I have heard it a lot since a recent wave of returning/new players have arrived in Eorzea.
"Where's all the !@#$ing gear?"
"I can't afford the !@#$ the NPCs are selling!"
"I CAN HAZ ITEM PL0X?!"
Well put away your soap boxes and grab a refreshing beverage to enjoy while you do...SIDEQUESTS!
Yes! Even as a level 1 character (notice I did NOT use the term "TOON", this isn't a Warner Bros. MMO) can obtain some low level gear for the low low price of YOUR TIME!
I have spent the last 24 hours or so doing nothing but sidequests. (My Lodestone History: Clicky.) Now I realize that I completed these with a 30+ Thaumaturge, but a lot of these quests involved mostly running around, and killing a very limited number of low level monsters (a lot of these were easily pulled one at a time with no links). The rewards vary greatly, from potions, to lower level base materials for crafting, gathering tools, equipment, gil, and of course some XP. For someone who has never played before, doing any available sidequest they can find (or at least attempting it) not only provides useful awards, but due to the traveling, help familiarize new players with the world.
So if you just started playing, and have nothing but the Level 1 shirt on your back, look for the fluffy cloud above an NPCs head with a little '!' in it. He may just have what your looking for.
List of quests ranging from level 1 to level 15: Clicky.