(WHTM) — Did you ever notice it seems like everything is on sale this time of year? Unfortunately, a new report says many of those sales are not really sales because some items have the same markdowns all the time.

This time of year, everyone is offering discounts, and shoppers respond by snapping them up.

But back up a bit: are you sure that gadget is really on sale? A new investigation by the Consumers Checkbook claims sale prices are rarely real deals.

The group spent more than six months tracking prices at 25 major retailers and claims most discounts are “attempts to mislead.”

It says more than half the items were on sale almost every week, rarely selling at the regular price. It says fake sales make the customers drop their guard, saying if something is offered at a 60% discount, what is the point of comparing costs?

From the doesn’t that stink file: how do these fake sales affect almost every popular holiday item? Consumer’s Checkbook said they found phony markdowns on clothing, housewares electronics, and tools.

There are some exceptions though: the group said it found the most legitimate sales at Apple and Costco. It says when you see a sale at an Apple store, it is the real thing and you can rest assured you are really saving money

So, when you see that “60% off” label, do a quick search to see what it feels like elsewhere, so you don’t waste your money.