ScottV Stamps Beginner Pages
1) Most stamp businesses these days operate by mail order only, and have reliable bulk suppliers, so they usually can't take the time to appraise a collection, and can't pay more than a fraction of the catalog values. There is no retailer in any industry that buys items from the public at retail prices; retailers must buy at wholesale prices.
2) The best way to sell a collection is to price it yourself and become a temporary dealer. A booth at some local stamps shows can be rewarding.
3) If you do try to sell the collection on your own, the more effort you put into describing and documenting the collection, the more you will sell the collection for. When buyers hear about "20 volumes of stamps", they expect 20 volumes of junk; but if you break the collection into smaller lots, by country, and describe the high-value stamps from each country, buyers will be MUCH more interested.
4) Most stamps are only worth 2 to 5 cents each. A good-sized collection will have a number of better stamps, in the $1 to $50 range. Stamps worth over $100 usually need a certificate of authenticity before selling.