It’s been called The Big TARP Company Store since owner Keith Silberg reopened the store we all knew as C-Mart at the corner of Rock Spring Road and Bynum Road last February. But now it looks like it’s leaving for good. Silberg is moving his flea market, discount store and auction business to Cockeysville starting Jan. 19. He’s working to clear out the Forest Hill store with 60 to 80 percent off prices through Dec. 26 and he’s auctioning off whatever hasn’t sold to the highest bidder during his final store-wide event at the Forest Hill location starting at noon Dec. 29. The current building, which has been for sale since Silberg sold his C-Mart business to a company that moved it to Joppatowne before going belly up at the beginning of the recession, will remain on the market awaiting a buyer.
Silberg told me today he’s making the move to accommodate his auction business that has done well during the past year. He’ll open Isennocks Big TARP Auction Center & Company Store at 10912 York Road in Cockeysville. Silberg says he feels it’s an ideal location in the former Old Maryland Specialty Wine building at the end of York Road’s “Antique Row.” While other companies liquidated, businesses went bankrupt and people downsized, Silberg worked with the auction companies to collect the items they wanted to off-load and created a brisk business selling them the highest bidder. He says he learned the auction business from the flea market vendors he brought into the Forest Hill space last January. “I’d ask them, ‘Where did you get all your stuff from?’” He learned most of it came from auctions. He started working with their connections and ended up auctioning off everything from live chickens to high end furniture. In the beginning, he says, “We didn’t have a clue what we were doing.” But now he knows enough to realize he’d like a fresher space to auction such things as a $60,000 diamond rings and Gustav Stickley dining tables. Of his customers who come to his current location, “This is not the atmosphere they’re looking for or feel comfortable in.”
The new space features a 10,000 retail area and 20,000 square feet for his auction area. He says it’s large enough to drive in the $40,000 2007 Lexus ES 350 acquired in an estate sale he plans to auction off at the new store.
Silberg’s new location is much closer to his Towson home, but he says he’ll be sad to leave the Harford County location that was his store’s home since his family opened it in the 1970s.
“It is definitely bittersweet,” he says, “That store has been my home for all these years. It was exciting to be back in that building for awhile, particularly because of how loyal our customers have been.”
The new store’s opening event on Jan. 19 will be a firearms auction along with a high-end handbag auction. Silberg says he’s be donating his store’s portion of the handbag proceeds to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation. If you think Cockeysville is too far to go for discount designer goods, Silberg offers online bidding. Check out his website to learn more: http://www.ibtauctions.com/
Click here to read previous BANV articles about C-MART.