Getting into the Lucrative Business of Wholesale Essential Oils (Updated April 2020)
If you’re thinking about pursuing a business venture, it's important to know what you’re getting yourself into. For example, you’re probably reading this because you're thinking about getting into the booming industry of essential oils.
So, to make your reading worth your time, we’ll give you some insight into the industry after we show you what you need to know about wholesale essential oils.
Choosing wholesale purchase lets you skip all the expensive and complicated processes to produce essential oils. However, don’t go buying boxes of oils just anywhere. There are still some factors that you should consider before buying your first wholesale essential oils.
We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.
What should you look for before purchasing wholesale essential oils?
Kudos to making a smart and practical choice with your business plan! Now, let us help you make even wiser decisions when it comes to trusting a provider or supplier. Here are the things you need to do when shopping wholesale:
1. Don’t be shy about asking for a quote
Remember that you’re most likely speaking with a businessperson too, so don’t hesitate to ask for their prices. It’s understandable that you’re still trying to compare prices so that you can get the best price with the best quality.
You can go to various websites of aromatherapy businesses that offer wholesale essential oils. You’ll also notice that almost all of them will offer you awesome discounts, but you will find the best deal if you keep looking.
Just don’t go overboard and go through too many websites. Too many options can make decision-making tougher.
2. Research about the supplier
If you’re canvassing online, check how legit their website looks like. The internet is filled with scammers, so you have to dig deep if you want to get a good supplier online.
Check if they have FAQs and customer reviews. Do they have a blog? You don’t have to read each blog post if they do, but blogs can help you determine how much the supplier knows about the industry.
Ask yourself, who would you trust?
A business website that doesn’t have much to say about their own products? Or a site that has extensive 2,000-word content that tells you almost everything you need to know?
You should also check if their website is secure. To determine if a page or site is secure, look at their URL or the link above your browser. If the URL has “https://” and not just “http://” then it’s safe.
Why should you check if the website is secure?
3. Get to know your supplier
After finally choosing a supplier and researching about them, don’t hesitate to ask if you can speak with them in person, or at least have a video chat. It wouldn’t hurt to see if you’re transacting with an actual human being. Face-to-face and video meetings can help build trust between buyer and supplier.
Also, make sure that you have your questions all lined up. Observe how they answer your questions and inquiries. Pay attention to these things:
- Do they look like they want to work with you?
- Are they patient with explaining the details that you want to know?
- Do they provide you with information about the industry?
You’re going to have to do your part, too. Keep in mind that you’re probably not the only one they have transactions with, so make it worth their time and show that you’re a good business partner. If you bombard them with too many questions and ask them for too many discounts, don’t be surprised if they refuse to do business with you.
Another thing to remember is to avoid underestimating the size of your supplier’s business. Large suppliers have the resources to provide backup solutions if something goes wrong, and still stick to their responsibilities as a supplier. However, there's a possibility that you'll be able to get better and more attention from small suppliers.
4. Product quality check
Once you’ve agreed upon a price and built trust with your supplier, the next thing you need to do is to check the quality of the products. Here are the things you would want to check to see if the essential oils are legit:
- Glass bottles: Essential oils are impossible to store in plastic containers because the oil can disintegrate the plastic. Glass bottles, preferably made of amber brown or cobalt blue glass, are better. Essential oils are light-sensitive and will easily oxidize if you store them in clear glass.
- Seal or plug: When you remove the cap from the bottle, you should see a dropper seal or reducer. It controls the drops of the oil, and makes sure that you don’t pour out more than one drop at a time. It allows you to get right dose and extends the shelf life of the oils.
- Labels: the labels should always specify if the essential oils are 100% pure. Otherwise, the essential oil may have been mixed with other substances. The effectiveness of essential oils depends on how pure they are. You should also check if it specifically says “essential oil,” not just “oil, and most definitely not “fragrance.” Oils or fragrances will not produce the same benefits as essential oils.
- The feel of the oil: compared to other oils like vegetable or seed oils, essential oils will have some slip. When you put a drop on your finger, it shouldn’t feel thick and greasy. However, there are exceptions, such as patchouli and sandalwood.
- Price: the price may not be a reliable determinant of the quality of the essential oils that you will be purchasing, but be careful if they’re given at a suspiciously cheap price. Essential oils are relatively expensive, especially when the plant is rare. However, common essential oils like rosemary may be cheaper, and it will be easier to get a good price with them.
5. Location and shipment time
A great deal and a cooperative supplier mean almost nothing if you’re a thousand miles away from your wholesale supplier’s location. If a supplier is located farther away from you, it's likely that it will take longer for your wholesale essential oils to reach you. Plus, you might have to pay a little extra for shipment fees.
