For the past year or so, I kept seeing articles about essential oils, and I was interested in them. Finally last fall, I wrote a post on Facebook asking which of my friends used essential oils, and if so, what brand. The response was my first inkling of the competition between various brands. People were quite adamant about which EOs were best.
A friend of mine sells doTerra essential oils, and invited me to a class to learn more. So I attended the class. I found out about diffusing essential oils and I learned about how to use oils for various problems. Since it was a doTerra class, there was a lot of information about doTerra oils and how wonderful and pure and concentrated and perfect they are. While they were careful not to diss other brands, there was little doubt that, to them, doTerra was the only essential oil company worthy of their allegiance. There was no pressure to buy, but I placed an order for a “home physician’s kit” from doTerra because I wanted to get started using EOs.
And I loved them. Several months later, I still diffuse essential oils daily in my home. I have a calming blend that I diffuse while I have my devotions each morning. As I watch TV, I have a diffuser going with a citrus blend next to me. I go to sleep with the diffuser running on the bedside table. I sleep great with an immunity blend, a breathing blend and a sleeping blend in the diffuser. Whenever I get an upset stomach, I use a digestion blend of essential oils to ease the upset. Any time a medical issue comes up, I check my essential oil book and try an oil or create a blend for it. Essential oils work. They don’t replace modern medicine in many cases, but in some cases, they’re a great and natural alternative.
I use oils only in the diffuser or topically. doTerra recommends ingesting them, but medical people I completely trust advise against that. So I don’t do it.
Despite my enjoyment of essential oils, doTerra’s prices bothered me. Still, it was hard to shake the “doTerra is the best” litany of the class. So I joined doTerra’s Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP) and ended up placing a pricey order in November and another one in December. And that was after making my initial pricey order when I first started using doTerra. When I say “pricey” I’m talking about more than $200 each. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t spend that much money on essential oils every month. Really – $20, $30 and more for a small bottle of essential oil just didn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t reasonable, and it wasn’t responsible use of my money. So I called the company and cancelled my LRP status, although I kept my “preferred customer” status which meant I could still order oils at a discount but with no requirement for spending a certain amount of money each month. Even with the discount, though, the prices were prohibitive. The only way to get the prices anywhere near reasonable was to sell the oils and/or recruit more people to doTerra. I’m not a salesperson; so that was out of the equation. I’ve seen too many people lose friends by trying to push something they’re selling.
I started thinking about those high prices. doTerra HAS to charge outrageous prices because it’s a multi-level marketing company. Since my friend introduced me to doTerra, I was “under” her in the multi-level system. She made money from each of my purchases. The person that introduced her to doTerra had to make money off my friend’s purchases and the purchases of each person my friend introduced to doTerra (me!), and so on. The term “multi-level” means that there are MULTIPLE LEVELS of people who must get a piece of the action each time a purchase is made. No wonder the prices are so outrageous. I could make money IF I was willing to recruit people to be in my “downline.”
I quickly found that Young Living (another MLM essential oil company) users were similar to doTerra users in their loyalty to their brand and their insistence that only their brand was truly pure. The general attitude was that all other brands were inferior. However, I didn’t see any proof that their EOs were better. Everything was opinion-based, not fact-based. And since Young Living is an MLM company, their prices are, of course, inflated too.
In my Google searches, I found bloggers that did “studies” of essential oil companies – some of them long and drawn out over the course of numerous blog posts – with a final decision of the “best” essential oil company. The funny thing, though, was that almost all of them ended up, in the last post of the series, recommending one company and then letting their readers know that because they were so certain of the high quality of that particular company, they were now a representative of or distributor for that company – and they conveniently had links so their readers could order the recommended essential oils – and of course the blogger would receive a cut for each person that followed the link. Each time I got to that last post and saw that link, I completely dismissed the recommendation. You can’t be “unbiased” when you’re making money from one of the companies being reviewed!
I wore out Google and Amazon, reading about other EO brands and looking at different buying options. I went to Whole Foods where there’s a selection of essential oils. I also looked at Mountain Rose, Queen Homeschooling, Rocky Mountain Oils, and others. I bought a few bottles from each outlet in order to see if any particular brand stood out to me. Most of the brands had affiliate programs which meant that people could make money by selling their products or by mentioning and linking them in their blog/website and having people click that link. That, in itself, meant there were at least two levels of profit there – profit for the company and profit for the person writing about the EOs.
One company I kept seeing on Amazon was Eden’s Garden. I mostly noticed it because the prices were so much less than what I was accustomed to with doTerra. I ordered a bottle of their lavender from Amazon. When I got the oil, I really liked it, and in the box with the oil was a brochure with information. I visited the Eden’s Garden website. Since the prices were so good, I started reading more about them. They don’t offer an affiliate program. Although Amazon sells the oils, the prices are the same as on the Eden’s Garden website, and the oils are shipped from Eden’s Garden – not via a third party. There are no multiple levels. No “upline” or “downline.” You can’t become a “preferred customer” where you can get discounts by buying more. It’s a straightforward business model.
Their prices were so significantly less expensive than most of the others, that after reading all the “you get what you pay for” hype on the other EO websites, I was hesitant to buy more, but went ahead and bought several more bottles anyway. I wanted to try them for myself. I quickly found that Eden’s Garden’s “Four Thieves,” “Good Night,” and “Breathe Easier” blends work just as well as doTerra’s “On Guard,” “Serenity,” and “Breathe” for helping me sleep well and long at night. And for a fraction of the price. I truly could tell little difference. And the differences weren’t in the quality of the oils but in the combination of EOs that went into the particular blend. Other people wrote about cheaper oils being thinner and less concentrated. I noticed no differences between the pricey MLM oils and the much less expensive Eden’s Garden oils.
What I decided is that, for me, Eden’s Garden EOs are as good as the doTerra oils I have. I’ve read nothing and experienced nothing that makes me believe that doTerra or Young Living are any better or any purer than Eden’s Garden. Yes, “you get what you pay for,” and when I bought doTerra’s EOs I was paying not only for the EOs but also paying for profits for the company and at least two or three other levels of representatives as well. With Eden’s Garden, I’m paying the company, and that’s it. Hence the more reasonable prices. You’ll notice there are no links in this blog post. I have no skin in this game. I’m not an Eden’s Garden representative or “consultant.” They don’t do that. If you want to buy Eden’s Garden essential oils, look up their website. It’s easy to find.
I have no issue with people who use doTerra or Young Living or any of the other assorted essential oil companies. If that’s what you believe in, then that’s fine . . . for you. Just understand that you’re paying extra for the oils because you’re paying for all the people on your “upline.”
For me, I want to be a good steward of our family’s finances, and I can’t be a good steward by needlessly overspending on essential oils.