It happened to me. Young Living Essential Oils happened to me.
So, I have been dancing around the idea of looking into trying essential oils for headaches. I had no idea how they were supposed to help, but I was, and am, willing to try most anything to alleviate my headaches. I was invited to an *exclusive* Facebook group to test oils. I received my ultra special sample from my Young Living peddling friend and I was sold. The beautiful marketing materials and intoxicating scents of the tester oils bolstered my whim to invest in the Premium Starter Kit.
Yep, you read that right. Two bills to begin a “path to wellness” for my family and me. In addition to the $160 kit with 10 oils and random samples and sharing crap, I splurged for the 2 day shipping, bringing my total to a whopping $200. I had some REALLY high hopes for these mystical oils.
Five Days Later
I’m not salty about it or anything, but my pretty expensive starter kit with added *2 DAY SHIPPING* came 5 days after ordering. So, this time period includes a weekend, and I understand the delay that way. I just thought that the whole 2 Day thing meant “2 days regardless of regular business days” ….because $25 should get me that, right? After 5 days of checking the shipping status online, I finally got the knock that I had been waiting for: the Premium Starter Kit had arrived.
I was still pretty enamored with the Young Living Lifestyle and though I definitely am not motivated to, I entertained the idea of actively selling oils for a hot minute. This is the new Avon lady, I thought. The 3 and it’s free and career path informational materials are somehow disarming and alluring. All of the carefully crafted Multi Level Marketing ploys had been effectively deployed on me. These oils and supplements, presented as affordable luxury, were wellness items that our families deserved. If I really loved my family and wanted to provide for them, Young Living was the answer to every prayer.
But wait, there’s more
The Essential Rewards program is a monthly automatic shipping order that you select and can “cancel at any time” but accrue spendable points at higher and higher rates the longer you have an active subscription. The believers make it sound design like a commandment, a true necessity to have a monthly qualifying ER order. People love showing pictures of their free items they used points to receive.
Fellow down-liners via the Facebook group page for our “organization” under our ultimate sponsor or whatever it’s called, are constantly testifying the blessings of the Essential Rewards programs and sharing pictures of their “free” items. In reality, you have to order hundreds of dollars of inventory, whether for yourself or actually customers, in order to enjoy the benefits that include complimentary product.
I signed up for ER in a moment of particular weakness and quickly realized my error. I signed into my virtual office and tried to cancel my ER order. Make all product quantities 0? Nope. Change delivery date? Won’t go through til next time. Ugh! So much for cancel anytime. I called the customer service number and felt like I had to justify my cancelation reason and why I was missing out on this great opportunity. It was more like trying to cancel cable than a shipment.
Back to the kit
I chose the Desert Mist diffuser in my PSK because it was the cutest in the pictures, but it also has variable diffusing strengths and up to 10 hours of run time. In real life, it’s pretty cheap looking, like an oversized votive candle with a blow hole. If it didn’t have the cute Morroccan Trellis design, I wouldn’t use the decorative cover at all.
Lavender is the Young Living star oil and the only one I used at first. I was having a really difficult time finding diffuser blend or any other recipes that used ONLY oils from my ultra special Premium Starter Kit. I always seemed to be missing one or two components to a recipe, usually tea tree and lemongrass. I quickly ran out of lavender, lemon, and Citrus Fresh oils making cleaning products and defusing, which is all I really wanted oils for. I had been watching the prices of the oils I’d run out of and the monthly PV promos to feel out a right time to buy the oils I actually used. Ads for ArtNaturals oil and diffuser sets kept popping up in my Facebook news feed, on Pinterest, and even in my room at my mom’s house. She got her ArtNaturals oil and diffuser set on Amazon, but was nonetheless happily diffusing lavender and other various oils in her room with no quality issues.
Quantity and Quality
One day I saw that ArtNaturals was having a BOGO diffuser sale. Maybe this isn’t really a sale and I am once again fodder for marketing executives, but I had to check out this mysteriously affordable company. In 5 minutes of browsing, I found a 16 oil (singles) and Bluetooth diffuser PLUS second Bluetooth diffuser for $60 😲
I knew that I had been had. Instead of shelling out $75 to re-up my Young Living supply, I made off with 2 Bluetooth clock 400ml diffuser units and 16 oils. Damn. By shopping around for 5 minutes I could have saved $140. I reassured my self that the *nice* or expensive oils would surely be more effective than their cheap peer.
Now I’m a happy customer
Truly, I have noticed no difference in quality of household products I have made with both brands of oils. Diffusing, I have noticed differences in scent, but ArtNaturals have been effective blends for sleep, allergies, stress, and headaches. The similarity of these oils made my buyers remorse really hit home. I’m a little bitter at Young Living for making their product seem like the moral selection, the choice of mothers who really care.
I have since purchased a second ArtNaturals set with a necklace diffuser because it is SO CUTE! and was less than $20 including 8 oils that I’m chugging through anyway. My house smells amazing, I have been able to stop allergies in their tracks, and I can make surprisingly effective household products for pennies. I really wish I had skipped Young Living and gone with ArtNaturals from the start.
I’m sure there are people ready with their pamphlets and doctrine to change my wrong opinion about the *best* essential oil company around. I know there are an equal number of Doterra fans available to sing its praises and enlighten me as to how DT is truly the superior company in quality etc.
Aside from the loudest names in the industry, there are plenty of quality, affordable, small business essential oil companies. There are so many options available thanks to Amazon, and a quick Google search will reward you with countless blog posts recommending individuals favorite oil purveyors (and a fair amount selling for MLMs). One reason that I like purchasing from ArtNaturals is that they are based out of Glendale, which isn’t far from me!
Whether it’s a unpopular or inconvenient opinion to have, I’m here to tell you that the MLM essential oil companies are not the end all be all in the retail market. What’s your essential oil brand of choice? Why?