How to Use Mystery Boxes to Reduce Inventory before the End of the Year

blog holiday inventory Dec 07, 2023

Learn why you should curate and sell mystery boxes instead of offering discounts to get rid of excess inventory.


In three weeks we’ll be ringing in the new year. I don’t know about y’all, but I cannot believe it’s almost 2024! As product-based business or subscription box owners - or both - the end of the year means more than just thinking about New Year’s resolutions. It means generating as much revenue as possible and getting rid of as much excess inventory as possible. 

If you have a physical store, the last weeks before Christmas are going to be crazy busy as you sell, sell, sell to last-minute gift buyers. If you’re an online only store, things will start to slow down this week as we reach shipping deadlines. 

Now is the time to take steps to clear out your excess inventory - those items you didn’t sell this year. I don’t want you to wait until next year for two main reasons: 

  1. You’ll have to count and pay taxes on any inventory left over at the end of the year. 
  2. Selling now means getting cash flow back in your business so you can buy product for the new year. 

Do not drag 2023 baggage into 2024. It’s time to earn extra revenue and clear out excess inventory that has been taking up valuable shelf space and cash in your business.



Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different strategies to clear out excess inventory. A few years ago my team and I had the idea to try Mystery Boxes… and they were a HIT! We’ve done it every year since and will be selling them again this year. I want you to consider selling Mystery Boxes, too.

My customers - subscribers and non-subscribers - love our Mystery Boxes. And so do I. They bring in a lot of revenue just as holiday sales end, and they get rid of a lot of product that has been sitting around on my shelves.


Why should you sell Mystery Boxes to get rid of excess inventory?   

I teach members of Launch Your Box to use Mystery Boxes because they are a way to reduce excess inventory without actually discounting their products. 

Mystery Boxes are a fun way to provide additional value to your customers without having to say, “These are 50% off.” You can show the value of a $50 box that contains $100 worth of products without calling it a clearance sale.

As a subscription box owner, stay away from clearancing out things you’ve had in previous subscription boxes. You never want to devalue the products you’ve already given to your subscribers. 

Instead, curating Mystery Boxes allows you to move inventory while maintaining the value of what was in your subscription boxes


First, curate those Mystery Boxes.       

The excitement of a Mystery Box is not knowing what’s inside, so naturally you have to keep the contents a surprise. Let your subscribers know these boxes may contain some items that were in past subscription boxes, so long-time subscribers are aware they may receive something they already have. 

Mix items that appeared in your subscription box with items that did not. This adds excitement for your subscribers and allows you to increase the perceived value of the box. 

Consider offering Mystery Boxes at different price points. For example, we typically sell a $50 box and a $100 box.



We’ve had success - and a lot of fun - curating size-specific boxes. We fill them with tees and sweatshirts in a given size, typically at double the value of the price of the box. This allows us to get rid of inventory we may only have left in one or two sizes.


Then, sell those Mystery Boxes!   

Once you’ve curated your boxes, it’s time to get your subscribers excited about these Mystery Boxes! Create posts on social media, make videos, create reels, and go LIVE! Showing your excitement about these boxes will get your audience excited, too - and ready to buy! 

Let your audience know they’ll be getting a TON of value. I like to say opening a Mystery Box is like opening a canister of biscuits. When you open the box, all the great stuff inside bursts out! 

Nervous about going LIVE? If you’ve been around for a minute, you know how hard it was for me to start doing LIVES. You also know how very important it is to show up for your audience - to let them see you and get to know you. 

Going LIVE is vital to your business’s growth. And it’s the best way to generate excitement about your boxes… including these Mystery Boxes. 

For tips and strategies - and a pep talk - about going LIVE, check out this blog post and listen to episode 9 of my podcast Going LIVE on Social Media.



Remember, the goal when selling Mystery Boxes is to get your money back and clear your shelves, not to make a profit. You need to reduce your excess inventory and get cash back in your business. This will allow you to buy ahead - maybe buy product for two months out instead of staying just ahead of what you have planned. 


If you haven’t grabbed a copy of my book, One Box at a Time, you can get one- and a FREE Beginner Bundle Bonus - here!

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
  • One Box at a Time: Inside my book One Box at a Time, I show you the steps you need to follow to start and launch your subscription box. To turn your dream into reality. This book is filled with proven teachings, valuable resources, best practices, and action steps for you to take.


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