Hey, welcome to my website! If you landed on this page through Google, I bet you are hungry to find out: Is Young Living a Scam?
Essential oils have gained popularity in the last couple of years, and at first sight, may seem like a great business opportunity. But is this actually corresponding to the reality?
There is a need for a dip and comprehensive research in order to make your mind, which I already did, so you don’t have too.
In this Young Living MLM Review, I’ll go through every detail of this company to help you decide if this is the right company for you or not, and if it worths joining.
Without further ado, let’s get started right now!
What You Will Learn Here
- 1 Young Living Overview
- 2 What is Young Living?
- 3 Who is the Founder?
- 4 What is the Young Living Financial Situation?
- 5 What Are Young Living Products?
- 6 Are Young Living Products Worth Their Price?
- 7 How Much Does it Cost to Join Young Living?
- 8 How to Make Money With Young Living?
- 9 Do They Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?
- 10 Is Young Living Legitimate?
- 11 Can You Make Money With Young Living?
- 12 The Good and The Bad
- 13 My Final Opinion About Young Living + A Better Alternative
- 14 Young Living MLM
- 15 Pros
- 16 Cons
Young Living Overview
Full Name: Young Living Essential Oils
Type: MLM Business Opportunity
Young Living Website: https://www.youngliving.com/
Founder: Donald Gary Young
Year of Establishment: 1993
Price to Join: $57-$300
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What is Young Living?
Based in Lehi, Utah, USA, Young Living is a privately held multi-level marketing company, often referred to as network marketing, direct selling, or referral marketing company.
They have an extensive catalog of products including personal care, dietary supplements but their specialty is tiny bottles of essential oils extracted from plants.
As of 2017, Young Living was reported to have become one of the largest vendors of essential oils in the United States with over three million customers.
Who is the Founder?
Young Living company was founded in 1993 by Donald Gary Young.
He began to experiment with essential oils at the age of 24 to rehabilitate form the accident that tied him to a wheelchair for quite some time.
Young identified himself as a doctor of naturopathy, a degree he have earned in 1985 from Bernadean University, an unaccredited school described as a “mail-order diploma mill”.
With this kind of background, he managed to run a number of businesses, including clinics that offered unlicensed medical services, like childbirth.
Also, he was claiming that he could detect cancer with the help of a blood test, and CURE it. Donald even was once arrested and charged for offering unlicensed medical services.
There are more even more dreadful facts about Donald’s professional and personal life I will not get into here, you can easily find them if you’d do a little search yourself.
What I would like to say is that this is the man who created the Young Living company, whose representatives are making false and misleading claims about Young Living products properties. It’s totally up to you whether you want to be part of this community or not.
What is the Young Living Financial Situation?
Young Living has experienced some growth in terms of annual revenue in the last couple of years. It went from $1 million to up to $1,9 million in 2018.
If we look at the last year’s revenue, we can see that it remained unchanged in comparison with 2018.
This shows some sort of stability with this company when it’s not registering negative financial indicators, like some other MLM companies.
What Are Young Living Products?
Young Living is selling essential oils, dietary supplements, personal care products, as well as products for the home.
But their main focus is on essential oils.
Even their skincare line uses essential oils as ingredients. Also, they position their products as being natural, “using plant-based ingredients”.
Young Living is selling its products under a number of brands like Thieves, Savvy Minerals, Slique, NingXia, Seedlings, KidScents, Mirah, and others.
Are Young Living Products Worth Their Price?
Young Living, as well as other essential oil companies, are marketing this product as being able to help with pretty much everything: from stress relief to digestion.
But do they deliver on those big promises and are they even safe to use?
First of all, it worths mentioning that essential oils aren’t regulated and therefore, it’s not right to market them as they can be used as a treatment. If somebody tells you this, know that this is NOT true.
Essential oils smell great and are able to make your house/apartment smell good and therefore, lift up your mood, and this is basically what is real to expect from them.
Their prices are, to put it mildly, a little exaggerated. Here is what they charge for a tiny bottle of 5 mg essential oil:
Young Living is claiming that their essential oils are 100% pure and natural.
