Black friday topped by brown thursday this year, some 140 million americans expected to shop in stores and online over the holiday weekend, hoping to score big savings. But are all those deals really... See More
Black friday topped by brown thursday this year, some 140 million americans expected to shop in stores and online over the holiday weekend, hoping to score big savings. But are all those deals really a bargain? Abc's chief business correspondent rebecca jarvis shows how the discounts may not be as deep as they seem. Reporter: Tiz the season of all out war for your holiday dollar and retailers know it's the sales that lure you in. The american consumer likes to feel like they're out there getting a deal. Reporter: But the black friday secrets some stores don't want you to know, you may not be getting the great deal you think you are. The pricing system where they mark up so they can discount is built into their business model. A deal or not a deal, that's the question. How is 30 percent? Weak. Everything is discounted so is that really a deal? 40, now we're talking, 50 absolutely. Reporter: House how insiders tell us it works. Take this sweater at $50. The company's target price is $35. That's where the customer feels like they're getting a deal. Why not price it at $35? Last year when jcpenney tried that, customers fled. As a general rule of thumb, shoppers should look for discounts at 30 percent or more. Reporter: We call that the 30 percent rule. Most stores expect to sell items at 30 percent off. So look for discounts higher than that. Those are the real deals. Also places like camelcamel.Com let you chart an item over time. Take this camera. Sale price $299. 7 months ago it was 10 bucks less. So that's the deal to skip. Finally, in the midst of all that holiday shopping chaos, if you think you got a dud, go back and get a price adjustment, allowing you to win that battle of the bargain. Rebecca jarvis, abc news, new york.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.