My friend started playing bass about 8 months ago and is loving it. Her birthday is coming up and I was looking for some kind of effects pedal/device for her. She doesn't own anything of the sort other than an EQ on her amp. I am very familiar with this sort of equipment but do not play any electric string instruments. So I wanted to know what kind of effects pedal for under $50 you would recommend for her?
I wouldn't waste money on any electronics under $50 new. Used is another story...
A Line 6 Bass Pod is a good idea if you can find one that cheap. Also, the M-Audio Black Box is a very fun device with built-in drum tracks and some bass amp models. Those are the only two multi-effects I would consider giving a bassist. Oh, maybe a Boss offering but I don't actually care for the UI on those units.
Separate (used) effects are a great idea, too. Basic Bass OD or Fuzz like the EHX Bass Big Muff or Tech21 VT Bass can be found for cheap on the used market. Envelope filters are, also, awesome for bassists. The DOD FX-25 is kinda famous amongst bassists as being a great cheap envelope filter.
As an alternative, might I suggest a Neoprene strap? They fit your budget and are really, really awesome for bassists (and guitarists).