You might be persuaded to still take the deal, considering the long shelf life of essential oils. However, what if you run out and your next delivery got delayed? It’s either you don’t sell anything for the time being, or you buy another batch from a different wholesale essential oils provider.
Either way, you stand to lose money.
However, some situations may necessitate working with a supplier located farther away from you than you'd like. In this case, you should find out how long the shipment will take. You can discuss this with us when we get in contact with each other.
You should also consider the shipment policies of your supplier before you take their offer. What do they do if your batch doesn’t arrive? Or what if you get a bad batch? What if some of the bottles broke?
Your supplier’s policies can be a deal breaker if it doesn’t go well with what you need for your business.
Perks of buying wholesale
Great! You’re now equipped with the knowledge you need to effectively choose good wholesale essential oils. Now, in case you’re wondering, here are some of the advantages of purchasing wholesale:
1. Lesser market appeal risk
When we say lesser market appeal risk, we mean it’s less of a gamble if you purchase wholesale. When you purchase wholesale products, there is a good chance that your target market or customers already know the brand you’re selling.
Naturally, you will still have to build the brand of your business. However, you don’t have to build the brand of your products since people like to buy what they’re familiar with.
2. You save money
Purchasing wholesale gives you the benefit of skipping all the production and labor costs. We’ll later tell you more about the industry and what it takes to fill up a single bottle of essential oil. If you want to sell essential oils, the quickest way to get you there is buying wholesale essential oils.
You’ll also save money with your supplier, since wholesale prices are lower than retail prices. Suppliers tend to give special prices and free shipment fee, depending on the bulk of your order. So, you get to save on both the product and the transport fees.
3. You save time
Making or producing your own brand of essential oils will take a lot of time. Imagine having to wait for an entire crop to grow before you’re able to process them for oil extraction. You'll also have to take care of the packaging and the marketing.
If you buy wholesale essential oils, refilling your stock is easier and faster. You just have to wait for the delivery and your shelves are instantly filled. Furthermore, you can spend your time focusing on growing your business.
Thinking about all these business details can drain your energy, so you can also personally try energy-boosting essential oils. Using your merchandise allows you to better sell your products because you will have first-hand experience.
Moving forward, purchasing wholesale gives you two of the things you need to kickstart your business: time and money. Now that you know all there is to know about wholesale essential oils, allow us to give you an insight about the industry that you’re trying to pursue.
Sneak a peek into the essential oils industry
Why are essential oils suddenly so… essential?
The popularity of essential oils grew as people became more and more curious about alternative medicine. Conventional medical treatments cost an arm and a leg in a lot of countries, especially here in the US. It's therefore no surprise that people would want to opt for cheaper alternatives.
It's important to note, however, that aromatherapy or essential oil treatments shouldn’t completely replace medical treatments. No one should rely solely on the benefits of essential oils. Aromatherapy is more of a “support system” for your body, instead of a cure.
Essential oils are popular all over the world, but the US has a huge chunk in the demand. According to a market research report published in 2017, the rise of the essential oil market started in 2015 at 3.36 billion US dollars.
The study estimated that the essential oil market will continue to grow up to 2024, with a growth rate of 9.0%. The market size is also expected to climb up to 7.34 billion US dollars by 2024, according to Grand View Research.
Essential oils are most popular in the US because government regulations and exemptions in terms of import are in favor of the oils. In fact, the cosmetics industry, in general, has exponential growth in the States because of the high demand.
The most popular essential oil in the market is lemon oil because of its antibacterial and disinfectant capabilities. It’s mostly used for cleaning purposes and personal care. For example, eucalyptus essential oil is rising in popularity because of its ability to help treat fever, sinusitis, and colds.
However, 70% of the demand goes to jasmine, cardamom, chamomile, grapefruit, orange, lime, and more.
However, the industry also faces some challenges with strict regulations on cultivation and harvesting. It takes a huge amount of a particular plant or herb to extract at least a bottle of essential oil. For example, to get 2 pounds of lemon essential oil, you will need to cold-press the peel of about 3,000 lemons.
For this reason, hopeful sellers of essential oils opt for purchasing wholesale instead of cultivating their own plant sources. It’s also the same reason why the FDA has strict regulations on cultivation and harvesting.
If you want to start your own aromatherapy or essential oils business, you need to know about the regulations of the FDA. The administration can be particular with how you market aromatherapy products.
They are so particular that one aromatherapy company was called out in 2014 by the FDA for failing to follow regulations on cosmetic and drug products. The said company had violated guidelines on marketing their aromatherapy products – they claimed that their essential oils could cure diseases. However, if you market your product as a cure, then you’re claiming that it is a drug.
If you do so, your product will fall under the FDA’s list of unapproved drugs.
