How to sell your used and unwanted gadgets

It’s new-phone season again, between all the announcements at Mobile World Congress last month and the inevitable release of new iPhones and Pixels looming in the fall. Which means you'll be faced with a hard choice: upgrade or stick it out another year with your current device. The annual cycle of new flagship handset releases can be a little tough on your wallet, though, which is why you might want to offset the cost by putting your old device up for sale. But which trade-in service will yield you the biggest bang for your buck? And how much of a pain will it be? We've rounded up some of the leading contenders for offloading your old electronics. Not just phones, either — perhaps you have an old laptop that isn't quite cutting it anymore, or maybe you've got some other stuff sitting in the closet collecting dust.

Trade-in sites

RECYCLE-PHONES/

If you're looking for the littlest hassle and want your money as soon as possible, there are plenty of sites that will automate the trade-in process. You'll select your device from a list, get a quote within a minute and send the device back for cash in a matter of days.

Decluttr

Decluttr definitely lives up to its name. Not only can you sell phones from a number of manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung and HTC, but the site also takes lots of physical media, including CDs, DVDs, video games and books. For devices, you'll be asked for a general assessment of its condition, and given a quote immediately. Once you complete your order the site will send you a free shipping label. Decluttr also reaches back pretty far like with sales of the iPhone 6, though it'll offer you only $5 for an 16GB model in good condition.

uSell

uSell operates as a broker, searching other sites for their best offers on a given device and taking care of the rest. Like most buyback sites, it's big on iPhones, but you can still sell off other manufacturers' devices; it really depends on who's buying them at that point. The selection is a bit of a grab bag — newer phones like the Galaxy S21 aren't listed, though you can get a quote for the iPhone 11 ($305 for an unlocked, “flawless” 64GB model). Once you complete your order the site will send you a free shipping kit to send out your phone, and you can get paid for the item via PayPal or an old fashioned check.

ecoATM

If you don't want to have to worry about packaging up your old device and mailing it off, or would like to receive your payout right away, there's always ecoATM. It's literally there in the name: an automated machine that you place your device into and it examines the handset and pays you on the spot. It accepts the biggest brands (i.e., Apple and Samsung), along with devices from a wide variety of manufacturers, including LG, Motorola and ZTE. If the machine determines that your device isn't worth anything at all, you can still use ecoATM to responsibly recycle your old gadget. You'll find ecoATM kiosks in Walmart stores and malls across the country.

Amazon

While browsing Amazon listings, it’s likely you’ve come across products marked as “refurbished.” Well, if you’ve ever wondered where those come from, a lot of them likely hail from Amazon’s trade-in program. The company will put its own products, like Kindle readers and Fire tablets front and center, but you can also send in phones and gaming products in for an Amazon gift card as well. It’s not great if you want cash, but if you’re looking to upgrade an Amazon device this option is your best bet, as trading in an older device also nets you a 20 percent discount in addition to the store credit.

Apple

This is a good option if you’re looking to upgrade to a newer Apple device. You can trade in iPhones, iPads, Macs and even Apple Watches. That’s notable as wearables are a device category you don’t often see on trade-in sites. Apple will even take your old Android phone if you were thinking of making the switch. The trade-in values are on par with other sites, and you can get your payout in the form of a gift card instead if you’d rather wait before making a new purchase, put it toward media purchases or even just use it in an Apple Store. Which, by the way, also accepts trade-ins in case you’re not comfortable shipping your old but still expensive device.

It'sWorthMore

The nice thing about It’sWorthMore is that its on-site forms handle a larger variety of gadgets than other sites, incorporating companies such as Microsoft, Sonos and even GoPro in addition to standards like Apple, Samsung and Google. You’ll answer a few standard questions about your device’s condition and whether you still have the original box — obviously, the more you’ve kept from the original packaging, the better. You’ll then get a ballpark estimate of its worth and a prepaid shipping label to print out. Once your device is received you’ll generally receive the assessment and payment via check, PayPal or Zelle within two to three business days.

BuyBackWorld

The appeal of BuyBackWorld is that device assessment is a streamlined process: Instead of having to answer a barrage of detailed questions for your device you can just give it a general assessment and let the site handle the rest. Just like with It’sWorthMore, BuyBackWorld will provide a printable shipping label in your confirmation email but, if you don’t have a printer or boxes to pack your device up, you can always have the site send you a free shipping kit, which can handle every gadget the site takes except desktop computers.

