What the hell is Gemr?
Well for those who haven’t heard, they are the new social networking kids on the block for crazy collectors like ourselves.
If you already know about Gemr, but haven’t signed up, well do it now! It’s completely free to sign up and there is nothing to lose by having a look around.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO GEMR
To quote their website Gemr is a “social community for people who collect, and anyone who is passionate about the stuff they own. It’s free to join, and users can organize, showcase, buy, sell, and trade their items on the platform.”
Check the video out for a visual overview of Gemr.
So why am I reviewing Gemr?
One of their representatives contacted my blog a few weeks ago and asked me to review their site. I’m pretty happy with the forums and Facebook so I must admit I was a little apprehensive about testing another platform. But after signing up and exploring the site for a couple of weeks I was pretty impressed with what I found. We chatted a bit more about Gemr’s plans and in the end I’ve agreed to help drum up some awareness about Gemr among the vintage Star Wars community. When I say “help,” I simply mean to post an honest and in-depth review of their site.
What does Gemr offer the collector?
You can showcase your collectibles to like-minded individuals, you can also buy, sell and discuss collectibles or anything else to do with the hobby. Gemr also hosts a ‘crowdscore’ function which allows members to canvass other members for price estimates on a specific item.
There are a loads of eclectic collecting clubs to join. Although I only joined the vintage Star Wars club and comic club, other clubs range from Transformers, Sneakers, Lego, Marvel Figures, Sports Memorabilia, Cosplay (I’m not going to pretend I didn’t spend way too much time looking at the cosplay girls…), Fine Art and Stamps. I could go on and on….And if there isn’t a club that suits your interest, there is the option to contact Gemr to start one up.
If you are anything like me, you might actually collect a bunch of different things. Not only do I collect vintage Star Wars but I also collect comics and books (first editions, editions signed by authors etc). All of these collectibles are covered by specific collecting clubs on Gemr so for me Gemr is extremely practical. All my collectibles under one easy to navigate roof!
The first thing I noticed after logging into my account was how aesthetically pleasing and stylish the layout was. Not only that, but the interface is super smooth and easy to navigate.
To give you a bit of an idea about what to expect when you log in, here’s a screenshot of the top half my Gemr home screen.
If you scroll down the homepage, you can explore collectibles recently posted by other members:
The setup is pretty easy to use and doesn’t take long to get used to. The options you can see in the screenshot are pretty self-explanatory but rather than explaining everything myself, check out this video that walks new users through the site.
Why should a vintage Star Wars collector use Gemr?
We already have forums and Facebook. What’s the point of joining yet another site? Well it really is worth it and I definitely will be using it more in future.
Like I’ve already stated, the interface looks great and is smooth and easy to use. Plus there are clubs for all my collecting passions. I know there are forums and Facebook groups for all of these but it seems so much easier to have them all easily accessible on one site.
Another positive is that I can upload my whole collection and use it as a reference database for when I need to quickly access it. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve needed to know if I have a specific COO variant or cardback in my collection but haven’t had a photo on my phone or computer. It’s pretty cool too because you are able to attach a note with a bunch of details to each item. I know that would be definitely handy to me. Not only can you store your whole collection but you can also share your collection directly from Gemr to other social networking platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
Here’s a screenshot of an overview of my collection that I have already uploaded:
You can then click into your collection and pull up a full shot of each photo. If you scroll further down, you can see the details of what’s in the photo and it’s also easy access to the thumbnails for the rest of the collection. It all looks pretty slick and professional. My terrible computer skills don’t do it justice…
And for you comic book lovers, here’s a partial snapshot of the only comic I’ve uploaded. I’ll upload all of my other X-Men keys soon.
there is also no need to find your thread and bump it like we have to on the forums and on Facebook.Your collection is always easily accessible from your personal dashboard.
When it comes to buying, selling and trading, Gemr is nicely set up so you can manage an inventory of your sales or trade items in one place. You can easily add or remove items from your inventory. The same goes for managing your WTB list.
What is great too, similarly to the forums, is that only serious collectors will sign up to Gemr. So expect to meet like-minded collectors there, rather than a torrent of trolls that we witness daily in the larger and public Facebook groups.
Us vintage collectors are notoriously resistant to change when it comes to trying out new forms of networking. We resisted forums – until they eventually took over and then we resisted Facebook groups – which now host the largest pool of vintage collectors. One group has over 15,000 members. Even some of my anti-Facebook collector friends are now posting regularly there.
I’m not saying we give up on forums (my true home) or Facebook groups and all migrate over to Gemr. If you are completely happy on the forums and have no desire to move, well then each to their own. But if you are anything like me, then you may not want to restrict your collecting activities to one or two social networking platforms. I’m a regular on several forums, loads of Facebook groups (I admin three) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram. Not to mention my blog. I love interacting with a wide range of collectors. We are absolutely kidding ourselves if we believe that forums and Facebook groups capture the entire vintage collecting community.
So what about the vintage Star Wars club on Gemr itself? Well the truth is that it is quite new and not very busy at the moment. I only signed up a few weeks ago myself so it is hard to judge. I’m willing to give it a go though, there are already a few collections posted and I have started to post some of my own collection.
How can Gemr improve?
Well I guess the most obvious con at the moment for us vintage collectors is the low activity in our club. While there are over 100 members in the vintage Star Wars club and some collections being shared, there is pretty much no discussion yet. This of course will change as more people become aware of Gemr and the vintage Star Wars club.
It’s only a small thing, but when I click on a thumbnail in someone’s collection and view a larger photo, I’d like to be able to click for the next large photo to come up automatically, like we do on Facebook. With Gemr, you need to scroll down and then click from the thumbnail gallery.
If you guys who are already using Gemr have any constructive criticisms yourselves, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment sections.
Sign up here if you want to get involved:
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO GEMR
UPDATE APRIL 2016
The vintage Star Wars club on Gemr has been powering since we wrote this review and there are now loads more members and some spectacular collections have been posted. Trust me one of them is possibly the best production collection you’ll ever see.
Gemr has also had some useful updates, such as:
- Quick Collect:Upload multiple items at once
- Chat:Private message your friends
- Activity Feeds:See what others are doing on Gemr
You can also dowload the fantastic GEMR mobile phone app, available in the iOS and Android app stores.
These updates have all improved the GEMR experience.
After using the platform for a while now I will say that it is definitely more suited to limelighting your collectibles rather than engaging in hobby related discussions. This should come with time though.