I Like

  • At least essential oils is a little different to all the health pills and potions most MLM companies indulge in
  • doTERRA, unlike most MLM companies, do offer training


What I Don’t Like

  • Only about 10% of doTERRA members earn a fulltime living from the business
  • 95% of people fail at MLM
  • Unless you can recruit like crazy, you will fail to make money from doTERRA
  • MLM is all in favour of the company and not the distributor
  • The average yearly earnings from any MLM venture is less than $500 before expenses
  • This is one of the hardest ways on the planet to make decent money for your time
  • The prices of the products are extremely super duper expensive


How Much Does doTERRA Cost?

It costs $35 to join the doTERRA business. For this you earn the right to represent the company as a sales rep and essentially work for them for free doing all the promoting, selling, buying and recruiting. You will also need to spend a minimum of $150 on a starter kit, which gives you a selection of product samples and some business materials.


doTERRA Products


Is doTERRA a Scam?

I don’t think there is any scam here. I just think the MLM style of business is an absolute joke. It’s designed to give the company every possible advantage while treating it’s workforce like slaves, really.

Why anyone who wants to make decent money wants to get involved in MLM, I don’t know. I really don’t understand the attraction to getting totally shafted in just about every way possible.

MLM is about taking advantage of people and not having to pay any wages or advertising. In that respect all MLM businesses are a bit of a scam. That’s just my opinion.

doTERRA are not offering any mind blowing products or deals here. You’re just joining something that will be an incredibly hard sell at those price points. There are loads of better options to make money out there.


Forget MLM – Make Serious Money With Affiliate Marketing Instead

If you are looking for a way to make decent money and actually be your own boss, then try affiliate marketing. Seriously, I don’t know why anyone bothers with MLM when you can do affiliate marketing, online, from the comfort of your own home instead. There really is no comparison between the two.

Let’s look briefly at some advantages of affiliate marketing over multi level marketing:

  • How To Attract Money NowNo joining fees
  • No recruiting
  • No buying starter kits
  • No minimum monthly spend
  • You own your own business
  • You can promote any products you like
  • No buying, selling or handling of products
  • Virtually no business expenses
  • The sky is the limit on your earning potential

The above is merely a fraction of the benefits of being an affiliate marketer. I make well over a fulltime income from it and you can too. Awesome training is what set me on the right path.

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Darren Burton

Site Owner
I am an author, online entrepreneur and internet marketer. I work from home and anywhere else in the world I choose to work. I've been making a living online since 2010, and you can do it too. I'm here to help.

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