Are they Point and Shoot?
I paid over $400 for mine. They are also point and shoot, IE it doesn't matter how you hold them. The cheap ones I have seen you NEED to line up the red reader to the bar code. Mine you get close and it will read them. Even the ones behind the second door,
I may have paid more but ZERO fight when trying to use them.
Never make fun of the choices your wife makes. You were one of them.