1. What is the difference between the ranges you offer?
The Nienhuis brand is a premium brand with a long pedigree that dates back to collaboration with Dr Montessori herself. The quality of the materials is excellent. GAM also has a pedigree that dates back to Dr Montessori's early teaching materials. Heutink is Nienhuis and GAM's parent company and they also supply educational items that are not specifically Montessori, including their popular Educo brand and Toys for Life.
The Absorbent Minds brand is our own quality brand and also includes carefully selected items from other suppliers. The huge range represents excellent value for money without overly compromising quality for price.
The Discount and Economy ranges are budget ranges of low cost equipment where price is kept to a minimum, these are ideal for items needed for short term or light use. The Discount and Economy ranges are less resistant to chipping and may have slight defects, some Discount items may be clearance items from our Absorbent Minds range.
The Outlet items are reduced price items, many are simply products that were opened for a photo shoot or returns that have damaged packaging. This is a good place to search for spare parts.
2. Do you offer discounts?
We try to keep all our prices as low as possible and our website prices are about 10% lower than products ordered offline. We do offer free UK delivery on selected products on orders over £300 ex VAT. Our starter packs have items that are discounted too.
3. My school is a charity, can we get a discount?
We do have an assisted purchase scheme for non-profit and charitable organisations, please contact us for more information. You will need to apply in writing with details about how your setting helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds and show that you will be bringing the Montessori approach to children who would not otherwise benefit from it. We will require a reference from a recognised Montessorian / Montessori Organisation.
4. I have forgotten my password, how do I reset it?
You can reset your password by putting in your email address and clicking the ‘forgot your password?’ link in the log in section of ‘My account’. Account log-ins from our old website will not work so please create a new account if you have not created an account since February 2023.
5. Can I phone you to place an order?
No sorry, we cannot take orders over the phone, we find it is better to discuss items by email because then everybody has a record which leads to less confusion.
6. Do you have a shop I can visit?
No, we don’t have expensive retail premises - this enables us to keep our prices low.
7. Which countries does Absorbent Minds deliver to?
We deliver worldwide, the shipping costs are calculated in checkout - you can put your country in the address field and click Calculate Shipping to find out the price before you finalise your order.
8. Do you have a printed catalogue?
We do not have a printed catalogue because we are always adding new products to our range and a catalogue would be out of date within weeks of being printed. We do have a .pdf brochure to give you a flavour of our products and we also have Nienhuis catalogues, you will need to pay for postage if they are not included in an order. Both can be ordered online rather than requested by email: Brochures
9. Our school doesn’t have a credit card can we still order online?
Yes, you can pay by bank transfer immediately after checkout, or request a proforma invoice (using a purchase order number if you wish) so your finance office can pay by bank transfer ('Faster Payments' or BACS) within 7 days of placing the order, we will send your items once we have received the payment, we do not offer credit. We do not generally accept cheque payments as we receive them so infrequently and therefore have to make a special trip to pay them in. If payment by cheque is your only option then please add this item http://www.absorbentminds.co.uk/products/payment-by-cheque to your order.
10. Why are some products listed as for over 3 years of age when they look suitable for younger children?
For safety our default age range is for over 3 years, however some products may not have been correctly categorised and we would be happy to check the recommended age of a particular product for you. But many of our products are not toys suitable for unsupervised play, they are educational items designed for use under the supervision of a trained adult.
11. How do I access the .pdf files I have ordered?
Links will be in the email we send you on receipt of your payment. You can access your files up to 3 times before the links expire, so please save the files to your own drive and use Adobe not a bowser to open them. These items are copyrighted Adobe .pdf files, that are for personal use only, neither the file nor any part thereof may be shared, e-mailed or posted on the internet in any form.
12. Where is my order?
Please check your account for online tracking. If you have any issues please don’t hesitate to email us for more information stating your order number and any tracking information we have sent you.
13. How does the currency convertor work?
Simply click on the currency drop down and choose the country of your choice, and it will automatically convert all prices on this site into that currency to give you an idea of the current market conversion. The conversions are approximate, the order will be charged in British Pounds Sterling and then PayPal, your credit card company or your bank will convert your payment automatically when you pay. This amount may differ to the converted prices shown due to currency fluctuations and exchange rates.
14. Why can't I log in using my password from the old website?
The old website was on a completely different system and the data was not transferable, it will only take a moment to re-register with us.
15. Why has my basket disappeared? I had nearly completed the checkout.
Once you reach the final stage of the checkout you reach the payment screen, if you fail to complete the payment details at this point the order is automatically sent through to us as unpaid. Your basket will empty but we will have the order which we can either reinstate to your basket so you can complete the checkout or we can send you a proforma invoice for a bank transfer payment. Please just let us know which would be best for you.
16. Can I have a quotation?
You will get a cheaper price online, therefore the easiest way to get a quotation is to add items to the basket. If you need a formal quotation created from your basket please continue through checkout opting for the proforma invoice and using QUOTATION as your purchase order number. Please note that a quote is only valid for 10 days, and we cannot guarantee stock availability until we have received your payment.
Should you not want to create an online quotation, we charge £10+VAT for a written quotation from your emailed list of items which is refundable should you turn the quote into an order. Please pay for the quotation in a separate order to receive a formal quotation as a pdf file: http://www.absorbentminds.co.uk/products/formal-written-quotation. If you do want to order offline please be aware that prices are about 10% more than our website and do not qualify for any discounts. We would need to know the exact names of the items as they appear on our website to avoid any confusion between the brands.
17. What products do I need to start a Montessori classroom?
This is a very difficult question to answer as there are so many factors that will affect what equipment you will need. You will need to consider the age and abilities of the children, the number you have on roll, the amount of space you have, the expertise of your staff and, of course, your budget. We recommend you contact a Montessori organisation for advice. We offer starter packs that contain popular items that are generally found in Montessori settings and also have lists of recommended items which relate to the AMS advisory lists (see PRODUCTS > PACKS in the menu bar above).
18. The search gives too many results, how do I find the item I want?
You can use the filters on the Left Menu to narrow your search. If you still can't find what you are looking for please email us and we will do our best to help. If we don't stock an item we may be able to source it for you.
19. Can I delay the delivery of my order for a few weeks?
If you would like to delay your order beyond one week, please add this storage item to your order: http://www.absorbentminds.co.uk/products/one-calendar-month-s-warehouse-storage. The charge is for each month or part month that your order is stored prior to despatch. Please let us know the week in which you would like to receive delivery. If you would like delivery on a named day, please choose the express shipping option.
20. Where can I find the answer to my question if the answer is not on this page?
Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org giving as much information as you can and we will come back to you as soon as we can.
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