The Market Wards are special districts where adventurers can meet to buy and sell goods, or summon their retainer to operate a bazaar stall. Each city-state has a markets ward composed of twenty identical areas that players may enter and leave at their leisure.
Within each ward, there are 10 'stands' that can be leased for one day for varying amounts of gil. A leased stand may have its appearance customized, and is a good method to gain visibility on a crowded ward.
Wards are distinguished by item type; selling items in the correct wards will incur a huge tax decrease (2%), while 'wrong' items will still have 5% tax.
- Tinkerers Ward - Sundries, Beastcoins
- Battlecraft Ward - Gladiator's Arms, Pugilist's Arms, Marauder's Arms, Lancer's Arms, Archer's Arms, Shields, Arrows, Throwing Blades, Throwing Stones, Throwing Circles, Throwing Axes, Throwing Spears
- Spellcraft Ward - Conjurer's Arms, Two-Handed Conjurer's Arms, Thaumaturge's Arms, Two-Handed Thaumaturge's Arms
- Fieldcraft Ward - Carpenter's Primary Tools, Carpenter's Secondary Tools, Blacksmith's Primary Tools, Blacksmith's Secondary Tools, Armorer's Primary Tools, Armorer's Secondary, Tools, Goldsmith's Primary Tools, Goldsmith's Secondary Tools, Leatherworker's Primary Tools, Leatherworker's Secondary Tools, Weaver's Primary Tools, Weaver's Secondary Tools, Alchemist's Primary Tools, Alchemist's Secondary Tools, Culinarian's Primary Tools, Culinarian's Secondary Tools
- Tradescraft Ward - Miner's Primary Tools, Miner's Secondary Tools, Botanist's Primary Tools, Botanist's Secondary Tools, Fisher's Primary Tools, Fisher's Secondary Tools
- Armorfitters Ward - Helms, Full Plate, War Garb, Gauntlets, Greaves
- Lower, Middle and Upper Tailors Ward .- Hats, Headwear, Masks, Undershirts, Attire, Hooded Attire, Undergarments, Pants, Gloves, Armbands, Shoes, Sandals, Belts, Sashes
- Jewelers Ward - Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets, Rings, Crowns, Eyewear
- Grocers Ward - Meat Dishes, Egg Dishes, Grain Dishes, Vegetable Dishes, Mushroom Dishes, Sweets, Drinks, Seafood Dishes, Soups & Stews, Eggs, Dairy Products, Vegetables, Grains, Spices, Fruits, Mushrooms, Seasonings, Foodstuffs, Freshwater Fare, Saltwater Fare, Meats
- Chirurgeons Ward - Potions, Remedies, Ethers, Toxins, Panaceas, Reagents, Dyes, Paints, Oils
- Ironmongers Ward - Metals, Unrefined Metals, Metal Sheets, Metal Wires, Weapon Parts, Weapon Heads, Weapon Butts, Weapon Grips, Arrowheads, Shafts, Hooks, Chainmail Meshes, Armor Metals, Clasps
- Woodcutters Ward - Raw Wood, Lumber, Planks
- Tanners Ward - Hides, Leathers, Furs, Armor Hides, Armor Leathers, Footwear Parts, Bones, Teeth & Claws, Wings, Scutes & Scales
- Masons Ward - Ores, Stones, Gemstones
- Clothiers Ward - Fibers, Cloth, Hooded Attire Cloth, Cloth Bodies, Smallclothes Cloth, Cloth Sleeves, Front Cloth, Back Cloth, Armor Cloth, Feathers, Fletchings, Armor Parts
- Crystaliers Ward - Crystals
- Menders Ward - Repairs
Additionally, while they are collectively called "Market Wards" in each city, Ul'dah and Gridania wards are called "Rows" and "Dens" respectively. (i.e. Upper Tailor's Row, Upper Tailor's Den). Limsa Lominsa's are simply called "Wards". This may have been done to help distinguish the locations when communicating between the user and the server.
The Mercantile Houses were added as a means to expand access to the market wards. The Mercantile House of any nation can be entered from any other nation, making it easier to buy and sell without having to travel. The Mercantile House offers a Retainer Bell, an NPC shop, a repair stall, and search counters. The Mercantile Houses share the entrances of the Market Wards.
Players may now dispatch their retainers to a ward of their choice (assuming it isn't full). Ironically all NPC repairmen will only repair equipment to 99% condition, just shy of the 100% condition requirement for trading and selling, making the addition of one to each Mercantile House not as convenient as it seems.
Originally the Market Wards had no search counters, and players would be forced to check each and every retainer to find the correct item. Fortunately it is now possible to search for specific items within a ward. To do so, a player will need to enter the wards or simply visit the Mercantile House of that ward.
Players can search using item names, rather than having to dig through the various categories as per the older interface. It is possible to buy directly from the search counter, although there is a proportional tax that does not exceed 4,000 gil. Doing so will also cause everything in the area to refresh, and a player can only make one purchase at a time this way.
The developers have stated that they would like to merge all Market Wards into one, but it is not feasible with the game's current client. This feature will likely not be implemented until A Realm Reborn.
- ↑ Lower ward is for rank 1-20 gear, Middle is for rank 21-40 and Upper is for 41-50