GadgetGone

If you’ve read through the other site descriptions, GadgetGone’s modus operandi should be familiar: To sell a product, you’ll have to answer a few questions about what type of device you have and what condition it’s in, after which the site will generate a prepaid shipping label. At least here you can find brands like OnePlus included among the options, and you can also sell MacBooks and Mac Minis here. The site’s biggest gimmick is that you can also send in photos of your pets; you won’t get any additional money but your fur baby (or scaled or feathered friend) may be featured on social media.

Store trade-ins

C1YC8B A GameStop video game store in the Herald Square shopping district in New York gamestop; videogames; shopping; electronic

Sometimes you need your money right now, or just don't want to trust your device to the vagaries of various shipping companies. There are a few nationwide retailers that accept trade-ins for cash or store credit. Additionally, wireless carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint will all give you credit toward a new phone.

Best Buy

Best Buy also offers trade-ins both by mail and in-store — with more than 1,000 locations, this might be extremely convenient for you. You fill out the form online and bring that to customer service. It's easy, but there's one big downside: You can get your payout only via a Best Buy gift card. This is great if you spend a lot of money with them anyway, but less good if you really need cash.

GameStop

GameStop is infamous for buying games back at ridiculously low prices and flipping them at near retail, but don't let that stop you from making some quick cash when you need to quickly clear your closet of old electronics and games. And yes, I said cash: GameStop offers store credit, a Visa prepaid card or actual money if you want to take your bounty elsewhere. For example, you can trade in Animal Crossing for the Switch and get $21 in store credit or $17 cash, which isn't bad when new copies are going for $50 on Amazon. GameStop also accepts phones and connected home devices, though the prices aren't going to match what you'd get from an online trade-in site.

Consumer to consumer

eBay Introduces Boxing Weekend On Dec. 26 and 27 At Eight Westfield Malls Across The Country, Making It Even Easier For Consumer

Sometimes you prefer to cut out the middleman and get a bit more personal — a transaction where you're selling your device directly to another person instead of letting a faceless site flip it for you as a "refurbished" unit. In those cases, you want a site that's more user-to-user, though a few will still automate certain bits to make your sale as smooth as possible.

Swappa

Swappa is a marketplace site, which means sellers can set their own price. So if you're getting rid of a newer phone, this is probably the best way to go — the iPhone 13 fetches around $729, for example. That's a huge improvement over what you'd get selling through a site like Decluttr, which is offering only $506 for a 128GB unit.

Amazon

When shopping on Amazon, you've probably been tempted by some of those marketplace deals in the past and, chances are, if you list an item on there, someone will give your old device a look. Since almost everyone on earth seems to have an Amazon account, your potential customer base is huge, and it costs only $0.99, plus a percentage based on category, to sell an item through the site. The downsides are that Amazon isn't really optimized for individual sales; you'll be competing with wholesale companies and even bots that will tweak the price of a product automatically in response to the competition.

eBay

eBay is sort of the Wild West of sales sites, but the biggest advantage is that you can sell anything there and hopefully find a buyer, regardless of how old a product is. Even so, the site has come a long way in the past decade or so, adding structured categories that can help lead customers to your product — for phones, you can search by network, color or storage capacity, and even filter for features like 4K video or fingerprint sensors.

In the end, it still works as it always did: You list a product and set an end date for the listing with a minimum price, or just set a "Buy It Now" price if you don't want to wait to see how an auction turns out. Chances are you already have an eBay account with a feedback score, so there's no extra setup required on your part. Your first 50 listings are free every month, and you'll pay 10 percent of the purchase price only if an item sells. The biggest downside is that you're competing with a lot more sellers, and chances are there's always someone willing to undercut you on price.

Cash-back comparison

Ultimately, the site you go with should be whatever's most useful and convenient, but if you just care about how much money you'll end up with, we've priced out a few recent flagship handsets just to give you an idea of what each site offers. We've also thrown in the Xbox One X, because it might be time to sell yours off and finally upgrade to an Xbox Series X.

