Multi-Level Mecca: Utah’s MLMs are big business, but few make money

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Three of Utah’s biggest multi-level marketing companies fill what is now called the Vivint Smart Home Arena with a devoted sales force of thousands.

In August, it was vitamin giant USANA.

In September, essential oils phenomenon doTerra.

In October, anti-aging product maker Nu Skin, the biggest of all the Utah MLM’s.

Utah is home to dozens of MLMs, companies that sell their products with independent members who recruit more members, each level sharing profits with the levels below them, hence the term “multi-level marketers.”

Detractors like Jon Taylor, author of several books on the subject, say they are all pyramid schemes: fraudulent operations from which money is made simply by recruiting members rather than by selling products.

"In most companies even major corporations where there's a sales function, you might have a branch manager, a district manager, a regional manager and a national manager, and you might even have an international manager. But you don't have 10 or 15 or 20 levels.  There's no need for that,” said Taylor. “And the only reason it's done in multilevel marketing is to further enrich those at the top by this exponential expansion that occurs as you move up."

Taylor said all MLM’s are based on that flawed system, and are therefore pyramid schemes making money from people, not products, but each of Utah’s big three have products that thousands, perhaps millions, swear by.

Related: Resources and research on Multi-Level Marketing

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz is a big booster of the industry that has more headquarters in his district than in any area of the world.

"Well if you're a pyramid that's illegal, in fact you should be prosecuted for that but sharing a product and being compensated for that is fair game and that's the American way," Chaffetz said.

The line between MLMs and Pyramid Schemes can be fuzzy, with fly by night operators crossing it and getting in trouble with the FTC, the big MLM’s have clarified the line with their own national association and its code of ethics.

http://www.dsa.org/consumerprotection/Code

The code guards against potential abuses that can lead to financial ruin for unsuspecting sellers. (something we’ll cover on Wednesday’s Multi-Level Mecca).

The industry leaders say they are providing an opportunity without forcing people to spend too much of their own money, and FOX 13 found no evidence to contradict this.

But even the industry leaders acknowledge that the vast majority of their members don’t make money. (see the sidebar on our numbers).

Take USANA for an example: according to the income disclosure they provided to FOX 13, they have a network of 61,400 members who they call “associates.” .13 percent of those associates were in their top tier of earners averaging $100,000 or more in commission a year. That’s 80 people out of 61,400.

DoTerra

It could be that the big mainstream multi-level marketers are now mainstream, even admirable companies.

DoTerra seems to fit the bill.

They fly to countries where the plants they need grow naturally, and search out the people who cultivate and harvest them, making sure they are paid directly.

They call it co-impact sourcing.

They also say they are more of a Costco kind of wholesaler for essential oils than a pyramid scheme, as some consider multi-level marketers.

Dave Stirling is their CEO.

"If you look at most of people, we're very cognizant that first about 95 percent of the people that join doTerra have no interest in the business side they just want the products at wholesale,” Stirling told FOX 13 in an interview at doTerra’s new corporate campus in Pleasant Grove.

FOX 13 has not found any doTerra detractors. We’ll see if this story brings any to our attention.

FOX 13 will profile two people who consider themselves victims of unethical business practices from other MLMs on the News at 9 Wednesday. We’ll also introduce you to a couple who are on their way to making a fortune, and loving it.

102 comments

  • Jessica

    Max, thank you for noting doTERRA as a mainstream, even admirable company. That has been my experience too. While every organization that relies on outside sales reps is at risk of random issues, doTERRA constantly reminds its reps to comply with regulatory guidelines, serve others and create an environment of responsibility. They certainly are setting the example for other MLMs to follow. I hope they become the pattern for a new breed of network marketing company.

    • laytonian

      HILARIOUS watching all the “essential oil” (tip: those oils are NOT essential, it’s short for “essence”) shovers line up to increase their bottom line here. They should have read the article.

