Choose how you manage your Buy on Google returns

US only

Note: The Buy on Google program in France ended on December 7, 2021. Learn more

When you set up your return configuration you’ll choose which method of return shipping label generation is best for you: merchant-managed returns or Google-facilitated returns.

How it works

Merchant-managed returns

If you choose not to provide Google with your carrier account info, you’ll be responsible for providing return shipping labels for all return requests.

When a customer decides to return a product, Google will let you know in your Merchant Center account and via daily summary emails. Then, you’ll be able to either provide a return shipping label directly in your Merchant Center account.

Google-facilitated returns

To have Google generate return labels automatically, you’ll need to link your supported shipping provider for return shipping. Then, when a customer initiates a return, Google will generate return labels on your behalf and you’ll be billed directly by your shipping provider.

Regardless of which way you choose to manage your returns, if you want to manage your own returns for just a subset of your Buy on Google inventory, you may mark these products as “special processing returns” by creating a return rule.

  Requirements Works best if Not ideal if
Merchant-managed returns (Default)
  • Adhere to return label generation SLAs
  • Labels have to be uploaded to your Merchant Center account in PDF format
  • You expect low return volume
  • You'd like to use different return carrier accounts on a case by case basis
  • High return management cost
  • High liability of return management performance
Google-facilitated returns Link your existing account with a supported shipping provider
  • Access via Google to automated return label generation of labels saves time
  • Will save return management effort and hence time
  • Providing best customer experience
All of your products require special instructions to be shared with customers before return initiation

Merchant-managed returns (default)

Choose this option if you’d like to upload a label for every return request you receive. If you don’t provide a label within 2 business days, the customer may be issued a refund. Frequent defaults may impact your Retailer Standard rating.

Google-facilitated returns

Choose this option if you want Google to automatically generate return labels for your returns. You’ll share your existing shipping provider account details with Google, then when a customer decides to return a product, Google will automatically generate return labels for customers using your shipping provider account.

Google will use the shipping dimensions, weights, and zones you share for automatic return label generation. If you don't provide these, Google will use a default. For merchants selling in Buy on Google in the United States, the defaults for each product are:

  • Shipping Weight: 5.0 lbs
  • Shipping Dimensions: Height = 4”, Width = 12”, Length = 12”,

Special processing returns

Keep in mind that if you want to manage returns for only some of the products you sell on Buy on Google and let Google generate return shipment labels for the rest, you’ll have the option to do so using the Special Processing Return Rule. Special processing returns, that are valid for both Google-facilitated and merchant-managed returns, also allow you to directly interact with your customer. Learn more about special return processing

Keep in mind

For both merchant-managed and Google-facilitated returns:

  • Prepaid return shipping labels in the shipment are not supported.
  • A packing slip will be auto generated by Google and sent to the customer (with the label).

Instructions

To use Google’s integration with shipping providers (currently USPS, FedEx, UPS, and ShipStation are supported, and more shipping providers will be added in the future) to automatically generate return labels from your shipping provider account, you'll need to link your shipping provider account into Merchant Center. You can only add one shipping provider for return label generation.

Note
Linking your USPS account requires you to additionally share your 32- digit alphanumeric merchant account code along with your 6 or 9-digit mailer ID (MID). The merchant account code and MID can be found in your current returns URLs or API calls, and the Business Customer Gateway, respectively. If you need additional help finding your MID, contact USPS.

Link your accounts

  1. Log in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. From the “Settings” menu, click Linked accounts.
  3. Click the Platforms tab.
  4. Click the plus Add button to choose a platform that you want to link to your Merchant Center account.
  5. The supported shipping providers will be listed with the capability to “Create return shipping label”. Select the provider of your choice.
  6. On the next screen, enter your shipping provider account number, sometimes referred to as the shipper number.
    • Note: Your shipping provider account number appears in your carrier invoice.

    For ShipStation, you will see a login page. Sign in to your ShipStation account to link it.

  7. Click Add shipping provider.
  8. Check the “Status” column to see if your accounts have been successfully linked.

Remove a link

  1. Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
  2. From the “Settings” menu, click Linked accounts.
  3. Click the Platforms tab.
  4. In the "Actions" column, click Remove.

Related links

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