After some research it was established that one should visit the markets and the retainers there in order to find gear for the characters. Said and done, i was off to the market wardas in Limsa Lominsa, and got confused even before zoning in since there was a bunch of different instances with different names. I zoned in to the top one since i thought that this is the place where most people place their mules - which was quite accurate.
As a conjurer with 30 000 gil i was set out to buy some armor, a wand and some accessories. But when i zoned in, there were so many mules in there it was unbearble to move around. It took me almost 2 hours before i had completed my purchases, and it was extremly frustrating that there was no way what so ever to see who was selling waht - everything was completely random. Is there any "practise" here, like armorers are in one instance and weaponsmiths in another? It makes no sense at all to spend 2 hours just browsning through retainers who are selling the exact same materials for the same prices. And since retiners are unmanned - you can't really ask anyone in the market wards.
An AH would solve all these problems in an instant, and give us more time to craft and grind.