What does Transomnia mean?
Founder and MD Shane O’Mahony was in a school Latin lesson aged 13 when (he claims) it struck him that the combination of the Latin words trans, meaning across, and omnia, meaning all or everything, would make a pretty cool name for a global enterprise. When, 10 years later, he started bringing back papier-mâché lacquerware from his travels in India to try and sell to gullible retailers in and around London, he remembered this youthful epiphany. Astonishingly, no-one else had registered it as a company name, so the field was clear for Shane to create Transomnia.
How long has Transomnia been trading?
Transomnia’s Year Zero was in 1979, so that’s 39 years and counting. The company was incorporated as
Transomnia Limited in 1992.
Is Transomnia a ‘Fair Trade’ company?
This question can be a real minefield. We aren’t currently members of, or accredited by, any of the Fair Trade organisations which have sprung up in recent years. Having been in this business for over 30 years, we feel that some of these organisations can take an overly simplistic approach to the often complex issues involved in trading with Third World countries. We do however believe strongly in trading fairly, and this principle is at the core of our business. We don't exploit our suppliers - or our customers - and we don’t deal with companies who we have any reason to believe treat their employees unfairly. We regard these as basic ethical principles, not as a marketing tool.
Do you design your own products?
We employ two in-house designers, and more than half of all our new products are designed in-house; many more are ‘tweaked’ by us from products originally offered by our suppliers. The rest are discovered on our frequent sourcing trips to Asia – these days many gift and interiors producers in developing countries employ very talented designers themselves, and we’d be foolish not to make use of their talents if the results fit into our own product directions.
How can I buy from Transomnia?
We supply retailers, wholesalers, mail order companies, in fact any bona fide trader buying to re-sell our products. We try to make it as easy as possible to do business with us; we have sales agents in all parts of the UK who’ll be happy to come and visit you with catalogues and samples and discuss the range with you. You can also order a catalogue directly from us (see the Contact Us page), and order online (see below) or send us your orders by email, phone, fax, post - or even carrier pigeon. We’re happy to open a credit account for UK and Ireland customers from your first order, provided you’ve been trading for more than 12 months and can provide satisfactory trade references. If you’re a new business, or you just prefer to pay up-front, we can invoice you on a pro forma basis with a 2.5% pro forma discount.
Can I order online?
To register for an online account and/or access the site, click the 'Trade Login' button at the top of this page.
Will you supply any retailer who wants to buy from you?
We try to be loyal to independent retail customers who are loyal to us. What this means in practice is that – especially in small towns and villages with a single shopping centre – we won’t open a new account which which would be in direct competition with an established existing one, unless we can be sure that their purchasing won't overlap. We don’t think there's anything to be gained by selling the same goods to two nearby outlets competing for the same customers, either for us or for them. However there are many factors that go into such decisions. If a retailer is spending only a very small amount with us relative to their overall buying, then it’s not reasonable to expect us to show them more loyalty than they’re showing us; nor is it if they don’t pay their bills on time! And, in larger towns and cities, it’s often possible to supply two or more accounts if they’re a sufficient distance from one another. If you’re interested in opening an account with us, please contact our sales agent for your area who will be in the best position to discuss these issues with you.
What’s your minimum order?
The minimum mainland UK order value is just £100, and orders over £300 are delivered carriage-free. For offshore islands, Northern Ireland and Eire, the minimum order is £150/€200, and the carriage-paid minimum is £500/€600. The minimum export order is £300/€350, and carriage is charged at cost.
Do you have a showroom / cash & carry?
Yes we do – see the ‘Contact Us’ page for details of how to find us. If you’d like to buy cash-and-carry and/or visit the showroom, please give us a ring so we can make sure there’s a member of staff available to help you (and put the kettle on). The minimum cash-and-carry purchase is £100, and there’s a 10% discount if you spend over £300.
Do you export?
Yes, we can and do supply customers anywhere in the world (we’ve even supplied Chinese-made products to a department store in Hong Kong, which was a bit strange!). If you trade in the Eurozone we can invoice you in either Sterling or Euros. The minimum export order is £300/€350. If you have shippers in the UK we’ll deliver to them free of charge, otherwise delivery will be charged at cost. All export orders are supplied on a pro forma basis, with a 2.5% pro forma discount.
How do I know that products will be in stock when I order them?
Stock levels are always one of the hardest things for any supplier of imported products to manage. We have to try to predict sales of more than 1,000 products at least four months before they happen, and then make sure the stock is there in time to fulfil those sales. We don't get it 100% right (we'd have retired long ago if we were that good) but we often hear it said that we do better than most. If you order online, you can see for every product if it's in stock,
and if not approximately when it will be.
What happens if some products I’ve ordered aren’t in stock?
When you receive your order, any items which are unavailable will be noted on a balance order form, together with an indication of when we expect them to come back into stock. If the value of the balance is more than £50 (£150 for offshore islands and Ireland) we’ll send it (carriage-free) when available, unless you ask us to cancel it. You can also add to a balance order at any time, without having to make a new carriage-paid order. If the value of the balance is less than £50/£150 we’ll cancel it, unless you ask us to retain it and add to it to bring the value over £50/£150. Balances of export orders are always cancelled. We also cancel any balances outstanding at Christmas, unless we're asked to keep them for delivery in the New Year.
Can I get better prices if I buy more?
Yes! All our products are supplied in packs of varying quantities – small, cheap items come in bigger packs than large, expensive ones. We also have ‘bulk packs’ of all items, which are 4-6 times the basic pack quantity. Bulk pack prices are around 10-12% lower than the list prices. Plus, if the value of your order is over £1,000 you can take a further 2.5% (30 day) settlement discount.
Do you sell to the general public?
No, we don’t. Ours is a wholesale business, and we don’t think many of our retail customers would thank us
for setting up in competition with them. Any enquiries we receive from the general public are referred
on to an appropriate reseller.
I sell online. Can you provide me with images of the products I order?
Yes, we can provide you with high-res images of any products you order. We can also provide images of the 'mood shots' in our catalogue, which many customers find useful for their web sites.
I’ve got a question not mentioned above
Just click on the button below to send an enquiry to our sales team, who’ll be happy to answer any other questions you may have.