Recent Posts

dōTERRA 2017 Earning Disclosure Statement

dōTERRA 2017 Earning Disclosure Statement

No affiliation with dōTERRA. Please contact us with corrections or questions. Source: https://media.doterra.com/us/en/flyers/opportunity-and-earning-disclosure-summary.pdf Income disclosure statements also known as earnings disclosure statements help explain how much money people make selling DoTerra. They also explain which levels make money. The statement doesn’t reference any of the […]

Missing Disclosure Statements

Missing Disclosure Statements

We need your help! We’re looking for earning or income disclosure statements from the following companies: Paparazzi Accessories Senegence (Lipsense) Younique These documents do not tell the whole story. However, this data helps people decide if it makes sense to join and sell the products. […]

Safety and Dangers of Essential Oils

Safety and Dangers of Essential Oils

Essential Oils can be dangerous. People selling the essential oils for companies create articles and guides in order to sell more oils. This can make it difficult to find good truthful information about safe ways to use oils. Additionally, members selling dōTERRA and Young Living will often falsely claim that oils can treat conditions or cure diseases.

It can be difficult to find the truth about essential oils even if you do careful research. This is because of the way search engines and ranking algorithms work. They surface articles and websites based on how large numbers of people act — but in this case, large numbers of people are working to sell more oil. To learn more about this check out our post on how MLMs break the internet.

Here are some articles we’ve vetted to learn more about the dangers of essential oils and how to use them safely

WebMD articles talking about the safety of essential oils including tips on who should and should not use oils, what applications make sense, allergies, and more!
WebMD: Essential Oils; Natural Doesn’t Mean Risk Free

WebMD: Dos and Don’ts of Essential Oils

Women’s Day explains the dangers of some essential oils as well as their relationship to this type of company (DoTerra and Young Living). Also mentions how they can be used effectively.
Women’s Day: Dangers of Essential Oils

Refinery29 story about a diffuser with essential oils causing a woman chemical burns. “I was unaware that the vaporized ‘diluted’ oil from my diffuser could also be dangerous…”
The Terrifying Reason This Woman Was Burned By Essential Oils

LuLaRoe Lawsuits – News Roundup

LuLaRoe Lawsuits – News Roundup

Pyramid Scheme Allegations CBS News story with detailed information around the $1 billion lawsuit filed in October alleging LuLaRoe is a pyramid scheme. Also references LuLaRoe’s own legal action against critics. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lularoe-is-accused-of-being-pyramid-scheme/ Fortune.com article explaining LuLaRoe and referencing the lawsuit filed in October alleging LuLaRoe […]

Making Money with dōTERRA – Compensation Plan

Making Money with dōTERRA – Compensation Plan

According to the official dōTERRA compensation plan, advocates make profits on the dōTERRA items sold to retail customers or preferred members. Profits are the amount sold over wholesale costs. Additionally, advocates can make money on bonuses paid based on the wholesale purchase volume of the […]

Is Du North Designs a pyramid scheme?

Is Du North Designs a pyramid scheme?

It’s hard to tell if Du North is a pyramid scheme… and that’s not a great sign.

Du North Designs sells leggings directly and through distributors. Most of their business and their stated business model is “Multi Level Marketing.” MLMs share many qualities with Pyramid Schemes but are a bit different. Because MLMs and pyramid schemes are so similar it can be hard to tell them apart.

The US Government’s Federal Trade Commision has more information about pyramid schemes to help us track this down.

How to spot a Pyramid Scheme:

  • Large profits are based primarily on recruiting others not on the real sale of goods.
  • Recruites are forced to buy more products than they could sell often at inflated prices.
  • People at the bottom (new recruits) make excessive payments for inventory that accumulates in their basements.
  • Many schemes will claim product sells like crazy — but actually sales are only occuring between people inside the structure or to new recruits. Check for inflated prices.
  • Commissions for recruiting new distributors, no legitimate product or service, OR separate up-front membership fee (having a product/service doesn’t remove all danger).pyramids (not a scheme)

How does Du North stack up?

  • If you look carefully at the policies for Du North distributors get bonuses, from recruiting others to purchase inventory.
  • Recruits are encouraged to buy thousands upon thousands of dollars of merchandise to join Du North and stay active.
  • It’s not possible to directly sell the merchandise without first purchasing an expensive ($99+) “starter pack.”
  • Du North says the clothes are worth more than they are. Check out ebay.com for Du North for current market pricing by checking sold listings.
  • There are direct commissions for new distributors. The amount of inventory purchased by recruited distributors determines the bonus. You can get more money if the new recruits buy more. None of the compensation bonuses listed depend on any sales only inventory purchases.
  • There are costs to join. Du North packages and sells initial inventory, website access, and materials for selling in a “starter kit.” You cannot become a distributor (get a website, do direct sales, etc) without purchasing one of the starter kits.
  • You cannot remain active to continue online sales or recruit without purchasing at least $300 in inventory each quarter (no matter how much is actually sold).
  • Du North does have policies to avoid too many distributors in one area, but there are many exceptions (previous direct sales/MLM experience, request waiver, etc).
Ebay versus Du North leggings pricing
Ebay (Left), Du North (Right)
Products on Ebay are selling for more than 30% less than the prices on the DuNorth pages

Yes, Du North probably is a Pyramid Scheme

Pyramid schemes will disguise themselves as MLM or direct sales companies. It appears that Du North Designs is doing that because of the red flags above. Whether it’s a pyramid scheme, a scam, or just an unhealthy business, Du North shares many bad qualities with Pyramid Schemes.

To recap, these qualities make it a dangerous opportunity and everyone should probably avoid Du North Designs.

What do you think?

More Resources

Investopedia: What Is A Pyramid Scheme

How Pyramid Schemes Work

Du North Designs Policies

LuLaRoe Return Policy Updates and Hidden Costs

LuLaRoe Return Policy Updates and Hidden Costs

BuzzFeed and Inc Magazine reported changes to LuLaRoe’s  return policies which is bad for consultants. People must buy lots of inventory to get started selling with LuLaRoe (see: Getting Started with LuLaRoe). This seems okay because the company had a return policy which claimed to cover […]

Is “It Works!” A Pyramid Scheme?

Is “It Works!” A Pyramid Scheme?

It Works! sells the weight loss and cosmetic wrap products (“crazy wrap thing”). It Works! claims to be a ‘Multi Level Marketing’ company. MLMs share many qualities with Pyramid Schemes. Because they share so many qualities it can be incredibly difficult to tell if the company is a […]

Last Week Tonight: Multi Level Marketing

Last Week Tonight: Multi Level Marketing

Check out this great video from John Oliver about Multi Level Marketing

Who’s Making Money With LuLaRoe?

Who’s Making Money With LuLaRoe?

Who is getting paid and how? Details! Consultants (bottom level) pay up front costs to sell products and get initial inventory. They then try to sell that inventory (and more) to get back the initial money they spent, and make more. They make less money if the products […]