All phone prices are for the lowest storage capacity, either 64GB or 128GB. The prices are for the unlocked models when available, or the carrier where it's being traded. These are only estimates, and were valid the day this post was written. Prices will fluctuate daily or, in the case of sites like Amazon and eBay, hourly.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G

Google Pixel 5

Xbox One X (1TB)

Decluttr

$446

$292

$287

$190

uSell

$480

N/A

N/A

$120

ecoATM

$265

$140

$90

N/A

Sprint

$330

$225

$205

N/A

Verizon

$338

$288

$195

N/A

T-Mobile

$360

$225

$190

N/A

AT&T

$330

$290

$200

N/A

Best Buy

$380

$275

$250

$200

GameStop

$369 cash / $461 credit

$252 cash / $315 credit

N/A

$188 cash / $237 credit

Swappa

$594

$540

$280

$245

Amazon

$536

$537

$309

$430

eBay

$445

$525

$300

$150

BuyBackWorld

$450

$300

$175

$125

It'sWorthMore

$463

$303

$203

$180

GadgetGone

$465

$335

$290

$160

If you were looking to sell some games, we've also got a shorter list, because not every site accepts game trade-ins. GameStop will offer you more money than what's listed below if you're a member of its Elite or Elite Pro programs.

Battlefield 2042 (Xbox Series X/S)

Horizon Forbidden West (PS5)

Pokémon Legends Arceus (Switch)

Decluttr

$7.62

$28

$28

GameStop

$1.76 cash / $2 credit

N/A

$26 cash / $33 credit

Amazon

$50

$68

$51

eBay

$10

$46

$53

Once you've picked a site and listed your item, there are a few important things to remember before you ship off your device. The most important, when disposing of a phone or laptop or any other device containing personal data, is to do a full factory reset of your device. That also means turning off "Find My iPhone" and the activation lock on iOS devices. See if you can unlock the phone, too; you'll actually get more money selling a carrier-free device. And finally, make sure you've backed up any important data you may have, like contact info, game save data and, of course, photos. Cash is great, but it won't save your memories.

Images: Mike Blake / Reuters (ecoATM); Alamy (Gamestop); Getty Images for eBay (eBay)

How to recycle your used and unwanted gadgets

You're probably used to sorting your garbage into bins: green for paper or blue for plastic and glass. But when it comes to electronics, we're still used to selling those off or tossing them into the trash heap. Unfortunately, our gadget addiction has real consequences for the planet, making it imperative that we dispose of everything responsibly.

Sure, you can try parting with your stuff for cash, but it's a pain, and it can be tough, if not impossible, to find someone who wants a busted Xbox or 20-year-old CRT. Few places have curbside pickup — in fact, some localities make it illegal to leave electronics for the garbage collectors — so you're going to have to find a reputable center to take it. We've gathered some of the resources to help you dispense of your broken and unwanted computers, televisions and any other gadget flotsam that's been taking up space in your closet.

National chains

Scrap metal, iron and computer dump for recycling or safe disposal. Ulsan, South Korea.

There is no national electronics recycling law at this time, so you won't find any federal programs to assist you with getting rid of old devices. The USPS does run a program for federal agencies and their employees, but it's not available to the general public. Instead, the rest of us have to rely on nationwide retailers to toss out our old stuff.

Best Buy

Best Buy has more than 1,000 locations in the United States, so it's likely you have one nearby where you can drop stuff off. You just need to take it to the customer service counter. They'll issue you a receipt too, but keep in mind that you can't claim the drop-off as a deduction on your taxes because Best Buy isn't a charity.

You can even recycle televisions and monitors, though you'll be charged a fee of $30 per item to cover the higher costs of transporting and disassembling them. (Consumers in California are not charged the $30 fee, while locations in Connecticut and Pennsylvania will not accept televisions at all.) If you're turning in a printer, you’ll get up to a $50 voucher toward the purchase of a new Epson EcoTank printer.

Also be aware that Best Buy limits you to three items per household per day, including up to two televisions.

Staples

Recycling your stuff at Staples is similar to Best Buy — just bring your products to the customer-service counter. But it’s more limited in that you can only bring in seven items a day, and the store won’t accept televisions at all. Staples Rewards members also receive a small credit of $2 for every used ink cartridge they turn in, up to 20 a month.

Office Depot

Office Depot has more than 1,300 locations, but unlike Staples and Best Buy, it won't recycle your old gadgets for free. If you're only getting rid of a few phones or batteries, those can be turned in at no charge. For everything else, you must purchase a Tech Recycling Box, which costs $5, $10 or $15 depending on the size. Once you have the box, you can fill it with as many items as you want, provided they all fit inside, including smaller televisions. So it's a great deal if you have a lot of stuff you want to dispose of. These can be turned in either in person or by mail.

Home Depot and Lowes

You can dispose of old rechargeable batteries, old phones and CFL bulbs in the dropoff boxes at any of 2,300 Home Depot or 2,200 Lowe’s locations. The bins are usually located in the front of the store, and Home Depot has an 11-pound limit on individual items.

