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 ?
The Congress also termed the deal a "great Indian mystery", and claimed that a "huge scam" is brewing as due procedures in the purchase of the fighter jets were not followed and were bought off the shelf "like oranges".
From an engineering perspective, our approach will be a much simpler project because the fuels and waste are safe, the reactor won't need a heat exchanger and steam turbine generator, and the lasers we need can be bought off the shelf," he added.
These are too easily bought off the shelf to the general public in low budget stores and no advice is given on its use at the time of purchase.
There are still a lot of amateur golfers that play with clubs that are just bought off the shelf and never fitted to their game.
Having manufacturers shoulder much of the development work, and having platforms ready to be bought off the shelf makes the military's task much easier in reaching that goal, he added.
We used 20 mls of vinegar, which is half the price and can be bought off the shelf at any local supermarket.
Packages can be bought off the shelf or tailor-made by Great Rail Journeys and they include flights, hotel accommodation, Amtrak rail tickets and city sightseeing passes.
The main difference between the pedigree bandhgala jacket, which we cut in India, and the ones made by Italian designers is that the former is mostly custom-made and rarely bought off the shelf.
Despite the seemingly obvious answer, it is not due to a tremendous amount of communion wine, as eucharistic wine is not bought off the shelf.
However, readers have seen the price of digital books fall by 18 per cent and those bought off the shelf by two per cent.
Reading is the only leisure pursuit to have become cheaper, with the price of digital books falling by 18% and those bought off the shelf by 2%.
There is a misconception that these devices can simply be bought off the shelf.
Runners are easier to lay because they don't have to fit exactly and can be bought off the shelf, so there's little or no cutting involved.
These forms can be bought off the shelf or developed internally by members of the group after what can be contentious negotiations between providers.
Analysts have warned that could cost at least 35 billion dollars, while submarines could be bought off the shelf for much less.