Welcome to my Young Living review!
Just to make things clear, this is not a review of Young Living products. Instead we are taking a look at the business side of Young Living.
Chances are, one of your acquaintances introduced you to their products and invited you to make money with this business opportunity.
If you are still undecided, here’s a good chance to get yourself informed and set your expectations straight.
In this article, we will find out if the opportunity will really make you rich, or is Young Living a scam?
Name: Young Living
Niche: Essential Oils
Type: Network Marketing / MLM
Founder: Donald Gary Young
Costs: $160 one-time + ~$100/month to qualify for commissions
Best For: People who are good at recruiting members and face-to-face selling
What You Should Know About MLMs
You are doing the right thing reading up Young Living reviews and doing your own research, because this business opportunity is not for everyone.
Just like any other opportunities out there, whether you’ll make money with Young Living or not depends on not just your strength, but what you are willing to do as well.
Since Young Living employs multi-level-marketing structure to make sales, you are expected to do the following as a distributor:
- Buy starter kit ($160) and understand their products
- Sell the products
- Generate 100 Personal Volume(~$100) in sales/purchases every month
(part of requirement to earn commissions)
- Recruit new distributors
(part of requirement to advance in ranks)
- Motivate and coach your distributors to do the above
- Attend trainings and conventions (at own costs)
This is the basic commitment expected from you when you join a multi-level-marketing team.
When you first join a MLM team, you will most likely be instructed to come up with a personal name list to contact and recruit.
MLM recruiters like to use this strategy because this name list is your “warm market” – you know them personally and they are more likely to “support your business”.
If you don’t feel comfortable with this, or if you don’t like to do face-to-face selling, you will do much better with a business model that doesn’t require direct human contact.
Yes, it’s possible to make money without meeting a single client or recruiting anyone. It’s called affiliate marketing, and it’s how I make a 4-figure side income every month (after expenses) using just my laptop.
Of course, everyone has different dispositions, so what works well for me may not be suitable for you.
Even though you don’t have to meet and recruit people, affiliate marketing can get boring after a while because you can essentially work on your own.
It takes hard work to make money no matter which path you choose, so pick your poison based on what you are willing to endure.
With that said, if you think you have what it takes to beat the odds in MLM companies, let’s dive straight into the full Young Living review!
Table of contents:
- Young Living Review Summary
- What You Should Know About MLMs
- What is Young Living?
- How Consumers View Young Living?
- Young Living as a Business Opportunity
- Reality Check: How Much Do Young Living Distributors Actually Make?
- How I Make a Sustainable Income
What Is Young Living?
Young Living founder
Young Living is a multi-level-marketing company based in Utah that sells essential oils and other related products. It was founded by Donald Gary Young back in 1993.
Speaking of the founder, he had a rather interesting and controversial history. He was previously convicted of practicing medicine without a license back in 1983.
In any case, his background didn’t stop him from creating a successful MLM company that is Young Living.
As of the time of writing, Young Living has reportedly recruited over 3 million distributors dedicated to promoting their products.
The large army of independent promoters have catapulted the company’s revenue to over $1.5 billion in 2017.
Even though the company is making good money, our main question in this review is – just how much are the individual distributors making for their effort?
As a potential distributor, this should be the question closest to your heart. We’ll go into the details in the later sections, for now let’s look at what Young Living has to offer.
Young Living Products
Essential oils are the main products, but not the only products for Young Living
Young Living has extensive product lines that span from essential oils, diffusers, lotions, moisturizers, to even cereal and granola.
These products can be broadly categorized as follow:
- Essential Oil Products
This is the bread and butter of Young Living, and it is also the main products that you’ll be promoting as a distributor.
- Diffusers and Accessories
The essential oil diffusers go along with essential oil products, and distributors often promote them as a package.
- Personal Care Products
These include facial, hair, dental and body care products. They also have all sorts of lotions and moisturizers, as well as soap and bath gels.
- Healthy and Fit Consumables
These are further categorized into foundation, targeted and cleansing nutrition kits. You can also find ingredients for healthy cooking, such as flour and spaghetti here.
