The Complete Guide to Reworking in Fulfilment

Warehouse Employee Inspecting a Box

Reworking often refers to reconfiguring products into another format, for example selecting a variety of products to create a hamper or collating multiple beauty items into a gift set. This can also be referred to as ‘kitting’ or ‘bundling.’

Sometimes, a product just isn’t ready to ship when you want it to. Maybe it was returned by a customer, labelled incorrectly, or came with an issue that made it unfit for sale. That’s where reworking also comes into play – the process of getting products back on track to send out to your customers.

If you’re running a business and want to streamline your fulfilment process, exploring reworking can be a game-changer. But where do you start?

Not to worry, the reworking specialists at I-Fulfilment are here to help you with every step! Below, we’ll break down all the different aspects of reworking (including some you might not have considered) to make this part of your fulfilment process smooth sailing. Let’s get started!

What is reworking?

First things first, let’s look at what reworking actually is.

In fulfilment, reworking refers to the process of reconfiguring products or getting a product ready for sale if it’s in need of fixing or alterations. This can be for a couple of reasons:

  • Returned merchandise: Many products get returned by customers. Rework for returned items involves inspecting them, making any necessary repairs or adjustments (like replacing a battery), and repackaging them so they can be sold again.
  • During the fulfilment process: Sometimes mistakes happen while manufacturing or a change needs to be made to an item before it goes out. Reworking here might involve updating labels, reconfiguring packaging, or putting items into a kit.

The goal of reworking is to minimise waste and maximise efficiency. By fixing minor issues and making necessary updates, you can avoid throwing away good products and boost your revenue.

1. Returns

Returns are an inevitable part of any business, and they play a big role in reworking. Before you can put a returned item back up for sale, there are a few things you need to do to make sure it’s good to go:

Quality control

Quality control is key to making sure returned products are in perfect condition for resale. After all, your customers won’t be happy if they open their package to a lipstick-stained dress or a face cream with a broken seal!

Quality control involves carefully inspecting returned items for any defects or missing parts, such as checking for stains on returned clothes, broken lids on a flask or missing earpads on headphones. If any issues are found, they need to be addressed, such as replacing missing items.

If the problem is too severe to fix, the item needs to be responsibly discarded to prevent it from being resold accidentally.


After the product passes quality control, it needs to be repackaged and prepared for shipment. Typically, the original packaging will be discarded and replaced with new packaging. If the product is to be sent out again it will require an updated delivery address, and the tracking information also needs to be updated to prevent any misplacement.

2. Product updates

Before a product can be shipped, it may need some updates. This might be because of an error that needs to be corrected quickly, or because the update is easier to handle at this stage of the fulfilment process. Either way, here’s what might be involved:


Occasionally, the labels on products sent from the manufacturer are outdated, incorrect, or unsuitable for the retailer or country you’re shipping to. For example, a shirt might have a label with UK sizing instead of US sizing. In such cases, you’ll need to update the labels and attach the correct ones to the products – this will make sure they’re suitable for sale in the destination region.

Repacking into retail packs

Your retailers may only want to sell your products if they come in specific carton or case sizes, so you’ll need to adjust your packaging to meet their requirements. This typically involves changing the number of items in a case or altering the size of the case itself.

FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) prep

Millions of products flow through Amazon’s warehouses daily, which is why they have such strict packaging guidelines – standardised packaging with proper labelling helps their system quickly identify, sort, and move your items efficiently. Unfortunately, if your products don’t meet their requirements, you could end up facing significant fees.

To avoid these costs, it’s best to repack your items according to Amazon’s specifications. This might involve adding barcodes, EU and US labels (depending on where you’re shipping), shrink wrapping for protection, or reboxing to fit within weight and size limits.

Kitting and Bundling

Lady opening a packaging box with multiple items

Kitting is where multiple items are pre-assembled into a single unit before an order is placed. Unlike returns management, it’s less about resolving issues, and more about saving you time and money.

Here’s how it works: imagine you sell phone cases and screen protectors. Instead of storing them separately, you create a “kit” that combines a popular phone case with a compatible screen protector. This bundled set gets a new unique identifier, a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), making it a single unit for inventory and order fulfilment purposes. When a customer orders the phone case and screen protector kit, there’s no need to pick each item individually – the warehouse worker simply grabs the pre-assembled kit, packs it, and ships it out.

Kitting reduces the risk of errors by eliminating the need to pick multiple items for each order and allows for more efficient storage than having individual items scattered around the warehouse.

Re-kitting is the perfect solution for collating beauty gift sets for special occasions or as a promotional offer, or for seasonal requirements such as a Christmas gift set. The option to re-kit and repack your products in different formats allows you to adapt your product offering for specific retailers. It is also a good way to ensure you do not have any wastage due to expiry dates, as you can re-kit your items and get them out on sale to customers more quickly.

Take the hassle out of reworking with I-Fulfilment!

Reworking can be a lot to handle, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The good news? By outsourcing to I-Fulfilment, you can skip the headache and focus on what you do best: growing your business!

With a proven track record built over 20 years in fulfilment and 3PL, we handle product rework for businesses of all sizes and models. Here’s what makes us stand out:

  • We offer solutions for virtually any rework need, including all those mentioned in our guide and more. We even provide services not commonly offered elsewhere, like embroidery and steaming options for apparel!
  • We handle all reworks on-site, guaranteeing you get the fastest, most cost-effective service possible.
  • Our user-friendly BladePRO software gives you complete visibility over your stock, from the moment it arrives in our warehouse to reworking and beyond.
  • Sustainability is one of our top priorities. Choose eco-friendly and recycled materials wherever possible during your reworks, to help you meet your ESG or BREEAM goals.
  • Our fulfilment services go beyond reworking. We also offer a full suite of options, both domestically and internationally, to take care of your entire fulfilment needs if you need us to. This includes full returns management, all forms of product customisation, customer services, and more!
  • Your brand needs are individual and unique, which is why we listen to your requests and work with you on a tailored approach to your fulfilment – you are not just another pick, pack and despatch product on a shelf – your customers matter, which is why we are dedicated to providing the optimal bespoke fulfilment service to ensure customers keep coming back.

Ready to ditch the rework burden? Get a competitive quote online or call us on 01425 200 222, and find out how we can streamline your fulfilment today!

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