Set up your return policies for Shopping ads and free listings

Note: This article does not apply to Buy on Google return policies. To learn how to set up return policies for Buy on Google, see this article.

When you submit your product data to show Shopping ads or free listings, you may also choose to provide information about your return and refund policies. Return policy is a key factor for people who are making a purchasing decision, and showing your policies on your ads and listings may help the performance of your products.

Keep in mind: You are always required to provide clear and conspicuous refund and return information on your website. Based on information collected from this return policy, Google may show your general return policy on your ads and listings.

How it works

To set up returns, you’ll need to create return policies in your Merchant Center account. Return policies can be associated with all products, with specific groups of products, or even a single product by using the return policy label [return_policy_label] attribute in your product feed.

Alternatively, you can share your return policy automatically using the Content API. Only people with experience in web development should set this up, but once it’s done, anyone can use it. Learn how to share your return policy via the Content API

For each return policy, you can configure a number of settings, such as return eligibility and when customers are responsible for return shipping costs.


Return scenario How you’ll configure return policies

If you have one standard policy for all items you sell

Create a single policy.
If you have one standard return policy for domestic sales, but you don’t accept returns on international sales Create one return policy for the country that you accept returns to. Then set up another policy for “international” countries that you sell to but don’t accept returns to.
If you have one standard return policy for most items, but certain others can’t be returned

Create a single standard return policy that applies to all items. Then, create an exception policy, in which you’ll indicate that returns are not allowed for certain items. In the exception policy process, you’ll be asked to create a label, which you’ll apply to exception products in your feed.

Some products which commonly can’t be returned are personal care items, safety equipment, and customized production like engraving.

If you have one standard return policy for most items, but some items have to be returned sooner than others

(for example, premium electronics)

Create a single standard return policy that applies to all items having 30 days to return. Then, create an exception policy to indicate items with the exception applied that will need to be returned within 14 days.

In the exception policy process, you’ll be asked to create a label, which you’ll apply to exception products in your feed.

Combination You may have some combination of any of the above, which means you’ll need to create a standard policy and multiple exceptions. Then, you’ll apply the proper label to relevant products in your feed.


Add a return policy

You can create a policy that applies to a single country or to multiple countries. Once you’ve created a policy, you can add exception policies, and you can add additional countries to any policy later (as long as that country isn’t already included in a different policy).

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. From the page menu, click Shipping and returns then click the Return policies tab.
  3. In the box at the top, click Add policy.
Note: If you’ve previously added a return policy for your Shopping ads and free product listings, you can either add a new single or multiple country policy or add an exception to any existing policy previously created.

Return policies can be added in the "Returns" section in Merchant Center (under “Tools and Settings” > “Shipping and Returns”), via feeds, or via the Content API.

Step 1: Select the countries this return policy applies to

Choose the country or countries where you sell the majority of your products, and click Next.

Step 2: Return policy URL

  1. Enter the URL for the return policy on your website.
  2. Select whether or not you accept returns from the countries selected in Step 1 above.

Step 3: Return method

Select the various methods that customers can return your products, such as:

  • In store
  • At a kiosk
  • By mail

Step 4: Return window and seasonal override

  1. Enter the number of days customers have to complete returns.
  2. Set a seasonal override for products that are ordered within a specific time range and for which there is an exception to the standard return policy (for example, during the holidays).
    1. Set the dates for when the policy applies.
    2. Specify the latest date by which products must be returned or number of days of the return window.
Note: If you set a specific date until which products may be returned, and that date differs from the return window of a non-seasonal policy, the more favorable of the two policies will be applied.

Step 5: Product condition

Select whether you allow product to be returned if they are:

  • New. This can include unopened products in original packaging, and products that have never been used.
  • Used. This can include products that are lightly used or opened.

Step 6: Return fees

  1. Select the currency, enter your restocking fee, and indicate your return shipping costs
  2. Review your details, and click Done.

Add an exception policy

To add an exception, you’ll need to change the parts of your existing policy that are different for specific products. Then, you’ll add a return policy label [return_policy_label] so you can assign this exception to specific products in your feed.

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. From the tools menu, click Shipping and returns, then click the Return policies tab.
  3. At the bottom of your list of policies, click Add an exception.
  4. To make changes, click the pencil icon Edit setting, pencil icon next to the section you’d like to edit.
  5. Enter the updated information for the exception, then click Next.
  6. Click the “Label” section to create a return policy label [return_policy_label], then click Finish.
  7. Review your details, then click Save as exception.

Add return policy label attribute to products

If you only have one return policy (the default policy), you do not need to make any updates to your feed, or if you desire you can still add the return policy label [return_policy_label] column to your feed using the keyword “default” as the label value for every product.

If you have created multiple return policies, you will need to add the return policy label [return_policy_label] column to your feed. If the default policy applies, use the keyword “default” or simply keep this column blank. For products that have an exception to the default policy, add the label name you created for that exception policy.

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