Sneaky PDR Training Sales Tactics Beware is alive and well today! I had to deal with these tactics when I learned paintless dent repair back in the 199s. So, as I expose these tactics, just keep in mind the old adage “buyer beware” applies to researching PDR training.

1. “1 to 1” PDR Training Bait & Switch

This is a common tactic in their information. They offer a premium service of having your own trainer leading and guiding over your shoulder every minute of the instruction experience. But, what you get is the “PDR training mill” experience. You are treated to a classroom full of people and an instructor up front that you rarely speak with. When it’s time to do practical exercises, the instructor sees you just for a minute or so. It’s not what you are promised by the slick marketing and packaging PDR training companies.

What To Look For:

How many students are in class? What is the student to instructor ratio? If the ratio is more than 4 to 1 then there are too many students to an instructor. In the PDR Industry we term this trainer a “PDR Mill Trainer”. If you find yourself in a “PDR Mill” situation, ask for your money back right away and leave. You will be getting inferior PDR training and may learn bad PDR skill habits that may never be corrected.

2. “We Train Everywhere” Bait & Switch

This sales tactic is hard to tell at first. It’s because they will schedule you into class at a location near you. Then, they call back with the excuse that class is canceled and schedule you into the training center in California. Another scenario is they say the class is full and you need to come to the California training center. Just understand that these are California based training companies and want you to come to their training centers there. They do not have locations other places and are renting space to do the training. They either have to charge you more for the remote training or get more students, which is why they are “PDR Mill Trainers.”

What to look for:

Pricing difference between California and remote site. $8000 quoted in California but $10,000 quoted in Texas or Florida. This is because the training company is “brokering” the training. They are not the ones doing the training and rent a trainer, not even a PDR trainer, to perform the training. Also, if there are not enough students at the remote location, expect training to be canceled and you will be told to come to California.

3. “All-Inclusive” Package Training

The full meal deal training, tools, travel, and accommodations….for just one price!

They don’t tell you that they are making a profit on all those package parts and it is overpriced up to $2000 if you priced it all yourself. They make is sound great but you should feel like they are selling you. It’s the same feeling people have when trapped in a time share presentation. It all sounds good but why do I feel like I am being taken. Be a shopper and price it all yourself.

What to look for:

“We will do it all for you. Fly you out. Put you up. Give you tools. Train you.” You will be quoted $8000 to $20,000. Sounds kind of like “Time Share” marketing which has large profit margins built in. Shop the individual parts yourself for the best value. A trainer should be advising you, not selling you!

4. Misleading Company Names On Multiple Websites

Interesting to see all the websites about PDR training but they all sound the same…but with different names? Yes, they are all the same California based companies. Why are they hiding their name? This is because they have a questionable reputation and they do not want you learn their true identity until they call you. They are using this sneaky sales tactics to confuse you. If they are deceiving you with this tactic, how else are they lying to you?

What to look for:

If all those form fills to different branded PDR training sites and get responded by one source, then you know its a sneaky sales tactic. You have reached marketing companies that use PDR training as a marketing device and not a real industry PDR trainer.

5. State Certified Instruction

A big sales tactic that is deceptive. There is a big difference between being “State” certified and “Industry” certified. State certification means they have a training program that fits a certain structure. They could be “state certified” to train anything from basket weaving to elephant feeding. That is much different than being PDR Industry certified. Currently, industry certification is awarded by Paintless Dent Repair University, Vale, PDR Nation, Dent Wizard, and ARC. They certify technicians but not trainers. There is no PDR trainer Certification to date.

What to look for:

National or PDR industry certification of your instructor. Ask the question,” What is your certification number?” The response from me will be,”My Vale certification number is #10085 and it was awarded February, 26, 2004″. If your trainer is not certified…then do’t train with them! The non-legitimate trainers will try to downplay industry certification….because they are not!

6. Suspect Reviews of PDR training

Always ask for references. I am always amused by the PDR training companies that shoot videos of students in class or just completing their training saying they had a great training experience. Well, sure, I would say that also if I had been pumped up are told you are going to be a great PDR technician.

What to look for:

Videos of students in class giving reviews. Those legitimate reviews are ones given at least 6 months after training. Check out the PDR Training company or trainer by asking for references from alumni that have been graduated longer that 6 months. If they won’t furnish references, then don’t train with them. It’s one way to judge whether you will see success after completion of class.

7. Money Back Guarantee

This is not a valid guarantee. This a sales tactic. The legit PDR industry trainers will give you a training guarantee that allows you to come back thru training for free, if you need to come back for refresher classes. The good trainers in the PDR industry are concerned about students learning PDR properly and will keep working with them until they are able to perform PDR. I have never had a student that could not learn PDR, so the money back guarantee does not make sense for the good PDR trainers. But coming back, if needed, makes perfect sense.

