Is Young Living a Pyramid Scheme? Honest Review

Young Living MLM review

Young Living Essential oils is an MLM company that promotes natural essential oils and dietary supplements via its direct sellers.

Young Living was headquartered in Lehi, Utah.

This post is an overview of Young Living Multi-level Marketing, where we will go through its company profile, products, MLM compensation plan, and answer the question Should I Join Young Living?

Young Living
FounderDonald Gary Young
When Started1993
Head OfficeLehi, Utah, United States
Opportunity TypeMLM
ProductsNatural Oils & Dietary Supplements
Joining Cost$29.95

What is Young Living?

Young Living is founded by Donald Gary Young in 1993, due to a stroke he passed away at the age of 68 in 2018.


Now this company is operated by his wife Mary Young who serves as CEO of Young Living.


Founder Gary filed a lawsuit against a doTerra for stealing trade secrets but he lost the lawsuit in 2017 and pay the fine of $1.8 million to doTerra as a legal fee.

Similarweb stats show that most of the traffic to is from the United States (54.19%), Mexico (6.71%), and Malaysia (6.62%).

According to the Young Living Income Disclosure (2020), statement 88.1% of members earn only $3 per month.

In 2005, lawsuits were filed against Gary for fraudulent medical practices which causes near-fatal kidney failure in a patient.

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Young Living Joining Process

To become a part of Young Living, one needs to enrol and submit a member agreement first. Then need to purchase a basic starter kit for $29.95, which includes some marketing material and business cards.

If you want to purchase a premium starter kit that ranges from $150 to $265, it consists following products

Young Living Premium kit

Young Living Products

Young Living markets a wide range of oil products and dietary supplements which are divided into the categories like essential oils, healthcare, food & beverages, cosmetics, and digestive supplements.


Young Living claims that they don’t use 2,500 questionable ingredients in its products.

Moreover, customer reviews on product quality are positive but its service is rated poor.

Men’s essential oil blend (15mg) bottle price on Young Living is $123, in contrast on you can find similar products at $10. Like most MLM companies, the products of Young Living are expensive.

Young Living features Essential Oil in the form of skincare oil, energy booster oil, stress relief oil, aid digestive oil.

Young Living has 30 days return policy on its product.

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Affiliate Ranks

Young Living has different ranks for affiliates to achieve with different criteria.

  • PV (Personal Volume): PV is fixed points on each product, which are rewarded with every purchase. PV is used to calculate different incomes.
  • OGV (Organization Group Volume): Total PV of affiliates’ all downline are calculated in OGV.
  • PGV (Personal Group Volume): PGV is also the Total PV of affiliates’ all downline excluding PV of Silver & higher rank affiliates and qualifying legs.
  • Leg @ OGV: Leg denotes a personally enrolled affiliate and their downline. Leg @ OGV is the number of legs with some minimum OGV.
Senior Star1002,000
Executive1004,0002 @ 1,000
Silver10010,0001,0002@ 4,000
Gold10035,00010,003 @ 6,000
Platinium100100,0001,0004 @ 8,000
Diamond100250,0001,0005 @ 15,000
Crown Diamond100750,0001,0006 @ 20,000
Royal Crown Diamond1001,500,0001,0006 @ 35,000

Example: To be on Silver rank, Individuals need 100 PV monthly, 10000 OGV from downline, 1000 PGV, and 2 legs with a minimum of 4000 OGV. After qualifying all these conditions, Silver rank is rewarded.

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Young Living Compensation Plan

Like all other MLM Companies, Young Living also has a complex compensation plan.

Young Living affiliates can earn in following types of income.

  1. Fast Start Bonus
  2. ER Bonus
  3. Starter Kit Bonus
  4. Retail Earning
  5. Generation Commission
  6. Unilevel Commission
  7. Generation Leadership Bonus
  8. Diamond Leadership Bonus

1. Fast Start Bonus

When your personally enrolled members and they place orders within the first three months, then you earn a 25% bonus (up to $200 each) on all their purchases.

