Only paid ads on CL are employment ones in some cities and certain apartment ads in NYC plus "Therapeutic" ads (wink wink!). Makes no sense to me. I'd charge a flat $10 for everything and go up from there. Most ads run for 45 days (I thought that period was much less years ago)
Limited HTML is possible. I'm sure most of us would be tempted to dress up the bland, archaic-looking classifieds with some code. But as you imply, getting slick is risky.
Main place I see really polished ads are in the homes for sale section. Was looking at one 5,000 sq foot mansion with pool not far from me. Beautiful ad with tons of professional photography but I guess it cost zero to post. -------
All you get is a bazillion references to read the TOS which is loosely defined and generally unhelpful.
Yes, order seems to be enforced by whim of the users and management. No appeal. I've read their blog and other resources and I'm still finding out little about the advertising limitations.
Makes me tense. At least I now know where to find any kind of massage.