By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Old Mars store now eBay trading outlet
Greg Brown of M.C.B. Distributors in downtown Manteca is shown with a few of the one-of-a-kind sneakers that were hand-painted by a local artist. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/ The Bulletin
An on-line and in-store consignment seller has taken over the old Mars Department Store in downtown Manteca after being shuttered for a number of years.

M.C.B. Distributors opened for business in early June at the building whose outside wall is known to many as the home to the “Cow-munity” mural, a tribute to the town’s dairy industry and one of Manteca’s 11 completed murals to date.

As a consignment seller, M.C.B. Distributors acts as the middleman in sale transactions occurring either in the store or on the popular online auction, eBay, for a fee.

In-store consignment refers to items that are sold in-house directly to shoppers who come by the store.

For on-line consignments, M.C.B. Distributors lists people’s for-sale items on eBay. Those who are interested in selling their wares via this route simply have to drop them off at the store. MCB will do all the work – from taking pictures and uploading them along with the accompanying descriptions, to monitoring the auction online and then packaging and mailing them to buyers if the auction is successful. M.C.B. will also take care of PayPal transactions (on-line payments), if need be.

Consignees don’t even need to have an eBay account; it’s M.C.B.’s account that’s being used. The newest business in downtown Manteca will even do the marketing research for the sellers to get the best bang for their treasures.

M.C.B.’s cost for all that effort is a flat fee.

“We work on a flat commission,” Brown said, which is 35 percent of the sale price.

In the case of eBay listings, if the item does not sell, the customer does not owe M.C.B. anything.

The consignment store accepts antiques, collectibles such as coins and toys, paintings, and unique handicrafts such as the work of a Manteca artist who uses sneakers to paint her colorful creations resulting in one-of-a-kind pairs of shoes. However, they do not accept furniture or clothes.

“We don’t do clothing or furniture for space reasons. They take up so much room,” said Greg Brown, who is the B in M.C.B.

The C in the business partnership is Brown’s mother, Susan Cunningham. The M is his step-father, Charles Mantel. The two used to run their own research office in Mt. View until they moved to Manteca and started M.C.B. The business has since grown, from the 500-square-foot office at Executive Plaza on East Yosemite Avenue where they were located for a year, to a larger space at a warehouse building on Wetmore Drive (next to the Carl’s Jr. facility) where they also stayed for a year.

“It’s the location that drew us to it,” Brown said of the Mars Department Store building in the heart of downtown Manteca, “plus its layout with the picture windows.”

Before they took over, the building was occupied by a typewriter business, he said.

M.C.B. Distributors is already active in the community. They sponsor the nonprofit Victoria’s Elite Allstars where Brown and wife Monica, a registered nurse at Kaiser Hospital in Manteca, are volunteers. Their three children – Shayne, 13; Skylar, 11; and, Shyanne, 9 – are all VEA members. Son Steven, 21, helps Brown at the store.