Last updated
Limited Liability Company
Industry Consumer Electronics
Founded 2004
Founder Elchonon Hellinger
HeadquartersMiami, Florida, United States
Key people
Elchonon Hellinger (CEO), Yosef Hellinger (COO)
Products cell phones, bluetooth headsets
Services Retail sales of discounted unlocked cell phones, headsets and other communication technologies
Number of employees
7 (2012)

ThriftyComputer is a Miami, Florida based internet business that sells discounted new and refurbished cell phones and other electronics. Founded by Elchonon Hellinger in 2004 when he was 19, he was later joined by his younger brother Yosef Hellinger. The company encountered financial troubles in 2009 and was forced to rebuild from the ground up. In addition, founder Hellinger suffers from a debilitating chronic illness that has created significant challenges. [1]

Miami City in Florida, United States

Miami, officially the City of Miami, is the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida. Miami is the seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida. The city covers an area of about 56.6 square miles (147 km2), between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay on the east; with a 2017 estimated population of 463,347, Miami is the sixth most densely populated major city in the United States. The Miami metropolitan area is home to 6.1 million people and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Miami's metro area is the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States and fourth-largest urban area in the U.S. Miami has the third tallest skyline in the United States with over 300 high-rises, 80 of which stand taller than 400 feet.

Florida State of the United States of America

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.


Founder background

Since infancy, Elchonon Hellinger has suffered from Neurofibromatosis Type 2, which causes the continuous growth of benign tumors. By the age of 18, he was clinically deaf, and tumors on his hands made everyday work painful. [1] [2] To date, he has had over 20 surgeries, including an auditory brainstem implant at the age of 21 to regain his hearing. [3]

An auditory brainstem implant (ABI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf, due to retrocochlear hearing impairment. In Europe, ABIs have been used in children and adults, and in patients with neurofibromatosis type II.

Business difficulties and subsequent recovery

From the company's beginning, selling out of box phones on eBay, by 2009 the company had formed an LLC, expanded its inventory to include other wireless and computer supplies, and was reporting $900,000 a year in sales. [4] However, due to inexperience and internal mismanagement, the company had gone into over $100,000 in debt and lost all of its payment processing privileges from PayPal, Google Checkout and credit card processing companies. [5]

eBay American multinational e-commerce corporation

eBay Inc. is an American multinational e-commerce corporation based in San Jose, California that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in the autumn of 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble. eBay is a multibillion-dollar business with operations in about 30 countries, as of 2011. The company manages the eBay website, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. The website is free to use for buyers, but sellers are charged fees for listing items after a limited number of free listings, and again when those items are sold.

Limited liability company US-specific form of a private limited company

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PayPal Online financial services company based in San Jose, California

PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory. PayPal's payment system, also called PayPal, is considered a type of payment rail.

Hellinger brought his younger brother Yosef in to help him turn things around. They sold whatever inventory they had left on eBay in order to pay off their creditors and slowly re-establish terms. Two years later, in 2011, the company reported between $40–70,000/month in sales from their website.

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  1. 1 2 Goh, Daniel. " – A Lesson In Overcoming Obstacles". Young Upstarts. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  2. "Elchonon Hellinger Determined to Succeed". House Research Institute. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  3. Kurlander, Steven. "A holiday story about the meaning of perseverance, and its role in success". Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  4. Warner, Andrew. "Interview Interview How Do You Recover When Your Customers Get Angry? – with Elchonon and Yosef Hellinger". Mixergy. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  5. "Lessons Learned: Computer Retailer Suffers Heavy Losses, Rebounds". Practical ecommerce. Retrieved 31 December 2012.