I have to admit that I sometimes do buy bootleg SM merchandise, I'm not very proud of it but many of the authentic SM merchandise are just so expensive that I cannot afford to buy many of the legitimate merchandise, I'm quite poor and have a very tight budget
so I'm not much of a collector to begin with and I only own a few pieces of SM merch, I mainly just buy some of the stuff that I want the most, I do buy a few of the legit merch depending on the prices, if they're cheap like all the gashapon stuff, then I would buy the authentic versions. I don't think there's any bootleg versions of the SM gashapon goods right? At least I haven't seen any.
But if the SM goods I want are expensive and if I desperately
want them, then that's when I opt for the bootleg versions, I mainly buy the bootleg versions of the SM collaboration goods with Samantha Thavasa
and its sub-brands, because all the legit Samantha Thavasa goods are very expensive, I would not pay $200-300 just for a wallet or $500+ for a handbag. Those SM collaboration goods with ST are very popular hence there's plenty of bootleg versions of these collaboration goods selling on ebay and they're dirt cheap compared to the authentic ones. I love ST products and their collaboration goods with SM are so beautiful but I just cannot afford to buy any of them because they're all so ridiculously expensive, therefore I can't help but buy the bootleg versions of them.
I do not like figurines nor do I collect them and I don't collect dolls either, so I don't care about all the SH Figuarts or Pullip dolls that many other fans seem to love. Although I do like the Pullip dolls and I want the Pullip doll of Sailor Mercury, but there is no way I would pay $200+ just for a doll. Unless they make bootleg versions of the Pullip dolls, then I might consider buying a bootleg Mercury Pullip doll for much cheaper, that is if they ever make one.
I prefer to buy goods that are actually practical or useful, stuff that I can actually use or wear, so the types of SM merch I would usually buy are mostly the SM cosmetics from Creer Beaute, and some jewellery pieces and wallets/bags, stationery etc.