  • Hella

    I love this company. If you really read the story, even they couldn’t find flaws with doTerra. This company really is for helping and educating . They are the example: more you give more you get. It’s simple

  • Belinda

    Direct sales has been the best way to get products to people in our day. MLMs come and go everyday! Once in awhile a quality program appears! That is Doterra. People want the products because they work! Most of us enrolled to get products for ourselves and families. Because they are high quality and make a significant health difference, others want to experience them. I now have friends whose doctors are encouraging them to use so thy can hel their patients naturally! Wow!! I’ve been in a variety of MLMs just because I wanted product at that time. Some are still here because they are quality. Some are no longer in existence. As long as Doterra keeps that high integrity and customer service, they should endure a long time! I sure hope so because I LOVE all of the products!!!

    • Rodger Lee

      No, actually it is the worst and most expensive method and demonstrably so. Apparently, you drank the kool aid and are now offering it to others. Amazing how they get others to hype the hype. Humans are just plain gullible!

  • Bri

    I know a lot of people who are/were doTERRA consultants. They all lost money on the overpriced oils. For example: if you were to buy an On Guard oil from a doTERRA consultant it would cost you $54. If you spend the $$$ to become a consultant, you could buy it for $32. But, if you work for the corporate office, you can get it for $8. To make it? Costs about $4 plus packaging, so let’s say $7 to give them the benefit of the doubt. That’s almost a 800% mark up from cost to retail! I love oils and believe they can do a lot for our health, so I found an online store that sells the exact same “grade”/purity for half of consultants cost and I’m not required to buy hundreds of dollars every month. The more I learn about MLM’s (partially from personal experience) the more I realize how overpriced and over-hyped they are.

      • Bri Petersen

        My sources come from consultants and those who work for the corporate office. Those numbers are not secret and are common knowledge among those of us who do our research. People in Utah are sick of paying the high prices when there are other places to get them for much cheaper. You don’t HAVE to place an order every month, but you do in order to stay “active” or get your points. So pretty much, you have to.

      • ohmamalisa68

        Actually, the only time you have to place a monthly order is if you ARE working the business & have bonuses or unilevel commissions coming. I have quite a few members who don’t place their orders monthly, are still active & still have points. They don’t get MORE points unless they order, but they still have them. And no…the numbers are not secret, but what I’ve seen, & what you’re stating are two different things.

    • charles

      You claim the oils you are getting are same purity and same grade. How do you know this? Does your company use the world leading 3rd party to test for synthetic componants for pesticides for adulterations? Does your company source their raw materials from the premiere places for each oil and set standards for what they will accept and have it overseen by experts in the field? If not your oil is NOT the same and I promise you its not because Doterra is the Only one that does that. THE ONLY ONE

      • Bri Petersen

        Why yes, actually. They do source their raw materials and all that other testing to make sure they are pure, pesticide free, etc. The founder of DoTERRA actually used to work for this company which is probably how he knows how to get the high quality oils. He just decided to start his own company of JUST oils and sell them for a very high price. Brilliant idea if you ask me.

    • Liz

      Bri your facts are lacking a bit. On-Guard retail cost $42.67. With 250 drops in the bottle and 1 drop being a dose, that cost is .17/per drop. This lasts my family of 3 for 83 days if we are using it daily which we aren’t. I am not required to buy anything monthly let alone hundreds of dollars a month. There is no requirement to buy monthly if you do not wish to and certainly not hundreds of dollars. Based on the inaccuracies of those statements and what I know about the oil procurement process, your ‘facts’ about the cost of oils vs markup is suspect at best.

    • Liz

      Bri – per your statement: My sources come from consultants and those who work for the corporate office.
      You claim that On-Guard costs $54. i don’t know who you got your prices from but you are being robbed. You can go to the doterra website, right now and clearly see it is only $42.67 retail. You have been misinformed. I have shared my site so that you can go and see for yourself. I wish you the best in your journey.

    • Paul

      If you guys understood anything about marketing, it’s the absolute BEST way of bring a higher quality product to the market then ANY other way!!!!! By far!!!!
      But from your point of view….. It’s a good thing that Wal-Mart, Smiths, or your local mall do not buy their merchandise multiply it by OVER 800-2,000% before you buy it….. OH WAIT…… THEY DO!!
      Please understand any industry before you want to just go out there and point at one part and make accusations……. That’s for the little minds and politicians……..

