The Internet now plays an essential role in helping potential buyers find information about alpacas and in locating alpacas to purchase. A 2008 survey by the Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association asked new alpaca breeders the following question: "When you were considering your FIRST PURCHASE of alpacas, which Internet sources did you use to locate alpacas for sale?" 84% said individual farm websites.
In order to sell alpacas, you must have a web presence. This can be done in a number of ways. You can reserve a domain name and develop your own individual farm website. This is a great way to go if you have the time/money/inclination to do so. But if you are just starting out, and you want a quick and easy way to get on the internet with your farm, there are a several options. The granddaddy of them all is AlpacaNation. 75% of respondents said that they visited AlpacaNation to look for alpacas for purchase. AlpacaNation offers an easy, affordable way to list your farm with a description of it, pictures, and you can list your alpacas for sale. I highly recommend this avenue as affordable, easy, and adequate for your first couple of years of selling. Check it out, but I must warn you: It is very addicting. Say goodbye to your loved ones as you will be spending hours on this site. AlpacaStreet is another option for listing your farm and animals for sale. The newer and slightly less sophisticated AlpacaStreet is a growing entity. It has lots of add-ons, spreadsheets, and bulletin board features which should increase their traffic over time. Alpacaficionado is yet another place where your alpacas can be offered for sale. I'm not sure if it is enough to be your main web presence, but they have a lot to offer with content and advertising.
Another possible way to have a web presence is through your local AOBA affiliate. For example, our regional affiliate, The Deep South Alpaca Connection, has a terrific website where it's members can list their animals and tell visitors about their farm. Being a part of the website is included in DSAC's membership dues, which are only $60. This is a great value.
The main thing is to get started with some type of web address where people can find you, a picture of an alpaca or two, and your contact information. Have fun, and share with us your experiences getting your farm on the internet!
*Visit Alpaca Livestock Company, a division of AOBA, for more information in participating in the Farm and Ranch Guide mentioned in Secrets that Sell Alpacas - #1.