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Arcade Market Review

Arcade Market is an interesting new entrant to the darknet landscape. As well as offering the traditional drug, fraud and digital items, there are also a range of goods which are more commonly associated with clearnet sites, such as electronic goods.

Disclaimer: By using Arcade Market for any form of transaction, you may be committing an illegal act in your country. The information provided here is for educational and research purposes and is not intended to promote any illegal activity. Any actions you choose to take are 100% your own responsibility.

Arcade Market key information:

This market is considered to be dead and the information here is for historic reference purposes.

When first viewing the site, it's clear that it takes its inspiration from more traditional clearnet e-commerce sites and feels somewhat different to many other darknet sites. One thing to note is that the site stipulates that it is only designed to be used on a PC, so this isn't a market designed for mobile or tablet users.

Registration / login process:
Arcade Market does not require the creation of an account in order to view products, and indeed you can view everything without any requirement to sign-up. In this respect, you can simply go straight to the site and get cracking.
Arcade Market Rules:
Nothing out of the ordinary here as far as darknet markets are concerned. Arcade Market doesn't allow the sale of weapons, human trafficking, hitman services, child porn or anything of that nature. There are stipulations that vendors must not request payment before goods are delivered and a warning that this can result in a ban. Given that many vendors have been known to flout this on some markets, we certainly hope they do have buyer's interests at heart and strictly enforce this. In fact, there are seemingly no provisions in place for Finalize Early (FE) for any vendors.

New vendors require a $300 vendor bond, but it is not clear if there are any waivers for established vendors.

Searching for products:
The search process on Arcade Market is very simple and straightforward, with a decent selection of filters, including the ability to narrow down your search to a specific price range using a slider. The results are displayed in a friendly grid based format which contains the most crucial bits of information such as product description, price and a photo. It would be nice to be able to see which countries products are shipped to/from however, without having to go into the product information page first. It does also appear that there are no options to select a currency other than US dollars at this time.

Product information:
Once you select a product, you will come to the product information page. This contains a detailed product description, product photo, details about the vendor, price, previous reviews etc. There is the function to share pages on social media such as Facebook and Instagram which is rather questionable for a darknet site. Also, some of the sections on this page appear not to work properly unless javascript is turned on, which is something we don't recommend for security reasons.

Making a purchase:
When you've added all your items to the cart and want to proceed to make a purchase, you'll find that Arcade Market functions far more like a traditional e-commerce site than most darknet markets. At the checkout, you are prompted to provide details such as address via standard fields rather than a PGP encrypted message. Furthermore, it also asks for an email address and telephone number as mandatory fields. This is very unusual for a darknet market and is likely to make users somewhat uncomfortable. We very much hope the market reviews this and changes to a PGP based system in the near future in order to provide the best safety and security to users.

Only Bitcoin payments are currently supported. It's unclear whether refunds coming about from cancelled or refunded orders are returned to the user in the form of credit, or refunded directly to a BTC wallet. This is one aspect the market does need to clarify to users.

Conclusions on Arcade Market:
  • Easy to navigate layout
  • Lots of filters to make products easy to find
  • No requirement to register in order to browse site

  • Negatives:
  • Some aspects of the site require javascript to properly function
  • Too much personal information collected at checkout
  • Use of social media buttons, completely inappropriate for a darknet site
  • It's seemingly the case that Arcade Market is still a work in progress at this time and in taking inspiration from clearnet e-commerce sites, has seemingly overlooked some crucial aspects of what makes a good darknet market. With proper adoption of PGP at the checkout and removal of javascript, amongst other quality of life changes, it's possible Arcade Market could be a success. We eagerly await seeing what the developers behind this market do to progress the site further.