  • Leanne

    If you really think about it a corporation is a pyramid. A pyramid is set up where one person is at the top and making the most money. No one below can make as much money as he does. I worked in the corporate world and the president of our company made the most money. It didn’t matter how much time and effort I put in I would never make as much money as he does. I replaced my corporate income by becoming a doTERRA wellness advocate. doTERRA truly is an equal opportunity business. Everyone has the same opportunity to make the same income depending on how much time and effort they put into it. I have already passed two people in my upline in rank and pay. doTERRA is NOT a pyramid! .

    • Rodger Lee

      I’m sorry, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. As usual, this is something MLM proponents and hawkers taught you to say to defend MLM. It is a totally false analogy comparing a pyramid scheme to a corporation business. The main point is you are conflating hierarchy with pyramid and they definitely are not the same. Find a clue!

  • Amy

    I’ve had great experience with doterra products and I decided to order monthly so I can get the best deal. We use them for our family and don’t really sell them, but I do recommend them to anyone and everyone.

  • Leanne

    If you really think about it a corporation is a pyramid. A pyramid is set up where one person sits at the top making the most money. No one below can make as much money as they do. I worked in the corporate world and the president of our company made the most money. It didn’t matter how much time and effort I put in I would never make as much money as he does. I replaced my corporate income by becoming a doTERRA wellness advocate. doTERRA truly is an equal opportunity business. Everyone has the same opportunity to make the same income depending on how much time and effort they want to put in. I have already passed two people in my upline in rank and pay. doTERRA is NOT a pyramid!

  • ohmamalisa68

    When it comes to doTERRA, The article is statistically fairly accurate when it comes to how many people are making a living. HOWEVER, when it comes to doTERRA, the vast majority of people who join ONLY join to get a discount, and never even TRY to share/educate/sell, because that’s not why they joined. Those who DO share/educate for the most part are very successful regardless of rank. Not all network marketing companies are created equal, & doTERRA is unlike any other!

    • Rodger Lee

      “Avoid falling for the line that you have a choice between selling products or building a business.
      MLM promoters typically tell prospects that they can choose to be a customer and/or sell products – or they can choose the “leadership” option. Usually a careful study of the compensation plan will reveal that the system is weighted heavily in favor of recruiting a downline – with rewards for recruiting a large downline hundreds (or even thousands) of times as great as rewards for selling products. If you are able to get the names of more than one participant who actually profits from direct selling without recruiting, ask to see their tax return for last year. It is virtually certain that you will find few if any such persons.

      So be careful. For most MLM programs, it has become evident on close examination that both advancement and income are dependent primarily on recruiting a downline of participants who will buy products to “play the game”. If participants must recruit to be successful, or if the pay plan’s primary rewards are for building a downline, it should be considered a recruiting MLM, and an unprofitable chain selling scheme except for those at or near the top. You would likely do better selling pencils on a street corner.” -Notable MLM researcher/expert

      • Loni

        Roger, I really wish you would take a look at the structure and options specifically relating to doTERRA (or any company you so easily might pass judgement on), and make informed, specific statements, rather than broad assumptions. Every WA/Consultant can just direct customers to their company-provided website, sit back, and collect 25% of every sale, with a mere net investment of less than a dollar a month. If that’s what they choose to do. Or, they can sign up a WILLING (and usually eager) individual, collect 20% for 60 days, and then a whopping 2% on that person from then on, providing they themselves purchase 100.00 or more in product that month. They are not obligated to spend any more than that net 1.00 per mo, in any month they don’t want to. They just will not earn any commissions or bonuses they might qualify for that month. And they don’t have to make blind decisions. They can wait until the last day of the month, and see what commissions they WOULD earn, and THEN make a fully informed decision on whether or not they want to purchase product, knowing full well what commissions or bonuses they might lose. And if they sacrifice them (if any), the company still pays them to someone else – the one above you gets more, all the way up the chain. The level collapses, but the chain does not break. That sound like a money-hungry, corporate pyramid scheme to you? Wouldn’t the company want to keep those extra dollars themselves like many do? But the truth is that many of us believe in the product so much, that we buy and use the products anyway. The downside is that by selling only retail, the person they are SINCERELY TRYING TO HELP doesn’t get a discount, rewards, free product, the opportunity to build their own business, etc. Not always in their best interest, unless perhaps they only plan on buying one product. Not even one product a year, just one product ever! And there’s even a third middle-of-the-road option. I understand where you’re coming from, though. I had pretty much lost faith in humanity before this doTERRA community began restoring it. Perhaps some day, you too will realise that not everyone in the world is in it solely to get rich. Not everything that looks the same on the outside IS the same on the inside. There actually ARE some “good” guys left. I spent days reading, researching, and digging. Please invest a few hours doing the same (no more than what you’ve already invested in this thread here today), and then I’ll be happy to have an intelligent conversation or debate with you about the specific facts – publicly or privately. Remember… in it a year, still not selling yet, makes me pretty unbiased about everything but the products themselves.

