Enthusiasm, professionalism and more enthusiasm!
The single biggest difference about buying a guitar from Richard compared to one of the big-brand stores is this: his enthuiasm. Because he has a genuine love for guitars he stocks some great models that you just can't get elsewhere (easily) - in my case a Godin ACS. He is available to chat online and it quickly becomes clear that he knows his stuff and he was still replying to my e-mails way after office hours. When I placed my order he took the time to tell me he could actually SAVE me some money with a second-hand (immaculate) alternative if I prefered. When my guitar arrived it had been packed with real care that only someone with a love for guitars would bother to do.
From beginning to end this was a great experience. I'll be back when I want my next guitar!