Imagine this scenario: You do your research and find the perfect alpaca; its owner is reputable and very nice to work with. So you decide to write the check and purchase the alpaca only to later discover that the person you purchased it from had never transferred the alpaca into their name. Now that you want to transfer the alpaca into your herd, you have to work with the owner of record, who may not even know you, or know anything about the transaction. This happens more than you think and, unfortunately, it often doesn’t end well. You have now been placed in the position of working with someone that you never intended to do business with.
So what’s the big deal?
- Getting the alpaca transferred into your name is now in the hands of someone you never did business with. They may or may not choose to allow the transfer.
- If the owner of record had a business conflict with the person you purchased the alpaca from, they could hold your transfer hostage, even though you had nothing to do with that conflict, and your check has been cashed!
- You have no legal claim for the alpaca against the owner of record because your business deal and contract were not with them.
What can buyers do to protect themselves?
- Before making any alpaca purchase, go online to verify that the person you are buying from is listed as the current registered owner in the AOA system. Keep in mind that the owner will have to opt-in on their account privacy settings to make their name visible in order for you to see this.
- Ask to see a copy of the most recent certificate to ensure the seller is listed as the current registered owner.
- Be very careful of people who refuse to prove the registration is in their name.
- Understand that even if the seller shows you a certificate that is not in their name, but is signed on the back by the previous registered owner, this does NOT guarantee the transfer to you will go through.
- Do not purchase an alpaca from someone unless they are the indicated registered owner of the alpaca with the Registry.
What is the seller’s responsibility?
- Ensure that alpacas that are being sold have been transferred into their account before selling them to a new owner.