      • Rodger Lee

        Loni, Apparently, you are passionate about this. I have no passion or desire to waste further time invesitigating any MLM based “opportunity or business.” I have researched MLM and doTERRA specifically much more than you might suspect. I”m no fan and your response only sounds like typical programmed defense used by nearly all MLM supporters. Anyone who has researched thoroughly would spot this right off the bat. If you didn’t cut and paste it, you at least paraphrased MLM canned apologetics. Joy and happiness to you in your unique little universe.

    • kate

      Real classy….if that is how YL encourages you to act. …you can keep it. I’ll take my doTerra class act any day!

    • charles

      Yl grows all their plants on their farms, tests their own oils and when they did try to use a 3rd party to test that 3rd party found their oils were low quality and yl tried to bribe him to keep quiet. He did not because he has integrity. Now he tests for Doterra and testifies to the FACT doterra does it right. In fact yl lost a lawsuit over this. Their oils are not the best and Gary young has a track record of being a con artist

  • Meredith

    doTERRA is anything but a pyramid scheme. It sells are real product, and there are plenty of people who are making a lot more money than the people placed higher than them. I had no intention whatsoever of doing doTERRA as a business, but I changed my mind after seeing how the oils changed my family’s life and realized that it could allow me to stay home with my kids (which I now do!). The leadership of this company is second to none – they are the most upstanding people I have ever met, and they make me want to be a better person. I am so incredibly grateful that doTERRA is in my life!

  • Steven R.

    I use a few of Doterra’s products and have really enjoyed the deep blue for my muscles. As far as I know it’s a reputable company, so I’ll add my comment to those who have already commented giving it a thumbs up.
    I think it’s interesting that so many of the MLMs support local events and teams. I can’t remember a BYU football game that wasn’t sponsored by NuSkin, and I often hear of concerts at the Usana arena. How many people who are upset by the MLM business model still enjoy the benefits of having these big (and sometimes profitable) companies here in Utah? While I’m sure most of these huge companies have lots of lawyers to ensure they’re following the rules of the government I doubt they’ll ever overcome the scrutiny of the public in general.

  • Penny

    The small percentage of high income earners in home based business has nothing to do with the company but everything to do with the skill of the person working the business.

  • Bonnie

    doTERRA is an awesome company. It has no debt. It helps the countries they go into for their oils. The oils are the best in the essential oil market. doTERRA educates its consultants.

  • Dave Hood

    The site article isn’t as bad as the TV coverage, but both are little more than hit pieces against DoTerra because KSTU hates the politicians they support. I know dozens if not a hundred plus of their associates that KSTU misrepresents as somehow getting ripped off, and exactly one of them actually sells the stuff as a means of income, most of them get the associate’s account solely because the wholesale price they get puts them money ahead on what they use themselves, and the rest don’t bother with trying to profit from it because they’re providing the products mainly for friends and relatives. KSTU apparently doesn’t care to let the facts get in the way of a partisan smear campaign. Do they ever even try to be more than the Democrat party’s attack dogs?

  • Chris

    I have been using doTERRA Essential Oils for over 2.5 years now. Their Lifelong Vitality Multivitamans have helped supported my body in overcoming acid reflux, seasonal alergies, as well as long term nasil congestion. The oils have also supported my body by boosting my immune system to fight off illness on several occasions so that I have not had to use synthetic OTC or perscription drugs since before I started using the oils. For a few years I had no interest in the business, and no one pressured me to do it as a business. I was a very satisfied user who ordered what I needed each month.

