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The key to finding the best Black Friday bargains: Research.

You will likely find ads claiming the “lowest price of the year.” Here are easy ways to check those claims to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

SAN ANTONIO — It's easy to assume every deal is a good deal when you have a long holiday shopping list. The number of sales can be overwhelming.

That is especially true if several stores offer markdowns on the same items. The truth is not every sale is worth spending your hard-earned money on. 

There are quick ways to fact-check if a given bargain is indeed the best one. 

“Retailers will advertise what they call the lowest price ever or percent off discounts, which are really tricky because, you know, sometimes it’s a percent off over a high price that’s never historically offered,” said Kristin McGrath of RetailMeNot.com

“It may be that something you rarely see on sale is on sale, but that doesn’t mean that discount is good or worth shopping,” added Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with Dealnews.com. “So don’t assume that just because it’s Black Friday you’re getting a good bargain. You need to do a little research ahead of time.”

Here are four free online price-checking tools:

  • CamelCamelCamel will show what the lowest price has been for Amazon products.
  • Honey is also a price tracking tool that will alert to you coupons for items you are buying.
  • Slick Deals is where can set alerts with this tool to know when a price drops.
  • Or Google an item and then hit the shopping tab under the search bar. This will show the product at different retailers with all the current prices.

There are many online price-tracking tools, so find one that works for you, but it is definitely worth taking a minute to do research before you buy—especially if it is a big-ticket item. It is always disappointing when you buy an item only to find a lower sale price soon after.