With gear less available, and the enforcement of gear degradation, suddenly a treasure trove of 45 pieces of silver and a longsword is a mighty score! On those rare occasions when a weapon of +1 or better quality does show up, the excitement will be that much greater.
Choosing between packing enough food and torches for the dungeon and getting one's sword repaired isn't a particularly epic adventure, but Hackmaster isn't designed for the epic. It is a game of struggle and hard choices. Reducing the amount of gear that is lying about waiting to be purchased will have a tremendous impact on the feel of the game.
The cost of adventuring gear (primarily weapons and armor) is going to go up - quite a bit. In fact the ask for an item when it is available is going to be relative to the rarity of that item. For example, a medium shield has a cost and availability of $30 and 85% in a town. That would get modified to $38 and 16%. People just don't have shield lying about. And when they do and an adventurer wants it, it is going to cost that adventurer quite a bit of coin or goods in trade.
Of course someone could have an item crafted for them. That takes less money (book price) but requires a deposit, time (days to weeks), and a skill check by the craftsman - which means no guarantee that they will get exactly what was asked for.
Repair & Maintenance
Suddenly repair and maintenance of equipment is very important. In fact, possibly more important than ever before. Even grabbing those shoddy goblin short swords may save your life. A rusty sword is better than no sword. Individual weapons can never be of a greater quality than they started out, but weapons that have been degraded can be repaired. The cost is generally half of the weapon value per level of improvement. Armor HP can be repaired at a cost relative to the armor. It will cost less than getting a new suit of armor, but may be more expensive that getting a slightly "lesser" armor (if one was available).