There are an incredible number of reliable scales in the $30-70 range (not to mention much more expensive ones). For instance, I paid 35 bucks for my Salter, which has never failed me in three years of constant use. So it really boils down to features. And for that you'll have to get more info from him. Among the things to consider:
1. Number of measuring scales. Mine can read in grams, kilograms, ounces, or pounds & ounces. Does he need that sort of range?
2. Range of weight. Mine will register from .05 oz (2 g) to 11 lb (5 kg). Does he need that much range? Greater range?
3. Configuration. Mine happens to have a flat plate, which is one of the reasons I choose it. Others have built-in bowls and platforms. What's his preference.
4. Power source. It should operate on standard, easy to obtain batteries. Most work on either double As or 9 volts. But make sure your selection doesn't use a weird size or power.
5. Automatic shut-off. Not all of them have this feature, and it's one of the more important ones in a busy kitchen, because it's too easy to forget you've turned it on. For those with an auto shut-off, what's the time period before it closes down?
6. Lighted screen. This may or may not be important, but people tend to have distinct preferences.
This should get you started.
When you've made your decision be sure and order it through Cheftalk's direct links to Amazon. To do so, look up the unit in the product guide, and click on the "buy me" button in the upper right hand corner. That will take you right to Amazon.