Stanley Gibbons are ready to take on eBay

Stanley GibbonseBay are heading into a fight from a somewhat unlikely contender – Stanley Gibbons, who bill themselves as “The home of stamp collecting since 1856”, are ramping up to compete.

At the end of October 2012 Stanley Gibbons paid $1m to acquire bidStart, a US-based online collectibles marketplace which focuses on the stamp and postcard markets.

Mark Rosenberg, the founder of bidStart is now Chief Digital Officer at Stanley Gibbons and earlier this year Paul Zimmerman, previously’s Marketplace Director joined Stanley Gibbons to become their Director of Ecommerce Operations. Prior to Zimmerman was a senior manager at Amazon UK.

Stanley Gibbons have a marketplace already up and running and over the last year they’ve been recruiting expertise in the form of ex-eBay and ex-Amazon employees.

bidStartThe bidStart marketplace aims to make it easy for your to list and sell – They can import your listings from eBay and can even automatically add new items you list on eBay to your bidStart store, as well as update or remove items from both sites when they sell.

Whilst philately is a popular category on eBay, there’s a ton of discontent as stamp prices and weight make tracked shipping prohibitively expensive and the free shipping eBay love so much just doesn’t work for low cost light weight products such as stamps and postcards which will often attract multiple item orders. Stanley Gibbons have the name, the heritage (they were awarded the Royal Warrant by King George V in 1914) and a worldwide following.

They’ll never compete with eBay across the board, but for collectables and particularly stamps and postcards they just might give eBay a bit of a fright and a run for their money.