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Putting Best Holiday Deals at Your Fingertips

'Tis the season to shop - but only if it's on sale.

The holiday season is just getting started, but some stores are already pushing out the big sales.

So how do you know if you're getting the best deal?

On "The Early Show," CBS News Business and Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis spotlighted websites that track those bargains, and she told whether those "one day sales" are really worth it.

Getting half-off -- once a bargain-basement super-deal -- is now about what shoppers can -- and should -- expect from a sale, experts say. They also say if you see prices of 50 percent off now, they're probably about the best you're going to get, and you should take them now.

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If you know exactly what you want, and want to try to find it for the best places online, where should you go?

Dealio.com compares prices on 30 million products from 100,000 merchants and has a larger retail search than rival sites, offering and providing coupon codes with a thumbs-up/thumbs down review to show how many users have had success using the coupon. Facebook and Twitter can also be helpful for this.

If you know what you want, but are willing to wait for the best deal to come up, where should you go?
A good start is the website of the retailer: Sign up for their e-mail list now. Stores rotate the categories and brands that go on sale each week, and the depth of the discount changes over the course of a month. Look them over for 30 days -- you'll quickly get a sense of the highs and lows, and how often the best discounts crop up.

Another great resource is DealNews.com. Let's say you want to buy a big-screen TV and you'd like to know when a deal happens. DealNews.com will send you an e-mail alert when it does. DealNews scours more than 2,000 online retailers and tens of thousands of deals to deliver more than 100 of the best deals each day.DealNews checks that they're valid, with the lowest total price and from a reputable retailer. It bars stores with a history of poor customer service. In addition to tracking specific items, you can subscribe to the DealNews reminder e-mail that updates you with top deals each day. You can also check the site itself for that.

If you're looking for great deals IN-STORE, keep an eye out for "One Day Sales." Macy's and GAP are great at giving you real bang for your buck with sales like that. Macy's has Saturday "One Day Sales" that often offer half-off and other really great discounts before 11 a.m. GAP has 40 percent off sales on full priced-clothing on Wednesdays and Thursdays through November. Stores do this to create a shopping frenzy, and in many cases, it works.

If you want to find the best "one day sales" online, check out DODTracker.com. It lists hundreds of items from deal-a-day sites and daily deal offers from retailers, such as Amazon.com. It shows how long the deal has been posted, when the sale ends, the amount of the discount (if available), and whether the item still is in stock. When you click on any of the tabs at the top of the homepage, you get a page that enables you to sort by retailer, product, price, discount and more.

If you are actually IN-STORE, the easiest way to guarantee that the item you're about to purchase is at the lowest price available is to use a deal application on your cell phone. If you have an iPhone or an Android, try an app that uses your phone's camera to recognize a bar code and does a quick product search to help you compare prices at other stores. If you have an iPhone, you can download the RedLaser app. With an Android, download the Google Shopper app free. Both apps will show you your item and prices.

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