Card King

Indy Card Exchange Owner Enjoying Recent Resurgence of Trading Cards

Writer / Ryan Kennedy
Photographer / Walker Photography

Andy Albert fell in love with collecting trading cards when he was 10 years old. Albert started out as a collector of basketball cards. As a kid he grew up in northern Indiana watching Michael Jordan dominate the world of professional basketball in the 1990s. This fueled his passion for collecting cards, specifically Michael Jordan cards, through high school, through college, all the way through moving down to Indianapolis in 2001. His passion for cards never left him.Indy Card Exchange

“The first thing I did was look for a local card shop, to be able to be a customer and create a friendship with the owner,” Albert says. “That happened and the friendship developed into the opportunity to buy it when he was ready to kind of consider retirement.”

Albert says that for many collectors, one of their ultimate dreams is to own a hobby shop. He fulfilled that dream when he purchased Indy Card Exchange 11 years ago.

Indy Card Exchange is a full-service, local card shop serving central Indiana and the Midwest. They buy, sell and trade just about anything related to trading cards including basketball, baseball, football and even Pokémon cards. Indy Card Exchange has been in business for more than 30 years. They also deal in autographed sports memorabilia.

Trading cards are everything to Albert. He started collecting in the 1980s and 1990s, which was a golden era for trading cards.

“You’d find a card shop on every street corner like you see a Starbucks now,” he says. “It was that crazy back in the ’80s and ’90s.”

The boom did not last. Card production outpaced demand until, eventually, prices cratered. “Because of the greed from the manufacturers, they just completely ruined the hobby, because every card that you would buy that you thought was going to be worth money long-term was so overproduced that it was worthless now,” Albert says.

Albert never lost faith. The card market began to rebound slowly around 2012 and Albert saw an opportunity for growth. Two years ago he moved Indy Card Exchange to its current location on 96th Street, and more than doubled the size and capacity of the shop. He gutted the place down to the studs, created a brand-new layout, and just like the burgeoning resurgence in demand for trading cards, started fresh.

Trading cards came back in a big way in 2018 and 2019. The market hit new highs during the pandemic. Albert says he saw a tenfold growth throughout the two years of the pandemic and that growth is continuing through today.

The move to 96th Street is part of Albert’s effort to take advantage of the booming card market. One of the tasks he’s focusing on is reconnecting with adults who grew up during the golden era of trading cards, getting them back into the hobby, and providing opportunities for them to pass the love of trading cards to their children.

Indy Card ExchangeHe created a bargain-box area where people can sit and rifle though cards, which Albert says both kids and adults love. He also established a kids club. The membership allows kids to come in and get a gift from Indy Card Exchange once per month. “We need to keep this generation growing with the hobby because it’s been existing since the early 1900s,” he says. “It’s an over-100-year-old hobby and it never went away. It’s had its ups and downs, but it never went away.”

Indy Card Exchange is located at 7035 East 96th Street in Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-254-8681 or visit

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