Recent Posts

Is Trades of Hope a Scam?

Is Trades of Hope a Scam?

Not a Charity/Non-Profit The company is very upfront about this. However, they explain it as a motivation — women don’t want charity. Then, the company goes on to downplay profits. For all the language about helping and empowering women out of poverty, it is important […]

Book Review: Rock Your Network Marketing Business

Book Review: Rock Your Network Marketing Business

Succeeding in Network Marketing is super challenging (99% of new members lose money*). We’re excited about any book that might have insight on how to actually make it work. We checked out this book that promises to help. We highly recommend using your local library […]

Comparing Essential Oils

Comparing Essential Oils

When evaluating a potential business opportunity it is important to consider whether the products are competitive in the market. There are many measures of value for consumers including quality, price, brand, convenience, etc.

When choosing a product it’s important to choose one that is competitive. This ensures that there’s a solid market for the product and consumers will be interested in purchasing it. It’s also better to be interested in the product, have experience with it, and be enthusiastic about sharing and selling it to others.

Price is only one factor. However, we see that the network marketing branded oils (DoTERRA and Young Living) cost quite a bit more per ML of product than any of the other oils we researched. This will make it more difficult to sell to price savvy shoppers who may be comparing with local and online retailers.

If a company’s product are not competitive in the market then they will be difficult or impossible to sell. If a multi-level marketing company’s products are not competitive that can be a red flag that the company’s products are being used to hide a pyramid scheme.

The Prices We Compared


$27.33 for 15ML  ($1.822 per ML)
$20.50 for 15ML  ($1.366 per ML) wholesale
Doterra Essential Oil

Young Living

$28.95 for 15ML  ($1.93 per ML)
$22.00 for 15ML  ($1.466 per ML) wholesale
Peppermint Essential Oil


$8.49 for 10ML  ($0.849 per ML)
Healing Solutions (Amazon’s Choice)

This is a top rated product on Amazon. Free shipping and discounts for subscriptions are competitive as well.

$17.98 for 118ML ($0.152 per ML)
Majestic Pure Essential Oils
Very highly rated and comes in a large amount, at the time of posting there is a $2 off coupon available to prime members!

Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil, Pure and Natural, Therapeutic Grade Peppermint Oil, 4 fl. oz.


$16.99 for 59ML  ($0.287 per ML)
Nature’s Truth Nature’s Truth Essential Oil Peppermint

Highly rated and a common brand among multiple drugstores. This brand is also very price competitive. Walgreens is convenient for a lot of consumers. They also have coupons

$7.49 for 30ML  ($0.249 per ML)
De La Cruz Peppermint Oil


$12.99 for 15ML  ($0.866 per ML)
Nature’s Answer® Organic Peppermint Essential Oil

$7.99 for 30ML  ($0.266 per ML)
Now 100% Pure Essential Oils


$28.99 for 50ML  ($0.579 per ML)
Thrive Market Peppermint Organic Essential Oil

$4.99 for 15ML  ($0.332 per ML)
Aura Cacia Peppermint Cooling Essential Oil

$10.49 for 30ML  ($0.349 per ML)
Botanic Spa Peppermint Essential Oil

Is Stella & Dot a Multi-level Marketing Company?

Is Stella & Dot a Multi-level Marketing Company?

Yes! Stella and Dot is a multi-level marketing company. We first researched Stella & Dot back in 2016. They hadn’t yet launched the sister brands Keep and Ever. Back then, their compensation plan was more easily accessible and all around the company was a lot more transparent. Today, it’s a little tricky to […]

How much can you earn with Stella & Dot?

How much can you earn with Stella & Dot?

Analysis of the 2017 Income Disclosure Statement “The earnings represented herein are not necessarily representative of the income, if any, that an Independent Stylist can or will earn. There is no guarantee that any Independent Stylist will earn any income.” Stella & Dot 2017 Income […]

Costs of Selling DoTerra

Costs of Selling DoTerra

Product Costs

DoTerra has a monthly personal volume requirement of either 50 units or 100 units. This means to receive bonuses and to remain active.This amount often corresponds to the wholesale cost of products but sometimes is less (like with special kits). Shipping costs ($3.99-$24.99) don’t count towards this requirement. This means to meet this requirement you’ll spend at least $100/month + shipping.

There are loyalty rewards orders, which are orders which are auto-shipped to you. Some bonuses require that you meet $100 in loyalty rewards orders. Loyalty rewards can count towards personal volume.

Other product costs may include purchasing additional inventory to share as samples for customers, also to use in product demonstrations, and in trainings. It’s common to be encouraged or expected to purchase additional inventory for these purposes.

