My sell order(s) get constantly rejected and this is hitting my portfolio profit

Hallo FT community,

I am sure I am not the only one but I am getting more and more frustrated with FT. On several occasions my sell orders have been rejected and as a consequence I lost money. This gives me a total new perspective on these free trades. I use basic orders to save costs and maybe its my own fault not using the instant 1£ trade. But even though FT claims that these rejected orders are unusual and rare, this is not the case for me.

This got even to the point where I do my research and decide its a good time to sell a stock and my sell order gets rejected. FT says – just try it tomorrow again – well bad luck by tomorrow my stock either gets rejected again or has fallen by 2-3% and I feel upset that I was not able to execute my desired trade.

So even though I do my research and make an informed decision – FT limits my ability here to trade the way I want.

I just want to share my own opinion and experience and I am happy if others could outline their experience with that or even tell me that I am wrong (always good to see things from a different perspective).


Does the stock you are selling have buyers? Freetrade can’t manifest buyers, only provide the service

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It was BP … This is not even a “rare” stock …

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Haha yeah ok, not good.

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Since freetrade only adds liquid stocks, that should never be the reason.

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i have had issue with basic buy orders a few times but my main issue is the delay with dividend payments yes from US stocks but my other uk brokers have paid dividends from the same company share 5days before Freetrade

Look guys I understand its a free service but getting BP stock rejected from a sell and losing money as a consequence of this — I hope you can understand my anger here.

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Is the money you lost >£1?

Perhaps you should go for instant trade?

Price could easily drop before 4pm for a basic trade anyway?

I understand that prices can drop easily within minutes or seconds. My point is that if I decide to sell stocks I expect that these are sold 4pm / 4:15 /4:30 – If after that my stock went down and I lose money thats fine as its a “basic” order.

However, if you keep get rejected outright and you try the next day and it happens again with other stocks you feel a bit helpless drop or not drop …

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It’s a shame to hear that you’re having issues. I’ve not experienced this before. I’ve had 2 buy orders fail in my whole year of using the app but not a sell order.


I am a big fan of FT and I love this community and most of the time I don’t mind if things don’t work 100% as this is all new and young … I get that …

But if you lose hard earned cash as a consequence this is really not cool … I complained several times via the online help chat but the answer was “try it tomorrow” …


I must admit I struggle to understand how a BP trade could be rejected. I use Instant orders but is there a retry for Basic if it fails first time?

So no retry as far as I can see. The sell order lines up and it says something like will be executed after 4pm. Usually within 15-20 min you get a message saying “basic order complete” all good. Or … in my case “rejected” with no explanation.

I have screenshots if people are interested …

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This is just an opinion and not an advice but do the cost-benefit analysis and pay the £1 instant trade fee and see if anything changes. You’re losing money, it looks like, because you do not want to pay £1.

It’s like taking a MegaBus instead of a train to another city and, as a result, being late for a date.

If a trade fails even then, then it’s an issue and raise with @Gemhappe @sampoullain etc.

With the way the orders are routed and the market volatility I’m not surprised that small orders can’t get aggregated into big ones before showing to the buyers. Not sure how it all works but that’s the impression.

The end of September happens once a year—it is also 3Q reporting period for a lot of funds. So things looked really good on 30 September.

Prior to that there was a lot of red and the Volatility index has been spiking overall:

Source - CBOE

Finding a buyer during a sell-off is a hard task, especially if you’re not paying.


Thank you so much for your opinion really appreciate your input here. I do agree 100% with your Magabus analogy!

However. If it says Free Trade on the tin and you request a basic order and expect that order to work it should work at the end.

Its like taking Megabus and you don’t even get on the bus in the first place … you never had a chance to get to your destination.


I’m not trying to diminish your frustration as I’ve been annoyed by the ocasional rejected 4pm £0 trade as well. But if a day makes a difference for you and your buying and selling to beat the market the it seems like the instant trades are what you should be using by default? As they trade at the price you know, not whatever might happen by the end of the day.

Or perhaps if the trade is important and it fails, set up a trade for opening the next morning. If there’s significant movement that 2% makes a difference then surely your not even going to notice £1

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I understand. My last order went through 95% through the 4pm “basic trade” window, there were a lot of shares. But if it was urgent I’d have paid £1 which is less than a cup of latte.

With markets if there are no buyers or sellers at the at or around price, it’s against the best execution principle of :freetrade: from what I understand. Trying to sell doesn’t guarantee there’s a buyer. I’ve had to give a way a few books because noone wanted to pay £10 for quality knowledge on gumtree.

In addition, if there’s volatility, imagine this rather illiquid trade being done very fast with no Brad Pitt or any humans involved:

I agree with you that this isn’t really good enough to be honest.

  • Without a long caveat - to explain why there sometimes are not buyers and sellers - let’s just keep it simple*

There are always buyers and sellers. That’s the entire point of the RSP network. Legally mandated 2-way market in at least minimum exchange market sizes.

Pull up any Level 2 order book and look at BP. – it’s pretty active. Minimum market maker size looks like 3000 but I can see most big market makers are happy to take 10,000 shares and price pretty tight bid and asks.


I just want to point out I am a big FT fan so all my saying should be seen as constructive critique. I was thinking what would have made me feel better as a FT user in that moment when your BP share gets rejected.

A free instant trade for the next trading day ?

Not sure if that is possible but I hope everyone can see that this would have been an ok compromise for those cases. Again just me thinking out loud here.