When I talk to people about using essential oils, I’m often met with a questioning look when I confess I am not a customer of either of the two popular MLM brands you’re probably familiar with. When I question these people back about why they are customers of one of these two companies, I usually get one of two responses. They go something like this:
Oh, I just joined up so I could get the starter kit and buy all of my oils wholesale.
I wanted to buy the best oils. And my friend (cousin, sister, neighbor) told me xyz company is the best.
I’ve heard these statements so much, but it’s still very shocking to me that when I tell people that what they believe to be true is not necessarily true, in both cases (cost and quality), they often don’t believe me. That is how strong the marketing programs of both companies are. They have convinced thousands and thousands of customers that there are no other viable options. I’m here to tell you — that is simply not true.
I know it seems that there are a lot of “reps’ out there for these 2 companies, but the vast majority are only joining because they think they are getting a great deal on the starter kits and wholesale buying. Or they have the idea that these are the only companies providing “pure” or “therapeutic” essential oils. Did you know that the term “therapeutic” is a made up marketing term? There is no such classification of essential oils. It’s a term to try to convince consumers that a certain brand or brands are somehow special or better than others.
There are MANY companies out there providing pure, unadulterated oils from native lands. Among them are my two favorites: Plant Therapy and Rocky Mountain Oils. Both of these companies carry pure oils at great prices. Other companies with solid reputations are Mountain Rose Herbs, Eden’s Garden, Florihana, and Aura Casia. If you took a peek into my essential oils boxes, you would find some of all of these brands in them.
What you won’t find are Young Living or doTerra. Not because they are not great oils, but because I don’t believe they are the most cost effective option. And all things being equal (and by all things, I mean quality mostly), I prefer to save money any chance I can.
Before I get to the meat of this article, please know that the purpose is not to bash certain companies, but to share how you can purchase a very similar “starter kit” of essential oils, at a cheaper price, with free shipping always, and without wholesale membership fees or minimum requirements for purchases. Since it would take a ridiculous amount of time, not to mention space in this post, to compare all of them, I have chosen to compare with Plant Therapy only. Feel free to make similar comparisons with the other companies I have mentioned or with your own favorite company. I am confident you will find similar results.
MLM Starter Kits
First, let’s take a look at the two main MLM companies’ starter kits. For purposes of this post, I am assuming you are one of the majority who just wants to buy oils for yourself, not build a network marketing business.
Young Living Home Diffuser Starter Kit ($160 + $18 tax and shipping)
This kit includes:
- Home Diffuser
- Lavender 5ml
- Peppermint Vitality 5ml
- Lemon Vitality 5ml
- Copaiba Vitality 5ml
- Frankincense (Boswallia Carterii) 5ml
- Thieves Vitality 5ml
- Purification 5ml
- R.C. 5ml
- DiGize Vitality 5ml
- PanAway 5ml
- Stress Away 5ml
- Business supplies including sample packets, sample oil bottles, a roll-on fitment, business cards, etc.
doTerra Home Essentials Kit ($275 + taxes and shipping of about $15)
This kit includes:
- Petal Diffuser
- Frankincense (Boswallia) 15ml
- Lavender 15 ml
- Lemon 15 ml
- Melaleuca 15 ml
- Oregano 15 ml
- Peppermint 15 ml
- Breathe 15 ml
- DigestZen 15 ml
- On Guard 15ml
- Deep Blue 5 mL
- business introductory packet
Products in Common
- Home Diffuser
- Thieves/On Guard
- DiGize/Digest Zen
- Panaway/Deep Blue
Products that Differ
Young Living – Copaiba, Purification, Stress Away
doTerra – Melaleuca, Oregano
There is a price difference between the two kits of over $100, but keep in mind that with doTerra, you are getting triple the amounts of oil for 9 out of 10 bottles. All of the Young Living bottles are 5 ml, and all but one of the doTerra bottles are 15ml. The 10th doTerra one is also 5ml.
How to Build an Essential Oils Starter Kit with Plant Therapy And Save Money
Now let’s build an Essential Oils Starter Kit with Plant Therapy. Before I share the cost of building your own kit, there are a few things I want you to keep in mind:
- Plant Therapy is not an MLM. This means there are no required memberships, no minimums you must purchase, and no difference in pricing (wholesale vs. retail), except when they have a sale or special (which is often).
- The essential oils from Plant Therapy are pure essential oils of the best quality available (they even have a line of organic oils AND they provide customers with the GC/MS info for every bottle they sell).
