Limit Orders: How to Buy and Sell on Your Terms in India

by | Apr 3, 2024 | 0 comments

To the majority of people, investing in stocks seems like trying to find one’s way through a labyrinth. There are different types of orders that one can place and this will improve on your trading experience significantly. The “Limit Order” is one such weapon that you should always have in your arsenal. This blog will demystify limit orders and show how you may buy or sell shares on your own terms in India.

What is a Limit Order?

A limit order is an instruction to purchase or sell a stock at certain price or better. Market orders are immediate, executed at the current market price. In contrast, when placing a limit order, you ascribe the highest or lowest value to trade items at which you are ready to buy or sell them respectively. With limit orders there is more control over the price but it does not mean that if a stock doesn’t reach your specified price the order won’t be executed.

Why Use Limit Orders?

Using limit orders in the Indian stock market as well as any other market requires strategic thinking for several reasons. While market orders ensure transactions take place immediately at the prevailing market prices, setting up limits allows traders to choose specific buying and selling rates for their shares. This gives several advantages thus enabling traders buy and sell stocks according to their own conditions.

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1. Price Control:

One of the most compelling reasons to use limit orders is that they give you control over transaction pricing. Through limiting your order, do not expect paying above your set price for any purchase-related order, or selling below it for any sale-related order (Sullivan 2018). It greatly assists with precision in trading-something which could save an investor from making unintended trades by purchasing tops or selling bottoms within volatile markets characterized by quick price fluctuations.

2. Cost Efficiency:

By preventing investors from buying above what they consider acceptable prices or selling below those considered optimal; therefore, users avoid costly acquisitions or low price disposals. It is particularly important to note such disparities when trading on large scales as even the tiniest of prices can mean substantial savings or losses. In this way, limit orders only execute at discrete prices and hence contribute towards a more economical trading strategy.

3. Strategic Trading:

Traders frequently use limit orders in order to trade at certain price levels they have deemed significant based on technical analysis or other forms of research (Sullivan 2018). For example, a trader could place a buy limit order at a support level, indicating that the stock price will bounce back after reaching this point. This strategic use of limit orders enables traders to take advantageous positions within market cycles and trends.

4. Avoiding Slippage:

Slippage is when an expected price of trade does not equal to its actual execution cost. It usually happens in fast-moving markets resulting in unseen costs or profits that are lower than intended. To protect against slippages especially due to sudden changes in market rates, traders should set their limits while trading since these will be the exact prices at which trades must be fulfilled (Sullivan 2018).

5. Budget Management:

Budget management can be supported by limit orders, which enables traders to put a cap on their investment expenses. This is valuable for individuals or small companies that operate with little capital. They ensure that the transactions they make are in line with their financial status and prevent the chances of them running into debts.

6. Market Conditions Anticipation:

Traders who have mastered the art of using limit orders can take advantage of favorable market conditions by strategically placing buy and sell prices. To do this, however, one must understand how markets behave and know what movements in prices are most likely during particular periods triggered by current trends, news items and economic indicators. If the market plays out as anticipated, this approach carries risk but could offer substantial returns.

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How to Place a Limit Order in India?

Placing an order at a predetermined price (which is called a limit order) involves following several steps among which one specifies at what price he/she would prefer buying/selling shares. Investors may thus exercise more control over their deals; it is also wise for managing risks associated with investments as well as minimizing other costs related to such operations. These guidelines will help you place your order:

Step 1: Choose A Brokerage Platform

The first thing to do when you want to place a limit order is select a brokerage platform. Some of the leading online brokers in India include Zerodha, Upstox, ICICI Direct and HDFC Securities among others because they meet different investor needs best; having reasonable brokerage fees; providing user-friendly interface and great customer support.

Step 2: Open Account And Fund It

Once you have settled on a broker then proceed to open your trading account. In most cases this involves submitting identity documents alongside KYC details like address proof etc., thereafter fund your account with money that you plan investing.

Step 3: Sign into Your Trading Account

Access the trading account on their platform – either the website or its mobile app. You should have a stable internet connection to avoid any interruptions during trading.

Step 4: Find Stock

Go to the trading section of the platform and search for the stock you want to trade. Normally, there is a search bar or browsing feature that allows you to look up stocks either by name or ticker symbol.

Step 5: Select “Limit Order”

Once you have chosen the stock, you need to decide what type of order you are going to make. Choose “Limit Order”. This will differentiate it from a “Market Order” which would be executed at the current market price.

Step 6: Fix Your Price

Insert the desired buy/sell price for this share. In essence, limit order represents an uppermost level one can pay in case of buying orders and/or lowest levels they can sell on when selling shares.

Step 7: Provide Quantity

Specify how many shares you wish to acquire/sell. Be mindful of your trading plan and financial constraints while putting down that figure.

Step 8: Set Duration

You may be required to specify the duration of order validity. Common options include Day Order which expires at the close of trading if not executed or GTC (Good Till Cancelled), which remains active until you execute it or cancel it.

Step 9: Review and Confirm

Make sure you carefully review all the order details, including: Stock Name, Order Type (limit order), Price, Quantity and Duration. Everything has to be right in order to avoid unwanted trades.

Step 10: Monitor Your Order

Keep an eye on your limit order as placed through the platform provided by your brokerage firm. If a stock goes up to your stated price, then an order should take place. But if market price does not reach your limit price, then it will continue open until expiration date or when you decide to cancel it.

Tips for Using Limit Orders Effectively

1. Do Thorough Research:

Determine your limit price through extensive research and analysis of stock performance alongside prevailing market conditions.

2. Patience is Key:

Anticipate delays because a limit only executes at the given price meaning that under some circumstances waiting might be long enough until you realize no execution exists with respect to market rates.

3. Monitor Market Trends:

Be aware of what is happening in the market and adjust your limits accordingly.

Limit Orders Pros And Cons


  • Price Control
  • Protection against substantial loss in volatile markets
  • Supports strategic planning and budgeting processes


  • There is no guarantee that an order will be executed.
  • Missing opportunities for trading in fast moving markets may occur sometimes.
  • More monitoring and adjustment needed


Limit orders are a way of trading strategically that give investors some control over their trades. While they come with their own set of problems, knowing how to effectively use them can greatly improve your trading strategy. Keep in mind everyone’s investment journey is different so tailor your use of limit orders according to your financial goals as well as tolerance for risk.


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