When entering into a short or leveraged position on dYdX, one of the things happening behind the scenes is a buy or sell of the underlying asset (e.g. if shorting ETH, ETH will be borrowed and sold for DAI). Therefore, just like conducting a spot trade, spread, price impact and slippage are all relevant. 

Spread

The difference in price between the highest bid (the price a buyer is willing to buy for) and lowest ask (the price a seller is willing to sell for) an asset. 

Price Impact

The extent to which the price moves given the size of your order. For example, a larger order will cause the price to slip more because it is more 'expensive' to trade this size. 

Max Slippage

The maximum amount of additional slippage beyond the expected price impact that will be allowed on the product. If the slippage exceeds this amount, the order will fail in order to protect the trader from a bad price. Users can individually set this max slippage number to whatever you are comfortable with. dYdX sets the default here for you at .5%

The reason that the price can slip beyond the expected price impact is if the market moves during the time it takes the user to place the order and for the transaction to mine. 

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