buy (something) off the shelf

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buy (something) off the shelf

To buy something that is ready made for purchase from available stock; to buy something that is not custom built or crafted. We use our own custom software, so we can offer much more precision than what you can buy off the shelf. Yeah, if you buy a hearing aid off the shelf, it'll be less expensive, but they are much more prone to failure than those prescribed by a doctor.
See also: buy, off, shelf

buy, get, etc. something off the ˈshelf

buy, etc. something which is not made especially for somebody, and is found in an ordinary shop/store: Did they buy the computer system off the shelf or was it designed specially for them?
See also: off, shelf, something
References in periodicals archive ?
It is great to make new component parts that you can no longer buy off the shelf and bring something back to life that would otherwise be consigned to the scrapyard.
Amazon won't be able to effectively compete for Walmart's price-conscious consumers that buy off the shelf, unless Amazon is willing to install a very costly infrastructure of stores.
We have 14 machines and these are specialist machines that you can't just buy off the shelf.
The project was about showing how far you can go, not just with fancy lasers, but with stuff you can buy off the shelf," said David Pfeiffer, one of the team.
Beer you make yourself can be more special than something you buy off the shelf.
A survey of IT security professionals has discovered that 83% consider commercial applications, the ones you buy off the shelf, to be riddled with code flaws and vulnerabilities.
I've always made puddings and sweets at home and I was convinced I could produce a better quality ice cream than those you can buy off the shelf.
I don't want to just go into a high street store and buy off the shelf as I don't think I'll get the best deal.
Keeley Metcalfe, Hartlepool Council's school environmental action officer, said: "An energy bike isn't something that you can just buy off the shelf.
But, once you've tried it, and you'll have to forgive me if I gush now, why would you ever buy off the shelf make-up again?
Its ubiquitous presence in commercial establishments and in most foods we buy off the shelf is remarkable.
We're taking a real hard look at the systems that are out there and the things we can buy off the shelf,'' McElwain said.
At the very least, the APA is requesting that recently switched drugs be put in a transition class under the control of pharmacists until they know it's safe for consumers to buy off the shelf without asking any questions of a health professional.
They talk about "24x7 uptime" and "massive scalability" as though they were attributes that you could just buy off the shelf.