At the end of February I bit the bullet and finally made my first purchase of traditional Montessori matierals. I’m glad I did.
After a bit of researching different Montessori companies and comparing prices I settled on A Plus Montessori. They were a little cheaper than Kid Advance Montessori and at the time had a special on free shipping if you purchased a certain amount of merchandise.
- pink tower
- brown stair
- knobbed cylinders (set of 4)
- geometric solids
- dressing frames with stand (snap, zipper, tie, hook & eye, buckle)
It was easy shopping and we received the order in about a week’s time (maybe just over a week).
I love the materials. They came in great condition and were well packaged. They seem sturdy in construction and mostly consistent in measurements. Once we started to do some extensions with the pink tower and brown stair, I realized that not all the brown stairs were the same length and the smallest stair won’t stand vertically–very disappointing.
Also, one of the pink tower cubes was a bit skewed:
I was disappointed with the dressing frames as well. The fabric on the frames was very loose, which when in the stand gives an unpolished look. We did struggle for awhile to get the frames in the stand without pushing the others around.
I was very disappointed that after only two uses one buckle came unsewed.
The hook and eye dressing frame was not what I expected. Hook and eye dressing frames I’ve used before had a much larger hook and eye. The one on this frame is nearly impossible for a young child to do, because it’s so small and the fabric so tight (this happened to be the only one with the fabric tight).
There is a return policy for A Plus Montessori materials, but I thought it a bit odd and not quite customer friendly. If you want to return an item, you have to first e-mail the company telling them you’d like to return an item and why. Then, they will e-mail you back as to whether it is anÂ approvedÂ reason to be returned.
This has to be done within 30 days of purchase. And the buyer is responsible for all shipping charges. (Click here to read the return policy.)
That’s a lot of work for the customer, in my opinion, especially is the product is broken, damaged, or missing pieces.
I planned to return the frames, however we went out of town and forgot to e-mail the company. They’re not horrible, but not the quality I would have liked. I would be interested to hear from anyone who was returned items to A Plus Montessori and what your experience was.
Would I buy from them again? Maybe. Honestly, it’s probably depend on what I was buying considering the return policy.
10 comments… add one
Sorry to hear your bad luck with A Plus Montessori. 🙁 I’m glad you wrote a review so the rest of us know about it. I’ve had bad luck with Adena Montessori and I DEFINITELY do not recommend purchasing from them. Somebody needs to open a Montessori Materials shop with sensorial materials at good prices and good quality.
Oh, yes. I’ve heard Adena is very poor quality. A decent priced Montessori shop would be awesome, but it seems that quality materials are costly. Maybe a business or organization that would lead workshops on how to make your own materials…that’s an idea!
Thanks for sharing.
Have you looked into montessorioutlet.com? I’ve bought pretty much all of my materials from them, and have been pleased. They’re not as perfect as Nienhius, but the prices are WAY cheaper and the quality is fine for a homeschool environment. I haven’t had any issues like what you’ve described; the materials just don’t seem quite as sturdy as what you would want in an actual classroom, where many children will be using them over a period of many years. (For example, there are a few chips on the pink tower already and the sandpaper letters scratch the backs of the other letters.)
Have you checked into montessorioutlet.com? I’ve had really good experiences with them. They don’t seem quite as long-lasting as Nienuis (the pink tower already has a few chips, the sandpaper letters rub the backs of the other letters), but I certainly have never had real issues like what you’re describing! I figure the not-as-long-lasting aspect isn’t a big deal since I’m just using them for homeschool.
Actually I just ordered from them! Expecting it to come within the next week and looking forward to it!
I am planning to buy Montessori materials from Montessorioutlet but have been reading a lot of bad reviews about the quality of their products and how they deal with their customers when it comes to replacing items that get damaged during shipping as well as other returns and exchanges. I’ve also read a lot about their items getting back-ordered and customer’s money getting stuck for up to several months without any proactive updates from them. I plan to open my Montessori House of Children and am going to spend out of pocket money to buy materials. I wanted to know from real customers who have bought from Montessorioutlet how their experience was. Thanks in advance for your time to read/reply to my post.
Hi Jihisha! I first ordered from Montessori Outlet back in 2011. I had gone with A+ Montessori for a few sensorial materials (pink tower, brown stair, knobbed cylinders) and would definitely NOT recommend them. One cube is slanted more like a diamond and the narrowest brown stair can’t stand up. With Montessori Outlet I felt that the materials are quality, well labeled, and packed individually in the shipping box. I did have some beadstairs on back order and I knew that upfront, but it was a month or two after I got my original order and they still hadn’t come. I emailed the company and they sent it. I’m pretty sure I received it in 7-10 business days.
The school I worked at prior to staying home with my kids ordered a full classroom of materials from Montessori Outlet. The only thing I remember is there were some continent puzzles that the edges were damaged in shipping. We sent them back and they replaced them at no cost. All in all, I’d say I have had a good experience with Montessori Outlet. I just ordered a moveable alphabet from them last week, so I guess I’ll see how their customer service is now. I’d suggest doing a small order to see what you think. They are good price wise and in the three years we’ve had them our materials have help up well. I hope you’re able to find what works for you!
And good luck on your school! I’d love to hear how that goes. Opening a Children’s House is one of my “one day” dreams.
Wow… that is not great! I actually order most everything from Kidadvance and have had great service …the quality has also been amazing. I have ordered from a few others and had pretty good luck. I do have a big order coming in and will post about it …I hope my luck continues. I do also have a small one coming from Montessori Outlet…so we’ll see. Best of luck!!
I have an order coming in from Montessori Outlet. I’m pretty confident it’ll be quality material, because the school I worked at bought most of their materials from them. Thanks for sharing your experiences too! 🙂
I wanted to ask about aplusmontessori online store, is there secure to make a payment through western union? And yeah I’m just wondering about their product’s quality. I thought it would be much better as you wrote 🙁