Treegr, a site for accommodation ads, has launched with the promise of being able to help those searching for accommodation avoid scams.
While the site is free to use and has a cute, clean design with no other advertising (other than the classifieds that is) to distract you, what made me look twice at Treegr were the team’s claims that they were on a mission to rid the online accommodation ad market from scammers.
You see, I had no idea that scammers were much of an issue in this market. Then again, I’ve lived in the same place for a while so I haven’t really been in the market for new accommodation.
I spoke to one of the co-founders, Chang Huang, to find out a little more about the how they came up with idea behind the site and this is what he had to say:
Since the age of Craiglist, scams have been one of the major problems in online classifieds services. When browsing the existing classifieds services, it’s very hard to determine with certainty whether an ad is a scam or not, sharp intuition used to be our best and only asset. Also, international students like us tended to be more vulnerable to these kind of frauds.
We asked around and found people we knew had the same concerns we did. We also found similar issue by searching on the Internet.
It was then that we decided to start Treegr.
The way Treegr goes about trying to remove scams is quite simply by using feedback from other users of the site. Call an advertiser or obtain some other information about them and you can either vote the ad as being safe or a scam.
It’s very early days for the site, but I like the fact that rather than try and compete head on with other classifieds sites they’ve picked on one particular pain point and attempted to solve that problem.