There were new rules introduced to be able to use that forum any posts that do not follow that are lock.
here is a copy of the new forum rules as of may 2008 there are similiar rules in the live selling forum aswell. The rules are stickied at the top of both of these forums.
Classified Sales Forum Rules: May, 2008
This forum is for hobbyists who want to sell used aquarium equipment or supplies. No businesses are allowed. No links are permitted. If you have something to sell you will need to post the pictures/descriptions in the thread.
In order to post in this area, you must be a member in good standing for at least 30 days and have participated in a meaningful way in the other forums with at least 50 posts.
These rules have been implemented to protect our members. We encourage your participation, and ask you to share your knowledge, in all the forums.
Members who post exclusively in this area without active participation in the other forums will be considered a business and their accounts will be suspended. We encourage all the members of this site to report violations to the moderators so that we can maintain the credibility of this forum.
Thank you for your participation.
I dont think the pictures is a have to thing but its a good idea to and IMO will help sell the item or items.
the main thing is restricting posters that only sell in that area are considered a buisness and the post count so that there is atleast a little measure that its not a con but its still a buy at your on risk type forum.
key is to try to research the person before you send money.
a good tool to do this is the feedback threads to see if there is negative feedback on a person.
So if you do purchase something take the time to fill out a feedback post in the apropriate forum to help other members out.
I agree with Reno 100%.
While it can be a pain in the tail to someone new, in the long term it preserves the community. It is not a failsafe security, but it does add to the "poop where you eat" insurance. None of the long term members could burn someone without it being noticed/correctable. As for brand new members, they may just never come to these boards again.
Most of us know one another. When buying or selling we have little fear about theft or misrepresentation. To those brand new to the community there is less security of followthrough when buying from the newer members.
I am not saying just because someone is new to the board or the hobby it would make them any less honest in a transaction. Having some history does help put your mind at ease when you know the person your dealing with.
Mike brings up a great point. If entering a transaction with another member you dont know. Do a search on them and see thier history. The 50 post min at least provides SOME min history to look.