Google Merchant Center

How to Configure the Condition Attribute in Your Product Feed

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 5 April 2023

To let customers know whether the item they’re looking to buy is new or used, Google has created a special attribute known as the condition attribute.

In this piece, we’ll cover the condition attribute for Shopping feeds and explain what it is, how to format it, and how to solve issues in Google Merchant center.

Let’s dive straight into it.

This article is part of our Google Shopping Feed hub.

What Is the Condition Attribute in the Product Feed?

The condition attribute serves to indicate whether the product for sale is new or used.

It’s one of the product feed attributes that allow advertisers to provide rich product data. As a result, Google will match the product to relevant searches, especially when users apply the condition filter.

Is the Condition Attribute Required?

It depends. For products that are new, the condition attribute is optional. This is because the default setting for each product is “new”, which is why Google considers all items that don’t have a specified condition as new.

However, when the product is used or refurbished, the condition attribute is required. If a merchant sells refurbished goods without specifying product condition, the search results will be less relevant to users and this will lead to fewer conversions. Or worse, it can lead to unsatisfied customers.

How Is the Condition Attribute Used in Google Shopping?

Google inspects the schema markup coding in the variant URL to verify the condition of the product. Even if the merchant hasn’t specified it, the value for this schema will show “new.”

Advertisers who sell second-hand products benefit a lot from specifying [condition] for items in their product feed. If a user wants to browse used or refurbished products on Google Shopping, they can apply the condition filter, and this will affect the results.

It helps both sellers of used goods and those who want to buy them.

Please note that this kind of results filter is not available across the whole Google ecosystem. For example, on YouTube, you can only advertise new products.

So, take the opportunity to populate this attribute on Google Shopping to see better conversion metrics.

Let’s check how to format these entries.

Options for Condition

Formatting options for conditions are predefined and easy to follow.

Only three values are supported:

Product condition is new

When the product is in its original packaging. If the package was opened, the product is no longer “new.” This is the default value for all items (if you don’t provide it, Google will assume the product is new).

Product condition is refurbished

Also known as “remanufactured.” Use this when the product is good as new because it was restored to working order. The packaging is not important as long as the product comes with a warranty and a clear indication that it was fixed by a professional.

Product condition is used

When you resell a second-hand product. You can use the original packaging (but indicate that it has been opened), or place the item in a new package.

Important note: the entries for [condition] have to be in English, whether you operate in an English-speaking market or not.

Here are some examples of how to configure the condition attribute:

  • Text feeds refurbished
  • XML feeds <g:condition>refurbished</g:condition>

Sometimes, you need to change more than one attribute to show users that the product is not new. Let’s check how that works.

How to Format Condition for Products by Third-Party Manufacturers

It’s common to have items from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) refurbished by someone else, i.e. a third-party professional or authorized service. In this case, the advertiser should clearly indicate that the item was not refurbished by an OEM.

To do this, the condition attribute has to be set to “refurbished” but other attributes should be changed as well, including:

  • Title: add words like “compatible”, “third-party”, “generic” in the title and the name of the third-party manufacturer (or refurbisher);
  • Image: the photo should show the exact product, don’t show a photo of an OEM item in original packaging when you offer refurbished products;
  • Unique product identifiers: use the GTIN (MPN and/or brand) from the third-party manufacturer, not the one from an OEM.

Some products, like cartridges, have to satisfy additional formatting requirements. For instance, if you sell more than one third-party printer cartridge, and each is compatible with a different OEM, you need to enter every single one separately.

Let’s check the methods for updating product conditions.

How To Add Condition to Your Product Feed

There are two ways to upload info about product conditions to your feed: through an ecommerce platform or in Google Merchant Center.

Most ecommerce platforms will allow you to specify the condition by selecting one option from a drop down menu. Once you provide values for [condition], the product data will be shared automatically with your product feed.

When you use this method, double-check whether the changes in condition are applied on a product level. Some platforms will add product data about condition to all variants of the product. If this is not true for all items (i.e. some products are new while others are used), additionally tweak the entries so they show different conditions for different variants of the same product.

Alternatively, you can use feed rules to edit values for [condition]. You’ll have to choose a specific criteria (a rule) that defines all products you want to update. Once you do that, you can apply the change in bulk (for all selected products at once).

Let’s check potential issues with product conditions in your feed.

Common Problems With the Condition Attribute

Product condition allows you to comply with laws about selling used goods. Within Google, it’s enough if you simply use the correct GTIN (i.e. not the OEM GTIN).

If your product doesn’t follow Google’s requirements for condition, the item can be disapproved and the process to reinstate it can last up to 10 days.

The most common issue is when advertisers provide wrong value for an item. It’s recommended to enable automatic item updates to help Google solve condition mismatches. In a nutshell, Google will check many indicators about the product and determine what’s the correct condition based on that data.

Get the Top Spot for Used Items Within Google Shopping

In a traditional market setting, the indication about product condition is only that – a label. On Google, info about the condition of a specific product can help you get ahead of merchants who haven’t specified it.

This comes into force when users apply product filters based on product condition.

It’s easy to format values for the condition attribute as there are only three accepted entries.

Configure them correctly, and double-check if the change was inadvertently applied to all variations of the product.

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *