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 Additonal Category Options on THE NATION!
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Customer Service

208 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  07:44:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Customer Service's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We are very excited to announce the release of our latest upgrade: Additional Category Options! The Additional Category options are a great new tool that allows our members to communicate three new ways of listing their animals for sale: AUCTION, FREE and BOGO (Buy One Get One). The three Additional Category options are explained below:

1. AUCTION - This category has been added to all For Sale listings. The AUCTION category option will allow you to list your alpaca that will be in an auction and label them as such. The price area will be replaced with the word AUCTION and the price caption area can be used to list the name of the auction or the specific lot number. The AUCTION option can be chosen during Step 2 (general information) when creating or editing your alpaca listings.

2. FREE - This category has been added to all For Sale listings. The FREE category option will allow you to list the alpaca you wish to ‘give to a good home’. Please note, this category is not intended to lessen the value of these alpaca. The price area will be replaced with the word FREE and the price caption area can also be used for a brief comment; but the description area would be best to explain all circumstances regarding the FREE terms. The FREE option can be chosen during Step 2 (general information) when creating or editing your alpaca listings.

3. BOGO (Buy One Get One) - This category has been added to all For Sale listings. The BOGO category will give buyers the opportunity to communicate the specific sale of one alpaca and offer of another alpaca. The price area will be replaced with the word BOGO and the price caption area can also be used for a brief comment; but the description area would be best to explain all circumstances regarding the BOGO terms. The BOGO option can be chosen during Step 2 (general information) when creating or editing your alpaca listings.

All three of the new Additional Category Options are now searchable for Alpacas for Sale in the general search or advanced search engines. Please remember, to view listings which include these new categories, they must be searched for specifically.

Thank you again for all of your feedback and please continue to provide your comments and suggestions to Customer Service. We appreciate all of the response and encouragement with each and every upgrade. We continue to strive and listen to our members needs and implement upgrades to make AlpacaNation and LlamaNation industry leading online marketplaces! We wish you a successful 2010!


Sincerely,


The AlpacaNation and LlamaNation Team
(800) 893-2695
customerservice@alpacanation.com
customerservice@llamanation.com

jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  08:22:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I personally do not feel that AlpacaNation is an appropriate venue in which to list free alpacas. It detracts from those that we are trying to sell and may either turn away customers or attract those simply looking to get something for nothing. There are already many avenues whereby breeders can list free animals, and I do not want AN to become one of them. Please remove the "free" option.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.alpacanation.com/bagendsuri.asp
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nyala

3320 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  09:16:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I agree with Jill. Folks who do rescue for dogs and other animals always caution against a "free" pet. A re-homing fee helps find folks who are committed at some level and have at least have some financial resources to take on an animal.

Get rid of the free option,

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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Paradise

922 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  09:19:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Paradise's Homepage  Reply with Quote
At first, I didn't see a problem with the Free listing, but after searching, I realized it could sure create other problems. I would love to see AN be part of the solution, not part of the problem we already have of people completely uneducated in alpacas and alpaca care getting animals, then being disillusioned shortly thereafter with both the animals and the industry.

Laura Hillman
Paradise Alpacas
Hempstead, TX
979-826-9559
www.alpacanation.com/paradisealpacasoftx.asp
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  09:33:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tend to agree that a "FREE" category is wrong for alpaca members who have paid for a membership to be able to advertise alpacas for sale.

I would suggest it be removed immediately before any alpacas are listed in it and then do a membership survey to see how the majority feel about it.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
3288 Halter Avenue
Newton, Iowa 50208
641-831-3576
alpaca@iowatelecom.net
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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rose@almapark.com

181 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  09:40:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit rose@almapark.com's Homepage  Send rose@almapark.com a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I too think the FREE category is a bad idea!!! Many folks are struggling to move animals - however this is not the way to do it. When I sell inexpensive fiber boys - I do it locally and make sure I see their farm set up etc. It is the same as rescue services do to make sure they are fit "parents". While there is no guarantee that someone who buys a $10,000 animal will care for it - I feel less stress selling an animal for that amount then a fiber boy for $200 or free, so I always pre-qualify them and do some research before selling to them.

I am STRONGLY opposed to the free category and will think twice about renewing my membership if this "new feature" stays part of the Nation!!!

Rose Mogerman
Alma Park Alpacas
www.AlmaPark.com
PO Box 139
Jackson, NJ 08527
732=620-1052
rose@almapark.com
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Dusty Creek Ranch

123 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:19:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dusty Creek Ranch's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I won't use the free category. I would use a "trade" option. Seems to be showing up in some of the other websites. I hope AN continues to be the trend setter, hate to see such saturation in these type websites. Although openherd.com is free, I suspect soon it will require a fee.

Please consider removing the free category.

Regards,

Susan Frank
Dusty Creek Ranch
www.dustycreekranch.com
Texas, USA
432.556.2147
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Koehlers

782 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:25:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Koehlers's Homepage  Send Koehlers a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I am opposed to the "FREE LISTING too"
This is not what we need to be doing. How are we ever going to get the market back on track when now they are literally giving them away.

Bad idea, I hope you take the advice of all of us AN users and immediately remove this option.

This can only lead to problems. People will think they can just pick up An Alpaca like they do a lost dog or cat, have no idea on the care that they need and then what is going to happen to all of these FREE ALPACAS?

This is not a free for all, we pay good money to be a part of this site, to reach real potential customers that have some knowledge about these animals.
Why should we have to pay if now the animals are free?

Tracey Koehler
(989)751-0269
Koehlers 4 Star Alpacas
Michigan
http://koehlers4star.tripod.com/index.html
www.alpacanation.com/koehlers4staralpacas.asp
http://michianalpacas.ning.com
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prestonspac

226 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:30:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit prestonspac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,
Are you kidding me? Free? And we pay how much per year to advertise alpacas to sell on AN? I'm trying to follow a train of thought here, on how you think that will help the "alpaca business". I'm not following it. Can you at least, tell us your reasoning's of how this is an "improvement", and then listen to what the "real" alpaca business people are saying. I think it is an extremely bad move and it looks horrible to newcomers or potential newcomers. Thumbs down!

June

Preston's Alpacas
Worcester NY, 12197
607-397-8051
http://www.alpacanation.com/farmsandbreeders/03_viewfarm.asp?name=13490

Edited by - prestonspac on 01/12/2010 10:32:19 AM
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rose@almapark.com

181 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:33:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit rose@almapark.com's Homepage  Send rose@almapark.com a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Tracey - great post. I am wondering the same thing - why should I pay for the AN service when none of us were consulted on such a controversial subject! I have read the forum and see no suggestions for a "FREE" category!! The trade and auction option is great - but FREE???

I have been an AN member for years - but with this change - I am wondering if I should just take my business elsewhere?





Rose Mogerman
Alma Park Alpacas
www.AlmaPark.com
PO Box 139
Jackson, NJ 08527
732=620-1052
rose@almapark.com
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Renae

10 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:34:11 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Renae's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
It only took me a few short seconds of thinking that this is the wrong way to go on AN. Many of us out here in the alpaca business put alot of time and effort into marketing and making a sale. Listing alpacas for free? Well then why in the world would I spend money to buy any??
Not to mention we always feel that with anything especially animals, most people who put money into an investment tend to take care of that investment, they do the research and educate themselves to make their investment last. I want my animals to go to a farm that I know they will be taken care of.
Please take the FREE out of AN.

Indian Prairie Alpacas
Steve & Renae Ruple
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kipaca

769 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:39:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit kipaca's Homepage  Reply with Quote
FREE should not be an option:


I hate seeing those ads for 'free kitten'...etc..a lot of people subscribe to the notion that free...means worthless....so I shudder to think how many of those 'free' alpacas would end up neglected, abused or simply left to survive on their own....BAD move on the part of AN....

Please remove this option now.....

Thank you,

Laila

Laila V Roukounakis
Graceland Alpaca Farm
Lisbon Falls, Maine
207-353-2171
info@gracelandfarm.com
www.alpacanation.com/graceland.asp
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WillowTan

592 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:46:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit WillowTan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I do not like the FREE option and would not use it!
How are we supposed to justify the value of our alpacas if we are listing them as "FREE"? Even a fiber male or non-breeding female have value in their fiber. To promote the "alpaca lifestyle" and the beauty of the alpaca fiber, and then have a them listed for free on a site that is used by many alpaca breeders is ridiculous.
AN is one of the better advertising sites with alot of good information. having a "free category" is a disservice to the members and alpaca breeders.
Regards,
Tana

Tana L. Ward
WillowTan Alpacas
Delavan, WI 53115 http://alpacanation.com/willowtanalpacas.asp
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allamericanalpacas

4245 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  10:54:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Please leave the free alpacas to Craigslist

Rick
--
Rick & Pati Horn
All American Alpacas
35215 Avenida Mañana
Murrieta, Ca. 92563
951-217-0306
alpacanation.com/aaalpacas.asp
http://aaalpacas.com/updates.html
Life is Good!
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nancyspacas

425 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  11:01:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit nancyspacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Get rid of the "FREE" option!

The trade and auction ones are ok, but not the free one!

I agree with everyone else that has posted here! This is not where we want this going!

Nancy

Walnut Hill Farm, LLC
Metamora, MI
(810)441-6660
walnut_hill@centurytel.net
www.alpacanation.com/walnuthill.asp
www.freewebs.com/walnuthillfarm/
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Customer Service

208 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  12:26:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Customer Service's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you for all your feedback and concern. And yes, we have had equally the same amount of concern for quite some time with adding additional categories for animals listed on AlpacaNation. Please know the additional category options are in no way cheapening the alpaca industry or AlpacaNation. We have simply met a need that has been overwhelming Customer Service for months. Here are a few reasons on why we chose to go this route:


1. Manipulation of listings by using the $1 price point.

a. The $1 price point is used so the alpaca is shown in search results, but the animal is not actually for sale for $1.

b. Typically the $1 price point was used to offer an alpaca to a good home (Free), to list an alpaca that is being offered in a live or online auction, or to offer a BOGO offer.

2. Increased complaints from members and browsers of AlpacaNation.

a. Complaints regarding the incorrect pricing on listings due to lack of alternate categories.

b. Complaints regarding the lack of additional categories which were never needed several years ago, but due to the economy, more options are needed.

c. Complaints that AlpacaNation was not sympathetic to the current economic sturggles with our lack of 'adjustment' to our listing types, categories and price options.



Again, we understand the initial thoughts and concerns regarding new categories. This fact alone is again, why it took us several months to agree that adjustments might be necessary to help some of our members move the alpaca they are not able to.

We have received many emails and phone calls pleading with Customer Service to offer an area that will allow our members to list an animal for Free or BOGO; just so they can make sure it will go to a good and caring home. Those situations are obviously hard to anticipate, but many are struggling that much that they are willing to give their alpaca away so they can properly be taken care of. And this is not to say the alpaca industry is struggling, this is unfortunately an ugly fact of the current economy and the high job loss rate (which is affecting every industry).

The Additions Category Options (Auction, BOGO and Free) are just that, optional. For those who have been asking for them, they will be used and very much appreciated. For those who have no desire to use them or search them, your search results will not include the new categories since they have to specifically be searched for and won't appear on general search results.

With every change or upgrade we always receive feedback (good and bad). If you have any suggestions or ideas that would make the new category options more accepted please email customerservice@alpacanation.com.



Thank you so much!
Warm regards,

The Customer Service Team
AlpacaNation LLC
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ncalpacas

105 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  12:50:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit ncalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have worried about the low pricing of fiber males creating a rescue situation that established and responsible breeders will increasingly need to address. Now the "FREE" category will surely add to that problem. Please remove the Free category option. The trade boards should meet the needs of those who need to reduce the number of non-breeders in their herd and yet maintain some value on the animal. Surely you can think of something you would want in trade for a couple of your boys. We don't need to be giving them away for FREE!

Kit Almich
North Country Alpacas
Le Sueur, MN
507-665-6059; ncalpacas@hotmail.com
www.alpacanation.com/northcountry.asp
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pacajama

3 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  1:33:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alpacanation has been a valuable tool to aid members in marketing their alpacas. We've all watched our prices fall and fall some more. We don't need a tool to help us give our alpacas away for free. We can always discreetly give our alpacas away without advertising the fact that some need to be given away. It sends a bad message to the world out there. What we need is a tool to affirm the value of our stock. Not lower it. It is, in my opinion, a very bad idea. I would have liked to have been consulted before this was done and I would like it to be removed.
Thank you
ellen
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Paradise

922 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  1:38:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Paradise's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Customer Service

We have received many emails and phone calls pleading with Customer Service to offer an area that will allow our members to list an animal for Free or BOGO; just so they can make sure it will go to a good and caring home. Thank you so much!
Warm regards,

The Customer Service Team
AlpacaNation LLC




If people want to give animals away to good homes, they should be advertising in their local venues and not on AN. If you give the animal away locally, you will be able to give support and education, as well as determining if it is truly a good home. I don't have a problem with BOGO, but I do have a problem with FREE. I would have thought that since there hasn't been one post in favor of this option, you would at least be reconsidering, but your post sounded very much like 'love it or leave it'. AN is miles better than the copycat websites out there, but if you don't listen on a topic like this one, I bet the other sites will be taking advantage soon. The one listing you already have should be enough to make you reconsider, if the horrified responses alone aren't enough.

Laura Hillman
Paradise Alpacas
Hempstead, TX
979-826-9559
www.alpacanation.com/paradisealpacasoftx.asp
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prestonspac

226 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  1:40:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit prestonspac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Customer Service...if you go to your page of "How can AN be improved", in the past year, there have been 11 suggestions from the farms that use your services regularly. Not one of them asked for "Free", though, there were some very good suggestions. So what you are saying is, that the people who call you carry more "weight" than the people who "just read and post". (?) Sorry, but I am really just trying to figure out how you came to this conclusion (and obviously, I don't like it). I think it takes a lot of courage to post on a public forum like AN. You put ideas and thoughts out there, for all the world to see, and open yourself up to criticism (which sometimes is constructive but certainly not always). Maybe the "How to improve" catagory should be eliminated and replaced with your phone number.
But, that said, "Thank you" for all the good that you have done for this industry. I hope it continues but just not with a "Free" catagory.
June

Prestons Alpacas
Worcester NY, 12197
607-397-8051
http://www.alpacanation.com/farmsandbreeders/03_viewfarm.asp?name=13490
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llamapelli

1401 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  2:21:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit llamapelli's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The FREE option definitely sends out a bad impression. We not only have to worry about the economy, dropping prices, and people who are willing to just hand out their unwanted animals willy-nilly. Now we are essentially going to advertise it? How often to we have to listen to people talking about pyramid schemes and comparisons to the emu market? Now they can say "look, we were right, farms are giving them away!" I remember back when I was in 4H and FFA, we had to purchase our animals, even if for just a nominal fee. It ingrained in us the sense of value and business. This is a business. Making deals on animals such as packages is fine, but anytime the term free (which, in my opinion, includes BOGO) is used, we degrade ourselves.

Melanie McMurry MD
Anasazi Alpacas & Kokopelli Llamas
Gladesville, WV
304-864-5210
http://www.alpacanation.com/anasazialpacas.asp
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kipaca

769 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  3:06:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit kipaca's Homepage  Reply with Quote
AN...YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING....THIS SUCKS!!

"FREE - This category has been added to all For Sale listings. The FREE category option will allow you to list the alpaca you wish to ‘give to a good home’. Please note, this category is not intended to lessen the value of these alpaca. The price area will be replaced with the word FREE and the price caption area can also be used for a brief comment; but the description area would be best to explain all circumstances regarding the FREE terms. The FREE option can be chosen during Step 2 (general information) when creating or editing your alpaca listings."

I know there are alpacas that folks want to get rid of but a free category in my opinion is going to send at least some of them to bad situations.

Think about it...someone gets a "Free' alpaca....they are clueless as to how to care for it....besides...it was FREE....so actually Worthless...That's the way a lot of people think...SAD...but true!

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??

Laila


Laila V Roukounakis
Graceland Alpaca Farm
Lisbon Falls, Maine
207-353-2171
info@gracelandfarm.com
www.alpacanation.com/graceland.asp
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Margie

50 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  3:23:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Margie's Homepage  Send Margie an AOL message  Send Margie a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I can't agree more with all of these posts. As a new alpaca breeder I came to AN to research and learn about these animals before purchasing. I used AN to develop a listing of farms to visit and animals to consider. I used this Forum to acquaint myself with the people in this industry that are so full of knowledge, consideration and emotion about this business and these animals. I was not able to actually join as a farm member until last year. Although I don't have many animals to sell, I felt it important to get a membership to "get my name out there" and have a presence on AN. If I had wanted a FREE alpaca I would have searched my local classifieds or craigslist. Please REMOVE the FREE option. The Auction category will eliminate the concern about using the $1.00 price to list animals at auction. The BOGO will help with packages or for reduced pricing.

Please Please remove the FREE listing as it's not portraying a professional appearance and not what I and many others paid membership for. I paid for a place to MARKET and SELL alpacas in a professional business environment... not an online FLEA MARKET. WE (Alpaca Breeders) are professionals and we ( the members ) paid for and deserve to have a professional marketplace and FREE just does not give us that professional presence.



Margie Phipps
Barnett's Creek Farm
http://www.barnettscreekfarm.com
Liberty, Kentucky
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rose@almapark.com

181 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  3:30:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit rose@almapark.com's Homepage  Send rose@almapark.com a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
To AN Cust Service,

I think it odd that there is only one animal listed for FREE - however there are over 25 posts SO FAR to oppose this option!! I would like to know how many people WANTED this option because everyone I have spoken to say they DO NOT want it !

It was never a suggestion on a board -- where did it come from and how many breeders requested it ??

I think as a paying member to one of the MOST expensive sites on the net I have a right to know!

I will not be renewing in March if this option is not removed - and I will spread the word for others to do the same !




Rose Mogerman
Alma Park Alpacas
www.AlmaPark.com
PO Box 139
Jackson, NJ 08527
732=620-1052
rose@almapark.com
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nyala

3320 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  3:40:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Get rid of the free option. Free alpacas will end up in horrible situations.

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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Customer Service

208 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2010 :  4:17:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Customer Service's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dear AlpacaNation Members,

First, thank you for the email and posts on the Forum. We are reading and responding to all the email we have received at Customer Service and appreciate you taking the time to let us know your thoughts regarding the recent upgrade of additional category options.

The upgrade that was released this morning was in response to many requests and suggestions from our members over the past several months. In fact, the member survey that was released not even a year ago touched on several of these options and was highly favorable in the survey results. But obviously not everyone feels the same on this topic.

Whether keeping the AUCTION, BOGO or FREE category options is the permanent change we need or not, is still questionable. With all our upgrades, once the release occurs we immediately get responses (both good and bad); which is the case with this upgrade.

And again, the point behind the upgrade was to give our members more options as to how they list their alpacas without manipulating our current system and possibly discouraging browsers who find wrong information during their searches. The fact that we (Customer Service) are the ones who receives all the complaints about the manipulation of listings is what helps us determine what needs to be acted on and what is really not that much of a concern from a service provider, member or browser point of view.

We have asked for alternate suggestions but have yet to receive anything that would work for the members who use AN and rely on the AN community to find good homes for the animals they no longer can take care of.

We are discussing our options and will more than likely remove the ‘FREE’ category option within 24 hours if the response continues to be mostly negative (just as we recently removed an upgrade in the AN+ area to remove the Listing History and Show Awards categories…we do listen to our members!). We are looking into the technical side or removing this option now.

Thank you so much for your comments, suggestions and patience!

Warm regards,

The Customer Service Team
AlpacaNation LLC


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