I don’t know about you, but I have seen a lot of people posting about MLM products during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some people are trying to sell their MLMs to protect you from or cure you of COVID-19 (spoiler alert: it won’t work), others are trying to recruit people who have been laid off or lost income during the pandemic (spoiler alert: that won’t work either). Let’s walk through some of these claims.
Thieves Oil or On Guard Oil Will Kill Coronaviruses
Young Living Thieves Oil and doTerra On Guard Oil are the products that you have most likely seen touted to “protect” you from COVID-19. The blends are somewhat similar: both contain clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. They also both contain a citrus element, lemon in Thieves and orange in On Guard. I’ve not used either of these, but I’m sure they do smell lovely. What they won’t do is disinfect anything.
You’ve probably seen Thieves specifically touted as a cleaner. Young Living sells a multitude of products in the Thieves blend, including household cleaner, dish soap, and even laundry soap. And of course, many people are now claiming that you don’t need to worry that you can’t find Clorox wipes in the store – just use Thieves.
Essential oils are not a replacement for bleach.
It can be hard to find studies on this, because there is so much information out there, but here’s a very simple website that shows some experiments done to see whether Thieves or On Guard have any effect on germs. They don’t. They are decent cleaners, for removing dirt and grease, and on a normal day, they’re probably great! On a daily basis, I don’t use bleach based cleaners in my house, choosing to go more natural (mostly diluted vinegar), but when it comes to disinfecting, vinegar won’t cut it and neither will an essential oil.
That means that if you’re trying to protect against coronaviruses of any type (or noroviruses or any other illness that enters your house), these cleaners won’t cut it. You need to use a proven disinfectant.
I’ve also seen people talking about diffusing the oils in the house to protect yourself. While they might smell nice, that’s not going to work, and you do need to be VERY careful about diffusing oils around children, pets, and people with respiratory issues. You know what causes respiratory issues? COVID-19. So perhaps don’t do that.
However, I do think there is a good use for essential oils during the pandemic, if you’re into that sort of thing. They smell nice, and that can be calming and reduce your stress levels. You can also make some nice body oils or bath oils using essential oils, and that can also be calming and good for your mental health. Again, I recommend not using them around pets or children, but if you’re trapped in your home office, trying to get some work done and want to diffuse some fancy blend, go for it. Just don’t buy from an MLM – you’ll pay way more.
MLMs Will Make You Money
Unfortunately, a lot of people are currently out of work, either furloughed or laid off, and that means that the time is perfect for MLM scammers to try to rope you into their “business.” I’m sure you’ve seen it – people telling you all about their business and how by working from home, they’re able to make so much money. I noticed it got even worse after the stimulus check came out – the MLM recruiters knew that people suddenly had an influx of cash, so it was the perfect time to get them to buy in.
Don’t get roped in. Very, very few people in MLMs make money. Most lose hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and some even find themselves in significant credit card debt. Because the only way to make money in MLMs is to keep the sales going and to keep bringing in more people. Inevitably, if someone really wants to succeed, they end up spending their own money to make sales, and recruiting family members (like their spouses) and then paying for that person’s products as well.
MLMs will not make you money.
Don’t Fall For an MLM Scam
Don’t fall for an MLM scam during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a scary time. People are struggling, they’re stressed, and they’re afraid. These are all very natural responses. But there is no quick fix, either to the virus itself or to the financial situation. We just have to hunker down, be smart, wait it out, and trust that the experts are doing what they can.
And to all of the essential workers out there, thank you. To those in the medical field, the people stocking the grocery shelves, the teams packing and delivering products, to all the helpers. We are so very thankful for everything you are doing. Please stay as safe as you can.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.