Cartel Market Review

In this Cartel market review, we’ll see what features the market is loaded with and which areas need improvement.

I’ll be discussing the UI, products, security, payment modes, and a lot more. I’m definitely not encouraging you to use the market. Visit it (complete guide on how to access the darknet markets), use the research for articles or papers maybe, but do not trade on the market

I repeat trading on Cartel market is illegal. Do not buy/sell goods there. If you do, you may be committing a crime and it’ll solely be your own responsibility.

Cartel Market Review- A summary


The market may not have re-invented its interface, but it sure has enhanced or made it easier to use.

What I mean is, it does have the traditional top-bar and the left sidebar. The top-bar is what gives us the primary navigation links. We can access our wallet, messages and other pages on the market using the top-bar.

The left-sidebar too is traditional and displays the available products.

cartel market user interface

What’s “unique” is that the left-sidebar doesn’t minimize its product-categories. While products are still neatly organized, they’re all in the open. In other words, you do not need to click on each individual category to see its sub-categories.

At the centre of the dashboard, it has this unique section labelled “recent purchases”. It shows the most recent purchases made by other users on the market (no buyer information shown, simply the product is listed).

Castle Market Review

Another helpful if not unique section is its “Top Vendors” list. This lets users instantly find more trustworthy vendors over the new ones who may be potential scammers.

Let’s also talk of the listing UI in brief? So, each listing shows:

Cartel Listing UI
  • The price (obviously)
  • The accepted Cryptocurrencies for that listing
  • F.E-status (helps understand the vendor’s trust-level, only reputed vendors get F.E).
  •  ratings for the listing
  • The vendor’s ratings
  • Possible shipping destinations.

I like it because a user doesn’t have to check each listing individually for details. At a glance, multiple listings can be checked.

My verdict: It’s one of the most easy and detailed UI in the entire darknet market industry.

Payment Cryptocurrencies

The market isn’t just limited to Bitcoin, but also accepts XMR (Monero) payments. This I believe offers users the choice between speed and privacy.

My verdict: Most darknet markets today accept these two Cryptocurrencies. Nothing “impressive” but sure a desirable and happy feature.


Can you purchase products directly by sending funds from a third-party wallet? No, you can’t. That’s the wallet-less mode, the lack of a in-market wallet helps avoid exit-scams but that isn’t possible on Cartel Market.

Cartel Market uses an in-built market wallet system. You deposit funds to this wallet before you can purchase anything.

Again, something unique that Cartel Market does which no other market does is “PGP-verification” for the deposit address. You get a PGP-signed verification which proves that the address indeed is owned by Cartel Market.

My verdict: I’d have loved a wallet-less mode but the PGP-signed addresses are still a happy feature.

Confirmation and required time for deposits

Like most other markets, Cartel Market too demands 3 confirmations for these deposits to be confirmed. The time-frame is about 15-30 minutes at best.

My verdict: Pretty standard, no excitements or disappointments here.

Cartel Market fee

So, what fee types and amounts are involved when using Cartel Market? Fortunately, not a lot, not for the buyers at least.

There’s no signup fee for the buyers. You signup for free and get instant access.

There’s a vendor-fee of $500.00. This is paid by the vendors who wish to sell on the market. It’s one-time. (The market is very strict about its vendor accounts, scroll down for details).

There’s no fee levied on deposits. Withdrawals do require a fee of “about” 0.00017BTC/withdrawal. I’m not sure how it’s calculated but the fee does change by a very slight margin with time.

My verdict: The vendor-bond is a bit high and totally desirable, helps keep scammers away. The withdrawal fee is negligible and acceptable as well.

Unique vendor policies

Every darknet market out there will give out vendor accounts for a fee. But, Cartel Market didn’t make it that easy for vendors to join.

On top of the fee, the vendor must also submit a hand-written note, next to a large quantity of the product he/she is trying to sell.

This is a major trust-booster. Only those sellers who actually have products can get the vendor accounts.

Do note that it does offer free vendor accounts as well. This is offered to vendors with a good history on other marketplaces. The definition of “good history” includes:

  • 1000+ sales
  • 97%+ positive reviews
  • 1year+ account age

My verdict: It’s one of the strictest vendor-filters in the industry, helps ensure only very trustworthy and legitimate vendors get vending rights.

Security features

I’ll break this into two major parts:

  • Account security
  • Fund security

For account security, it offers three primary features:

  • 2-FA via PGP: Requires PGP-decryption along with a password for logging in.
  • Login phrase: Displayed on the dashboard at all times. Helps recognize phishing links (this phrase isn’t shown when logged in via phishing links).
  • Automatic logouts: You set a timer, after which the account is automatically logged out. It helps when you’re using a public or group computer.
  • Mnemonic code: It’s a long string of random alphabet and numbers. It’s helps recover your account if you lose your password and your PGP.

By “Fund security”, I mean the measures available to protect your “funds” specifically.

  • Multisig transactions: one of the most secure transaction locks available to the darknet market. You can’t be scammed by the market, the buyer or the seller individually. At least 2 parties must agree to a transaction before it can go through.
  • Security PIN: you set a PIN when registering at the market. It’s required during withdrawals as well as changes to your account setting.

My verdict: Offers every security feature that I’d want, pretty satisfied.

Vendor legitimacy verification

How do we know that a certain vendor is trustworthy? We check the details a market shows about its vendors. Based on a vendor’s history, we can assume to a certain extent the probability of him/her being legit vendor or potential scammer, don’t you agree?

On Cartel Market, every vendor’s profile shows us:

  • The vendor’s joining date
  • No. of total sales
  • No. of disputes
  • No. of positive and negative feedback. 
  • And last seen

Even if we ignore everything else, the total no. of sales is a pretty solid metric when checking a vendor’s legitimacy, isn’t it?


We’ve covered most of the technicalities on this Cartel market review, so let’s talk of what can and can’t be bought on Cartel market then?

Here’s everything that the market sells:

  • Drugs
  • Digital products (ebooks/ keys/
  • Services
  • Software
  • Security related products
  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Fake documents/Jewellery etc.

As with most darknet markets, Cartel market too has a “prohibited list”. The items on the list below can’t be bought or sold on the market.

This prohibition makes sure that not just ethical but legal grounds too are followed to some extent.

My verdict: The total product stock on the market is about 8000 which is acceptable if not impressive. The restriction list offers some moral comfort as well.


The market has this pretty interesting “lottery” feature.

You can purchase tickets for just $1.00. The amount from each ticket purchase makes up the prize pool. Multiple tickets can be purchased by the same user. On each Sunday, one random winner is chosen and he/she gets 90% of the prize-pool.

My verdict: It won’t make you a millionaire, is still fun to play for some extra cash.

My final verdict for this Cartel market review

If I summarize the marketplace, it’s pretty impressive. Dual Cryptocurrencies, very strict vendor policies, acceptable fee, decent product-stock and an easy to use UI.

On the less happy side, we’ve got a centralized wallet. But, that’s just one hiccup against all these very desirable features so I guess that can be ignored.

I don’t see a reason to not like Cartel market as a competitive player in the grounds. I believe this Cartel market review did give you a decent idea of the marketplace, didn’t it?