If somebody tells you about shabby things, you may not be willing to buy it, mostly when talking about electronics, as you will think it’s old fashion outdated staff. Neither you will like a shabby present on your birthday. And of course nobody likes going on holidays and staying in a shabby hotel.
This word expresses negative qualities, but not only. Shabby, cutre, is a very madrileño adjective, very useful to describe some sort of urban culture in our town: when we use this word in Madrid, it may have positive meaning. Many madrileños are fond of the kind of bar in which we feel more confortable: traditional bars full of greasy tasty food, inexpensive drinks and no pretended glamour at all. Those shabby bars, “bares cutres, bares de viejos”, have its own charm: there we have fun meeting friends, talking loud, and drinking and eating withouth concern at all about money or figure.