The FDA filed a warning letter to the company and all who distribute their products. Aside from putting these claims on their product's labels, they also advertised the same claims on their social media and website.
Hence, always be cautious with how you market your products everywhere – not just the labels. This is also the reason why here at Aroma Foundry, we always mention that our products do not and cannot substitute medicines.
However, essential oils are considered to be cosmetic products. According to the FDA, “If a product is intended only to cleanse the body or to make a person more attractive, it’s a cosmetic.” Since cosmetics don't need FDA approval, essential oils can continue to flourish as long as it’s marketed correctly.
Now that you know the numbers and the regulations regarding essential oils, you should also know a lot about the product you wish to sell.
Here are some of the things need to know about essential oils:
- How are they processed? Essential oils come from almost every part of a plant, including the roots, bark, stems, leaves, and flowers. The plant is then processed through steam distillation or cold pressure. The steam pulls out the oil of the plant, which is then captured and collected.
- Why are they pricey?It takes a lot of herb or plant material to make essential oils. You could process tens and thousands of roses only to make an ounce of rose oil. For this reason, some essential oil companies add other ingredients and additives to make production easier and cheaper.
- What are the benefits of essential oils? Depending on how you use them, the oils have a lot of benefits in every drop. They may be used to improve mood, detoxify, and disinfect your home. You check out our blog for more essential oil benefits. If you come across a company or essential oil product that claims to heal diseases, steer clear of that.
- Are they the same as fragrance oils? Quick answer: no. Fragrance oils are mostly alcohol-based liquids whose sole purpose is to simply provide fragrance. They may claim to be the same as natural essential oils, or may be labeled as “natural fragrance." However, they are not essential oils.
- What is the shelf life of essential oils? Currently, essential oils don't have an exact shelf life. However, the oils will oxidize after a period of time. They will last longer if you store them properly.
In a nutshell, making essential oils is fairly easy if you have the equipment and capital it demands. If you want to make enough money from your own production, you should be ready for high initial expenses.
You can make essential oils at home, but probably not enough for you to make money out of it. However, if you're thinking of using essential oils, then you can check out our DIY recipes for more info.
Hypothetically, if you were to produce your own line of essential oils, here’s a breakdown of what you will need:
You might need large tracts of land in different parts of the world if you intend on selling different kinds of high-quality oils. This is because certain plants and trees grow best only in specific parts of the globe.
Essential oils need literal tons of plants, and tons of plants need tons of seeds.
Each farm will need its own distillation facility to make sure that you process the plants as soon as they are harvested. You’ll also need the right distiller for each oil.
Each batch of oil needs to be tested to ensure the quality of the oils, and to see if they’re safe for distribution.
Using equipment for bottling, sealing, and labeling allows you to save more money from labor and lets you produce more products.
You’ll need farmers, scientists, laborers, and marketers.
Even if you don’t read the descriptions, you can already tell that producing your own line of oils can be more than a handful. Aside from what we mentioned, you’ll also need time and patience, since you can’t control the growth of the plants.
Essential oils are difficult to produce if you wish to do it yourself. If you do try to do it yourself, you'll need a team of people behind you to do the planting, extraction, bottling, and more.
Wholesaling is the best and fastest way for you to achieve your goal of starting an aromatherapy or essential oil retailing business. Purchasing wholesale essential oils has lower risks, especially if you get a great deal with an awesome supplier.
If you’re looking for a supplier that you can trust, you’re only a few clicks away! Aroma Foundry offers wholesale essential oils at a price to quality ratio that you can’t refuse. Check out our products and frequently asked questions for more info.
- US Industry Analysis of Essential Oils. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/us-essential-oil-market
- US Industry Analysis of Essential Oils. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/us-essential-oil-market
- Market Analysis of Essential Oils. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/us-essential-oil-market-analysis
- US Essential Oil Market Value by Type. https://www.statista.com/statistics/750695/us-essential-oils-market-value-by-type/
- FDA Regulations on Cosmetics Products. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productsingredients/products/ucm127054.htm
- FDA Regulations of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Products. http://giannamore-law.com/fda-regulation-aromatherapy-essential-oil-products/
- How Essential Oils Work. https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/aromatherapy/how-essential-oils-work1.htm
- What to Know Before Buying Essential Oils. https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/what-to-know-before-buying-essential-oils/
- Tips for Purchasing Wholesale. https://meylah.com/meylah/bulking-up-6-tips-for-buying-wholesale-supplies
- How to Find and Work With Suppliers. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/66028
- What should you look for before purchasing wholesale essential oils?
- Don’t be shy about asking for a quote
- Research about the supplier
- Get to know your supplier
- Product quality check
- Location and shipment time
- Perks of buying wholesale
- Sneak a peek into the essential oils industry