If I could afford any of those things, I'd splurge on everything to support all the artists. But sadly the tickets themselves are already expensive enough... Anime merch is soooooo overpriced too >__< I mean you can buy it way cheaper off the net. *sigh* it sucks being poor...
I buy lots of prints in the artists' alley! A2 and A3 sizes are my favorite because I can put them on my wall like posters. It's mostly fan art, but if I really like the artist or their artwork looks cool, I sometimes buy ones of their original characters as well. Buttons are cute...I recently realized I could use them to decorate my school bags, so I've been buying some. I don't really buy bookmarks. I never really use them when I read. Stickers...I don't want to use them; they're too precious! So I don't buy many stickers. Plushies are so expensive. But oh artbooks for artists I already know are amazing...I would buy those. And yes, keychains and cell phone charms are awesome. I always buy those.
to those who said they wanna go to a con..there is a site that tells you the "con circuit". covers most cons. and most def if ur gonna try to stay at the hotel the con is held at(they are in hotels here in louisiana and in texas) make sure u go with a group...makes it affordable.
ANYWAY to my answer. i mostly buy swords, keychains, wallets, shirts, and maybe something from a show...(i. e. ed's pocket watch)
I think keychains are the best. You get to carry them around and whip them out to show your friends what an awesome thing you bought. The money's worth the look of jealousy on their faces and the "Omg, that's so cute!" XD
I mostly look for prints, I don't have things to stick buttons or pins on At the last con I went to (and where I spent the most money in artist alley) was all for buying prints and a large poster. I only got one A4 print, though, but I got eight smaller prints, I'd say they were about A6 size? The art was just extremely gorgeous and I wanted a lot of it, and there was a really great deal for buying the mini prints in groups of four I keep them all in a binder now, just in front of my old Pokemon cards <3
Whatever I can carry, or have enough money to spend with enough left over for food if I get hungry So most I bought at my first convention were stickers, buttons, a print, dragon statue, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, and a Byakuya plush
Most often I'll buy plushies, and I always make sure to buy a little souvenir plush for my little sister. Though I have looked over artist's prints. I'd planned on getting a couple of prints this last time around, but I couldn't find the artist's booths.
Artists' comic books is the main goal for me. Even if I've never heard of them before I'll often buy a comic book if they're selling them and they look interesting. A bit hit and miss (mostly hit, though~) but yeah. 8) Buttons are too easy to loose, but I do love pretty prints, mostly A4. O: Not really pin ups though, I'm too young. xD
I don't buy prints because theres no room to hang them up on my wall I have posters everywhere on my wall. But I always want to buy them. I always make sure to buy something from the artist alley though. It depends on what catches my interest at the time. For the most part though I buy plushies
I'm the type of person who buys EVERYTHING and anything I see that I like 8B But I usually concentrate on somethings. Like last year I bought FLOADS of badges. And this year I bought so many keychains and A6 posters HEHE
comics, but you didn't list that. That was kinda of the con's original focus too, being called Doujin Overload and all :/ And you need a special table to sell plush and craft there. Artbooks have been doing well.