About return policies for Shopping Actions

Shopping Actions US

This article only applies to merchants enrolled in the Shopping Actions program. For general information on returns, see the Merchant Center guidelines.

When you submit products to Google Merchant Center, you must also provide information about your return policies. Return policy is a key factor for people who are making a purchasing decision, and setting up such policies may help the performance of your products.

The return policies that you add to Merchant Center must at least match the return policy standards required by the Shopping Actions program. Please note: The configurable settings will guide your policy creation, but will not ensure that your return policies adhere to the required return policy standards. Items that don't meet the minimum standards may be removed from your available inventory or have the Google minimum return policy applied. Return policy settings are updated hourly.

What can be specified for returns

In order to set up returns, merchants must create return policies and set up configurations in Google Merchant Center

  • For each return policy, merchants can configure a number of settings, such as return eligibility and when customers are responsible for return shipping costs.
  • Return configurations are associated with all products.

Policies

Default and additional policies

Note: Your default return policy must allow customers to make returns for up to at least 30 days from the delivery date. Additional return policies shorter than 30 days may be created, but should only be applied to items in allowable exception categories.

The first return policy you create will be your default return policy. If the feed for an item does not include a return_policy_label column, if the return_policy_label attribute is blank, or if the return policy specified by the feed cannot be found, the default return policy will be used.

Additional return policies can be created by using labels to define groups of products, like electronics or apparel, and then applying specific return policies to those groups. These policies can be specified in the feed with the return_policy_label.

Duration

You choose whether or not items with a specific return policy can be returned, and if so, for how long. Eligibility for return is calculated from the date when the item was delivered (or the latest estimated delivery date if the actual delivery date is not available).

Costs

Select reasons for return fees (such as, “does not fit” or “ordered by mistake”) to indicate when the return cost is the responsibility of the customer. If you do not select any reasons, or if the reason for return is not included among the reasons you are able to select, you will be responsible for the cost of the return and the customer will be informed that there are “Free returns” for the purchase. Actual return shipping costs will be specified by the Shopping Actions program. Restocking fees are not allowed and therefore cannot be specified.

Seasonal overrides

In order to accommodate for high-purchase and high-return periods, like holidays, you can create seasonal overrides during which there are exceptions to your standard return policy. For example, you might set a seasonal override for items ordered between November 1 and December 25 that allows those items to be returned until January 31 of the following year.

Specifications for seasonal overrides include:

  • Name of the override
  • Override dates
  • Whether or not items are returnable
  • Return duration, with four options:
    - A specified date until which items may be returned
    - Number of days during which items may be returned
    - Items may be returned any time
    - Items may not be returned
Note: If you set a specific date until which items may be returned and that date differs from the return duration of a non-seasonal policy, the more favorable of the two policies will be applied. 
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