From second-level members, you earn 10% bonuses (up to $80 each) on purchases within the first three calendar month.

2. ER Bonus

Young Living’s members get a $15 bonus when they enroll ER with a minimum of 100 PV orders.

Essential Rewards (ER): Young Living has a monthly ordering program for their members which gets automatically shipped every month.

3. Starter Kit Bonus

When your personally enrolled member buys a premium kit then you earn a one-time $25 cash bonus on it. 

4. Retail Earnings

The difference between the wholesale price and retail price is the retail commission. Young Living gives up to 24% retail commission to their direct sellers on product sales.

5. Generation Commission

Generation Commission is a fixed percentage on the PV of downline generations till 7 levels. The percentage is based on self rank and level of generation.

Affiliate GenerationsSilverGoldPlatinumDiamondCrown DiamondRoyal Crown Diamond
12.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%
2 3% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%
3 3% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%
4 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%
5 3% 3% 3% 3%
6 3% 3% 3%
7 3% 3%

For Instance, if a member is on a Silver rank then he will get 3% as Leadership Bonus on the total PV of 3rd level deep downline.

6. Unilevel Commission

Unilevel commission is given on up to 5 levels deep downline. A fixed percent on PV of different downline level is rewarded under this income.

Unilevel Commission percent vary according to downline level and own rank.

Downline LevelMemberStarSenior starExecutiveSilverGoldPlatinumDiamondCrown diamondRoyal crown diamond

For Instance, if an affiliate is on a Silver rank, then he will get 8% and 5% on the PV of level 1 and level 2 downline respectively.

7. Generation Leadership Bonus

Young Living shares 6.25% of their total monthly commissionable sales to silver and above-ranked affiliates.

This bonus is equally distributed as per shares affiliates have.

  • Silver: 1 Share
  • Gold: 2 Share
  • Platinum: 3 Share
  • Diamond: 4 Share
  • Crown Diamond: 5 Share
  • Royal Crown Diamond: 6 Share

8. Diamond Leadership Bonus

Young Living shares 0.5% of their total monthly commissionable sales to diamond and above ranked affiliates.

Bonus is equally distributed as per shares affiliates have.

  • Diamond: 1 Share
  • Crown Diamond: 2 Share
  • Royal Crown Diamond: 3 Share

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To Be Concluded

Here we end with the compensation structure of Young Living. Now let us answer the most popular question related to it, is Young Living a Scam?

Is Young Living a Scam?

No, Young Living is not a scam. It is a product-based network marketing company dealing in personal care and wellness. It is not a Ponzi or Pyramid Scheme.

Affiliates need to purchase products regularly and earn commission based on their personal and downline product sales.

But Young Living has faced various controversies.


Young Living filed a lawsuit against another essential oil MLM DoTerra in 2013. DoTerra founder David Stirling has served as COO (Chief Organizing Officer) in Young Living before starting their own company DoTerra. Young Living blamed doTerra for stealing their trade secret for the production of essential oils.

In 2014, Case was dismissed in favour of doTerra, and allegations were rejected.

While many times, Young Living and affiliates are questioned for product benefits claims they made. Young Living affiliates advise curing cancer and coronavirus-like diseases.

Overpriced Products

Like most MLM companies, Young Living products are highly expensive to end consumers for providing commission to affiliates. Almost every product affiliate and customer needs to spend double compared to retail market products.

As a result, the affiliate needs to learn extraordinary MLM skills to succeed.

Should I Join Young Living?

It depends on you. If you want to sell some essential oils and recruit similar people like you, then you can give a chance to Young Living. But expensive products are a major issue with Young Living. Normally, most people fail in MLM and hence think wisely before joining.

Moreover, MLM has a bad reputation and its success rate is extremely low. Young Living income disclosure states, 88.1% of its affiliates earn only $3 annually. While less than 1% of affiliates earn $10,000 every year. So you have to be one among thousands to earn a decent commission from Young Living.

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