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Make sure you're getting the best Black Friday deals

(IMG: WPMI) Make sure you're getting the best Black Friday deals

You can log online or flip through the sale ad of your favorite store and see the best deals for Black Friday, but do sales like these truly offer the discounts they suggest?

Consumer reports shows us how to really get the best deals.

Rachel Barer and her mom Amy love the thrill of a Black Friday bargain.

“I feel like I’m getting better deals, so I’m going to buy more than I usually would if I went and was getting no deals,” said Rachel.

That "feeling" is exactly what retailers are banking on, according to the financial team at Consumer Reports.

When are sales too good to be true?

“Just the ‘idea’ that you’re getting a bargain can affect a center of your brain that can cloud your reasoning and make you open your wallet," said Margot Gilman, a Money editor at Consumer Reports. "Of course, retailers know this and play on it, by offering deals that really might not be such good bargains.”

So how do shoppers know when they’re getting a real steal?

Gilman says, “Go in with your eyes wide open and with a healthy sense of skepticism, and take advantage of tools that exist. Many apps will help you track prices so you know when a deal is really a bargain.”

Before you buy, browser extensions such as the Camelizer, Invisible-Hand or Priceblink scour the web for the best deals.

Price alerts, such as CamelCamelCamel, Price-Tracker, Shop It To Me and Slick-Deals, tell you when prices for the items have dropped.

Price comparison apps like Buy-Via, Now-Discount, Scan-Life and ShopSavvy can tell you if there’s a better deal out there online or even at a local store.

While you’re shopping, coupon apps such as Coupon Sherpa or Snip-Snap offer discounts to use at check out.

Want price protection even after you’ve shopped? Price adjustment apps continue to search the web after you charge something and initiate a refund if prices drop on something you’ve already bought. But you may have to expose your bank and credit card information for the apps to work.

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