How Bundles, Multi-Packs, & Variations work together

Despite their similarities, it’s important to recognize distinctions between multipacks and bundles, and how they are separate from a parent/variation relationship.

Ultimately, Marketplace Management is in charge of constructing a listing to be live on the sales channel, and then sending the appropriate quantity. 

Buyers should have the option to choose whichever listings they want, as long as the quantity is greater than zero, and then when an order is placed, our software deducts from the appropriate SKUs. 

That way a buyer can choose to mix and match the items they want to purchase and Marketplace Management will consolidate them into one order. 

Bundles & Multi-Packs

A bundle is considered a quantity relationship between two SKUs; when you create a bundle, it establishes that when a SKU is ordered, it will deduct from another SKUs quantity. 

Bicycles are great examples of a bundle. As a whole, the bicycle is one SKU (the bundle SKU), whereas the pieces of the bicycle (wheels, seat, frame, etc.) are component SKUs.

If one of the component SKUs has zero inventory, the bundle SKU cannot be purchased, but other bicycle component SKUs can be purchased separately.

Bundles can also be made for mismatched SKUs. If SKUs are different between various channels, customers can “link” them as a bundle, to connect them in a 1-item to 1-item relationship, under a single SKU. That individual SKU then controls the item quantity.


Bundles and multi-packs are both "quantity-based" associations within Marketplace Management, and a multi-pack can be bundled. 

In a multi-pack of batteries, a single battery is one SKU (the component SKU), and multiple quantities of batteries (5-pack, 10-pack, 50-pack, etc.) are bundle SKUs. 

As long as there is an available quantity of the component SKU, the bundle SKUs can be purchased. Then when the inventory of the component SKU is zero, all bundle SKUs are zero.


A variation, on the other hand, is considered a "product-based" association. A variation SKU (which is part of a variation set) is something that can be ordered separately and will not impact the quantity or availability of the other SKUs in the set. 

Each component SKU can be established with a 1 to 1 ratio, or any multiple that the customer can select. This allows for flexibility in the seller’s catalog. 

Bundles can also contain variations, and not just of one item. For example, a bundle can include:

  • 1 small red t-shirt, 1 small yellow t-shirt, 1 small blue t-shirt (same variation); or
  • 1 small red t-shirt, 1 small red pair of shorts, 1 black hat (different items which include variations); or
  • 1 black hat, 1 mug, 1 pen (all different items, variations included)

Examples of variation attributes are size and color, so an example of a parent product would be a Women's Scoop Neck Tee Shirt, and variations of the parent product would be small and red, medium and red, large and red, small and yellow, medium and yellow, large and yellow, etc.

SellerActive parent product variations

Each of the variation SKUs have a unique SKU and unique quantity, so if a seller has a t-shirt in 4 colors and only 1 size, then there are 5 total SKUs in Marketplace Management: 1 for the Parent and 1 for each color. They could sell out of one color, but the listings are still available for the other colors. 

Also, the parent SKU will not have a listing, only the variations will.

Learn how to link variation products together within Marketplace Management, or assign variation themes to a variation set to provide at least one variation attribute set to a variant’s parent listing.

We also provide details on how Marketplace Management can recognize your variation relationships for an easier publishing process, and which sales channels variations can be imported from.

More information can be found in our Knowledge Base on bundles, multi-packs, and variations, and feel free to contact Marketplace Management if you have additional questions.