Which would earn the most $?? Selling the entire set or selling a few pieces at a time?
On eBay it appears that sets do not sell often, but I have not tracked this for any length of time.
The best thing to do first is determine if your set is rare and desirable.
Remember, spot price is down considerably from a few months ago.
For large lots only in the range of 1000 ounces or more, the smelters would be buying precious metals. They don't care about patterns or sentiment - only the silver content. Everyone's got to make a profit - smelters, the coin dealers, jewelers, traveling antique buyers, matching services - so expect any buy to be something under spot on any given day. And depending who is willing to buy, it could be a lot under.
I don't check eBay very much - way back when already it seemed to be all sellers, few buyers. Bargains would be the name of the game there, too, I suppose.
Lots of us "older" people use our silver like every day flatware. The younger generations have a different lifestyle and don't seem to be interested in fancy silver, crystal or china. Or you could always donate it to Goodwill or some other charity and take a reasonable tax deduction.
What pattern is it, what pieces do you have, & what is the condition? Some rare patterns or serving pieces sell better individually whereas the usual place pieces are normally sold in groups of 4, 6, etc
for the sake of comparison I attended an estate auction on August 10 in Maryland. 100+ pieces of Stieff Corsage flatware plus chest was sold for $2150.