Tutorials

House of Lions Market Review


House of Lions is an escrow darknet market that borrowed (some would say “stole”) the layout from the now-defunct Agora Market. Though some other recent reviews described it as only featuring a few hundred listings, it has grown since that time to feature more categories of items and quite a few more products.

House of Lions Market URL:

  • http://leomarketjdridoo.onion

Alternative Onion Links to House of Lions Market and Forum:

  • http://jrx7li2ofr4vu5xv.onion/
  • House of Lions Forums Help: http://jrx7li2ofr4vu5xv.onion/index.php?action=help

How to Access House of Lions Market

TOR browser, dark web, deep web

As you may know if you’ve used other darknet markets, House of Lions is not an “ordinary” website that you can access via clearnet browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. House of Lions’ .onion URL means that it is hosted on Tor, which is an anonymity network that encrypts and bounces your communications through a worldwide system of relays and nodes.

The browser that it uses, however, is merely a fork of Firefox that is tweaked for anonymity and privacy; that’s why the browser may look so familiar! To download Tor, visit Tor Project: Download Tor. For more information about how to access .onion URLs, please see our guide How To Access .Onion Sites / Tor Sites. (Note: it’s not that difficult.)

Besides the Tor browser, you will also need these things:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin mixers
  • PGP
bitcoin

Credit: Davidstankiewicz Copyright: 2016 Wikimedia Commons

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency known as a cryptocurrency, that allows you to make instantaneous payments to anyone across the globe. It is the form of currency used on House of Lions, as well as most other darknet markets. Some markets also accept other cryptocurrencies, like Monero and Ethereum; House of Lions, on the other hand, only accepts bitcoin.

Bitcoin mixers (also known as tumblers) help to disguise the source and destination of bitcoin payments. This is somewhat like moving funds through an offshore bank in somewhere like the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas (where secrecy is a priority). One of the well known mixers, is Helix, by Grams (the darknet market search engine). We have reviews of several mixers on our site, if you’d like to read further: Mixer Reviews.

Grams Helix

PGP is an acronym for “Pretty Good Privacy,” which is an encryption and decryption program. This is used to encipher messages that you and vendors (or customers) send to each other on the site. For those new to PGP, we have a tutorial called PGP Tutorial for Newbies to explain the ins and outs of it.

In addition to these three essentials, some people also like to use these optional things:

  • A VPN
  • A Linux distribution

VPN is an acronym for “virtual private network,”; it is a method of creating a secure connection over an unsecured network. While the Tor network is shielded in and of itself, it does not hide your Tor usage from your ISP; a VPN can assist with this. On the other hand, your VPN provider will know that you are using Tor, so if you choose to do this, it’s best to use one with a no-log policy that doesn’t keep track of your online activity. Therefore, research lists of the most private VPNs before using one (most of these have paid subscriptions)! This article explains a bit more about how this works, if you’d like to read further: Using VPN and Tor together

Author: Philippe Belet Copyright: 2007 Wikimedia Commons

Linux distributions (or “distros”) are operating systems based on the Linux kernel, such as Tails, Qubes, or Arch Linux. These can be used on top of less secure OS’s, like Windows, in instances like this where security is of the utmost importance.

qubes os

The Linux distro Qubes OS – Credit: http://qubes-os.org

Account Registration

house_of_lions_registration

House of Lions is a referral-only market, meaning that in order to register, you have to use a referral link; the link listed above the first paragraph is just that. Once you have gone through that process, registering should be simple, although we encountered one major problem while trying to do this – connecting to the market itself!

Yes, when we first tried to register, what appeared was the ubiquitous “…connection has timed out” message, which is all too familiar to most Tor users. In this instance, it was probably due to DDoS attacks that the market had been suffering at the time. Be that as it may, we were eventually able to register once the site was up again. Once this is the case, the registration form is straightforward, for the most part. In most subsequent attempts we were able to log on without problems.

The only information you are required to enter on the form is your username, password, and PIN. The PIN is required to make any purchases or withdraw bitcoin from your account.

Note: your PIN must be quite long; six characters is still too short, so make it at least 12-16 characters. This should go without saying, but make sure you remember the PIN too!

When you complete your registration, you should, in theory, be able to log in.

Account Interface and Functions

As mentioned in the intro, House of Lions uses a similar layout to the former darknet market Agora. Layout “plagiarism” aside, this format works very well and is easy for a customer to use, so it’s understandable why this market would want to adopt it.

In the screenshot, as you can see, categories of items are listed on the left sidebar. If you click on each category, you will be taken to a separate screen, where subcategories of items will be listed (more details on that below). Above the listings is a navigation menu:

house-of-lions-main-menu

The tabs on the navigation menu, of course, will take you to different sections of the site: Listings, Profile, Wallet, etc. If you want to change your account in any way, click the “Profile” tab. The “Wallet” tab keeps track of your bitcoin wallet (payments, etc.), “Orders” tracks any orders you have made, “Forums” are for discussion, and “Info/Help” is for FAQs and support.

