Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Using Hypnosis Recordings and other Hypnosis topics.
The major arguments in favor of using hypnosis recordings are that it's easy and that a professional can do a better job than you can.
The arguments against would be that they are not personalized, so you can do a better job after all. It can get expensive if you buy a lot of tapes, and if they don't work you can get turned off a perfectly good technique.
Make your own tapes if you prefer that to the key word method, or if you want to use both approaches, depending on your goal and circumstances at the time.
If you take a hypnosis workshop or class in self-hypnosis and tapes are available, buy them to use as follow up. When I taught self-hypnosis classes, students would sometimes ask if I had tapes to sell. I didn't, but probably should have.
If you're thinking of seeing a professional hypnotist and she has tapes available, get one and listen to it to see if you like her approach before booking private sessions. Some professionals may make tapes for you and give them to you after the session, in which case the tapes can be personalized for you.
If you're happier working with a psychologist, get a tape made by a professional and use that. This may be good for things like smoking cessation, which may not require as much personalization as other goals.
One more perfectly good reason to listen to ready made tapes is curiousity. It's interesting to see how a hypnotist approaches a certain topic.