Ares is a fast growing darknet market which makes bold claims to be the fastest growing marketplace. Whilst its hard to definitely prove this claim, it certainly is growing quickly, which is evident by how many recent product reviews there are, as well as the recent influx of new vendors following the high profile exit scams of established markets such as Darkode Reborn and World Market. Drugs and fraud relating items make up the bulk of the offerings available on Ares, but there are also some listings for digital content (such as porn accounts) and counterfeit items.
Disclaimer: By using Ares 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.
When first accessing the market you are greeted by a friendly landing page where you can sign in or register a new account.
There are also quite strict requirements for new vendors, such as requiring at least 95% or higher positive feedback and a total of at least 500 sales in order to achieve a vendor bond waiver. Vendor waiver applications are checked against the Recon database, which is generally considered to be a well trusted resource by the darknet community.
If you want to carry out a more advanced search, you need to make a basic search first, and then on the results page you will have the opportunity to add additional filters. You are given the ability to filter products according to a key words, vendor name (very useful if you're looking for a specific vendor), product category and price range. You can opt to sort these according to several parameters such as newest or oldest first.
Unfortunately at this time there appears not to be any option to filter by the country a product is shipped from. Hopefully this will be added in a future update.
Results are displayed in a simple grid format containing all the basic information you need such as description, vendor name shipping to/from destination and accepted cryptocurrencies. One feature that's appreciated is the ability to add an item to your wishlist, allowing you to effectively bookmark it for later. It's amazing how many markets in this day and age still lack such a feature, so it's good to see it here.
One notable omission from this screen is that you can't see any feedback or ratings for this specific product. This is similar to the approach markets such as White House Market took, but we would really like to see an easy way to view per product feedback, particularly as some vendors have a large number of products on sale. It should be noted that a specific product's rating rating is displayed on the initial search page, but to view feedback you must go to the vendor's page.
On this page you can see all feedback the vendor has received for all the products they sell, and ratings based upon product quality, communication and delivery time. Most recent reviews are shown at the top so you can easily monitor any trends.
For best security, we recommend avoiding setting a refund wallet address to anywhere like Coinbase or Binance. Instead opt for something such as Electrum or the Monero GUI wallet.
Ares supports both Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR). Vendors can choose which payment times to accept, but most appear to accept both. Monero is faster, has lower transaction fees and is much safer, so we always recommend this over Bitcoin.
Once your refund address has been set, you can proceed to add an item to your basket, provide your delivery address (we recommend PGP encrypting this yourself using the vendor's PGP key) and then proceed to the payment screen.
Before sending any funds, be sure you're not on a phishing site (check your onion link against those listed on Torhoo or another reputable source such as Dread). When you're happy, simply send the specified amount of funds to the BTC or XMR address provided. Then that's it, you're done!
As soon as this has confirmed (typically requires 10 confirmations for Monero or 2 confirmations for Bitcoin), the order will go directly to the vendor to process. Once confirmed and submitted, the order will show in the 'purchases' section found at the menu bar at the top of every page. When the vendor accepts, ships or cancels the order, it will be displayed here. A notification will be shown whenever there is an update.
Once your order has arrived, you can then mark it as received and leave feedback for the buyer. In the event of an issue, you can also raise a dispute, which will then be reviewed by market staff. We always recommend messaging a vendor first before resorting to a dispute however.