On this page, you can modify important settings such as your password and PIN, or add an optional welcome message, should you so choose. (e.g. “Rawr.”) Plus, you can add your PGP public key and enable two-factor authentication (2FA).  Beyond this, you can also list “Public Account Information” if you wish, but be warned – any sort of identifying information may be used against you if the market is targeted – which has been a concern as of late!

In addition, House of Lions also has a Messages page, but it is only an inbox, not a place to compose new messages. In order to do this, you must go to a vendor’s profile and use the “Message” box. From there, you can communicate any questions or problems you may have. Speaking of which, don’t forget to encrypt your messages with PGP if you send any.

Note: You may have noticed that, in the screenshot above, two warning messages were displayed in red and green. These pertained to the last time we logged into the market. The messages read:

“House of Lions under huge DDoS attack, Suspicious behaviors in other markets don’t trust to Dream market and Valhalla.” [sic]

“To Stop the Scammers we no longer grant vendor accounts without the bond as it causes too many problems further on, To apply for a vendor account you need at least 0.10 BTC in your wallet make a deposit of 0.10 BTC, and get your vendorship on the wallet page.” [sic]

It is hard to say whether these messages are accurate or not, but due to the fact that we had such difficulty connecting to the market, the DDoS attack message is probably true. Plus, in general, scams, and phishing are always things to be aware of when you’re using darknet markets, so this is one reason why it’s important to use PGP and 2FA, and to verify that you’re on the real market site. Your login phrase should also help designate whether or not you’re on the genuine House of Lions site or a phishing site – it will appear on the homepage if you’re on the real site.

Overall, the interface of the site is very straightforward and easy to use; the only part that may seem confusing at first is the messaging feature. Like any other market, however, once you familiarize yourself with the site, this one should seem pretty easy.

Fees and Referral Program

House of Lions charges a transaction fee for each purchase, which consists of 4% of the price charged by a vendor. This fee is deducted from any money that you pay to a vendor when purchasing items.

On the plus side, the market also offers a referral program, which shares 20% of the fees charged to a vendor (i.e. 20% of the 4% transaction fee). If you refer a new user to the site via a referral link, then that user needs to become a vendor before you can, in return, start receiving referral commissions. This is a positive feature which some other markets (like Zion Market) have as well, and over time it can prove to be a nice incentive for vendors.

Categories and Listings

Though House of Lions lacks the size of many other markets, it makes up for this in the variety of items it sells. Plus, it has grown over time. The majority of the listings (at present) are drug-related, though there are very few prohibited types of items. In fact, the only type of item that is prohibited is child pornography.  The numbers next to the categories are accurate as to the time of this review.

  • Drugs (1424)
    • Tobacco (3)
    • Cannabis and Hashish (510)
    • Dissociatives (25)
    • Ecstasy (136)
    • Opioids (147)
    • Stimulants (278)
    • Psychedelics (138)
    • Benzos (137)
    • Other (50)
  • Services (27)
    • Hacker for Hire (2)
    • Murder for Hire (1)
    • Other (24)
  • Weapons (58)
    • Military Guns (3)
    • Ammunition(3)
    • Pistols (40)
    • Mass Destruction (1)
    • Long-Range Guns (3)
    • Explosives (1)
    • Hand Weapons (3)
    • Other (4)
  • Fraud Related (232)
    • Accounts & Bank Drops (79)
    • CVV & Cards (99)
    • Personal Information & Scams (16)
    • Other (38)
  • Guides & Tutorials (519)
    • Drugs (20)
    • Fraud (138)
    • Hacking (190)
    • Security & Anonymity  (22)
    • Social Engineering (12)
    • Other (137)
  • Counterfeit Items (85)
    • Fake IDs (13)
    • Clothing (0)
    • Electronics (7)
    • Jewelry (2)
    • Money (50)
    • Other (13)
  • Other Listings (45)

You may be curious as to what “Other Listings” constitutes. Many of these are digital goods of some sort. For example, one was labeled “Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (Unlimited),” while another was claiming to sell “Pass PTTs,” i.e. French digital mailbox keys.

Anyhow, the method in which the categories and listings are displayed is akin to that of Dream Market. If you click on any of the main categories, subcategories will appear beneath them. Listings appear in rows, and include a thumbnail image, listing title, shipping information, price, the name of the vendor, and the vendor’s ratings. No listing descriptions show up in the search results, but if you click on the individual listings, you can find out more details.

All in all, the listings are presented in an organized and simple way, which is a plus for customers.

Note: though the service “murder for hire” is listed among the things for sale, given the fact that this tends to be a scam on other websites, we do not recommend using it.

Search and Search Filters

House of Lions’ search options are somewhat limited, so as on some other markets, you have to be very specific in your search terms to return good results.

If you merely type in “drugs,” you will get very few results; ironically, none of the results are from the “Drugs” category. Rather, what shows up are several listings from the “Guides and Tutorials” section. Therefore, it’s better to know what you’re looking for. Try typing in something like “Amensia Haze,” “2C,” or “DNP,” which all pertain to specific listings, and you’ll get better results.

