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. If you buy a hearing aid off the shelf, it'll be less expensive, but also much less likely to help you than one prescribed by a doctor.
See also: buy, off, shelf
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
While it won't be a fool-proof revolution, at least, justice forecasters and buyers would need more permutations and dollars to buy off the shelf, all souls on an average Jury, especially in election matters.
However, after the UPA was voted out in 2014 and the NDA came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an official visit to France on April 10, 2015 announced that an agreement had been signed to buy off the shelf 36 Rafale aircraft.
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 dominant design was to make a computer to stock that consumers would buy off the shelf. Dell changed the dominant design by making computers to order and selling directly to the consumer.
"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.
One aspect of the ongoing research within Coventya, is the ability to synthesize new polymers rather than to buy off the shelf products.
"Beer you make yourself can be more special than something you buy off the shelf."
Ian Waddell, Unite's national officer for aerospace, said: "These job losses will be a hammer-blow to the UK defence industry, which is already reeling with the consequences of the Government's 'buy off the shelf' policy.
Unite's Ian Waddell said: "These job losses will be a hammer blow to the UK defence industry, which is already reeling with the consequences of the Government's 'buy off the shelf' policy." Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said the news was "a devastating blow for Lancashire and Yorkshire and a real knock for UK manufacturing", adding: "We need a fast response from ministers with a clear plan of action.
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.