What to look for:

If its too good to be true. The leading PDR training marketer has it both ways on its website, “Guaranteed Lifetime Training” and “Money Back Guarantee”. If it is confusing on the front end of training then the guarantee is not valid if you have to redeem it. Look for others that have been told the excuse,”We can’t give you money back because it’s been too long since you trained.” It can take a while before you understand that your training was not proper.

8. No Name Low Quality Tools

The California “Mill” PDR training companies are pushing no-name PDR tools of low quality. They are including the tools in their inclusive package deals and are making tons of profits. This is an injustice to send new technician out into the field with inferior tools. The PDR industry uses high quality, finely tuned instruments to make repairs. There are only a few quality PDR companies making these tools. For a list of high quality manufacturers, check out my PDR Tools page.

What To Look For:

Ask these questions. Who is the tool manufacturer? What is their website? Can I buy direct from them? No PDR trainers or training companies manufacture their own PDR tools. If the tools are not made by the legitimate PDR Manufacturers like A-1 PDR Tools, Dentcraft PDR Tools, PDR Finesse PDR Tools, or Ultra PDR tools then don’t train with them or buy their tools. Buy quality tools to make quality repairs!

9. High Pressure Sales Commitment

Paintless Dent Repair is a profitable skill to learn and it sells itself. Beyond explaining why you need to have hands-on training and selecting a trainer, there is no selling involved. So, why the high pressure sales of the “PDR Mill” trainers? It’s because they have been doing it so long and their sales tactics get’s results. It doesn’t mean you have to be a victim.

I have wanted to expose these tactics for a long time since they make difficult a very easy to understand process of learning PDR. It’s the design of these PDR marketing companies to get you confused and wore out. At that point you are expected to just give in to them and waste your time, effort, and money. If you have ever been thru a time share presentation, it is the same sneaky sales process.

What to look for:

Slick, persistent, high pressure training companies that are making profits by pumping students thru their organizations. It’s a time share sales process and it has no respect for people. It’s all about volume and profit. You can don’t have to participate in this sales process. Ask lots of questions and don’t chose a trainer under pressure. Go with your gut feeling, if you are being sold…then you are. Just say no! Do your research and chose the best PDR trainer for you.

10. “That Trainer Used To Train For My Organization” Lie

A deceptive tactic that some unsavory PDR training companies use is the “That guy used to train for us!” I have been approached by some training companies from California to do their training here in the Midwest/East Coast. Also, they wanted me to sell their tools to my students. But, after evaluating what their offers were, they wanted my reputation as an industry leading trainer to give credibility to their training and tools. If you are being fed this line, then they are grasping at straws because their training is suspect. Say goodbye and look for another trainer.

What to look for:

“That guy used to train for us.” That doesn’t make their PDR training legitimate. Do your research and look at the facts about the PDR training they are providing.

11. Will Not Furnish References

Ask for a few references. If they are training properly then references will tell the story of how well a student was equipped to work in the real world of PDR. No references then look for a trainer that will furnish them. Then ask the references lots of questions about their training experience. Good research gives you confidence you are making the correct decision on a trainer.

What to look for:

Refusal to give references. This is a big red flag and don’t train with them.

12. Hands-On Bait & Switch

The Hands-On tactic you will not find out until you get to training. But, when it is pulled you will know it. You are promised learning dent repair but end up in class most of the time. PDR training is a skill to be learned and should be the main focus of the instruction. The hands-on portion should be 80% of the training. The student should be working on dent repair the first day and all days of training.

What To Look For:

“How much you are learning and what types of repairs will I make everyday? Please provide me with a class curriculum”. If the training is not clearly spelled out by the day, then you may not be able to judge how much is class and how much is practical application. Ask questions about hands-on repairs and what you will learn. If you are making difficult repairs like, softball size dents and creases, during training then there is likely enough hand-on training.


This is a partial list that I compiled from my research of these marketing tactics. I have first hand knowledge of most of these tactics since they were used on me when I did my research into PDR training back in the 1990’s. These PDR training companies have been around a long time and using their unsavory tactics on the unsuspecting for years! Don’t fall prey to them. If they use deception to get you in their door, what kind of training are you going to get?

Be informed and do your research. If you have any questions, even if you do not chose me as your trainer, please contact me. I do not wish to see anymore beginning PDR technicians being taken advantage of by these marketing companies that happen to train paintless dent repair skills!