Every purchaser should require a written contract when acquiring an alpaca. A typical contract will call for a veterinarian exam certifying the alpaca's health at the time of purchase. Other clauses might warrant that a breeding male will, in fact, settle females and that he is not sterile as a condition of birth. A contract for purchase of female alpaca will often warrant that she is anatomically complete and capable of producing live offspring.
Contracts will specify the financial terms involved and include small details such as who delivers the animals. It is important to know what happens if there is a future problem with the alpaca that you purchase. For instance, a young male could grow up to be sterile. This condition may not be known for one or two years after purchase. Most breeders will agree to replace the animal if this happens.
Contracts are important so that all the elements of a purchase can be accounted for. It is also important to deal with a breeder of good reputation, one who will provide follow-up care. You are making a large purchase when you buy alpacas and it's important that you feel good about it.
Many alpaca owners who have been involved in the alpaca lifestyle have found it both personally and financially rewarding. Please recognize, however, that owning alpacas involves significant financial risks, as does any business start-up. Your ultimate success will be determined by your own ability to market your animals: your fiber and finished goods: your employment of available resources within the alpaca industry: your communication skills: and your ability and willingness to provide top-notch customer service that results in a good reputation. Although this article discusses techniques that many people have used to make alpaca breeding a profitable business venture, it is, of course, impossible to guarantee the ultimate success of any business.