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How to Short GameStop Shares in the UK: A Step-by-Step Guide

Quick Answer: To Short GameStop Shares You'll Need To:

  1. Open an account with a UK-regulated stockbroker like eToro.
  2. Deposit funds into your brokerage account.
  3. Search for GameStop shares using the ticker symbol GME.
  4. Place a sell order for the desired number of shares to short.
  5. Confirm and monitor your short position.

What is Short Selling?

Short selling is an investment strategy that allows traders to profit from a decline in the price of a stock. In essence, short sellers borrow shares of a stock they believe will decrease in value, sell them at the current market price, and then aim to buy them back at a lower price. The difference between the sell price and the buyback price is the trader’s profit. This approach can be highly lucrative, but it also comes with significant risk, as losses can be theoretically unlimited if the stock price rises instead of falls.

Why Short GameStop Shares?

GameStop, a well-known retail company, became the center of a trading frenzy in early 2021. The stock’s price skyrocketed due to a coordinated effort by retail investors, leading to a short squeeze that caught many professional traders off guard. Despite these dramatic events, some investors believe that GameStop’s fundamentals do not justify its elevated stock price, presenting an opportunity for short selling. By shorting GameStop shares, traders aim to capitalize on what they perceive as an overvalued stock that is likely to correct downwards over time.

Understanding the Risks of Short Selling

Potential Losses

One of the primary risks of short selling is the potential for unlimited losses. When you short a stock, you profit if the stock price falls. However, if the stock price rises, you face potentially unlimited losses because there is no upper limit to how high the stock price can go. It’s crucial to understand this risk and be prepared for it when considering short selling.

Market Volatility

Market volatility can significantly impact short selling. Stocks that are subject to high volatility, like GameStop, can experience rapid and unpredictable price movements. This volatility can lead to substantial losses if the market moves against your position. Short sellers need to be vigilant and ready to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

Regulatory Considerations

Regulatory changes can also affect short selling. Governments and regulatory bodies may impose restrictions on short selling to stabilize markets during periods of extreme volatility. It’s essential to stay informed about any regulatory updates that could impact your ability to short sell GameStop shares.

Step 1: Choose a Reliable Trading Platform

Choosing the right trading platform is crucial for a successful short selling experience. One of the most reliable and user-friendly platforms available for short selling in the UK is eToro.

Why Choose eToro for Shorting?

eToro offers a seamless trading experience with a robust set of tools and features that make short selling straightforward. The platform provides competitive fees, an intuitive interface, and a large community of traders for support and insight. Additionally, eToro is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, ensuring a secure and compliant trading environment.

Setting Up an eToro Account

To start shorting GameStop shares on eToro, you first need to set up an account. Follow these steps:

Visit the eToro website and click on the “Join Now” button.

Fill in the required details, including your name, email, and password.

Verify your email address by clicking on the link sent to your inbox.

Complete your profile by providing personal information and uploading identification documents as required by the FCA for regulatory compliance.

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Step 2: Funding Your eToro Account

Before you can start trading, you need to deposit funds into your eToro account.

Different Funding Methods Available 

eToro supports a variety of funding methods, including bank transfers, credit/debit cards, and e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill. Choose the method that is most convenient for you.

Minimum Deposit Requirements

The minimum deposit amount on eToro varies depending on your location, but for UK residents, it typically starts at £8/$10. Ensure you have sufficient funds to not only open your short position but also to cover any potential losses.

Fund your account screenshot etoro desktop.

Step 3: Understanding the GameStop Stock Market

Before placing a short sell order, it’s crucial to understand the stock you are trading.

Analyzing GameStop’s Financials

Review GameStop’s financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Pay attention to key metrics such as revenue, profit margins, and debt levels to gauge the company’s financial health.

Monitoring Market Trends and News

Stay updated with the latest news and market trends related to GameStop. This includes earnings reports, analyst ratings, and broader market sentiment. Tools like eToro’s news feed and market analysis sections can be highly beneficial.

Gamestop trade screen on etoro

Step 4: Placing a Short Sell Order on eToro

Once you have done your research, you can place a short sell order.

Navigating the eToro Interface 

Log into your eToro account and use the search bar to find GameStop shares (GME). Click on the stock to open its trading page.

How to Find GameStop Shares on eToro

In the search bar, type “GameStop” or “GME” to locate the stock. Click on the result to access the stock’s page, where you can view detailed charts and trading options.

Executing the Short Sell Order

On the GameStop trading page, click on the “Trade” button. In the trade window, set the toggle to “Sell” to initiate a short sell order. Enter the amount you wish to short and any additional parameters like leverage if desired. Click “Open Trade” to execute the order.

