How to Become an Essential Oil Distributor

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Essential oils are natural oils distilled from plants and flowers and used in body products, cosmetics and perfumes. Many alternative health practitioners, massage therapists and estheticians use essential oils in their treatments. Distributors contract with the essential oil manufacturer to purchase the oils at a wholesale or discounted price. The distributor then marks the price up and sells the oils directly to retail customers or clients or to beauty-based businesses such as salons and spas.

  • Register as a business in your state. Essential oil distributors are businesses and must be registered or licensed per the laws of the state they operate in. Contact your state's business license and regulation department or agency to find out more about becoming a business in your state. Some distributors may be required to pay state sales taxes when selling essential oils.

  • Learn about essential oils. Study and practice using the oils on your own or through a course taught by a practitioner. Manufacturers of essential oils may provide essential oil training courses pertaining to their product or essential oils in general. Distributors are often asked questions about the products they sell and have the opportunity to educate their customers. Knowledge about essential oils can potentially help you sell more products and make more money.

  • Find a distributor to purchase from. Many essential oil makers sell their products through distributors and will advertise a distributor or dealer program or wholesale purchasing opportunity. Some may offer a bulk discount for resellers and wholesalers and others may not advertise a distributor opportunity at all.

    For instance, Tisserand provides a bulk purchase discount to professionals who use Tisserand's essential oils and other products in their therapies and want to sell them to their clients. Amrita, a U.S. based manufacturer, offers a bulk discount to wholesalers and reseller. The Chemical Register is a good online source for locating essential oil distributors.

  • Supply all required documents to the manufacturer. Distributors may be asked for a federal business identification number, a copy of their state business license or other identifying documents to prove they are a business selling to the public. Without certain documents, a manufacturer may not be able to extend a purchasing opportunity.

  • Purchase essential oils from the manufacturer. A manufacturer may have a minimum dollar amount the distributor must purchase every month. Some manufacturers may require a distributor registration fee and require no monthly minimum purchase.

  • Develop a client list through advertising and networking. Attending beauty and fashion trade shows provides a source for new customers. Advertising in local newspapers and trade appropriate publications lets potential buyers know where you are located. Appropriate trade publications would include salon, day spa or alternative health and healing magazines or newsletters.

Tips & Warnings

  • Processing essential oils can be expensive and involve the use of rare resins and plants. Compare prices and weed out pricing that is too low to be true. Low prices can indicate a supplier selling synthetic or adulterated oils.
  • Essential oil distributors can carry more than one line of oils and oil products. Check with the manufacturer agreement to make sure your contract is not for an exclusive distributorship before adding other manufacturers.

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