- Subsidiary Brand Names
At the time of writing, there are 12 subsidiary brand names under the Young Living umbrella. Some of these brands are dedicated to certain target populations, such as KidScents and Animal Scents.
I’m not going to do a detailed review on these products, you can find plenty of product-oriented reviews on the internet.
Feel free to check out sites like Essential Oil Haven for the price comparison between Young Living and its competitors.
What I’ve found is that Young Living essential oils are significantly more expensive compared to their competitors across the board, often at a 30% – 40% markup compared to its closest competitor doTerra.
Of course, the prices may vary significantly due to the resources, processes and production techniques for these companies.
However, this is not a good sign for Young Living distributors. Not only are they competing with the many fellow distributors out there, the huge price gap makes it difficult to sell to the average consumers.
Will the average consumers pay extra to buy from you? How much do they really value Young Living products compared to the competition?
Apart from your personal connections, what really determines your success with Young Living is the general population’s impression on the company.
How Do Consumers View Young Living?
As a potential Young Living distributor, it’s very helpful to know not just the company’s products, but also their reputation before you get involved.
After all, your success hinges on:
- Your personality. Are you comfortable with selling and recruiting?
- Product quality. Are people going to keep buying from you?
- Company’s reputation. Do people shun away the moment you mention Young Living?
One of the best ways to find out is to look at existing feedback and comments about the company. What do the consumers say about Young Living?
I’ve collated the most popular comments about the company here.
Generally, consumers like the quality of Young Living products and you seldom see complaints about product quality.
Even though they have to pay a premium compared to other brands, many customers are loyal to Young Living and continue to purchase their essential oils year after year.
After all, the products have to be decent for an essential oil company to thrive for more than 2 decades.
Look through the positive reviews and you’ll realize that most of them talk about the quality of essential oils they are getting.
One gripe that most of the customers have is the slow shipping time, which can take a few weeks to arrive.
Primary Challenge as Young Living Distributors
However, not all consumers are satisfied with the company, either.
If you become a Young Living distributor and intend to build a business around it, you will have to purchase a minimum of 100PV (~$100) worth of products every month.
If you don’t, you won’t get your paycheck for the month. This requirement essentially turns their distributors into their own customers, which honestly is not that uncommon in the MLM industry.
Young Living makes a sizeable revenue from their distributors alone, and this is also the primary reason why the vast majority of distributors are losing money.
They have to make a minimum purchase of $100/month just to stay as an active distributor who qualifies for commissions, whether they are actually making money with Young Living or not.
It’s entirely possible that distributors spend $100/month just to make a $10/month paycheck.
In fact, 94% of all distributors make an average of $1/month according to 2016 income disclosure (before expenses). The vast majority of distributors are making net negative income.
Having said that, what really determines your success is your compatibility with the MLM system.
For every 100 distributors that sign up, 1 may make it big enough to generate a full time income after expenses.
A lot of distributors sign up without knowing what is required from them and end up leaving when they find out the truth. This is why the turnover rate is extremely high.
According to the income disclosure in 2016:
57% of all members enrolled in 2014 did not continue with Young Living in in 2016.
So ask yourself these questions:
- Do you believe in Young Living products and are willing to share them to people around you?
- Are you ready to sell these products to family and friends?
- Do you feel comfortable recruiting them into your organization? Recruiting is absolutely essential to make a meaningful income from Young Living.
Other Challenges as Young Living Distributors
Identifying your own affinity to MLMs is the primary challenge to becoming a Young Living distributor.
Once you are fully-informed about what you need to do, you will be ready to tackle the challenges below.
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to selling MLM products is the inflated product prices.
As mentioned above, the prices of Young Living essential oils are significantly more expensive than its competitors because they need to account for distributor commissions.
When a bottle of essential oil is sold, not only does the seller earn from it, the profits are also distributed to the up-lines up to 5 generations deep.
Young Living needs to make more profit per sale to sustain the commissions, but unfortunately this makes the products harder to sell for distributors.