Manufacturers

Stack of old, broken and obsolete laptop computer

If you can't make it to a retail location, especially when you need to get rid of only one or two items, many companies offer recycling programs for their own products. They'll even pay for shipping. Some run their own programs while others use outside organizations. We've outlined policies from a handful of manufacturers below.

Amazon

While Amazon would love to direct you to its trade-in program, you're probably reading this post because there's stuff you can't sell, and for those items Amazon offers mail-in recycling. You can send in your busted Kindles, Fire TVs and even Dash Buttons, as well as select peripherals like keyboards and mice. You'll just need to fill out some forms online and generate a shipping label, which you can slap on any box. Drop it off at a UPS location, and you're good to go; Amazon will cover all the costs.

Apple

Apple's
Apple

If your iPhone or MacBook is still in good shape, you should consider selling it, but if it's old or beat up you can still score a gift card by turning it into Apple's recycling program. For iPhones, iPad and Apple Watches you'll be asked to fill out a form attesting to the product's condition and given a trade-in quote, with a working iPhone 5 going for $35 and an iPhone 7 Plus scoring you $315. For Macs, you'll be asked to provide a serial number as well. Though Apple won't give you cash for anything it deems old or unacceptable, you can still mail it in or bring it to any Apple Store so it can be responsibly disposed of.

Dell

Dell offers drop-off recycling via a partnership with Goodwill. Not every location participates, but there are more than 2,600 that do. And, because it's a charity, you may even be able to deduct it as a donation on your taxes. Dell also has a mail-back program on its site where you can generate a shipping label and drop the package off at a FedEx location instead.

Epson

You can ship old products back to Epson by simply creating a shipping label on its site and dropping it off at a FedEx location. Or just drop it off at a Best Buy location for a $30 or $50 voucher toward a new Epson printer.

HP

If you can, HP recommends taking its products to the nearest Best Buy. But if that's not feasible, the company participates in a program that will even buy back some items. You'll be asked to fill out a form with the make, model and condition, and the recycler will email you a prepaid shipping label to mail the package within 30 days. If you're doing a buyback you'll receive a paper check in the mail. Because this isn't an in-house program with HP, you can also send in items from other companies — check the drop-down list for firms like Canon and Toshiba as well as more obscure and out-of-business manufacturers.

Other manufacturers

Many other companies use outside recyclers to dispose of their products, and you'll often see the same names popping up again and again across different manufacturers. This should simplify things in some cases — you should be able to send in products from multiple sources in one package. You just need to fill in the make and model to generate a prepaid shipping label. However, different states have different rules on what you can return, so the drop-downs for selecting your product may vary by area.

Two major recycling companies you'll notice a lot are RLGA, which covers Acer, Canon, Google, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft and Motorola, and MRM, which recycles products for Alcatel, BlackBerry, Barnes & Noble (nook), TCL and Toshiba.

Phones

Electronics Recycling

Cell phones are the easiest gadget to recycle — if you haven't already decided to sell yours off on eBay or via sites like Decluttr and ecoATM. But, if you can't or won't make some cash off of it, you can send it to:

Call2Recycle, which has drop-off centers all over the country in many chain stores, including Lowes and Home Depot. It will also accept rechargeable batteries.

Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts phones in any condition and sells them to refurbishers or recyclers. The proceeds go toward purchasing phone cards for troops so they can call their friends and family back home. To be clear, the phones are not given directly to the soldiers.

The four major US carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — all offer free recycling. You can trade in your old device in-store or send it in for a credit toward a new phone, or let them straight up recycle it. AT&T also participates in Cell Phones for Soldiers.

If you do decide to try your luck with ecoATM to see if your old phone is still worth a few bucks and it turns out it's worth nothing, you can at least rest easy knowing that the company will also recycle your phone responsibly.

States

computer parts for electronic recycling

There may not be a national law dictating that you must recycle your electronics, but at least 26 states have passed rules that vary widely on what they demand of manufacturers and consumers. Almost all states that do collect products for recycling provide this service free, with the bill footed by the companies in some way. Most provide some local programs to help you get rid of your stuff, regardless of whether recycling your gadgets is required or optional.