    Recently I was inspired to become a builder because several of my friends were interested and signed up with a wholesale membership because they were so impressed how well the oils helped me. After I began to do doTERRA as a business, the price of my monthly orders have increased very little. I might spend an extra $20/$30 in extra oils for samples, but I’m still just ordering what I personally use.

    I am now getting my oils paid for, and one of my best friends was recently able to quit his job because his wife (who is a stay wat home mom with a toddler and an infant) was making more with doTERRA than he was!

    Most people who have a wholesale membership with doTTERRA are like I was when I started, they just want to get the products for free. But for those of us who want to build, the opportunity truly is amaizing!

  • Clarisa Gibson

    I LOVE DOTERRA! I have a great time learning about oils. I am healthier now and my family has seen a big change in me. I just purchased the oils for me but now it is taking off as a business. I had a great time at convention and can’t wait to learn more!

  • Elizabeth

    doTERRA is an amazing company that is more like a family. We help each other and work together to learn and grow. Not only is the business side amazing, but the products are incredible and help people to live healthier lives!

  • Terry

    doTERRA is the most amazing company out there! The owners are the most wonderful people, with more integrity then any I’ve known. Their oils are the highest quality available on the market (CPTG), and are tested to make sure every batch is perfect. Other companies can be tested by the 3 outside sources also to get this grade, but most won’t because their oils have been altered, or synthetic ingredients have been added to their products. Most of us who are Wellness Advocates for doTERRA, started using their oils & other products with no intention of selling them. When we realized how much they helped our families, we couldn’t help but not share them with others! I’ve used other oils by companies over the years, (being I’m in the beauty industry) but none have even come close in comparison. You seriously get what you pay for when it comes to the quality, sourcing & the countries the oils come from. It’s all in the chemistry!

      • Curtis

        Rodger, quick question. This video interested me, and I wanted to see what people were saying about it. I try to stay objective on these issues, so it’s important to me to hear both sides. You seem to be the one most ademantly against network marketing companies in this comment feed. Personally I appreciate passion, so I’m wondering what your reasoning is? Have you ever been part of an MLM company and did you have a bad experience? Have you enrolled in education or research that has caused you to feel this way? You just seem really passionate about the subject and Im curious why? Thanks

      • Rodger Lee

        Curtis, Thanks for the open minded questions, vs pummeling me with more MLM handbook drivel. In answer, yes, I have had personal involvement in MLM in my early 20’s. Fortunately, it was a valuable lesson and I didn’t get hooked as a permanent MLM jumper. Honestly, the cultish devotion and blind regurgitation of all things MLM bothered me the most during my experience. Additionally and perhaps even more importantly, my father and a few friends have been terminally involved in MLM and nutrition/health schemes for many years. My father spent much of his adult life embracing one MLM after another and neither he or any friend I know of ever made money, and certainly none of them could ever quit their job and go full time MLM. My father is a seasoned, trained and experienced, as well as natural salesman. He could sell ice to the inhabitants of Europa if there were inhabitants (side note: Europa is one of Jupiter’s four predominant, large moons and is covered completely by a frozen water/ice surface).
        To the contrary, none of these people ever even recouped the significant time and dollar resources they poured into MLM. They all lost all of the energy, time and money to the wind, but not for lack of desire, effort or dedication. I repeatedly watched my father and other friends obnoxiously harass friends and family to the point of absurdium. Little did they realize how much they were alienating the most important relationships in their lives and what laughing stocks they made of themselves in the eyes of others. That is cultish, is it not? Yet they never seemed to get it, that the fundamental key to success in MLM is getting in on the very early ground floor. Interestingly, the exact same is true of pure chain pyramid schemes and chain letters that do not sell products. Wow, could there be a correlation here? Is it possible that MLM simply hides this aspect of fraud behind the fact that they offer products? If you do a little research on the couple, Spencer and Laura, featured in the program as successful doTerra MLM pros, you will find that they admit to getting in very earlier and working very, very hard. It takes both, meaning if you get in later, you can work as hard as you like, but you will never get rich and only spin your wheels. For comparison, GE has been around for a long time and if you are employed by them, you will earn a living income and won’t have to alienate everyone you know in the process. There are good, fundamental, explainable reasons for this.
        Yes, I have done extensive research in an attempt to understand MLM and why it so appealing to so many, how it works and how it is fundamentally flawed. My conclusion is that it is based on a fundamental and incontrovertible con, but good luck convincing any active MLM devotee that this is the case. And this is primarily because MLM’s do a fabulous job of inoculating them against criticism in the early stages of involvement and continually thereafter. They have an elaborate compendium of propaganda developed over decades and it works well on the gullible human mind. Gotta give em credit for that.

