Okay I don't want this to turn into a WE NEED AUCTION HOUSE! thread, I've just been mulling over an idea which might work for both parties.
Would it be possible (and I'm seriously asking because I know nothing of game mechanics) to have some sort of filter which could take items we wanted to sell and then redirect them to the category they belong in?
I'm thinking you talk to a npc, you put your selection of items up for sale and they are rerouted to sales npc's who are set up in a similar fashion to the market wards.
For example cloth sellers, canvas, velveteen etc or even gloves, shoes, pants etc
this system would work similar to an auction house - the, let's say shoes salesman, would have listings of all the shoes people were selling sorted by type, price (both whatever) so you could check for competitive pricing (both selling and buying) but would still retain the market feel of going to different stalls to purchase goods.
Once the sale was done the currency could be redirected to your retainer or (god forbid) by mail.
This might be a bit convoluted, but I thought it might work to satisfy both parties to some extent, also it would make a search function less necessary...