States where you can no longer dispose of electronics in the regular trash and must recycle them include: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

The following states have laws requiring manufacturers to pay for recycling, but you, the consumer, are not actually required to recycle your electronics: Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

The following states have some special circumstances worth noting:

Connecticut: Does not allow recycling centers to charge you a fee for turning in electronics, so many organizations and retailers that would usually charge for recycling televisions and monitors do not accept them. Because you cannot dispose of them curbside, you can take them to a municipal transfer station for free.

New York: If you live in a New York City apartment building with 10 or more units, contact your landlord about getting an ecycleNYC drop-off box installed in your building. It’s super convenient and free.

Pennsylvania: Does not allow retailers to charge you a fee to recycle, so places like Best Buy and Staples will not accept televisions or monitors. Many recycling centers have also closed as a result of underfunding. Some nonprofit recyclers may still accept the items, and you should check to see if your local government is hosting any drop-off events. Lancaster and Dauphin Counties also still run civic recycling programs.

Virginia: This state does not have a dedicated statewide recycling program, but some localities run their own programs including Fairfax, Loudoun and Rockbridge counties, and cities like Arlington. Check each municipality’s site for details.

The best podcasting gear for beginners

Starting a podcast is easy. Making one that actually sounds good is another story entirely. We can't help much with the bigger problems facing would-be podcasters — finding a good topic and getting people to listen — but we can point you to the best gear to get started. With a few smart purchases, you too can sound like a podcast pro.

Get a decent microphone

You need a good microphone. There's no arguing with this. It doesn't matter if you're starting your own show or planning to guest on someone else's podcast. A great microphone will elevate your voice to help you get the sort of depth and richness you hear on the radio and popular shows like Radiolab. While you could record with your phone or your PC's webcam mic in a pinch, nobody wants to hear that every week.

Blue Yeti

We strongly suggest starting with a solid USB microphone. They can connect easily to any computer (or even phones and tablets with a dongle), and they'll offer a huge leap in sound quality. Previously, we’ve recommended the Blue Yeti as the ideal beginner mic. It’s easy to use and sounds great for the price. But it’s also a condenser microphone, which means it’s not great for the noisy environments most newfound podcasters are recording in. So this year, we’re suggesting you jump straight to an inexpensive dynamic microphone like the Audio Technica ATR-2100X.

Buy Blue Yeti at Amazon - $130Buy Audio Technica ATR-2100X at Amazon - $99

Dynamic microphones do a better job of isolating your voice and cutting out background noise — the only downside is that you need to speak close to it like a radio host. The ATR 2100X also has USB-C and XLR connections, which means you can easily bring it over to a more professional audio interface down the line, or drag it along to a friend’s studio.

There are cheaper USB microphones out there like Blue's Snowball ($80) and AmazonBasics' Mini Condenser ($45), but you’ll pay for going cheap with noisier recordings. If you're serious about podcasting, it's worth spending a bit more up front: There's a good chance you'll end up chucking a cheaper mic once you hear the difference.

Buy Blue Snowball at Amazon - $80Buy AmazonBasics Mini Condenser at Amazon - $45

Pro tip: RTFM

You should actually read the instructions and make sure you know what every dial and button does. Most importantly, make sure you're speaking in the right direction! With most microphones, including the Blue Yeti, you want to aim at the side with the brand label. Some models, like the ATR2100X and other dynamic mics, need to be addressed from the top. Yes, I know this all sounds basic, but I've encountered dozens of people who end up aiming for the wrong part of their mics when they're getting started.

It's also worth picking up a few accessories to make your recordings sound great. Get a pop filter or foam cover to avoid plosives (that annoying titutal pop when you make "p" sounds). If you're going to be recording regularly, it's worth investing in a tabletop arm to hold your mic in an optimal position (and also avoid the extra noise you get from desktop stands).

You could, of course, start exploring more-expensive microphone options, but I'd suggest holding off on those until you're more committed to the podcasting life. The next big level up from USB options is the world of XLR microphones, the same interface used for professional audio gear. You'll also need a USB audio interface, like the Tascam US-2x2 or FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 ($170), to connect those mics to your computer. At that point, you can start looking at higher-end options like the Rode Procaster ($224). It sounds noticeably richer than the Yeti, and since it's a dynamic microphone, it's also better at cutting out unwanted noise.

Here's some advice: You can save quite a bit by buying all this equipment used or refurbished. I saved $100 on the excellent Shure PG42 USB microphone years ago by going through eBay.