Business Costs

It costs $35 dollars to join DoTERRA and an additional $25 each year to renew. However, this fee is waved with the purchase of a starter kit. The suggested kit costs $195.

Emotional AT Diffused Enrollment Kit ($195)

Additionally, running a business is very expensive. It’s important to look at all of the expenses. Here are a few expenses that can really add up:

  • Tax preparation, money management, accounting
  • Event, event planning, parties, food, drinks, decorations
  • Admission/booth space at fairs, markets, or storefront locations
  • Materials for selling online (camera, lights, software, backdrops)
  • Shipping, packaging, cards, pens, supplies

It’s a good idea to keep track of everything you spend on the business. This will help with tax preparation, budgeting, and measuring your investment.

Finally, an often overlooked expense the time you spend selling. Though it can be fun, selling DoTERRA takes many hours and is a big investment of your time. A question you should ask yourself: is this the most effective way to spend your time? Is the return on your time enough that you wouldn’t be better of spending time on another job or opportunity? These questions are hard to answer without data on how much sellers earn. To date, the company hasn’t released anything like an earnings disclosure statement.

Conventions, Meetups, and Trips

Every year there are a number of events. Advocates may attend none or many of these events. Advocates are encouraged to attend many of these these events, especially Convention. Events are targeted at those who are working to build their business.

DoTERRA Convention

Many advocates attend the annual DoTERRA convention. Most folks working to build the business are encouraged to attend. The event lasts a few days in Utah. These are just a few expenses to be mindful of: 

Tickets: $125 (preregister) – $200+
Transport (gas/plane tickets): varies
Hotel/Lodging: $100+ /night
Food: $20-$50+ /day
Convention Product Kit: $300

There’s an annual trip to Mexico. While it’s possible to earn the trip to Mexico as an incentive or bonus, many advocates “buy-in” to the trip. Like the convention this also comes with a significant set of expenses.

Buy-in: $1,500-$2,780 (per person, shared room)
Transport (gas/plane tickets): varies
Excursions and travel expenses: varies
Passport and fees: $145 (one time)

There are other events, trainings and more. Each has registration fees, for those who are traveling there will be those expenses. There may also be materials or products to purchase as well. For example there is a 2019 Leadership event. Participants can attend in Atlanta or San Diegao for a $79 registration fee. Attendees likely need hotels and transport to these locations.

No affiliation with DoTERRA. Please contact us with corrections, updates, or additional information.

Holiday Pyramid Schemes

Holiday Pyramid Schemes

Sometimes it’s our best friends who get us into the most trouble. Just in time for the holidays, gift scams are back! If you hear about a game or project that seems too good to be true it probably is. These chain letters and mail […]

Thirty One Gifts Income Disclosure Statement

Thirty One Gifts Income Disclosure Statement

The most recent income disclosure we could find on the Thirty-One Gifts website was from 2015. However, an internet search leads various copies of a 2017 disclosure. It is difficult to find or cannot be found on the Thirty One Gifts official website. Below is […]

Book Review: False Profits

Book Review: False Profits

False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes, by Robert L. Fitzpatrick and Joyce Reynolds, explores the history and cultural context of MLMs and pyramid schemes. It isn’t a great book for understanding the intricacies of today’s multi-level marketing companies. It explains why so many people join these groups and recruit others. The book goes into why so many people are attracted to pyramid schemes and the quick rise of MLMs over the past decades.

Tip: Amazon is useful to preview the book and even to buy. However, always check your local library for the absolute best (free!) prices on books. Most libraries even have eBooks available!

The authors dive deep into the New Age movement. It’s important to note that the book was written over 20 years ago. The cultural context has changed dramatically but the relevance can’t be overstated. The book is often prophetic.

One thing we’ll point out is how much more prevalent and adept multi-level marketing has become. The book probably underestimates this. The internet is a lot more powerful and ubiquitous than the analysis expects. The author implies a much closer relationship of new-age thinking and the MLM and pyramid scheme business models than is proving to be the case these days. Today, we are seeing MLM models thrive globally under very different cultural contexts and with different motivations.

Regardless, this is a fascinating analysis and helpful to understand the staggering rise of multi-level marketing in the United States. It’s useful to understand the underpinnings of the messaging and marketing of the largest and most successful MLM companies.

False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes; Robert L. Fitzpatrick and Joyce K. Reynolds; 1997. Amazon Listing (I got my copy from my local library!)

We read a ton of books, blogs, magazines, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries and more to do research for you! If there’s something we should review or recap be sure to reach out and let us know!

MLM or Pyramid Scheme?

MLM or Pyramid Scheme?

Probably the most common question we hear: “Is this MLM actually a Pyramid Scheme?” Unfortunately, there usually isn’t a straight forward answer. What is a pyramid scheme? “A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for […]