Problems with Limit order execution

Is anyone else setting limit orders that don’t execute when the price is met ? A bit frustrating when you’re paying for the pleasure of using it.


Might need to be more specific on the detail? Also worth messaging support

I have messaged them, currently investigating it! Just curious to see if others are experiencing a similar thing. Specific on detail ?

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Not always easy to tell if people have similar issues or different issues without knowing the detail of how the order was set. But hopefully you get a speedy response

I set a limit order to buy shares should the SP drop to that value. The SP did drop to the value at which the order should have been placed numerous times throughout the day, but the order never executed.

Hey @Pazza,

Hope you’re well and thanks for raising this. When you create UK limit orders we will try to execute it as soon as the stock price reaches your limit price. However, sometimes your limit order can be rejected if there is no valid quote from the market makers in which case we will keep on trying to execute your order at your specified limit price until it is executed. This means that your limit order may not go through instantly once the price is met.

Please let me know if the explanation above helps.



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Is that the delayed stock price in the app or the live market prices?

Unfortunately the order was never placed! The SP even closed at a price the order could have been executed at. The price was in range numerous times during the day but no order made. It’s a little disappointing!

I have used limit orders a lot over the last couple of weeks. I have not seen any fail.

Can you confirm you are looking at the buy or sell price when looking back? You can not use the mid price shown on most graphs.

Out of interest, where would you get the buy or sell price, as most sources are mid price.

It was a limit order to buy at a specific price. It’s worked ok today but failed yesterday.

That’s an interesting reply.

@anantsangar Could you clarify if there is a spread built in to this process please?

I have on multiple occasions seen prices below my “buy” limit execute and above my “sell” limit execute as per your reporting but also other open source data. It seems unlikely that there is no bidder for our orders UNLESS there is a spread built in…

If so, what is the spread please?

Hi @Sentinelgre,

Thanks for your feedback! Whilst Freetrade doesn’t build a spread into the quotes, it can be the case that market makers do. We want to ensure that you receive the best price possible hence your order can be rejected if the market maker price, with or without spread, is worse than the main market touch price.

Please let me know if the above clarifies your question.




I’m getting very confused with limit orders. It might be related to it being a low-volume stock, but even then there’s something else not right, as my buy order is being ignored when buy orders from other people at a lower price are being fulfilled.

After having been burned by placing a regular buy on TM17 (all the recent trades were around £7.30), mine happily went through at £7.50, I decided to test out limit orders.

I placed a limit order for £7.30 and that completed immediately. I was quite pleased.

As the price had dropped to £7.24, I placed another limit order for £7.22 and went to lunch. Came back to find that there had been 4 trades lower than my buy price (all for £7.20 or lower). As the price was now below £7.20, I deleted my limit order and placed a new one at £7.20 which completed immediately. Even though, I’d just had an active one for a higher price moments before.

I’ve had another limit order for 2 shares at £7.12 placed for about an hour now. There have been multiple trades since then at £7.10, including one for exactly 2 shares (which occurred some time after I placed my limit order), followed by some bigger orders 5 minutes later, also for £7.10.

So, my questions are:

  • Why wouldn’t my limit buys succeed when I’m offering more than someone else for the same quantity?
  • Why if I cancel my limit buy and create a new one at a lower price, will the buy complete even though the original one didn’t?

BTW, I’m using the history on Google Finance to see prices & volumes of trades.

And another hour later, another trade went through at £7.11 when my limit buy order for £7.12 is still active.

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Does anyone have any idea about this? I’m sure there must be some hidden commission in the bid-ask spread, but I’ve no idea where to find out what this is.

I’m about to give up on AIM stock after my experience with TM17. It seems almost impossible to buy at a reasonable price and even harder to get rid of it again.

My first few trades I got completely stuffed by not using limit orders and just using a regular buy order, and the trades went through at over 1% above the price for all the other trades that day, even though I put my order in at about the dip. When I used limit orders to buy, they were not being honoured despite the price going lower.

The price seems to fluctuate by 5% on a daily basis, so I managed to snatch up two cheap shares using the regular buy but specifying a very precise price, which has just about reset my average to the average trade price over the last week.

If I can’t buy shares at a fair price unless I only buy one at a time using a regular order, it doesn’t seem worth the hassle. So, now I just want to get rid of these stocks, but again I’m discovering that having a limit sell order in place is useless - trades are going through at higher price despite a limit sell order I’ve had in place for days at a lower price. But selling via a regular order is likely to make me lose a lot more money because I have no control over the price.

It’s clear that even if Freetrade doesn’t take a commission on the trade, the broker is doing something on the spreads. I’d just like to know what it is so that can cancel my limit order and put one in when the share price rises enough for me to be able to put a limit order at my target and have it execute immediately.

How can I discover this information? It must surely be available somewhere?

Have I just learned the lesson to never invest in AIM or low-volume stocks, or is there something else in play here?

Aaaaargh! This is soooooo frustrating. So many orders are going through at over 1% above my limit sell and my orders are never selling. I’ve tried cancelling and just doing 1 share, and I can see an hour later 1 share is purchased for more than my limit order. Cancel that. Put them all up for share. Still more orders above my price. Still nothing.

My only conclusion is that there ARE in fact hidden fees and the broker that FT uses is ignoring my limit sells until there’s some certain profit margin in it for them. I guess that’s just the cost of doing business if so and to be honest, I don’t much care, I just want to know what it is so that I can price my limit order accordingly to get rid of these shares.

But having a limit sell open for about a week that never completes even though it’s substantially under the current trading prices is just infuriating.

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For more information, I had a limit sell order open for about a week at 7.66. As there were multiple trades this morning above 7.70, I cancelled it and tried to sell a single share for 7.69. I left that active for a couple of hours, and over lunch, there were a lot of trades a lot higher, including a single share for 7.80. Yet my share was still sitting there unsold. There’s been a bunch more trades going on around 7.78 and yet my sell is still unsold.

But there’s no way I’m just putting a regular sell order out there, because given how much of a premium the regular buy orders completed for, I reckon I’d get royally stuffed selling too.

The buy price may reach the 7.70/7.80 price, but the sell price is probably still below it… you need to take into account the bid/ask spread - Bid-Ask Spread Definition


I know there’s always a spread, but I can’t figure out what the spread is…

I’d have thought that with some of the trades going for 1.5% over my sell price, I should have hit it already?

The Bid price is 760 as at ~1.30pm today which is lower than your limit price. i.e market is not looking to buy above this price.