Another prominent challenge that you need to overcome is the potential negative public perception towards the company.
In September 2014, FDA warned Young Living against marketing its products as possible treatments or cures for Ebola virus and multiple other health conditions.
This was the result of unscrupulous Young Living distributors who actively spread false information just to make more sales.
Here’s a screenshot of such advertisements that got the company into trouble.
You will find dishonest distributors in every MLM, but the claims by these Young Living distributors were widespread and serious enough to warrant a FDA warning.
Young Living was also fined by the US Department of Justice on September 2017 for illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil, in violation of the Lacey Act of 1990 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
These incidents, along with the high-pressure tactics of some Young Living distributors undoubtedly left a negative public impression on the company.
This means that you will potentially face more skepticism and rejections when you reach out to your clients.
In summary, here are the major obstacles you will face as a Young Living distributor:
- Extremely high failure rate
Studies of independent consumer watchdog agencies have shown that approximately 99.6% of all MLM distributors lose money after subtracting expenses. This data set includes Young Living.
- Inflated product prices
Young Living products are generally more expensive than competitors because they need to account for distributor commissions.
- Potentially negative public perception
Young Living’s incidents with FDA and Department of Justice may leave a bad taste in consumers’ mouth.
Young Living as a Business Opportunity
Even with all these obstacles, it doesn’t hide the fact that there are still distributors making good money from the company.
These are the people who know how to play the MLM game. They are skilled at making sales, recruiting and retaining members, which in my opinion are the 3 most important facets to rank up in the compensation plan.
For those who are seriously looking to become a Young Living distributors, this section is for you.
We will talk about the costs to get started, Young Living’s compensation plan, as well as the different ways you can make money with the company.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Started?
The starting costs for Young Living distributors are as follow (at the time of writing):
Starter Kit: $160 one-time
Personal Volume: 100PV/month (~$100)
You will be getting some products and samples that you can use to demonstrate with purchase of the starter kit.
Even though the monthly purchases are not compulsory, you need to purchase at least 100 PV worth of products to qualify for the unilevel commissions.
In other words, the minimum purchases are necessary for you to earn your paycheck.
To make things easier, Young Living offers the Essential Rewards Program – an autoship program where they will automatically ship at least 100 PV worth of products to your address every month.
How to Make Money with Young Living
As with most other MLM companies, there are 2 main ways to make money with Young Living:
- Sell products and make 24% commissions per sale.
- Recruit members into Young Living and encourage them to do the same. You receive commissions from their sales, and earn bonuses as you rise in ranks.
The primary income potential of Young Living lies in recruiting members and building up a sales team.
As you get more members under your name, you will need to coach them to make sales and in turn, recruit more members.
If you focus solely on selling products, you will not advance in ranks and will be stuck at making retail commissions.
This is why recruiting is absolutely essential if you want to make a meaningful income from Young Living.
Young Living Compensation Plan
This 40 minutes long video is enough to get you well-informed on their compensation plan.
Refer to this Young Living compensation plan highlights to get a summary of the various requirements and bonuses to unlock.
To put it simply, there are 9 ranks that you can unlock in Young Living, starting from “Member” all the way up to “Royal Crown Diamond”.
- Senior Star
- Crown Diamond
- Royal Crown Diamond
No matter which rank you are in, you will need to fulfill the 100 PV/month requirement to earn commissions from the sales of your recruits.
To advance from “Member” to the second rank “Star” and beyond, you will need to achieve certain amount of OGV (Organizational Group Volume) every month.
The OGV is based on the sales of your “organization”, which consists of the members in orange color.
This means that dvancement to “Star” rank and above is only possible if you have personal recruits that are making certain amount of monthly sales.
The percentages refer to the unilevel commissions that you will make from their sales. As a “Member”, you are entitled to only 2 levels deep (8% and 5%) of unilevel commissions.
Once you hit “Star” rank and above, you will progressively unlock more levels of unilevel commissions (up to 5 levels deep).
The higher you rank, the more people you recruit, the more sales they make, the more commissions you earn.
