Bargain Basement Meaning
(idiomatic, attributively, often hyphenated) Of poor quality; of little or no value; low-end, shoddy.
Example: An area within a retail store, especially an area located below ground level, where the least costly merchandise can be found.
1922, Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins, ch. 6:
"Where will I find an aluminum cooking pot?" growled the elder Beagle unexpectedly.
"In the Bargain Basement," said Gissing promptly.
1949 April 11, "Business & Finance: Basement Bedlam," Time (retrieved 5 August 2013):
To proper Bostonians . . . it was not quite a riot: it was merely the first big postwar men's-wear sale at Filene's bargain basement.
1987 June 18, "Soviets to offer bargain-basement satellite launches," The Courier (Arizona, USA), p. 3A (retrieved 5 August 2013):
The Soviet Union is offering to send commercial satellites into orbit at bargain-basement prices.
2007 Jan. 19, Stephen Holden, "A Producer for All Seasons (Also Juggles)," New York Times (retrieved 5 August 2013):
An ebullient woman aswirl in colorful layers of bargain-basement clothes and zany hats, Barbara Siegel also happens to be chairwoman of the Drama Desk nominating committee.
1965 July 30, "The Law: Police: Deputy Doe, B.A.," Time (retrieved 5 August 2013):
"This nation can't afford bargain-basement cops any more," says Oregon's Multnomah County (Portland) Sheriff Donald Clark. . . . Almost everyone agrees that U.S. police sorely need more education.
1984 March 27, "Democrats Stall Anti-crime Bill, Reagan Hints," Schenectady Gazette, p. 12 (retrieved 5 August 2013):
"We are not going to ask the brave young men and women who defend this country to put their lives on the line using obsolete weapons and bargain-basement equipment."