They even have elaborated on the “Sead to Seal” standard which basically means that they have full control of the production process, starting from harvesting the raw material on their own land to testing the products and bottling them in their own facilities.
This all sounds so good until you dig a little deeper to actually find out that it’s all lies.
There were people who have sent Young Living essential oils samples to an independent lab and it was found to be cut with synthetics.
And it wasn’t a smear campaign like Young Living will further say about this.
It was made by a person who actually has been an actual Young Living representative and wanted to clear off her doubts she started to have with Young Living products.
Imagine putting something in your body, thinking it’s one thing, and then finding out that it’s not what you thought it was. That’s really scary!
Even their Thieves products for home care like dish soaps and laundry came up being full of synthetics.
How Much Does it Cost to Join Young Living?
As a Young Living member, you’ll get exclusive pricing and other exciting benefits. For example, you’ll get a 24% discount on all Young Living purchases in the future.
To become a Young Living Distributor, you’ll need to purchase one of their starter kits.
As of the date of this writing, they have 13 Starter kits listed on their official website.
The prices range from $35 to $265 (depending on diffuser choice).
What’s recommended to go with is a Premium Starter kit that costs $165 and includes 12 of the most popular essential oils, and marketing materials to get you started.
How to Make Money With Young Living?
Young Living is a typical MLM, so there are two ways to make money:
#1. Retail Sales
When you sign up with Young Living as a member, you get access to their wholesale prices.
If you would buy products from Young Living at the wholesale prices available to you, and then resell them to your own customers at retail prices, the difference between the two prices is your profit.
For example, if you buy this Young Living ImmuPowwer essential oil at the wholesale price $64,50, and resell it at the retail price which is $84,87, you would earn $20,37.
#2. Build a Downline Team and Earn Money from Their Efforts
In the first method, you are earning from the sales you make personally.
In this second method, you are going to earn commissions in the form of bonuses and rewards for sponsoring new people into your downline organization.
Do They Allow You to Use the Internet to Build Your Business?
When you are signing up to be a Young Living distributor, you are paying only for your starter kit.
If you want to run a website to make sales online, as well as recruit new distributors into your downline organization, you’ll need to pay an additional $15 a month.
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Is Young Living Legitimate?
That’s the main question of this post, right? Well, to answer that, Young Living is not a scam in the literal sense of the word.
But as far as Young Living’s business model goes, they use an MLM business model which is, essentially, pretty much a pyramid scheme, just it’s legal!
Since they have a product that they are selling, it’s not illegal. But if you ever look at any of the charts, that show you the way this business model works, it’s literally in the shape of a pyramid.
On top of that, Young Living is not accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) that’s a leading entity with the main mission to advance marketplace trust.
Can You Make Money With Young Living?
You see, theoretically, you can make money with pretty much everything. But when it comes to MLM…, it’s way difficult than in any other business model.
Once you join Young Living or any other MLM company out there, they will tell you to start your business by approaching your friends and your family.
Maybe there will be somebody who will want to take a look at what you’ve got and most probably, not because they would have a true interest in the product/opportunity but simply because they like you and don’t wanna upset you by denying your proposal.
But most people won’t even bother because generally, people don’t like to be sold to. I think this is one of the reasons why MLMs have so LOW success rates.
Young Living is no different and I can prove this to you by bringing some of the numbers from Young Living’s Income Disclosure Statement for 2019.
This is the company’s official document showing how much money actual Young Living distributors are making, on average.
As it’s shown in the above image, Young Living representatives are making more or less sustainable income only beginning with the 6th level/position (Gold level) in the company, and that’s 0,1 % or less.
While the majority of Young Living distributors are making a few bucks here and there, and most definitely, can’t rely on this income in their day to day life.
The Good and The Bad
#1. Affordable Start-up Costs
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#2. A Variety of Products to Sell
Young Living has an extensive line of products people are using every day. They have even developed products designed for kids.
So, anyone out there could find something to buy from Young Living, if they wish too.