Such is the basic premise of the MLM game. This is what drives most Young Living distributors to recruit new members and push for sales.
If you operate on your own and only sell products (without recruiting anyone), your earning potential is going to become severely limited.
Reality Check: How Much Do Young Living Distributors Make?
In this section, we are looking at 2 back-to-back income disclosures of Young Living from 2016 and 2017.
Why not just the recent one? It’s because the 2017 income disclosure paints a much more optimistic picture, but unfortunately it can be misleading.
Let me explain.
Young Living income disclosure 2016
According to their 2016 income disclosure, a whopping 94% of all business builders made an average of $1/month.
- 94% makes $1/month
- 3.5% makes $77/month
- 1.3% makes $240/month
- 1.2% makes $500/month and above
Keep in mind that all figures quoted are “revenue” instead of “profits”. It doesn’t include the price of starter kits, monthly purchases, and other expenses incurred to promote Young Living.
This is in line with the investigations made by Dr. Jon Taylor, founder of Consumer Awareness Institute – who concluded that 99.6% of all MLM distributors lose money after accounting for expenses.
Now let’s look at the income disclosure from 2017.
Young Living income disclosure 2017
In just 1 year, the odds seem to have changed significantly for the better. On average,
- 33.3% makes $26/month
- 41.02% makes $75/month
- 15.66% makes $235/month
- 10.02% makes $500/month and above
While it looks pretty optimistic on the surface, the fact was that the 2017 income disclosure only included the 10.5% distributors who managed to recruit at least 1 member in the statistics.
If you worked hard but didn’t manage to recruit at least 1 member, you were categorized as a customer and excluded from this income statement.
As a result, 89.5% of Young Living distributors who did not recruit members were dropped from the statistics.
Once we extrapolate from here, we realized that the odds did not get better. The fact remains that only ~1% of distributors made more than $500/month before expenses.
Are You Cut Out To Be A Young Living Distributor?
Here’s the fact – when it comes to Young Living, the money lies in recruiting members, and to recruit a lot of members at that.
It’s the reality of every MLM – the big money resides in recruiting a large following of members and keep motivating them to make sales.
Let’s do a bit of self-reflection on whether you are cut out for the network marketing business model:
- Do you enjoy talking to people and introducing Young Living to others? Can you take rejections with a smile and keep on pushing forward?
- Apart from your family and friends, do you have other ways of approaching new prospects? Don’t make the classic mistake of losing family and friends over an MLM company.
- Are you ready to attend weekly or monthly meetings with your team and sponsor? Joining an MLM team is a commitment. You are expected to recruit new members and make sales, or you are a liability.
If your answers to all three questions above is a unanimous “YES!”, then you might just have what it takes to thrive in Young Living and make it to the top few that really makes money.
I have been involved in MLMs before, and unfortunately, these were the top 3 reasons why I quit and looked elsewhere.
How I Make A Sustainable Income
If your answer to any of the questions above is a definite NO, you are probably not cut out to be a network marketer.
Fortunately, there are other avenues to make sustainable side income at home. One such methods is called affiliate marketing.
In affiliate marketing, you make a commission when you introduce relevant products and services to people who need it.
Most importantly, you don’t have to target the people around you. I’ve never recruited anyone or sold anything to people I personally know.
In fact, I’ve never met any customer or answer to anyone. This is the benefit of going online and leveraging on a website that works 24/7.
If you want to know how I got started, read about my story and learn from my failures. I also document how I made my first profit online, and how I made it into a consistent income stream.
If you are interested to get your hands on the same opportunities, I have a great recommendation to get you started.
Do note that the article above contains affiliate links, and I’ll make a commission (at no extra costs to you) if you find any of the products useful and buy them.
This is how I make money with affiliate marketing, after all – by introducing people in need (such as you) to relevant and value-adding services (e.g. training to make money from affiliate marketing).
I hope this in-depth Young Living review has been useful to you. Do leave a comment if you have any questions or MLM experience to share, I’d love to hear about it!