Buy FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 at Amazon - $170Buy Rode Procaster at Amazon - $224

Choose your audio-editing weapons

Now that you have the hardware, you need some software to put your show together. There's no avoiding this part: You need to learn the basics of audio editing. Luckily, there's Audacity, a free, open-source audio editor that works across every computing platform. Its UI is ugly and a bit archaic, but it's also pretty powerful once you get a handle on it. I've edited all of my shows with Audacity, and aside from a few annoying crashes and quirks, it suits my needs well.

If you're looking for something more robust or you grow tired of Audacity, the free version of AVID's Pro Tools is worth a look, and there's Reaper by Winamp creator Justin Frankel. They're both full-fledged digital audio workstations (DAW), and Reaper also has the bonus of working with plenty of tools and plug-ins. At the high end of the spectrum, there's Adobe Audition, but at $21 per month, or $240 for the year, it's not worth considering until podcasting has become your life.

AKG K Series Production Headphones

Get good headphones

Headphones are the best way to monitor your recordings — that is, to hear yourself as you're recording — as well as to make sure they sound great once completed. You'll definitely want something better than the earbuds that came with your phones. We recommend starting with something like Sony's MDR-7506 ($98), a pair of over-the-ear headphones that have been studio mainstays for decades. They offer a neutral sound and a light fit, exactly what you'll need for hours of editing. If you've already picked up a pair of great headphones, those will work fine. (Be sure to turn off any noise-canceling features, though, as they can color what you're hearing while monitoring recordings.)

We're not going to go down the rabbit hole of recommending large speakers like you'd find in a real studio. They're not worth it for podcast editing, and most people will be listening to your show with headphones anyway. Of course, if you make something that sounds great on headphones, it'll probably be fine on speakers.

Buy Sony MDR-7506 at Amazon - $98

Prep your recording altar

You can't just set up your fancy new microphone anywhere! You'll want to find a room that's as quiet as possible, or even a small closet. If both of those options are out, carve out some space in the corner or along a wall of a larger room. Wherever you set up, you'll need to treat your space a bit with some foam wedges or other sound-absorbing objects. You can always go the simple route: Drape a curtain or blanket over your desk to create an isolated sound-dampened spot.

Learn how to record with friends

So now you're all set to record a podcast on your own. But how do you bring in a co-host or guest? That's where things get a bit complicated. You could chat with a friend over Skype and record their audio using something like Total Recorder on Windows or Soundflower on Mac. You'll want to make sure the other person is also aiming for the best audio quality with a high-quality mic. In a pinch, you can have a guest record a voice memo on their phone (but be sure to follow NPR's phone-recording guidelines).

To simplify remote group recordings, you could consider web-based services like Zencastr and Cast, which automatically capture high-quality local audio. They’ll get you better quality than a Skype recording, since you’re not dealing with compressed audio from your guests. These services let you quickly edit and process recordings online as well. While they may sound like podcasting heaven, there are issues to watch out for. Network interruptions could easily render a session useless, and they’re demanding on systems with minimal RAM. If you go this route, be sure to have backup recordings.

For the most control, your co-host can record their side of the conversation on their end and send it to you afterward. This obviously introduces additional layers of complexity, like making sure your audio stays synchronized throughout the whole recording. It's also tougher to edit, since you're juggling multiple files on a timeline instead of one. But honestly, the quality bump is worth it. If you're looking to hone your audio-editing skills, there are online tutorials like this Udemy course or YouTube instructional videos.

Recording with another person physically near you is a bit tougher. Some mics like the Blue Yeti have modes for shared recording. Otherwise, you'll need to get a USB audio interface to plug multiple XLR mics into your computer. If you're going that route, you'll have to be extra careful about avoiding crossover recordings on those mics. If you're looking to record interviews on the go, nab a digital audio recorder like the Zoom H1n ($120) and a few mics like Rode's Lavalier Go ($79). Since it won't sound nearly as good as a home setup, I wouldn't recommend this as your main recording method (unless you invest in a powerful recorder with support for pro-grade XLR mics).

Buy Zoom H1n at Amazon - $120Buy Rode Lavalier Go at Amazon - $79

Choose a podcasting service

Once you've locked in an episode or two, it's time to start exploring podcast hosts. These will host your files, give you a feed you can subscribe to in any podcast app and usually help you list your show on iTunes, Spotify and other services. Most important, you can get some detailed analytics from hosts, and if you get popular enough, they can also help you nab some sponsorships. You can get started for free with Acast, $5 per month with Libsyn, or $10 per month with Audioboom.

Photos: avdyachenko (Mic setup); Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images (AKG headphones); Getty Images (podcast interview)

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