When you go through any neighborhood in your city there's a look, a feel, and a general sense that you pick up almost instantly, good or bad. Online communities share this aspect with their physical counterparts: when you arrive on a site you instantly make judgments on if the site is a sketchy or attractive place, a place that's well maintained and nurtured, or chaotic and eclectic.
Classified ad communities on the internet, in our opinion, have become like that sketchy neighborhood. They're filled with less than savory characters, the spam is rampant, and the scam-to-legit response ratio deterred many users.
Take a look at some of what is being posted on Mahalo that speaks to the fundamentals of what's wrong with interpersonal commerce right now. We use Craigslist in this example, the de facto leader of classified ad sites, but these questions apply equally to many similar services:
FeelGoodTrader is the next generation in community commerce. We're building it with a focus on a strong and connected community. Strong and connected communities work together naturally to keep the spam and scams out, while encouraging the good stuff to grow.
We already have a basic "trust" feature on the site (similar to friends/following people on Facebook/Twitter), but coming in May 2011 we plan to roll out an even better set of community-building and trust tools. You can sign up with us today, then check us out on Twitter and Facebook for upcoming news.