On the rare occasion I am capable of playing more then 1-2 hours a day, I am not planning on spending them scouring the marketwards for an item that I need to improve my gear.
Honestly, I'd KILL for a method other then retainer 'hopping' to have a chance to find that specific item I want. In general, I'm talking about lances and pieces of armor that don't get made a lot like handguards etc.
I'm well aware that some pieces of armor aren't just that rewarding to make/sell because of all the extra materials required from different jobs or the simple fact that the items required are near unobtainable yet which reduces people to making the easy accessable gear.
So, why not make use of the billboards in the middle of the market wards, that actually have papers on it (presumably fictional requests) and let me request that single piece of armor that I'm hunting the market wards for with my char info and offered amount of gil. That way, crafters specifically know what the community wants and have a 100% chance of selling the item.