Explain further what you mean by fair prices?
It does feed the slave trade because when you buy more slaves just to set them free it means a lack of supply to meet the slave trades demands for actually using those slaves which means a more cornered supply of slaves on the market that can be sold at a higher price to people who actually need them for use.
In some ways it is probably more profitable to sell off an excess of slaves at a cheap price just to keep the value up higher on what little are left to sold when potential buyers try to fill their needs for more slaves.
This way more slaves get freed at a lower price while also keeping the profits healthy for the slave market being supplied with fewer slaves being put to work.
Unfortunately this does mean that those slaves who get bought for slavery are probably also going to have to work that much harder being fewer of them and paid for at a higher cost.
However, if you can put the ethics aside from my previous comment it really is a win-win for both the slaves and the slave trades in the end.
Needs of the many, or whatever…
The slavers and the slaves actually being used will be fewer while slave traders get to make a more healthy profit and at the same facilitate freeing more slaves than they actually sell for profit.
Now I know what your thinking…what about the slave raiders, doesn’t this just keep them in business the whole time? Yes, in a matter of speaking it does but it also means that most of the slaves they capture are ultimately getting freed as well. Keeping them payed…they got it hard enough as is with all those minmatards running around giving them such a hard time.
Anyways, don’t blame me for pointing out the logic in the whole situation I am just an honest businessman speculating the potential of a market I am not involved with in any which way.
Would like to add however if you were talking about cheaper ways to get slaves or get them for free, whether for use or giving them freedom, you could also try to employ mercenaries for suicide ganking cargo with slaves in them and both you and those who survive would benefit depending on your intentions.
The cargo that gets lost however, well if you were going to use them as slaves anyways they were saved from a much harsher fate in the long run.
Almost doing them a favor even if you didn’t intend on freeing them.