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/ Source: TODAY
By Jean Chatzky

Retailers draw holiday shoppers in with promises of big savings. But not every deal is a "real deal." Before you rush out to buy that marked down blender, make sure you know the math on these four classic markdown tactics and sales pushes.

store discount sign ; Shutterstock ID 214558597; PO: TODAY.COMShutterstock

Layered discounts can be deceiving: If you have a coupon for 25 percent off, and then add on a pair of $100 shoes that are 10 percent off, you're not getting 35 percent off, as you may think. Your total discount is actually only just 32.5 percent.

A percentage off is usually worth more: Many retailers give shoppers the choice between say, 20 percent off or $10 off. Go with the percentage deal — it doesn't sound as illustrious, but it's the better bargain.

The "sale" item may not actually be on sale: According to the FTC, when an item hasn’t sold at the regular price for a good amount of time, a so-called "reduced price" may be now considered its actual price. To avoid falling for a "faux sale," use a price tracker.

This may not be your last chance: Big sales typically lasts a limited time, urging you to act fast. But don't let yourself feel rush. Brad Wilson of Bradsdeals.com told TODAY.com that deep discounts — even those as supposedly epic as Black Friday's — often return as the season goes on.

Come back tomorrow to see the next holiday savings tip unlocked!