        Actually, we have one of the most devoted and respectable researchers on the topic of MLM right here in our back yard (there are a few viable and objective researchers out there). He has spent countless hours doing real, objective research and publishing it for free, yet the public chooses to ignore what his efforts tell us about MLM. We prefer to be deluded and greedy and well, stupid. What else can I say? This person is the very Dr. Jon Taylor, who was also featured in this program. Sadly, Fox 13 cut much of what he had to say and watered down the strong, convincing case he makes against MLM, thus depriving viewers of critical truths on this matter. It’s obvious to me why they did this, but I won’t go into it here. However, if you really want to research the critical side, go to his free website at http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/ He doesn’t make a dime (if he does, it’s a very thin one) off the enormous amount of time and effort devoted to simply telling the truth about a scandalous con. There is a mountain of information on this site.

  • Ashley

    My experience with doTerra has been extremely positive. From corporate and customer service to local Wellness Advocates. I have been blessed to meet wonderful ladies that truly look to help anyone and everyone in any manner that they can. They aren’t looking out for their bottom line; they genuinely care. The products speak for themselves. I scoffed at the prices and sourced essential oils from other companies. After not receiving the desired results I have doTerra a chance and I haven’t looked back once. I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful company.

  • Mark

    CAUTION: It appears doTERRA boosters have been encouraged to submit comments about this article. It seems the company wants you to believe it isn’t just another MLM scammer. The shear number of glowing endorsements about doTERRA alone is enough for me to conclude that’s exactly what it is! HINT: Never trust a company marketing a product that forces you to look at every friend, relative and acquaintance as a way to move up in rank!

    • Cameron

      Mark I find your CAUTION remark very interesting. I assume you have never opened or have had your own business b/c how does just about every business start. There are many professions that start with your sphere of influence to help grow your brand/business. Are you saying that they are all bad people and only doing it to so call “MAKE MONEY”. Realtors, hair dressers, lawyers, nutritionists, trainers, therapists, chiropractors, dentists… hell the list could go on forever. How would the world run if no one ever talked to their friends and family members about what they use. Why is it that I can go to the store and buy a product that I love and it is fine to promote it but it isn’t right to like a MLM product and promote it just b/c it may actually make someone some money. I like to support my friends and family members and if the product is awesome WHO CARES! I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there that will promote things even if they don’t word just so that they profit but please don’t lump everyone together as there an many who truly see benefits and care about what they are promoting.

    • Loni

      I am anti-MLM in general. I have quickly learned they were not all created equally. We weren’t asked by the company to comment. They don’t do those kinds of things. Quite the opposite. We are told not to push – the oils sell themselves. At 2.5 million strong (and growing exponentially), if we all spoke our minds it would bring this site down (crash from traffic overload). We share things we find on the ‘Net, and feel COMPELLED to comment. I’ve never been pushed into buying or selling, never pushed anyone else. We can’t help but “share” with whomever we come in contact with because we want them to be helped the way we were helped. Compassion. I’ve been in it a year, and never sold anything, as it is with all but a very small percentage of members. That wasn’t my intent, but of course I wouldn’t mind making a buck, either. When these amazing oils stopped me from living the vast majority of my life on my bed, you bet I want to shout it from the rooftops to anyone who may have never heard of essential oils. And the doTERRA community is incredible. The most kind-hearted people you could imagine. Helping EACH OTHER by the droves every minute, with no possibility of financial gain from each other. Just this morning someone posted their oily things for sale to be able to escape an abusive relationship, children in tow. Immediately, numerous comments begged this individual not to do so as they would be needed to see her through these hard, dark times. Instead, MANY asked where they could send money. They are strangers to each other, yet family. I suggest you (and everyone else who may be of the same opinion) read about how doTERRA works, and their policies. Join some facebook groups to read the posts and comments to judge for yourself. It’s easy to jump to rash, incorrect conclusions based on the state of the world. But just like there are “good” and “bad” people, there are “good” and “bad” companies. I might have been guilty of jumping to such conclusions myself, in my anti-MLM mindset, had I not experienced what I have, in every aspect, over the last year.

