Changes to eBay Marketplace; 5 Minutes with... Todd Lutwak

By: Richard Brewer-Hay

Given the eBay Marketplace news yesterday, I thought I’d take advantage of sitting down with some of the folks on the team and see if I could get them to give us some new “5 Minutes with…” interviews at the same time.

Without further ado, first up is “5 Minutes with…” (Well, 15 actually) Todd Lutwak…

Todd Lutwak

Full Name: Todd Glenn Lutwak
Nickname: ttwak ( my eBay user id)
Official Title: Senior Director of Seller Development
What You Really Do: Build programs and communication to help attract, retain, and grow eBay sellers
Your First Day at eBay: 11/27/2000
Education/Schooling: University of Texas at Austin BBA “Hook ’em Horns” and Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University
Interests: Family, Sports (especially the Cubs- I just named my new puppy Wrigley), and Tournament Poker ( I have won a few small tournaments, and am actually ahead $$)
Favorite Quote: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;the unreasonable one persists on trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man”- George Bernard Shaw
Most memorable eBay experience: Raising over $2,500 for charity by showing up to work on Halloween as a mime and not speaking all day. I sold commemorative pictures in my costume.
Most recent eBay purchase/sale: The daily deal from Saturday- Pink Diamond earrings for my daughter
Favorite Albums: Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon, U2 The Joshua Tree, and everything Neil Diamond
Favorite Movies: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ( it was filmed at my High School while I was a senior) Forrest Gump, The Natural, and anything with Ben Stiller
What You Wanted to Be Growing Up: A Comedian and/or Play first base for the Chicago Cubs

Fill in the blanks:

I should have slept more yesterday.
I wish that I could be a better father, friend, husband, brother, son, coworker, manager, and employee.
The first thing I do when I get to work is check out the Daily Deals.

Regarding the eBay Marketplace announcement of April 14:

Q. Lots of news coming out regarding the eBay Marketplace this week. What is the #1 message you’re hoping to get across to sellers?
eBay seeks to be a much better partner than we were in the past. We now understand better how site changes impact the selling community. So in order to minimize the impact, we announced that we will limit changes to 2-3 per year and provide at least 60 days to implement.

Q. And to buyers?
eBay has always been a great place to shop for anything, and we are taking steps to make it even easier with a New view item page that clearly states important information such as item condition and handling time.

Q. Can you provide more info regarding Smart FAQs? How much control does a seller have over the feature?
Smart FAQ is designed to both provide buyers with a quick response to their questions, while also reducing email volume for sellers. This new free feature draws on live information from your listings to answer the top 20 buyer questions before buyers reach you through the “Ask a question” or “Contact seller” links. Sellers can use Smart FAQ the way they want: review, customize and/or add questions; use it only for pre- or post-transaction questions, or both; have buyers continue to go right to “Ask Seller a Question.”

Q. Can you explain the thinking behind Package tracking in My eBay?
Buyers have told us they want to know whether their item has shipped, and would like to track their package if a tracking number is available. Adding package tracking to My eBay will allow them to easily check if an item has been shipped, and track their package from within eBay.

Sellers have told us they regularly receive questions from buyers asking “where’s my stuff?”. Adding shipping tracking numbers to My eBay will greatly decrease these seller contacts.

Q. Who are the clear winners coming out of this week’s news?
All eBay users should be winners from these changes. Buyers should experience an easier, more visual shopping experience, while sellers should become more efficient in their operations.