In these investopedia articles, they are giving the impression that 'Buying to Cover' is preferable than getting a margin call:

Why is this? If I hold a short position and the stock rises, I will make a loss no matter what I do. How does buying the stock help me?

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    Do you understand what a margin call is? That is where the broker may force you to lock in the loss which is different than the case where you have the option to buy or not. – JB King Apr 30 '13 at 20:51
  • In a margin call situation, you have not limited your loss. By its nature, a naked short sale theoretically has an unlimited downside, since the share price theoretically has no upper bound, but cannot fall below zero. Owning the right to buy back in at a fixed price limits the potential loss. Also, in a margin call situation, you need to provide at least a portion of your loss to the broker in cash equivalents prior to your exit, which means that even if things work out for your position, your cash is tied up, and your effective leverage is reduced. – JAGAnalyst Apr 30 '13 at 21:29
  • @Kaushik - What if you bought a stock and it started to fall. I might refer to your sale as "selling to limit your loss," no? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Apr 30 '13 at 23:02
  • ok I see what you mean @Joe Tax payer – Victor123 May 1 '13 at 2:02
  • No I did not mean a limit order or stop loss. I meant a call or covered call. But your statement is correct. – JAGAnalyst May 1 '13 at 16:00

Buying to cover is not the same as simply buying. Buying to cover explicitly closes a short. Buying while shorting is called "shorting against the box" which I don't think many brokers allow anymore because it was mostly used for tax avoidance/fraud.

The articles give the impression that it might be better to cover with your own order rather than getting margin calls because the broker will try to close immediately, taking whatever order is available while you might try to slowly work orders to exit your position.

It doesn't matter either way, if the market moves rapidly against you, you're probably looking at the same terrible losses.

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