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 fact that you have decentralized purchasing away from the state paying the bill and using the recommended materials and districts are allowed to buy something off the shelf or off of the web or create their own product or buy hardware - they are not anticipating a good market at all," he said.
If you're trying to buy something off the shelf, integration into your other systems can be difficult if you've built them yourself," he said.
Enthusiasts are loath to buy something off the shelf, preferring instead to take their time over a creation of their own.