      • Rodger Lee

        If you really understand MLM, you are either for it or not. Your claim that you are generally anti MLM is immediately contradicted by you writing a glowing endorsement of doTERRA. It is an MLM afterall, and therein lies the flaw.

      • Loni

        You are right. I don’t know everything about MLMs. In fact I know very little. But I have learned a lot about this one, through personal experience, and remain anti-MLM, in general. Although I do not sell, and had no intention of doing so, I read everything I could LOOKING for the bad. Not that I was approached by many MLMs in my many years of life, but I can’t recall too many with a try it and let me know what you think attitude. Someone cared about me and my health enough to “share” their personal oils with me. No sales pitch, pressure, nothing at all. They worked for me and THEN some. So I dug even deeper, and still couldn’t find flaw (except from competitive mudslingers) but for one minor detail, which they are very upfront about. I’m STILL not FOR MLMs. But I am for doTERRA. As one of the fastest growing companies in history, don’t you think they’ve been poked and prodded by every naysayer imaginable? Where’s the “dirt”? I’m not so narrow minded that I’m either 100% for someone/something or 100% against someone/something. I’ve crossed political lines MANY times in my life, voting for the person, platform, etc, and not the “party”.

      • Rodger Lee

        Well Loni, the fact the you buy doTerra’s nonsense about being one of the fastest growing companies in history, shows me how gullible you really are. This is a common MLM claim. Further, I just posted in response to your claims, some links that are very condemning of doTerra on many levels and it isn’t competitor ad hominem. We find what we want to find and believe what we want to believe. This is generally the case with us humans. Admittedly, I live a credo of skepticism and it has served me well when it comes to scammers and fraudsters.

      • Loni

        I didn’t cut and paste anything, wasn’t “trained” to say anything, and did not offer any “canned apologetics”. You may also note that I never insulted you or anyone else in this thread. The opinions I’ve expressed about this company are mine, and were formulated through much reading and research. Yes, Roger, I am passionate about doTERRA. Not about MLMs. I didn’t join because they’re a MLM, and I won’t leave because they are a MLM. I joined because I tried their products, and they worked for me. Better than expected. There are certain compromises I accept when/if I want something badly enough. I wanted to learn a Martial Art from as early as I can remember, but did not have the opportunity until my late 40’s. I didn’t like bowing to the two country flags every time I stepped on to or off of the training floor, and I didn’t like answering up Yes, sir! or Yes, ma’am! But I wanted to learn the art, so respected it and those involved enough to do so for as long as I was able. Enjoy the rest of your year, Rodger!

      • Rodger Lee

        Fact is, you can buy identical products for a lot less. Your explanations of doTERRA above are so much more complicated than is necessary with regards to purchasing any product. You can go to a health food retailer or amazon with much less complexity and get a better price. If you really understood the way MLM’s operate you might know this. I realize the following is my opinion, not the gospel, but I believe doTERRA has simply done a great job of reselling you on the idea that there are noble, ethical MLM’s out there. MLM methods are sow’s ears and one cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. By that, I mean that they are fundamentally flawed as a business model (I make myself cringe using that term because they are a scam model, not a legit business model) From a distribution standpoint MLM is hugely inefficient, from price standpoint, the most expensive, from an ethical standpoint it’s deceptive and preys on the appeal of easy wealth and endless chain residuals. It’s like saying, some Ponzi schemes are ethically better than others. I am enjoying my life very much, thank you. I have not made any personal attacks on you, but you may feel that we because you don’t like hearing what I have to say about MLM or doTERRA. I understand and I’m sorry for that.

