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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lamley Readers, time for your feedback: What do you think of GEMR, the online collection database tool?


This is actually a request to you Lamley Readers to offer an opinion, and I hope you participate.

There is a website and smartphone app out there called GEMR, which many of you may have heard of, or have even joined and use.  It is a platform where collectors can catalog and share their own collections and connect with other collectors who share the same interests, diecast cars included.

I learned about GEMR a few months ago, and am definitely interested.  I have made it known here on the blog several times that we need better tools to catalog and document our own collections, as well as have catalogs and checklists we can refer to for information on any model we might own or want.

For that reason, I will always look at new entries in this area.  I wrote about HobbyDB a couple of months ago, and the feedback from collectors was very interesting.  Some were frustrated, especially because HobbyDB now houses the South Texas Hot Wheels Catalog, while others offered very good comments and criticisms.  I have stayed in contact with the folks at HobbyDB since, and have seen them read and process all those comments, no matter how harsh they might be, and in turn work to incorporate many of those ideas.  HobbyDB is a work in progress, but I am excited about where it is going, and I have decided to add a search component here on Lamley, as well allow them to share their updates with readers here on the blog.  Lamley readers have already given them tons of great ideas, and I hope it continues.

The other collector-aimed apparatus I would love to get your feedback on is GEMR.  It is different from HobbyDB, in that it is more of a social media-type platform to share your own collection.  Collectors join for free and are able to organize, showcase, and share their collections, as well as buy, sell, and trade with other collectors if they wish.  They can even chat privately with other collectors.

You can join for free on their website and also utilize their app, which is available on iPhone and Android.  The app even allows you upload your whole collection at once.  This link below will take you directly to the diecast section:

Diecast Cars Club on GEMR

In theory this is a very interesting idea, but I want to know what you think.  I personally like to have my collection organized, and would love an online tool that I could access from my phone or computer that would serve as database for all the models I have in my own collection.  Of course, ideally I check HobbyDB to see all the models available of a certain casting, then I can use GEMR to figure out what I already have, and see who has what models I might need.

The social media-type aspect is interesting to, but I wonder if it accomplishes anything that the thriving Instagram and Facebook diecast communities don't.

So would that work?  Better for you to tell me than for me to tell you.  GEMR approached me about reviewing their site on the blog, and instead of doing it myself I thought it would be better to invite all of you to use it and review it here.  We all have different ways we would use it, so let's see if it is compatible.  So join for free, download the app, upload a few things, join some clubs, and let me know what you think here in the comments section.

You can even answer these questions:

Is having an online database tool for your collection important to you?

Is GEMR easy to use?

Do you want to share with others?

Do you see yourself using this tool frequently?

I think Lamley Readers can be a valuable tool for GEMR, just as they are for HobbyDB.  So join, check it out, and let us know what you think...


5 comments:

  1. A friend of mine built me a custom mobile database to keep track of my collection. It's built with FileMaker, has custom fields, lets me add photos and creates automatic searches on eBay, Google and YouTube based on the information in each entry. It's like GEMR, but customized for diecast collection. He's considered making it publicly available on the App Store. If anyone wants screen shots or wants to talk more about it, feel free to hit me up by email (gtsorbust{at}gmail.com)

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  2. I checked on it and the link for the die cast brought me to all the different collectibles and not just die cast. I tried checking their blog and it looks disorganize as I can't tell which specific post a poster is commenting on.

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  3. Ive never heard of this app so it was cool to check it out. After trying to get into it though, I got real bored and really have no use for the app. The part where you get to see other peoples collection is....ok. I mean im pretty sure they have alot of diecast cars. And oh wow thats a mustang collection. Basically there are many sites that hit this mark if I really wanted to see a collection. So I tried to look at the selling buying aspect and of course, just like most diecast selling website (except for ebay) there are just alot of post with overpriced items and not alot of viewers. Like i saw a guy selling a normal datsun with nothing special for $10 when I could buy it now from ebay for under $5 total. What would I change? i really dont know, it cant do much :P

    Also I liked how you pointed out the South Texas Diecast post. I remember seeing many collectors having the same disappointing views on sites new home in Hobby HD. I liked how someone was trying to state what they where going to do to change the site for the better, but after all this time nothing really has been done. I used to like South Texas Diecast cause it was an easy and a simple price guide, but now its just a model guide (something I already could do with hot wheels wiki) just sad.

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  4. Is having an online database tool for your collection important to you? Yes, it’s important to me. I use Collecthw.com to track my collection. I like it because it's straight forward, gives a $ value based on recent eBay sales and is exclusive to Hot Wheels only.

    Is GEMR easy to use? Eh…sure. I've wandered around the website and it’s just not what I’m looking for. As with HobbyDB, both websites are very broad in what they let you track. That’s good if you have a large and/or varied collection of collectibles. But if you’re like me and focused exclusively on Hot Wheels or another type of die cast brand(s), then it might not be your cup of tea.

    Do you want to share with others? Only if they have a varied collection of collectibles.

    Do you see yourself using this tool frequently? Nope.

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