So my dad went to a garage sale on Saturday, and he sends me a text asking, "Hey, how much would you pay for a microphone for your podcast? It's new in the box, comes with an XLR cable..."

He paid $20 for this mic, and when I saw it, I was a little frustrated. The mic is supposed to be a cardioid directional microphone, and "perfect for vocal performances."

The mic is CRAP. I hooked it up to my mixer, powered it on, and I had to crank the gain up to incredibly high levels to get any sound out of it. In addition, when I started talking on it, the thing started picking up all SORTS of background noise - the cat using the litter box 15 feet away on the other side of the room, me shifting in my chair - everything BUT a clear input of my voice.

I thought that it might have been dropped or something, but I can't see any marks on the box, or on the mic itself...I'm just glad it's not something more expensive. The worst part is, on Amazon, the mic says it's valued at almost $90, but the guy who my dad bought it from has this mic and several more that are similar to it from the same manufacturer on his "website" selling for $20-$40, depending on the model of the mic.

Caveat emptor, sadly...And I'm going to be telling my dad from now on, "Unless you can test it, DON'T BUY ELECTRONICS AT A YARD SALE!"