- With Plant Therapy, shipping is always free in the U.S. for any purchase and free to Canada, Australia, or Singapore for purchases of $50 or more. The do ship internationally to other countries as well, just not for free.
- Plant Therapy has a reward points program. The Plant Therapy Reward Points Program lets you earn points that work like credit toward future purchases.
- If you are not satisfied, Plant Therapy offers a 90-day money back guarantee, no questions asked. And they’ll even pay for the return shipping.
Now for our starter kit. Let’ s begin with the products that Young Living and doTerra have in common in their starter kits and find the equivalent products from Plant Therapy. As a reminder, here are the common items:
- Home Diffuser
- Thieves/On Guard
- Panaway/Deep Blue
Plant Therapy sells several diffusers for the home. Since all of the diffusers are different, let’s go with my favorite one, the Aromafuse, and add the oils that are similar to either Young Living or doTerra.
- Tea Tree (equivalent of Melaleuca – I’m surprised that Young Living leaves this one out)
- Germ Fighter (equivalent to Thieves and On Guard)
- DiGiZen (equivalent to Di-Gize and Digest-Zen)
- Rapid Relief (equivalent to Panaway and Deep Blue)
- Respir Aid (equivalent to R.C. and Breathe)
Other options you may want to consider include:
Using the common oils + one more single from the common list, we have a starter kit of 6 single oils and 4 blends + a home diffuser, a very similar combination to Young Living and doTerra. Plant Therapy’s products are sold in several volumes, but for sake of comparison, I am comparing each of the following in the 10ml bottle:
- Aromafuse Diffuser $44.95
- Lavender $6.49
- Lemon $7.95
- Peppermint $7.95
- Frankincense (Boswallia Carterii) $16.95
- Tea Tree $6.95
- Oregano $9.95
- Germ Fighter $8.95
- Rapid Relief $11.95
- Respir Aid $8.95
- DiGiZen $9.95
The total for everything from Plant Therapy if you purchase 10ml bottles is $140.99 + free shipping, — about $37 less than Young Living for double the amount of essential oils, since all 10 of the Plant Therapy bottles are 10ml and the bottles in Young Living’s kit are 5ml. It’s a little more challenging to calculate the savings as compared to doTerra, but subtracting the cost of the diffusers (which are only $2 difference in price), and the 50% difference in the volumes of the essential oils, I calculate a savings of approximately $105 with Plant Therapy over doTerra. I have no idea of how to calculate the added value of the business samples and supplies in the Young Living or doTerra kits, but I don’t think they would make enough of a difference to discount the cost difference with Plant Therapy. Either way, you’re saving close to or a little more than $100 by building your own starter kit with Plant Therapy.
Of course, the real beauty in building your own kit is that you can switch out the oils you don’t want with oils you do want. So if you prefer Sweet Orange over Lemon, you can do that. Prefer a blend for focus over DiGiZen? You can make that choice. Or get them all and still save over the cost of the others.
Another consideration is that Plant Therapy also has a large selection of gift sets for an even greater savings, so be sure to look at those, especially if you want to build a larger starter kit than what we’ve built above. There are several oils not included in the Young Living or doTerra Starter Kits that I would personally want in my collection because I use them so much, including: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood, Helichrysum Italicum, and Lime.
As you’re making your decisions about where to buy your essential oils, keep in mind that with Young Living, you must purchase $50 worth of oils each year to maintain your “wholesale” status and with doTerra you pay a $25/year membership fee to maintain that status (the $35 fee for the first year is waived when you buy a starter kit). With doTerra, you can forego buying a starter kit and simply join for $35 and begin buying at their wholesale prices. I don’t believe this is an an option with Young Living.
There are no fees or minimums with Plant Therapy. And remember . . . shipping is always free in the U.S.
The only reason I can imagine choosing Young Living or doTerra over Plant Therapy is if you are interested in building a network marketing business. If that is you, please be sure you are fully informed. Growing such a business takes a lot of hard work. Be sure you talk with someone who will be brutally honest with you and is willing to share their income reports. You can also read the 2015 income report from both companies to get an idea of how many reps are succeeding:
Be sure and do your own research, too. If Plant Therapy doesn’t impress you as much as it has me, then look at a few other companies. like the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this article. The bottom line is that you have options, and if your primary goal is buying high-quality oils at a good price, it’s likely that Young Living or doTerra are not your best options.
For further reading about our experiences with essential oils, you may enjoy these articles as well: