Ok, So you are thinking about purchasing your first adorable alpaca.  Well here are just a few things you should do and consider before you buy. 

1) Do not make an impulse buy.  These animals are with you for a long time. 
2) Visit as many alpaca farms as possible.  Find a farm that will be with you through this whole journey and will help you.  You need the support as a new farm.  A good breeder will be with you even after the sale.
3) Do your research and have a good business plan.
4) Are you going to have a hobby farm or a breeding farm.
5) Determine how many alpacas you would like to start off with. Some farms start out with as little as two or three. Then there are some that jump right into it with purchasing 7 and up.
6) Have your pastures looked at by your local agriculture agent. Or have a local farm come over and give you pointers on proper grass, poisonious trees and weeds and farm layout and fencing.
7) Once you have done all of the above. Now focus on the type of bloodlines you want on your farm.  Again do your homework.  The better the bloodlines the more money and better your breeding farm will be. 
8) Once you have narrowed it down to what farm you will purchase your alpacas from.  Make sure that the alpacas you are just about to inquire about are owned by the person or farm that is selling them and that they have proper paperwork. ( ARI registration ) is in the farm or person selling the animals name.
Always check to see if the sellers are rightful owners of the alpaca they are selling. If they are not, then the breeder/seller should be able to honestly tell you why.
9) ARI registration is ownership without those papers the alpaca you are buying
is just an expensive pet.
10) If a farm tells you upfront that the alpaca is under contract with another farm, make sure you are able to contact the other farm so you can see if its ok for the farm that has the alpaca that you want to buy is able to sell that animal.  There are contracts that are drawn up before you purchase and every contract is catered to that farms own rules and guidelines.  Sometimes if a alpaca is still under contract with another farm.  They will forbid the selling of that alpaca until all funds for that alpaca are paid if full. 
11) You can also search the ARI certificates on Alpaca Registry or Alpaca nation
Some breeders that are advertising their alpacas will include a link so you can clearly view the ARI certificate.  You can search the ARI for free and you do not
have to be a member.
12)Always make sure to find out how long the farm has had the alpaca.  If the farm or person has only had that animal for a short period of time. I would want to know how they plan having a guarantee on that alpaca if they really don't know that animal. Again read your contract.
13)Get a Pre-vet exam on all alpacas that you are thinking of purchasing.  If there has been a problem with that typical alpaca then the vet by law will give you that information and so should the breeder/seller.
14)Remember to get a BVD test or see if the breeder/seller has had that done.
15)Study the contract before you sign and you have every right to ask questions. If you don't like a certain thing on that contract.  You should be able to work that out with the breeder/seller.

We wish you the best of luck in your endeavor of owning a beautiful alpaca.