Many eCommerce sellers choose to add value and excitement to the ordering process by offering mystery items and bundles to their customers. Mystery items are an effective way to upsell and delight shoppers with items that are useful, novel, and/or valuable, while also helping sellers liquidate older or slow-moving inventory. When mystery items are planned and positioned well, both the customer and the seller stand to reap the benefits.

Seller Benefits

  • Average Order Value (AOV): When businesses include mystery items (and bundles), AOV generally increases.
  • A dependable winner: The mystery item SKU is often an instant bestseller — even for stores which have a hundred or more unique SKUs.
  • Inventory turnover: Utilizing the mystery item strategy can help to profitably clear out older and/or less popular inventory.

Customer Benefits

  • Surprise: Mystery offerings leverage surprise to create a positive (and memorable) experience for customers.
  • Free shipping: Mystery offerings are often priced to help customers affordably reach the free shipping threshold.
  • Bargains: Mystery offerings are almost always at bargain-level prices.

A Few Tips

If you are considering mystery items and bundles for your eCommerce store, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep the price low: Many sellers elect to offer mystery items as an upsell within the cart, often for just a few extra dollars. By offering a nice product at an unusually low price, you set the stage for an almost irresistible impulse purchase.
  • Offer real value: Mystery items should offer real value for customers — do not simply offload cheap and/or unwanted inventory.
  • Multiples create challenges: If customers order multiple mystery pieces, ensure that all items fulfilled are different. In pick and pack environments that rely on scan verification to avoid mispicks, this can be a challenge as mystery items will all be labeled with the same barcode (so three of the same thing, for instance, will not draw a flag).
  • Design bundles effectively: If you are designing a mystery bundle, include three to five items, and verify that the products are varied but still make sense. Similar to when a customer purchases multiple mystery items, a mystery bundle should never contain duplicates.


When used and managed well, mystery items and bundles have the potential to delight customers while simultaneously increasing profitability and turning slow-moving inventory. For more information on how to handle order fulfillment for mystery offerings, please feel free to contact us.  We look forward to speaking with you!