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Why are people spending so much money on Professional Cornhole Bags?

 

I started playing cornhole around 2000 as it gained popularity in the midwest.  During that time, almost all cornhole bags were filled with corn filling.  After we started the company in 2004, we started to offer a plastic resin filled weather resistant bag.  At the time, 75% of our customers were buying corn-filled bags and 25% were playing with the weather resistant bags.  There were some that preferred the feeling of the corn-filled bags, but I think the main reason that it was favored among sellers was because they were cheaper to make.  At least on our website, the weather resistant cornhole bags were 20% more expensive.  Over time, more and more players adopted the weather resistant bags to the point where we are today, where almost all of our sales are for weather resistant cornhole bags.

Those price differences make sense because plastic filling is more expensive than corn filling.  However you may have noticed that there is a new class of Professional Cornhole Bags that have hit the market with the rise of the cornhole leagues like ACL.  These ACL approved cornhole bags sell in Sets of 4, generally have colorful designs, and can retail for as much as $120 for a set of 8!  

Why are these Pro Cornhole Bags so expensive?

The first time I saw these priced, I thought it was supply/demand at work.  I assumed that the sellers were so backlogged that they needed to raise the prices to astronomical levels in order to keep the order volume down.  However as time has gone on, there are even more cornhole companies selling ACL/ACO approved bags with high price tags.  To be fair, the cornhole bags are nicer than your standard ones that you'd see at the local farmers market.  They have rounded corners, plastic fill, slide/stick, and they have a design, which would push the price up.  However, that doesn't account for the bags being 6x the price of a standard set.  I took a look at the ACL equipment specifications and saw something interesting, under the ACL Pro (bags you see on TV) specifications, it says "Retail price expectation is over $70." (Set of 4).  Under the ACL Comp (tournament play), it says "Retail price expectation is over $40." (Set of 4).  Not sure if that is a suggestion or a requirement, but interesting nonetheless.

Who should (and shouldn't) spend money on Pro Cornhole Bags?

In my mind it's very simple, I wouldn't waste ,my money on ACL stamped cornhole bags unless I'm planning on playing in an ACL tournament, where they are required.  Outside of that, you're likely to be way overpaying for bags.  There is something to be said for people buying brands because of name recognition (Apple, Patagonia, Tesla), but I don't think cornhole brands generally get recognized outside of "Pro Circles".  

So here is my recommendation, if you NEED the professional bags because you're playing in a tournament, then by all means.  If you're buying them because you feel that price=quality, you should reconsider your choice.  Here at SC Cornhole, you can buy Pro Series Cornhole Bags (slide/stick, plastic, fill, rounded corners) at a fraction of the price and have them on your doorstep within a few days.  Actually, you could buy multiple sets of bags and still come out ahead!