#1. Pricier Product Than of Competitors
Young Living products are way more expensive than of their market competitors, including doTERRA.
When it comes to the question of why Young Living products are so expensive, they hide behind their “Sead to Seal” standard, assuming that the products are pure and that’s why pricier than other essential oils.
Look at the prices in the screenshot below, I’ve taken from their official website:
And here are the pricing for doTERRA essential oils:
I could understand if it was true that Young Living products are pure but if they’re not, then the prices are unreasonably inflated.
#2. Minimum Monthly Purchase Requirements
If you wish to earn a commission check, you must also be enrolled in the “Essential Rewards” program.
To be eligible for payment, your monthly Essential Rewards order should be at or over $100/month (100 PV).
#3. Not FDA Approved
Essential oils aren’t regulated because they aren’t intended to be used as a drug.
This means people selling them can’t make any claims about cures.
#4. FDA Warnings
In 2014, the FDA issued warning letters to Young Living being concerned about its distributors making claims that Young Living essential oils would treat some serious illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, autism, cancer, diabetes, lupus, heart disease, dementia, and more, without having any significant scientific evidence to prove that.
So, basically what FDA said is that these need to be diagnosed by a doctor, and treated correspondingly, by doctors. People, who were making these claims, weren’t medical professionals.
These were really dangerous claims to be making, given the severity of some of these.
It’s so irresponsible because you are literally gambling with people’s health and ultimately, lives.
Giving them “other” options that are really not backed up by scientific evidence or research that would show that any of the essential oils would cure any of the above-mentioned ailments.
#5. Essential oils Could be Dangerous If Not Used Correctly
A lot of natural things are harmful and one should be very careful about how he/she uses essential oils.
For example, one of the dangers of the essential oils is drinking them.
Another issue is that there is no real monitoring of what is in these products.
#6. Numerous Consumers Complaints
Young Living received a total number of 83 consumer complaints in the last three years.
While this can be considered a lot, still, not as much as in the case of Monat business.
The most common issues with Young Living Essential Oils are around customer service, which is not as good as expected by some customers.
Here’s a screenshot I have taken from SiteJabber.com:
And another one from BBB.com:
#7. Beware of Lawsuits Around Young Living
In January 2018, Young Living was served with a lawsuit that claimed they’ve violated the Lacey Act.
Basically, the Lacey Act is a 1900 United States law that says you can’t illegally traffic wildlife, including plants and plant products such as timber and paper.
The lawsuits also stated that they were in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
As a result, Young Living was ordered to pay $760 000 in fines, agreeing to implement a comprehensive compliance program.
Long story short, they’ve pledged guilty to illegally trafficking rosewood oil and some of the other essential oils, in the form of importing illegally harvested wood and timber, which threatens wood resources all over the world.
They’ve admitted to doing this intentionally and substantially.
All these aspects could make you have a tough time selling Young Living products/business opportunity.
If you’d continue digging, chances are that you’d find plenty of other stories and instances, in which Young Living seems questionable at best.
My Final Opinion About Young Living + A Better Alternative
Let’s be real: essential oils work to their own capacity and only to some extent. Not to the promises that are made by people who have no proof.
Most of the essential oil companies like Young Living recommend the use of the oils a little bit recklessly, being motivated to sell a lot.
And it’s no surprise since the essential oils global market is set to hit $27 billion by 2022.
By purchasing that initial kit, you’re not simply getting a wholesale account, you’re signing up to be a Young Living distributor, whether you like it or not.
This means that you have all the rules involved with that including non-compete clubs that prohibit you from selling or representing any other essential oil or wellness company, while you are a Young Living distributor, or during the first 6 months after you terminate that agreement.
Also, there is almost no MLM company where you don’t have to buy into it.
You have to invest your own money into Young Living before you even can make any money with them at all.
To conclude, I can’t recommend joining this company if making a sustainable income for you and your family is what you are looking for.
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I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and now, you have the answer to the question: Is Young Living a Scam?
Please drop your questions in the comments section down below, and I will get back to you asap.
Stay safe and well, and I will talk to you within my next post very soon!