The few search filters that exist consist of a “No FE first” checkbox, and a “Show [number of results] first” filter. So, you’ll have to do a bit of hunting and experimentation yourself to find what you’re looking for. One nice aspect of the search feature is that if you filter it by specific categories, like “Listings – Drugs – Opioids,” these categories will be displayed prominently in red above the category tree. This can help remind you what you’re currently viewing.

Perhaps if House of Lions starts getting many more customers, they will improve their search features over time!

How to Choose a Vendor

As on most of the other markets, in order to choose a vendor, it’s best to inspect their profiles thoroughly. The vendor profiles offer this specific information:

  • A vendor description
  • Feedback rate (displayed as a percentage – calculated as an average of the number of positive or negative feedback ratings given by users)
  • How long the vendor has been a registered user on House of Lions
  • Buyer feedback

While this information can be helpful in choosing a vendor, it often proves unreliable, as vendor ratings can be faked (and have been on other markets). Or, in some cases, vendors have paid others to give positive ratings. A better source for such information would be the House of Lions forum, or another forum dedicated to darknet markets (such as Darknet Avengers).

The site’s messaging function can also prove helpful in this instance. You can contact vendors with inquiries or complaints that you may have. If the vendors respond to you, then this is already a positive; it’s best to work with vendors who are online the majority of the time and communicate with their buyers.

How to Add and Withdraw Funds on House of Lions

Like many of its darknet market competitors, House of Lions uses a deposit system. To purchase any goods on the site, you’ll have to add funds to your account.

In order to add funds, you’ll have to go to your wallet page, which is linked to on the main page, and send bitcoins to the deposit address listed underneath the words “Add Funds.”

While the market will not force you to generate a new bitcoin address for each transaction, it is advised that you do so, for security reasons. The site has a convenient “Generate New Address” button for this purpose.

In order to withdraw funds, you also must use the Wallet Page. It may be confusing, however, as both the “Add Funds” and “Withdraw Funds” functions are labeled as “Add Funds.” The second field from the top is the “Withdraw Funds” feature.

Withdrawing funds should be fairly simple, nonetheless. Enter your bitcoin wallet address, the amount you wish to withdraw, and your PIN. Normally, the process should take up to 90 minutes to be completed, so don’t expect to receive the bitcoin right away. There are options to withdraw funds “fast” or “immediately,” which reduce the withdrawal time to 45 minutes or 15 minutes, respectively. The caveat is that there will be fees added for the shorter withdrawal times.

House of Lions requires a minimum withdrawal of 0.005 BTC (not unlike a physical ATM).

Ordering Guide

In order to purchase an item, you will have to go to the specific page of that listing. Enter the quantity of the item you want, and  click the button that says “Order Now.”

You will then be taken to a page where you must enter your shipping address. Important: don’t forget to encrypt your address (with PGP) before pasting it onto the shipping message field! Afterward, you will be asked for your PIN before you can move on to the next step.

If you have any specific inquiries about stealth and/or delivery, send an encrypted message to the vendor, who should know the minutiae.

You can track your order through the Orders page. On the Orders, page you will see its status, including order activity timestamps, as well as the amount of bitcoin held in escrow for that order.

Don’t always expect orders to arrive at the advertised time. Give some wiggle room for the waiting time, possibly several days more than what is advertised, before starting a dispute. If, however, the delay has gone beyond a reasonable waiting time, or you received a product other than what you had ordered, contact House of Lions’ support as soon as possible to correct the problem. The site generally tries to handle disputes within 3 days’ time, but there are some cases when it may take more than a month for a dispute to be taken care of.

House of Lions Market Support

Speaking of disputes, House of Lions does have a detailed Info/Help page where you can learn about the market rules, security, fees, referral program, and how to become a vendor. Here, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions. If the answer to your question isn’t located in any of these sections, then use the message form on the Info/Help page, or ask for assistance from the House of Lions support crew. Alternately, you can visit the House of Lions forum for help as well.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of drugs and digital goods
  • Pays incentives for referring new users
  • Has a pleasant and helpful layout
  • Offers a wipe function to erase all messages and orders

Cons

  • Had frequent issues connecting to the market ( probably due to DDoS attacks)
  • Allows assassination services and WMDs
  • Search function is very limited
  • No free vendor accounts
  • Vendor feedback system is not necessarily reliable
Amount of Vendors
Prices
User-Experience
Support
Reliability
Final Thoughts

Though it is somewhat newer than the other active markets, House of Lions has a decent selection of drugs, digital goods, and other items. It even seems to have improved over the last year. Where it really suffers is in two particular areas: its search functions, which are very limited, and its reliability. More than half of the time, we were unable to access it likely due to DDoS attacks. While this does tend to be a problem on Tor, the market should find some ways of addressing it, lest they lose customers.

Overall Score 3.8
Readers Rating
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