ah, i see the misunderstanding, i'll clarify.
while it's true i don't buy free games. i have downloaded a ton of them. newgrounds, and kongregate were my main places to waste my time away. interesting enough, if those games were 5 usd and presented themselves well enough, i'd have spent it.
though i think it's great with what itch.io is doing allowing the player to pay what they think is appropriate. the thought never occured to me to use it, probably because my habitual binge free playing in the past led me to not be considerate doing so. so i'll reflect on that.
hopefully the insight of one potential buyer and my candid thought process can be of some use.