  • Stephanie

    I have been using doTERRA for almost three years. I am not a salesperson. I simply love these products. I use some amount of oils every day. I have never felt pressured to sell, sell, sell, or sign more people up. I will continue to use doTERRA as long as they are around.

  • didi teufel

    I’ve got to add my 2 cents! Not only are we thrilled with the doTERRA product, we are thrilled with the wonderful, down-to-earth, positive, kind and sharing people that we are meeting since we discovered this company just over a year ago. NO complaints from our LARGE family in Canada, whatsoever, and we are continually encouraged by doTERRA to eat well, exercise, rest, and enjoy life! These oils are meeting our needs beautifully! Thanks Fox, for sharing…

  • Arla Leonard

    I’m working with a MLM company, I am not an employee, I am a independent distributor and this company has given more freedom, time with the family and one that you must not have checked into. It is a publicly traded company, on the Nasdaq, and It’s headquarters is located in Sandy, Utah. There are some who make over $60,000 a month, and a whole lot of people who make over $ 2,000. a month. Because it’s a publicly traded company, it’s pay outs are publicly available. I’ve seen it.

  • Susan B. Mitchell

    The doTERRA “Gift of the Earth” essential oil company provides us with pure, natural ingredients that really work. Then it turns around to bless farmers in other lands with co-impact sourcing and humanitarian service. Exactly five weeks ago I spent an afternoon stitching Days for Girls kits at doTERRA headquarters where I spoke personally with Rose and a younger woman (can’t spell or pronounce her name) who with tears in her eyes praised my company for bringing her here from Africa for the first time and for doing so much to bless her people. She hugged me, a humble wellness advocate, when I turned to leave! How can a company whose mission statement is to “bring wellness and hope to those in need” be accused of harming anyone. I love doTERRA products and stand gratefully beside her honest, upright, and conscientious leaders.

  • Melissa

    I am a DoTerra associate and I didn’t join to make money but to have a source of alternative methods of health products. I have found DoTerra to have fine quality essential oils and blends that have helped me and many of my friends. I could care less if the founder makes millions; I make people happy by giving them a natural healthy alternative to standard medicine for everyday ailments, and I do end up giving a lot of them away because I want to help people get and maintain health without resorting to Pharma.

  • Carlin

    What I love about MLMs is that they are an equal opportunity for any person looking to start their own business without the high cost and risk associated with regular small business startups which often cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars (particularly for franchise opportunities) and typically do not see a profit for the first 3 years.

    In small business, a business owner has to meet certain “requirements” to operate their business successfully, whether that is paying employees, or sticking to franchise contract stipulations, or reinvesting company revenues. They risk profit and loss each month and also have to invest money into the growth of their business. I don’t see the difference in someone owning their own MLM business. Being “active” in a mlm company via monthly ordering is simply investing in their business, not to mention as a business owner it’s probably smart to have extra products available. And how great that should they decide down the line it’s not for them after all, they don’t have to worry about selling their business on to someone else, they can just stop being “active.” What’s the REAL risk involved in a MLM? The membership cost, typically under $100 – to essentially start your own business! And, you don’t have to source your own products, deal with a manufacturer, or even staff employees. Your MLM company acts as your wholesaler for the products your business is selling.

    The majority of people who decide to use an MLM as a business opportunity for themselves have little business knowledge or background which cause some incompatible expectations. Where I think people go wrong is that they don’t work an MLM like a business. Being self-employed takes a great deal of self motivation, structure, and accounting. Those are are successful at it are the ones who are willing to work at it.

    The great thing about MLMs too is that you can get the products you want easily and benefit from a wholesale membership. It’s a win-win for everyone. Do the business if you want to, or don’t do, use the products or stop anytime. Flexible, convenient, and fair – and with a far greater ROI than any small business. I’m a member in several MLMs, Some I just use the products I love, others I’m actively building business. In all companies, I’ve more than received my initial investment back.

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