What will happen if my order exceeds the bid or ask size? For example, if the bid or ask is 100 shares, but I want to buy 100,000 shares, is it possible to do so?

3 Answers 3


Sure. Depending on how you configure your order, it will either be fulfilled partially or wait until it can be fulfilled. You can set a time limit on your order (usually its either 1 day or 60 days, but may vary between brokerages), and allow or disallow partial fulfilment.

  • i most interested in market orders that are quick ok lets say a bid or ask size is 100 shares at 1$ i want 100000 shares buy or sell if my order will filled what would be the price 1$ or more !
    – MIKE
    Aug 1, 2013 at 20:00
  • 2
    Your sell order will not be filled if there are no buyers. It may be filled partially with the 100 ASK order, or may be filled with the 100ASK order, and the next 100ASK order, and the 57ASK order coming next, and so on and so forth until everything is sold. For each such fulfillment the price may be significantly different (since its a market order, to avoid that use limit orders).
    – littleadv
    Aug 1, 2013 at 20:02
  • 2
    +1 Sometimes partial fulfillment if it takes place over several days can raise your commission.
    – dcaswell
    Sep 11, 2013 at 19:48

You should check with your broker.

I asked my broker a similar question just 2 weeks ago.

With their market orders they will be filled within 3 points from the current market bid/ask. If there is any remaining it will be placed as a limit order at 3 points away from the bid/ask price.

For example, if the current ask is 100 @ $1.00 followed by 500 @ $1.01, 300 @ $1.02 and 100 @ $1.03; if you were to place a buy market order for 1000 shares you would get 100 filled at $1.00, 500 filled at $1.01, 300 filled at $1.02 and 100 filled at $1.03.

If, on the other hand, you were to place a buy market order for 2000 shares you would get 100 filled at $1.00, 500 filled at $1.01, 300 filled at $1.02 and 100 filled at $1.03, with the remaining 1000 of your order being placed as a limit order at $1.03.

Again, check with your broker, as they may be different in how they treat their market orders.


This is a great question precisely because the answer is so complicated. It means you're starting to think in detail about how orders actually get filled / executed rather than looking at stock prices as a mythical "the market".

"The market price" is a somewhat deceptive term. The price at which bids and asks last crossed & filled is the price that prints. I.e. that is what you see on a market price data feed.

price feed plus scammy advertisements and crappy news]

In reality there is a resting queue of orders at various bids & asks on various exchanges.

bid-ask queue for AT&T

(source: Larry Harris. A size of 1 is 1H = 100 shares.)

So at first your 1000H order will sweep through the standing queue of fills. Let's say you are trading a low-volume stock. And let's say someone from another brokerage has set a limit order at a ridiculous price. Part of your order may sweep through and part of it get filled at a ridiculously high price. Or maybe either the exchange or your broker / execution mechanism somehow will protect you against the really high fill. (Let's say your broker hired GETCO, who guarantees a certain VWAP.)

Also people change their bids & asks in response to what they see others do. Your 1000H size will likely be marked as a human counterparty by certain players. Other players might see that order differently. (Let's say it was a 100 000H size. Maybe people will decide you must know something and decide they want to go the same direction as you rather than take the opportunity to exit. And maybe some super-fast players will weave in and out of the filling process itself.)

There is more to it because, what if some of the resting asks are on other venues? What if both you and some of the asks match with someone who uses the same broker as you? Not only do exchange rules come into play, but so do national regulations.

tl;dr: You will get filled, with price slippage. If you send in a big buy order, it will sweep through the resting asks but also there are complications.

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