We've worked with the same generalist order fulfillment company since we got started, but we're noticing some issues that make us want to switch to someone with more expertise in apparel — returns processing, refurb, etc. Our ideal would be an apparel specialist fulfillment shop that could do custom pant hems before shipping.
Does anyone have an apparel-focused fulfillment partner who can do these things that they'd recommend?
It is definitely true that, in apparel, returns and exchange rates are much higher. In fact, as you no doubt know, they can often be indicative of success.
It's also true that returns processing can be challenging for fulfillment companies (FCs), because they essentially require reassessing and restocking inventory through non-traditional receiving means. Special project like the one you are describing requiring hemming are usually problematic for FCs, because a project like this isn't particularly scalable.
Over here at ShipMonk, we work with many apparel companies. To be completely honest, we haven't had to do perform custom pants hems before. That said, we have performed a great many special projects for various clients -- all sorts of special projects! So if your volume is high enough to justify the added cost incurred with these special projects, you should definitely reach out to us over at ShipMonk! Alternatively, you could find a partner to help with the hemming and then use a fulfillment center for the actual storing, stocking, and shipping. This adds another link to your chain, but it will result in a more scalable venture.
Good luck out there!
I've been using librexpress.com to handle all of my fulfillment needs. They have apparel and lightweight programs for special items. They have cheap storage for apparel and discounted shipping. You might want to check them out.