Drug trafficking is considered to be a highly profitable business. But is it true? How much money can one make by selling drugs on darknet? To answer this question, I have analyzed drug pricing policies and calculated the profit, which can be generated by vending marijuana on Hydra and White House Market (WHM).
Major Factors Influencing Drug Prices on the Dark Web Markets
Just like any legal trading enterprise, a drug shop has to cover necessary expenses, which directly affect the price of a product. The list of the major outlays include the following items:
- Vendor bond– $400;
- Monthly rent payment;
- Drug costs;
- Overhead expenses (transport, packaging and delivery costs);
- Fraud risk and force majeure;
- Trading fee (the average rate is 5%);
- Legal risks coverage (a bribe to the police, attorney salary);
- Wages of the employees – operators, dead droppers, stockmen, interstate couriers and cash droppers.
As you can see, the register is quite formidable, but several expenses can be pointed out while in the process of selling drugs on darknet. For example, vendors don’t have to pay a monthly rent on most darknet marketplaces. However, several darknet forums and DNMs charge a fee on a monthly basis. For example, Hydra vendors pay $400. Furthermore, dealers who synthesize drugs and grow entheogens themselves significantly cut costs. Vendors can also save dollars by working alone. Only relatively big shops need several staff members, and low-profile business is easy to run solo. But when a single person produces, transports, packages and ships drugs, he faces higher risks of the arrest.
Cannabis Trade Costs On Darknet
US growers sell 1 ounce of marijuana for $61-122, the mean price is $91. In Russia, an ounce of weed is worth $28-84, the average price amounts to $56. A big drug store needs a stockman– a person who stores dope and plants master dead drops (massive stashes). His work is hazardous because he has to deal with bulk amount and that’s why he makes a buck. As a rule, stockmen earn not less than 10% of the cannabis retail price.
Another critical staff member is a courier. He picks growers’ dead drops and delivers them to a stockman, making intercity or even interstate trips. It’s fairly to say that couriers’ work is the most menacing and stressful. Therefore, they get paid $600-3,000 for a single carriage (depending on the weight of marijuana, distance and route).
An operator is the only staff member of a drug shop working online while selling drugs on darknet. His salary is much less than couriers’ or stockmen because of low risks. In general, an operator earns $500 a month. And we’ve got one more major expense left – payment for hiding stashes or shipping drugs via mail services. A dead dropper gets $5-10 per one hoard or dispatch; let’s consider the average fee – $7.
Accordingly, the mean operative costs of selling an ounce of weed reach $133:
- $56-91 – payment to a grower;
- $32-35– stockman’s salary;
- $7 – dead dropper’s wage.
Hydra and White House Market Vendors’ Revenue
The average price of an ounce of marijuana on Hydra is $358. If you buy weed from a grower and pay only a dead dropper, then you get a profit of $277 per an ounce sold. In case you hire all personnel (a stockman, a courier, an operator and a dead dropper) you have to vend about 6 ounces a month just to cover expenses:
- $600 – courier’s salary;
- $500 –operator’s wage;
- $22 – stockman’s earnings;
- $42 – payment to a dead dropper;
- $336 – cannabis price;
- $400 – monthly rent payment;
- $108 – trading fee (5%).
The average cost price of cannabis grown indoors is $1 per gram, outdoors – $0.04. So, if a dealer does all the work by himself and sells 6 ounces a month, he makes profits of $1,474-1,635.
WHM doesn’t charge rent and the mean price of an ounce of cannabis is $273. In case you open a shop on the market-based in the US, you’ll need to sell at least 7 ounces to meet the monthly expenses:
- $600 – courier’s wage;
- $500 – operator’s salary;
- $20 – stockman’s earnings;
- $49 – payment to a dead dropper;
- $637 – cannabis price;
- $76 – trading fee (4%).
If you run a business alone by selling drugs on darknet, you’ll make $1,642-1,830 every 7 ounces sold excluding shipment costs.
How much weed vendors sell every month is impossible to measure. However, according to the report by EMCDDA, cannabis sales on Cannazon in May 2020 stood at 1.6 tonnes. UK’s top dealers, operating on the darknet, get 1,000 to 2,000 positive feedbacks a month. Tech firm Sixgill reports that Empire users left 311,517 reviews per day in Q1 this year.
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