Setting Stop Loss and Take Profit Levels

It’s essential to manage your risk by setting stop loss and take profit levels. In the trade window, you can specify the price at which your position will automatically close to minimize losses (stop loss) and to lock in profits (take profit).

Step 5: Managing Your Short Position

After opening your short position, active management is crucial.

Monitoring Your Trade

Regularly check your open positions in the “Portfolio” section of eToro. Keep an eye on price movements and market conditions that could affect your trade.

Adjusting Stop Loss and Take Profit Levels

Based on market fluctuations and your trading strategy, you may need to adjust your stop loss and take profit levels. This can be done by editing your open trade parameters in the “Portfolio” section.

When to Close Your Short Position

Decide on an exit strategy based on your profit targets or changes in market conditions. Close your position by clicking on the “Close” button next to your open trade in the “Portfolio” section when you feel the time is right.

What Broker to Choose?

Best for Beginners - Etoro

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Alternatives to Short Selling

Using Options to Bet Against GameStop

Options trading provides an alternative to short selling that can also capitalize on declining stock prices. By purchasing put options, you acquire the right (but not the obligation) to sell GameStop shares at a predetermined price within a specified timeframe. This method limits your potential losses to the premium paid for the options, offering a less risky way to profit from a stock’s decline. eToro offers a variety of educational resources on options trading to help you get started.

Inverse ETFs as an Alternative

Inverse ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) are designed to move inversely to the underlying index or stock. Investing in an inverse ETF that tracks the performance of GameStop or a related sector can be an effective way to profit from a decline without directly shorting the stock. These ETFs can be bought and sold like regular stocks, providing an accessible and diversified approach to betting against the market.

Tips for Successful Short Selling

Diversifying Your Portfolio

Diversification is key to managing risk in any investment strategy, including short selling. Avoid putting all your capital into a single short position. Instead, diversify across different stocks and sectors to mitigate potential losses. This approach helps balance your portfolio and reduces the impact of any single trade going against you.

Staying Informed on Market Trends

Continuous education and staying informed about market trends are crucial for successful short selling. Follow financial news, subscribe to market analysis reports, and use the tools provided by your trading platform, such as eToro’s news feed and social trading features. Staying up-to-date with market movements can help you make informed decisions and adjust your strategies as needed.

Managing Your Emotions and Expectations

Emotional discipline is vital in short selling, as market volatility can lead to stress and impulsive decisions. Set clear entry and exit strategies and stick to them. Avoid chasing losses or being overly greedy. By maintaining a level-headed approach and managing your expectations, you can improve your chances of success and minimize emotional trading mistakes.


Recap of Key Points

Short selling GameStop shares in the UK involves understanding the basics of short selling, choosing a reliable platform like eToro, conducting thorough market research, and carefully managing your trades. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you can navigate the complexities of short selling and potentially profit from market downturns.

Final Thoughts on Shorting GameStop Shares 

While short selling can be a profitable strategy, it carries significant risks, especially with volatile stocks like GameStop. It is essential to approach short selling with caution, employ sound risk management techniques, and stay informed about market conditions. By doing so, you can enhance your trading experience and make more informed investment decisions.


If GameStop shares increase in price, you could incur significant losses, as there is no limit to how high a stock’s price can go. It’s crucial to use stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and to continuously monitor your positions.

Yes, eToro allows you to short a wide range of stocks, not just GameStop. The platform provides access to numerous global markets, enabling you to find and short stocks that align with your trading strategy and market analysis.

Yes, there are fees associated with shorting on eToro, including overnight fees (also known as rollover fees) and spreads. These fees can vary based on the asset and the length of time you hold the position. It’s important to review eToro’s fee schedule to understand the costs involved in your trades.


  1. Finder UK – This article provides a detailed guide on how to buy and sell GameStop shares in the UK, including a comparison of different platforms and the associated fees. It also explains the basics of trading and market conditions that impact GameStop shares.

  2. MarketBeat – This resource offers insights into the short interest ratio and volume for GameStop, explaining how these metrics are relevant to short sellers. It also discusses the implications of increased short interest and provides data on institutional investors involved in shorting GameStop. 

  3. IG UK – This article from IG provides a comprehensive overview of GameStop shares, including the mechanics of a short squeeze and the factors contributing to the stock’s volatility. It also outlines the risks associated with short selling and the importance of having a risk management strategy.

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I'm Dom Farnell, a retail investor sharing my market experiences through blogs and articles. Though not a professional advisor, I aim to offer practical insights based on real-world experience, exploring strategies, challenges, and opportunities in investing.

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