Last week, I talked at length about why I think the difference in pricing between MLM companies and traditional essential oil suppliers exists. It was an article based on opinion and my experience as a purchaser. This week, I am illustrating my point, so you can see it for yourself.
I compared the retail prices for each of seven essential oils from online suppliers based here in the UK, who are all members of The ATC. For the purpose of this exercise I chose three suppliers that I regularly buy from, Penny Price Aromatherapy, Kobashi, and New Directions UK. Kobashi lists prices in USD and GBP, so I took their USD price at face value, but PPA and ND only list in GBP, so I did my own conversion using the current Post Office exchange rate of $1.20 to the pound.
Next, I compared the retail prices of the same list of essential oils from three online suppliers in the US, whom I chose for several reasons. Firstly, they were in the Aromaweb directory, who have set the bar high for who they will and will not work with. Secondly, I felt their online shops showed a deep knowledge and real love of the business of aromatherapy, and lastly because I remember seeing them mentioned several times in various fragrant forums that I belong to as being quality suppliers. I chose Samara Botane, Nature’s Gift and Dreaming Earth.
Lastly, I compared three well-known MLM companies’ retail prices for that same selection of seven essential oils to each other in USD and then worked out an average price per ml.
All prices were worked out net of taxes, and because the bottle size varies (UK favours 10ml and US markets favour 15ml or 5ml) the average price is per ml of each oil NOT per bottle. For the inevitable squawks about fairness from any MLM’ers reading this, this is advantageous to you as normally price per ml is cheaper for bigger bottles!
Essential Oil Name UK suppliers price US suppliers price MLM retail price
Chamomile Roman $1.59 $2.93 $7.23
Geranium Bourbon $0.95 $1.59 $3.00
Ginger $0.69 $1.06 $3.46
Lavender $0.73 $1.03 $2.25
Lemon $0.45 $0.44 $1.16
Peppermint $0.53 $0.57 $2.06
Tea Tree $0.53 $0.53 $1.98
I was a little bit surprised to note that the prices seem higher in the US, but then I realised that’s because the Pound is very weak at present, so when I converted £’s to $’s at current rates (£1 = $1.20US according to The Post Office, February 2017), UK prices are a bargain right now!
Now, I promised you information on how to find the best suppliers of essential oils where you live, so here you go…
If you want to buy quality essential oils in the UK, please visit The Aromatherapy Trade Council, which is recognised by the government and has a voice on policy decisions with regard to holistic therapies, and which has a directory of members who operate with the highest level of integrity and share their knowledge of essential oils freely. You can find them at www.a-t-c.org.uk/ The three suppliers I listed above are all members but there are several more.
To buy oils in the USA, the best directory I found was on www.aromaweb.com which is an amazing resource for all things aromatherapy. The three suppliers I named are all on there, but there are several more. Aromaweb.com is also a brilliant resource for articles and blog posts about everything aromatherapy. I found out about aromaweb’s directory via www.naha.org which is the online home of The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. NAHA has a directory of schools and learning resources for those of you seeking to use aromatherapy safely. I would strongly recommend you learn this, even if you were introduced to aromatherapy via the more “gung-ho” route of MLM educators. There is room for both schools of thought, and I think it’s something to be proud of if you know of both approaches and are capable of making a fully informed decision.
In Australia, the governing body for the essential oil trade is www.eoppa.com.au. In Canada, the main resource for finding information appears to be www.cfacanada.com – but I thought it might be overkill to list anymore countries for the purpose of this post. If you would like to find the governing body for your country, to help you find a quality supplier, search terms which should help are “governing body for aromatherapy” or “trade body for essential oils” or some variation of the two. Failing that a search for “aromatherapy certification course” or “aromatherapy qualification” should lead you to one of the better schools which will usually give a good starting point to find links to the information you need. If you really can’t find anywhere local, several of the British and American suppliers will ship worldwide.
I hope the three posts in this “How to Buy Essential Oils” series have been helpful to you. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and to know if it will make a difference to how you buy essential oils in the future. I’d also love to know what else would be useful to you. I’m planning another blog on Aromatherapy Qualifications, why they’re relevant and what’s the difference between them, and also one on how to use oils safely if you’re untrained.