When considering the purchase of an alpaca it is imperative to know who the registered owner of the alpaca is in the AOA system. This is important because the person or farm listed on the registration will be required to sign off on the transfer to a new owner. In some cases, this also means that they may have the ultimate say in the registration of any cria, if the alpaca you are purchasing is a pregnant female, because they were listed as the registered owner when the conception took place.
A situation can arise when someone purchases an alpaca, but does not transfer that alpaca into their name, and later sells that alpaca to another buyer. They may then either give the buyer the paperwork from the first owner or complete the transfer from the first owner to the third while skipping themselves. This may sound like a good plan, but it starts off a chain-of-events that can cause major difficulties for their customer. This has now created a situation in which that first owner gets asked to authorize the transfer to Owner Three for an alpaca they sold to Owner Two. In many cases they don’t have a relationship with Owner Three and may not even know them. As a result, they may not be willing to sign off on a transfer that they were not involved in. In the meantime, Owner Three cannot get the alpaca transferred and is being forced to work with the first owner, who they also may not know.
This can be avoided by buyers being informed before they make their purchase decision. When considering purchasing an alpaca, or even stud services for that matter, be sure you check the AOA website to determine who the listed owner of the alpaca is. This can be done by looking the alpaca up in the Search section of the Registry. If you run across one that says “Owner not published,” ask the owner to please login to the AOA website and allow their name to be published. This allows you to verify that they are the ones who will be signing off on the transfer or registration.
At the very least, you should ask to see a copy of the original registration certificate to verify they are listed as the owner. However, checking online is always the most reliable in case the information was changed and the certificate was not sent back to AOA. If the seller has not completed the transfer from the previous owner to themselves, please ask them to complete this process before you make the decision to buy.
If ownership is skipped, AOA has no record a relationship ever existed. We are required to seek authorization from the currently listed owner. As a result, this could severely delay a transfer or registration, or make it impossible to be completed at all. The registry staff will do its best to work through these situations, but being informed from the beginning can save you, the buyer, a lot of time and complications.