It depends on the type of game. For games with virtual currency, I never buy any of it, so I often miss out on expensive skins. When Fortnite was relevant, I never bought any skins, so I missed out on a lot of them.
I have been one to purchase skins in-game but only for the appearance of it as there isn't real value for it and I don't think you can even trade them. This was on Black Desert. But I totally agree, people with free skins can be just as good as those who buy them!